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February 19, 2007 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-02-19

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Go online for softball, Bell
water polo, men's nat
hoops and track wan
S'Dort sl~nn - day

: Not the
ty champs we
ited to face

Monday, February 19, 2007
up just
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - On the second
night of the Big Ten championships,
Michigan and Minnesota fought for
Saturday night's final victory in the
800-yard freestyle relay. Fans from
both teams frantically waved yel-
low pompons, as they watched the
Michigan men's swimming team
touch out the Golden Gophers to
claim the second-day lead.
Twenty-four hours later, the
final relay of the night - and of
the three-day meet - featured two
of the same Wolverine swimmers
as the day before. But in the event
that decided the Big Ten champion-
ships, Michigan fell short.
The Wolverines finished sec-
ond at the Big Ten Championships
at Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic
Pavilion with 608.5 points, just
four points behind Minnesota. The
Golden Gophers took first in the
final event, the 400-yard freestyle
relay, by 0.16 seconds and ruined
Michigan's bid for its first Big Ten
team title in four years.
The natatorium's stands, half-
empty during Michigan's last trip to
Columbus in January, were packed
with spirited supporters from the
ten teams. The Wolverines' fan sec-
tion wielded the "Go Blue" cowbell
while the Buckeyes sang to the
tunes of their pep band on the pool
deck. Hoosiers fans, decked in body
paint, beads and feather headdress-
es, danced above the bleachers as
the Wildcats loudly chanted the
names of their star swimmers.
During Friday's first individual
event, Michigan continued its It-
year dominance in the 500-yard
freestyle, as sophomore Matt Pat-
ton and junior Alex Vanderkaay fin-
ished 0.12 seconds apartto earn first
and second. Vanderkaay earned a
Big Ten title in the 400-yard indi-
vidual medley on Saturday and
the 200-yard butterfly on Sunday,
swimming the fastest time in the
country this year in both events.
Vanderkaay also swam anchor on
both the first-place 800-yard free-
style relay and the meet-deciding,
fourth-place 400-yard freestyle
relay. Before diving into the pool to
start the final leg of the 400-yard
freestyle, he focused on what he
had to do to seal a Wolverine Big
Ten victory.
"I knew we had to get fourth to
win it, Minnesota had to get second
and I had to beat the guy next to
me," Vanderkaay said. "I did that,
but (Minnesota) got first (in the
relay). That kind of stuff happens.
It's kind of hard to believe that we
See BIG TENS, Page 3B

Cagers notch
signature win'

Daily Sports Writer
K w"The grave was dug for the Michi-
gan men's basketball team.
The Wolverines' NCAA Tourna-
ment chances looked buried after
failing to get a much-needed win at
Michigan State on Tuesday.
But the Maize and Blue kept the
shovels in the shed for at least one
more game, beating No. 24 Indiana
58-55 at Crisler Arena on Saturday.
It was Michigan's first win over
a ranked team this season and
snapped an il-game losingcstreak to
the Hoosiers.
"Everyone was saying we don't
have a signature win, so now with a
win like this, this late in the season,
they can finally stop saying that,"
senior Brent Petway said.
But the victory wasn't easy. The
Wolverines nearly fumbled their
golden opportunity late in the
Michigan entered the final min-
ute with what appeared to be a
secure 56-51 lead. Then, senior Les-
ter Abram committed a silly foul
before Indiana even inbounded the
ball, which allowed Hoosier for-
ward Mike White to sink both free
On the Wolverines' ensuing pos-
session, sophomore Jerret Smith
threw an errant pass in the direc-
tion of senior Dion Harris that went
directly into the hands of Indiana
guard Errek Suhr. He came down
the floor and fed White for a layup
to cut Michigan's lead to one.
Smith redeemed himself by sink-
ing two free throws to put the Wol-
verines back up three. It still left
Indiana with more than 16 seconds
remaining to send the game into
Earlier in the season, Michigan
(6-6 Big Ten, 18-9 overall) probably
would have folded under the pres-
PETER SCHOTTENFES/daily sure of a potential blown lead, but
Senior Brent Petway celebrates as the buzzer sounds in Michigan's tense win over Indiana. this time around, the teams' veter-

ans showed their will and determi-
On their final possession, the
Hoosiers didn't get a clean look at
the basket thanks to Michigan's
stingy defense and were forced to
attempt a desperation heave as time
"I was glad to see that when
things didn't go exactly how we
planned, we were able to still stick
in there andgetright back ontrack,"
Petway said.
It was clear from the start that
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
knew his team needed a kickstart
after scoring just 44 points in
Tuesday's loss to the Spartans. The
Wolverines trotted out a new start-
ing lineup on Saturday, with Smith
and freshman Ekpe Udoh inserted
in place of junior Ron Coleman and
senior Courtney Sims. Michigan
surged to an early 11-2 lead thanks
to the change.
But after the Wolverines' initial
jolt, the Hoosiers (7-5,17-8) charged
back, embarking on their own 9-2
run. It cut the Wolverines' lead to
just two heading into the second
media timeout.
From there the game turned into
an old-fashioned Big Ten slugfest,
with both teams unable to muster
much on the offensive end. Michi-
gan shot just 38 percent from the
field in the first half, but Indiana's
accuracy was even worse. -
The Hoosiers made just seven
field goals the entire stanza, allow-
ing the Wolverines to open up a 25-
18 lead at halftime.
Indiana, known for its 3-point
shooting prowess, attempted 21
trifectas, hitting on just six of them
over the course of the game. Michi-
gan shot more than 57 percent from
beyond the arc, with Harris knock-
ing down four en route to his game-
high 16 points. Sims responded
positively to coming off the bench,
scoring 13 points - 11 in the second

Change ofpace: AL' delivers in clutch

Anew team appeared at
Crisler Arena on Saturday
It wore
maize jerseys
that said Mich-
igan across the
But these
weren't the DANIEL
Wolverines we B
have grown all BROMWICH
too familiar
with over the Broms Away

past few seasons.
They overcame adversity.
They stepped up when they
needed to.
They laughed in the face of
recent history, which dictated that
they'd come up short.
And they won a game they
absolutely had to win, defeating
a ranked Indiana squad at home,
Michigan hadn't beaten the
Hoosiers at Crisler in four years,
and hadn't topped them in 11 con-
secutive meetings. Not a single

current Wolverine knew what it
felt like to notch a win over Indi-
History prescribed a loss for
Michigan. -
And at the time, so did the pres-
After leading the entire way,
including a 10-point lead just after
halftime, Michigan found itself
down by one with 4:30 remaining.
Senior Dion Harris, Michigan's
only dependable scorer, was in
trouble with four fouls.
Everything pointed to the Wol-

verines folding. They should have
faltered when another decent
team hit them with its best shot,
just like they did at Michigan
State, just like they did against
Iowa and just like they did in
Bloomington earlier this season.
They didn't.
Instead, they came right back at
Indiana. Harris knocked down a
3-pointer from the wing off a pass
from sophomore Jerret Smith and
Michigan didn't trail for the rest
of the game.
In addition to the foul trouble,

Harris battled tendonitis in his
knee throughout the contest. But
he wasn't the only Wolverine to
hurdle obstacles.
Senior Courtney Sims was
benched in favor of freshman
Ekpe Udoh. He also accidentally
tipped in an Indiana shot with just
more than six minutes remaining.
For a player who is known for hav-
ing a fragile psyche, it would have
surprised nobody had Sims sulked
about either the benching or the
misplayed rebound.

Icers end skid
at the Joe

GAA key stat for

Daily Sports Editor
DETROIT - After the stable,
successful hockey team seen in
January all but disappeared in the
last few I CHGA 1
games, No. L tMICHIGAN 3
10 Michi- : LAKE SUPERIOR ST 1
gan broke
a three-game winless skid and
shimmied out of its February funk
with a satisfactory 3-1 victory over
Lake Superior State at Joe Louis
Arena yesterday.
The Wolverines were glad to see
a few old friends during the game:
steady defense, impressive perfor-
mances fromtop players and strong
special teams.
And the one friend that never
really left was as strong as ever:
quality goaltending from Billy
"A little bit of everything was
better," Michigan coach Red Beren-
son said. "Even our power play."
A familiar story this season,

Michigan struggled on the
man advantage in a 3-2 loss to
the Lakers (10-13-3 CCHA, 16-15-
3 overall) in Sault Ste. Marie Fri-
day. The Wolverines came up short
during a lengthy 5-on-3 as well as a
game-ending power play.
But yesterday, Michigan (17-8-
1, 22-11-1) turned up the heat on
special teams.
After senior T.J. Hensick
opened up the scoring in the
first period, classmate Matt
Hunwick chipped another in
on the Wolverines' firstpower
play of the game.
Defenseman Jack Johnson
started the play in the neutralI
zone, passing up to sophomore
Andrew Cogliano, who sprinted
ahead of the Laker penalty killers ,
to connect with Hunwick in the left BENJI DELL/Dally
slot. Michigan senior forward T.J Hen-
"When Cogliano goes wide sick scored two goals in the Wol-
with the puck with that kind of verines' 3- win over Lake Superior
withee puck ith thatkState on Saturday. The victory
speed, and Hunwick uses ensured Michigan vi at least a
his speed, there'sthiplace finish n the CCHA.
See LAKERS, Page 3B tda i n

Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - When asked about the dif-
ference between Friday's loss and yester-
day's win, alternate
captain T.J. Hensick NOTEBOOK
pointed to a low goals
"We only gave up one goal," Hensick
said. "Those seem to be hard to score."
In the Michigan hockey team's last five
games, the winning team has not scored
more than three goals.
So while the Wolverines mightbe
the top-scoring team in the coun-
try, the key to their recent suc-
cess is goals against.
It showed in yesterday's
3-1 win over Lake Superior
Even though the
Wolverines scored
below their season
average (4.21), a
team defensive
effort and Billy
Sauer's solid goalkeeping

allowed them to come away with a win.
All season long, Michigan coach Red
Berenson has preached the importance of
maintaining a low goals against, no matter
how many times his team scores.
With the playoffs on the horizon, teams
have ratcheted up the defensive intensity,
forcing the Wolverines to place a greater
emphasis on keeping the puck out of their
own net.
into the weekend, Michigan could finish
anywhere between first and fourth in the
CCHA. Now, the possibilities are limited
to just second or third.
Notre Dame's sweep in Alaska clinched
the program's first conference title, while
Western Michigan's sweep of Michigan
State ruled out any possibility that the
Wolverines would get fourth because they
hold the tiebreaker over the Spartans.
Michigan can clinch second in the
league with three points next week.
The Wolverines hopped over Miami in
the CCHA standings with yesterday's win.
The RedHawks split two nonconference
games this weekend with Robert Morris.
See GAA, Page 3B


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