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February 23, 2007 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-02-23

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.- .

8 - Friday, February 23, 2007
Once again, turnover bug
bites Blue in Minneapolis

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Daily Sports Writer
Sometimes, less is more.
The Michigan women's bas-
ketball team
committed 25 MICHIGAN 53
turnovers in MINNESOTA 661
a 66-53 loss at
Minnesota last night.
The Wolverines entered the game
last in the Big Ten with 19.2 turn-
overs per game.
But it wasn't always that bad.
Michigan averaged slightly more
than 13.3 turnovers per game over
a four-game stretch from Dec. 31 to

Last night's 25 giveaways, well
above Michigan coach Cheryl Bur-
nett's goal of 15 per game, were the
climax of a fairly steady climb in the
category since the aforementioned
four-game span.
Burnett said she was impressed
with her team's offense - that is,
when it wasn't turning the ball over.
"We were getting really good
looks at the basket," Burnett said. "I
thought our kids were staying very
confident. In the midst of so many
turnovers, that's a pretty tough
thing to do."
Michigan (3-12 Big Ten, 10-18
overall) got production from several

13 dressed players saw action (the
exception was sophomore forward
Ashley Jones) and seven scored.
But once again, less would have
been more.
The even playing time was due
to foul trouble. Eight players picked
up first-half fouls (six players had
two). Michigan's carelessness sent
the Gophers to the charity stripe 17
Minnesota, the Big Ten leader
in free throw attempts, made just
seven of its first 13 freebies. But
the Gophers eventually found their
groove, making their last four as
part of a 15-6 run to close the half,
taking a 38-27 halftime lead that
negated a rare strong start by the
Michigan stormed out to ab7-2 to
lead before Minnesota scored the
next nine points. The Wolverines
managed to hang around until the
15-6 run.

Michigan sophomore forward
Stephany Skrba opened the second
half with an old-fashioned three-
point play, and the Wolverines cut
the Gopher lead to eight with about
14:40 left.
Minnesota (7-8, 15-13) answered
with a basket, then stole the
inbounds pass and scored again.
With the Gophers holding a 14-
point lead shortly thereafter,
Michigan went on a 6-0 run to get
within eight. Minnesota once again
answered the Wolverine spurt with
a 6-0 run of its own, and Michigan
never got back in the game.
Michigan won its first three road
games this season, but it has now
lost its last eight away from Crisler
Arena. The Wolverines haven't wort
a Big Ten road game in more than
three years.
And, unfortunately for the Maize
and Blue, less road wins aren't

Is your life
If so, you can help us.

Sophomore Stephany Skrba scored nine points and added six rebounds in last
night's loss. Michigan turned the ball over 25 times in its road finale.

ICers balance effort and rankings


Daily Sports Writer
Join the team at The Michigan Daily
Depending on who you ask, the
by becoming the Ad Layout Manager. Michigan hockey team is either
the seventh-,
Layout the ads for all Daily papers, including the ninth-, 10th-
Classifieds. Determine the size and shape of each or 11th-ranked Michigan at
squad in the Ohio State
paper we publish! Work behind the scenes of a nation.
Like many Matchup:
student-run college newspaper! other college Michigan
sports, college 22-11-1; Ohio
hockey has a State 13-14-5
Without you, the paper wouldn't exist! bevy of systems When: Tonight
Y aprto rank teams 70PM
and predict tour-
nament seedings. Where: Value
Availability between 1 & 3 pm, M-F is highly College hock- City Arena
ey's answers to TV/Radio:
recommended. Ability to work withcomputers and the BCS are the WTKA 1050
a strong sense of order is a must! Pirgs(wr,te
Ratings Percentage Index (RPI)
and Ken's Ratings for American
College Hockey (KRACH), which
is named after co-creator Ken But-
- - - All the systems have different
E-mail Brittany at brimaroc@umich.edu Al e es avdr iffwrng
ingredients: round robin winning
11 percentage, teams inder consid-

eration and strength of schedule,
to name a few.
So with all these competing
methods, where should you turn
for answers?
Sophomore Andrew Cogliano,
for one, is a PairWise fan.
"The higher you get (in the Pair-
Wise), means you're inthe Tourna-
ment," Cogliano explained. "Right
now we're seventh, and we really
didn't think we'd be that high, so
that's a good thing."
But ask Cogliano about the RPI
(Michigan is ninth) or KRACH
(Michigan is 11th), and you get a
different reply.
"I don't know what those really
mean," he admitted.
With a NCAA Tournament by
no means guaranteed, one thing
every Wolverine understands is
the importance of this weekend's
series at Ohio State.
No. 10 (in the USCHO.com/
CSTV poll) Michigan goes into
tonight's game at Value City Arena
just one point ahead of Miami
(Ohio) for second place in the
CCHA. With first-place Notre
Dame out of reach, the Wolverines

have just one goal in mind.
"We need these wins to get sec-
ond place," junior Kevin Porter
said. "So that's what we've been
thinking about, and that's most
important to us right now."
Miami travels to 10th-place
Northern Michigan for its final
regular-season series.
Even though the difference
between second and third seems
trivial, it will determine which
team gets home ice should Michi-
gan and Miami meet in the CCHA
semifinals or finals. The higher-
seeded team will have the final
line change, a subtle but important
advantage in hockey. Before each
faceoff, the away team puts its
players on the ice first, giving the
home team the chance to respond
with its own line.
Michigan (17-8-1 CCHA, 22-11-
1 overall) has already clinched a
first-round bye in the CCHA play-
offs, so this weekend's games will
be its last until March 9.
But the Wolverines know Ohio
State won't bend over to become
the first weekend of a two-week
break. The Buckeyes (11-11-4, 13-

14-5) feature a number of talented
players, most notably forward Jeff
The junior missed the season's
opening month while suffering
from ulcerative colitis, but he has
played well since returning after
Christmas, with eight points in 14
Ohio State averages more than
three goals per game, which
statistically is no match for the
Wolverines' nation-best 4.18 goal
average. But Michigan has scored
just 13 goals in its past five games,
well below its season average.
Nomatterwhatthe averagesthe
polls or the experts say, Michigan
coach Red Berenson knows there's
just one thing above the jurisdic-
tion of opinions or equations.
"The only thing we can control
is our games," Berenson said. "We
have to give ourselves a chance by
winning our games."
Whether Michigan is a bubble
team like KRACH says or a sure-
fire two seed as PWR asserts,
there's no question the Wolverines
would benefit from winning both
games this weekend.


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