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January 08, 2007 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-01-08

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Monday, January 8, 2007



'M' notches Big Ten win

Daily Sports Writer
The players may have acted like they
didn't know about it.
The coaches may have said the topic
never came up in practice.
But the jubilation following the Mich-
igan women's basketball team's surpris-
ing win over Penn State suggested that
a huge weight had been lifted from the
Wolverines' shoulders.
That weight had been accumulating
for three seasons.
Michigan had been in the midst of a
program-record28-game Big Ten losing
streak that was finally snapped yester-
day when the Wolverines rocked the
Lady Lions, 55-41, at Crisler Arena.
Just two other teams, Northwestern
and Minnesota, have had longer losing
streaks in Big Ten play. They lost 43 and
31 games during their droughts, respec-
After the win, most members of the

team wanted to focus on Thursday's
game against Wisconsin, but Kelly
Helvey, the lone senior on the team,
took time to reflect on what the win
means to her.
"I haven't won a Big Ten game in over
a year and a half," Helvey said. "I just
felt good to be out there. ... As long as
(wins) keep coming, we'll be happy, but
we need to continue to work hard."
Just like Michigan did yesterday.
In what both head coaches called the
bloodiest game they have ever been a
part of, the physical nature of the game
left several players bruised and bat-
tered. There were several instances in
which the officials stopped the clock in
order to wipe blood from the court.
For a team that never talked about
the losing streak, the Wolverines defi-
nitely fought with the passion it would
take to break it.
"It was a battle," Michigan coach
Cheryl Burnett said. "Nothing dirty, but

Michiganjust ended the third-longest
conference losing streak in Big Teri history


28 Consecutive Big Tenn losses suffered by
the Wolverines priortto yesterday's win


Consecutive losses to Penn State, dating
back to 2002, before yesterday's victory
Number of conferencetgames Michigan
won last season.

Blue rides
defense to
roa win
Daily Sports Writer
EVANSTON - Over a stretch of seven days in
late December, the Michigan men's basketball
team seemed to have forgotten its identity.
In losing two of three games from Dec. 23 to
Dec. 30, the Wolver-
ines gave up more than MICHIGAN 581
71 points per game. NORTHWESTERN 46
The defensive inten-
sity that defined Michigan's 11-1 start to the sea-
son had vanished in losses to UCLA (Dec. 23)
and Georgetown (Dec. 30).
Little did the Wolverines know, that identity
was merely hiding in Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Maize and Blue allowed just five second-
half field goals en route to a 58-46 victory over
The Wolverines held the Wildcats without a
field goal for nearly seven minutes to close the
Given the similarities between the Princ-
eton-style offenses run by Georgetown and the
Wildcats, Saturday's defensive showing was
impressive. But the improved defense may have
been due to what Michigan (2-0 Big Ten, 14-3
overall) didn't do.
"Instead of doing our traditional denying
defense, we kind of took a step back," senior
Dion Harris said. "We let them catch it on the
wing, and defended for the backdoor. I think it
helped us a lot."
It didn't hurt that the Wolverine big men
added six blocks and altered numerous other
shot attempts. The Wildcats shot just 19 percent

Freshman Krista Phillips tallied seven points and snagged seven rebounds, as
Michigan defeated Penn State to earn its first Big Ten Victory since Jan. 2005.
The time is now
for the Cagers

Michigan coach Tommy
Amaker doesn't like the
word "expectations."
He avoids all questions that
mention them.
He says that
he doesn't think
about them, and
isn't aware of
And, at least
in public, he cer-
tainly doesn't D
measure his DA I
team against BROMWICH
So it was sur- Broms Away
prising when,
before the sea-
son, Amaker didn't waltz around
the question concerning the Big
"Right off the bat, it's no secret
that the next step for us is making
the NCAA Tournament."
He said it.
Even though Michigan is just
two games into the conference
season, we're about to findout
whether or not his team will take
that step.
As much as Amaker won't
admit it, the Wolverines have done
almost exactly what was expected
of them so far this year.
They beat every patsy on their
schedule, most of them convinc-
They dropped games to UCLA,
Georgetown and North Carolina
State, all perennial tournament

participants from powerconfer
ences, and two of which were pre-
season Final Four favorites.
They eeked out road wins over
Miami and Northwestern (a sur-
prisingly tough place to play).
And they opened their Big Ten
season by holding serve at home
with a win over Illinois, giving
Michigan a 14-3 record to start the
This year, two teams have sepa-
rated themselves from the pack
in the Big Ten - Ohio State and
Wisconsin. Those teams are clearly
superior to the rest of the confer-
ence, and will have no trouble gar-
nering high seeds in the Big Dance.
Two teams have shown that
they have absolutely no chance.
Perennial bottom-feeder North-
western never really has a shot,
and Minnesotastarted the season
7-9 and has already fired its coach.
. That leaves seven teams, includ--
ing Michigan, with a chance to
prove themselves in the upcoming
conference season.
How does a team prove itself?
As almost any coach in any
power conference will tell you, it
needs to win at home and find a
way to steal at least a couple games
on the road.
That is precisely why the Wol-
verines' next three games (at Pur-
due, home against Penn State and a
rematch with Purdue at home) will
tell us a lot about where Michigan
will finish in the Big Ten. Winning
all three of these games would go a
See BROMWICH, Page 30

v, n
Seniors Brent Petway and Courtney Sims spearheaded Michigan's defensive effort en rout to a key road win.

Grapplers not satisfied with tie

Daily Sports Writer
With a win against Hofstra, the Michi-
gan wrestling
team would have HOPOTRA 18
upset the coun- MICHIGAN 18
try's third-ranked
team, and Michi-
gan coach Joe McFarland would have
added a fourth win to his unblemished
record against the Pride.
With a defeat, the Wolverines would
have matched their loss total from last sea-
son and faced an uphill battle to recover
from two consecutive loses.
But neither of these scenarios played out
Saturday night at Cliff Keen Arena.
No. 11 Michigan came away with a tie
for the first time since its match against
No. 2 Illinois in February 2005. McFarland
summed the meet up best by describing the
result as "anticlimactic."
"You're never really satisfied with a tie,"
redshirt junior Eric Tannenbaum said.
"But considering that they're ranked third,

and we're ranked 11th, it just shows every-
body that No. 11 ranking isn't really giving
us the credit that we deserve. Tying a team
that's ranked third when we have a couple
of guys that we are moving around weights
shows our heart."
The team's feelings of disappointment
and lack of satisfaction were obvious, espe-
cially after it held a 15-3 lead going into the
Hofstrawonthe firstthree matches after
the break. But Michigan co-captain Josh
Churella broke the Pride's momentum in
the fourth match and gave the Wolverines
an 18-15 lead going into the final round.
In the end, Hofstra's fourth-ranked
James Strouse proved too much for
unranked Jeff Marsh. Strouse completed
the Pride's comeback and forced the tie
with a 6-3 victory.
Tannenbaum, ranked fifth in the 165-
pound weight class, started the night off
strong with a Michigan win, upsetting
fourth-ranked Mike Patrovich in the mar-
quee matchup of the meet.
Despite defeating a higher-ranked oppo-

nent, Tannenbaum thought he could have
improved his performance.
"I wasn't really in danger, except for that
one position where he got in on my legs,"
Tannenbaum said. "It's not like I'm disap-
pointed, but I think that the next time I
wrestle him, I should be able to push the
action and widen the gap. That's something
I'm trying to continue to work on - not just
pulling away with wins, but pulling away
with points."
Following Tannenbaum's win, redshirt
sophomores Steve Luke and Tyrel Todd
outmatched their opponents as well, with
Todd earning a fall just 1:48 into the first
"I just knew going out there that I want-
ed to just concentrate on not freaking out
and just keeping calm and relaxed," Todd
said. "When I get really psyched up, I get
really stiff and I wear myself out. I just con-
centrated on staying relaxed out there on
the mat, and it worked out really well. The
kid was a bit small."
The next match, at the 197-pound weight
level, brought loud cries from the stands.

0O MIRIN/Daily
Junior Eric Tannenbaum notched a big win against Hofstra, but the Wolverines settled for a tie.
Redshirt sophomore Casey White's But Michigan gained a lot of momentum
comeback in the third period from five at the end of the half. An overtime victory
points down fell just short, with Hofs- by heavyweight redshirt junior Omar Mak-
tra's four-minute time advantage break- tabi gave the Wolverines a 15-3 lead over
ing the tie. See PRIDE, Page 4B

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