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February 12, 2007 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-02-12

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, February 12, 2007 - 3B

BROMWICH
From page IA
in the second half. Harris was
solid throughout, managing 27
points on 8-of-10 shooting.
The whole team showed up for
the second half. Along with Pet-
way and Harris, junior Ron Cole-
man hit two big 3-pointers, and
sophomore Jerret Smith knocked
down four clutch free throws and
handed out four assists.
But why did it take so long?
The Wolverines absolutely had
to have this win. They were com-
ing off a four-game losing streak,
including a home loss to Iowa that
severely dampened their postsea-
son prospects. They don't have
an easy game for the rest of the
season. And they were returning
home to Crisler Arena, where the
team has repeatedly stated that it
feels much more comfortable and
confident.
The significance of the game
didn't elude them.
"It was a must-win, we had
to capitalize on this (game). We
already dropped one to Iowa here,"
senior Courtney Sims said.
"We just felt like we really need-
ed to get a win," Harris said. "We
thought we played that game terri-
bly (against Iowa), so we wanted to
come in with a new focus for this
home game and get a win."
Harris showed it, scoring 14
points on 5-of-6 shooting in the
first period.
But the rest of the squad was
almost invisible.
Sims didn't record a single
point or rebound until he hit a free
throw with 5:44 left in the first
half.
Petway notched just the afore-
mentioned two and one.
Coleman had two points.
And Michigan allowed Min-
nesota, the worst-shooting team in
the conference, to hit 50 percent of
its shots. The Wolverines turned
GOPHERS
From page 1A
senior Dion Harris. The Wolver-
ines fought their way back to tie
the game at 13 and then 16 points.
But the Gophers proved too dif-
ficult to keep down.
Minnesota's four guards com-
bined to score 21 points in the
first half, using their speed to
penetrate the lane and create
scoring opportunities.
But unlike in previous losses
where Michigan failed to respond
to adversity, the Wolverines
came out in the second half and
answered the Gophers blow-for-
STARTS
From page 1A
" period in all but one category:
goals.
Despite controlling the early
pace of the game - the Wolverines
outshot Michigan State 18-10 in the
first frame - Michigan fell behind
2-0 in the first period.
Heading into the first intermis-
sion, Michigan coach Red Beren-
son still thought the Wolverines
were solid despite the two-goal
deficit.
"Michigan carried the play the
first 10 minutes and maybe didn't
capitalize," Berenson said. "We
got some momentum going and we
played well."
Berenson wasn't so happy with
the following 10 minutes, in which

Michigan allowed two goals. The
letdown mirrored Friday night,
when Michigan scored just over a
minute into the game, but couldn't
keep control of the game as Bowl-
ing Green came back to win.
ButMichigantookbackthe pace
of the game in the second period
and kept it in the final stanza,
making the three-goal comeback
possible.
Standing tall: Don't worry, you
won't have to come back early
from spring break for Michigan's
first CCHA playoff series.
The Wolverines' comeback tie
last night, coupled with Nebraska-
Omahaskatingto a2-2tie,clinched
a first-round bye for the Maize and
Blue in the CCHA playoffs.
Michigan will host a quarter-
final series March 9-11 at Yost Ice
Arena.
The Wolverines stand to ben-
efit from the bye week more than
most teams. Michigan hasn't had
a weekend off since the beginning
of January.
The Wolverines currently sit
third in the CCHA standings with
33 points. Miami (Ohio) has 34
points but has two fewer games
remaining on its schedule.
With two more games than
Miami (Ohio) remaining, Michi-
gan will likely finish ahead of the
RedHawks in the final standings.
The real race will be between the
Wolverines and the Spartans for
the second spot.
Michigan State has two fewer
* points than Michigan but one
more game to play.
The Wolverines hold the tie-
break over the Spartans by benefit
of a 2-1-1 head-to-head conference
record.
The archrivals have actually
played five times this season, but
0 Michigan State's 4-1 win in the
Great Lakes Invitational final
doesn't count toward the CCHA
standings.
Notre Dame is practically
locked into the conference's top

the ball over eight times in the
period, and showed such a general
lack of passion and intensity they
were booed off the floor at half-
time.
How is that possible?
Considering everythingthe
players said after the game, how
could it have taken them an entire
half to play the way they finished
the game? Why didn't they come
out strong, given that they knew it
was a must-win game? Yes, Michi-
gan has struggled with starting
games this season, but that usually
happens on the road.
After the game, Petway and
Sims conveyed that at halftime,
teammates were getting on each
other, and the seniors were speak-
ing out about the urgency they
needed in the second half, about
how they couldn't lose this game.
Why did the Wolverines need
to be down by nine to one of the
three worst teams in the Big Ten
at home for the seniors to step up?
Shouldn't this have happened after
the Iowa game?
This was a Minnesota team that
had a losing nonconference record
and whose coach had his contract
bought out just seven games into
the season. It was a Minnesota
team who is either last or second-
to-last in the BigTen in 14 of 19
statistical categories. It was a Min-
nesota team with the worst win-
ning percentage in the conference
And it was a Minnesota team
that had absolutely no business
leading the Wolverines by nine
points at halftime.
The comeback was impres-
sive. But more telling was the way
Michigan (other than Harris)
opened the game, a game anyone
and everyone knew they needed
to win: without passion, without
energy and without an appropriate
sense of urgency.
- Bromwich can be reached
at dabromwi@umich.edu
blow until Petway's three min-
utes of fame turned the tide.
"Our intensity definitely
turned up on both sides of the
court (in the second half)," Pet-
way said. "We knew we had to
have this game."
The win keeps Michigan's
paper-thin tournament chances
alive. With upcoming games
against Michigan State, Indiana
and Illinois, stopping the four-
game losing skid was paramount.
But without a star witness
in the form of a marquee vic-
tory, Saturday's evidence may
be struck from the court come
March.
spot. The Fighting Irish have 39
points.
Injury update: Brian Lebler
spent last week recovering from
a shoulder injury, and it looks like
he'll be back in the training room
again this week.
The freshman suffered a leg
injury in the third period of Satur-
day night's game.
Lebler said he was "all right" as
he left Joe Louis Arena, two Little
Caesar's pizzas in hand, limping
slightly.
Lebler played on the fourth line
alongside fellow freshman Antho-
ny Ciraulo and sophomore Danny
Fardig this weekend. Chris Sum-
mers replaced Lebler on Michi-
gan's second line for both games.
Not-so-friendly Joe: The trip
from East Lansing may be twice
as long as the one from Ann Arbor,
but Michigan State has made Joe
Louis Arena feel like home against

Michigan recently.
The Spartans are unbeaten in
their last seven games against the.
Wolverines at the Arena. Dating
back to 2003, Michigan State is
4-0-3.

Netters can't pull off upset

By ANTHONY OLIVEIRA
Daily Sports Writer
With a win against then-No. 12
Texas two weeks ago, the Michi-
gan men's tennis team was con-
fident it could play with the best.
A victory over a mighty No. 4
Virginia squad on Saturday night
could have proven the team was
one of the nation's best.
But the Wolverines were unable
to seize the opportunity in Char-
lottesville, Va., losing 5-2.
Michigan had an early oppor-
tunity to take the doubles point as
senior Ryan Heller and sophomore
Andrew Mazlin took the first dou-
bles match of the evening.
But facing a raucous crowd, the
freshmen duo, of George Navas
and Mike Sroczynki couldn't take
advantage of three match points.
They lost in a tiebreak (9-8 (9)).
The nation's No. 2 tandem of
senior Brian Hung and junior
Matko Maravic matched up with
No. 7 Somdev Devvarman and
Treat Huey. Although Hung and
BIG TENS
From page IA
Big Ten swimmers.
The championships began with
the four swimmers winningthe 200-
yard freestyle relay, a victory that
helped Michigan lead the competi-
tion after the first day.
On the second day, Brady and
Smith repeated their success as Big
Ten champions. Brady also defended
her title in the 100-yard butterfly.
Smith won the 200-yard freestyle
for the fourth straight year, becom-
ing the only swimmer in Big Ten his-
tory to win the race all four years of
their career.
"It is kind of scary up in that posi-
tion because everyone wants to take
you down, but I am happy I could do
it one more time," Smith said.
The divers didn't fare as well as
the swimmers. No Wolverine won
an event, and the best finish was a
second from junior Elyse Lee on the
1-meter board. Still, they seemed
pleased with their overall perfor-
mance.
"We scored over 80 points, which
is the most I have scored as a team
since I have been at Michigan,"
Michigan diving coach Chris Berge-
re said.
While her coach praised Michi-
gan, Lee did the same for her oppo-
nent in the 1-meter.
"Christine (Loukas) is expected to
win," Lee said. "She is an all-world
diver so getting second is more than
anything I can ask for."
The divers wouldn't finish as well
the rest of the meet. In the three-
meter, the best finish for Michigan
was Lee's seventh place. In the plat-
form diving, top billing belonged to
junior Katie Skendrovic (sixth).

Maravic defeated them in Octo-
ber en route to the Polo Ralph
Lauren All-American Champion-
ships final, Devvarman and Huey
got their revenge in a tiebreak, 9-8
(2).
For the first time this season,
Michigan (6-1) was unable to
claim the first point of the match.
And with the Virginia march-
ing band on hand at the Boar's
Head Sports Club, the Wolverines
never grabbed the momentum
back, dropping three of six singles
matches in straight sets. Despite
the loss, Michigan was always per-
sistent, going after every point.
"I was extremely proud of the
team and how we competed,"
Maravic said. "Everyone came to
Virginia ready, believing we can
beat this team although they're
ranked so high, and we lost 5-2.
But definitely key matches could
have gone either -way. Doubles
could have been either way. George
(Navas) lost a very tight match.
Things could have gone our way.
But Virginia played better at cru-
SPARTANS
From page lA
come out and play for the team, and
play forthe wintonight. Ithink it put
a lot of heart into me and made me do
what I did out there. I wanted to play
for the team as much as possible, and
I did a good job."
After controlling the opening
moments of the game, Michigan
quickly fell apart once the Spartans'
sophomore star Justin Abdelkader
drew first blood.
Just prior to the goal, Wolverine
goaltenderBilly Sauer skated behind
the net to wrap the puck around the
end boards.As he skated back toward
the net, Abdelkader cut between
Sauer and the goal crease, knock-
ing the goaltender off balance - but
not drawing a whistle for goaltender
interference.
Before Sauer could completely
regain his composure, the puck
found its way to Abdelkader all alone
for an easy marker and Michigan
State took control of the game.
"Michigan carried the play forthe
first 10 minutes and just didn't capi-
talize," Michigan coach Red Beren-
son said. "In the last 10 minutes (of
the first period), I thought we gave
them some momentum."
After sophomore Jack John-
son was thwarted on a breakaway
attempt, Michigan State's Bryan
Lerg extended the Spartan lead to
two just one minute after the initial
goal.
The tide seemed ready to turn
early in the second after a suc-
cessful Michigan penalty kill.
ButonaWolverine powerplay,
Cogliano was beat to a Spartan
clearing attempt by Abdelkader,
who skated in all alone and slot-

cial points of the match."
Facing last year's NCAA run-
ner-up Devvarman, No. 44 Mara-
vic held his own in the first set, but
couldn't convert chances in the
second set. Maravic fell 6-4, 6-1.
"Virginia was just a little better
at most of the spots, and they're
a better team than us right now,"
Michigan coach Bruce Berque
said. "Overall, I don't think our
team played its best tonight. We
did compete well, but there defi-
nitely is room for improvement.
Our guys are disappointed, but
they gained some confidence real-
izing that they're within strik-
ing distance of becoming a great
team."
Some of that confidence came
the day before, when the Wolver-
ines clobbered William and Mary,
6-1. After edging the Tribe 4-3 last
season, the Wolverines improved
to its best start in Berque's tenure.
But Mazlin still left Williams-
burg, Va., disappointed. Know-
ing he should have completed the
sweep against William and Mary,
ted a breakaway goal past Sauer.
Despite trailing by three goals,
Michigan finally began finding
room to move the puck methodically
through the defensive and neutral
zone, creating easy opportunities for
rebounds.
The Wolverines' patience paid
off when Cogliano's linemate Chris
Summers - who was playing just his
second game as a forward all season
- knocked in a rebound off defense-
man Steve Kampfer's shot to put his
team on the board for the first time.
Michigan continued to exploit
Michigan State's trap in the early
stages of the third period, when
Cogliano and Summers hooked up
for the Wolverines' second goal.
Cogliano worked the puck around
several Spartans, slotting a shot in
toward Michigan State goaltender
Jeff Lerg. Once again, Summers was
on the doorstep and lofted the puck
over the prone goaltender.
As the clock wound down, Sum-
mers and Cogliano connected a third
time. After a faceoff to Jeff Lerg's
right, Summers fought for the puck
just behind the goal line, and seeing
Cogliano, slipped a pass through to
his linemate, which was redirected
for the tying goal.
"Their centerman did all he could
to win the draw, but I actually won
it," Cogliano said. "He dove out to hit
it back in the zone and he was cov-
ering me. So Summers just took it
around the corner and I went to the
net."
Both teams failed to score in the

Mazlin took his "grudge" out on
the Cavaliers (6-0), winning his
singles match in straight sets.
He and Heller were the onlytwo
to escape Virginia without a loss.
Heller ended the weekend victori-
ous in all four of his matches. As
a doubles team, Heller and Maz-
lin will take their five-match win
streak into Northwestern.
Despite its first setback of the
season against the Cavaliers,
Michigan knows it has had a very
successful start. With a team that
is "tight-knit" and "going to war
for each other," according to Hell-
er, a few more lessons will give the
Wolverines the potential to take
down the elite teams.
"Opportunities like this are
tough to get over," Mazlin said.
"But we know it's early in the
season, and we learn from these
losses, these tough road losses. We
learn playing teams just as highly
ranked at home and on the road. So
we just take this as a step forward
and as looking forward as to what
to expect on future matches. "
closing minutes of regulation, send-
ing the game into overtime, where
Michigan again seized control.
The Wolverines generated several
chances, including a back door shot
by junior Kevin Porter, who unchar-
acteristically liftedthe puck overthe
net.
Although Michigan didn't win the
game, Berenson happy to take one
point from the Spartans, especially
having outshot their rivals 57-22.
"We played in their zone," Beren-
son said. "They were hanging back,
but they hadto defend. In a way, they
should feel luckythey didn't lose the
game. Porter had a back door open
net, which he doesn't miss, but he
missed thatone."
The strong finish was in stark con-
trast to a slow one on Friday night.
After Michigan opened up a 2-1lead
through two periods at Bowling
Green, the Wolverines surrendered
two goals in the last seven minutes
of the game, including the game-
winner with 35 seconds left.
In captain Matt Hunwick's mind,
Saturday's game erased any doubts
aboutthe team's abilities -
"I think itshows some character,"
Hunwicksaid. "But atthe sametime,
we want to win. It's tough when you
put yourself down two goals, but
I thought we battled back pretty
strong in the second half of the
game. This is the first highly ranked
team we have played since the GLI.
It shows that we can play with the
good teams, and shows our charac-
ter and how we can battle."

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