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November 30, 2007 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-11-30

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8 - Friday, November 30, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wolverines stall in College Station

By CHRIS MESZAROS
Daily Sports Writer
Texas A&M started the game on
fire.
Andthe MICHIGAN 41
Michigan TEXAS A&M 69
women's -
basketball
team never could extinguish those
flames.
The Aggies dominated the game
from the opening tip-off at Reed
Arena in College Station, Texas.

Texas A&M started the game
with an 11-0 run in its 69-41 win
over Michigan.
The score was typical for No. 12
Texas A&M, which prides itself on
tough defense and physical play.
Michigan committed an abysmal 33
turnovers and shot just 31 percent
from the floor. The Aggies finished
the game with nine steals.
"We threw the ball away 40
times," Michigan coach Kevin
Borseth said. "We couldn't get to
the basket. We really couldn't get

much of anything going. That was
really frustrating."
The Wolverines had no play-
ers scored double digits. Michigan
seniors Janelle Cooper and Ta'Shia
Walker led the Wolverines with
nine points each.
In addition to a tough Aggie
defense, the Wolverines could not
stop the Texas A&M offense. Texas
A&M shot 49 percent compared to
Michigan's 28 percent in the first
half.
Michigan cut the deficit to 22-14,

when it went on an 8-0 run thanks
to eight free throws.
But the Wolverines' reliance on
the whistle was not sustained; the
Aggies continued to clamp down
on defense to take a 35-22 lead at
halftime.
"(Texas A&M) plays very good
defense," Cooper said. "They pres-
sured us really well."
Texas A&M continued to thrash
Michigan in the second half,;when
it started with a 17-3 run.
"We have to start faster," Bors-

eth said. "We just don't start fast.
They start to score baskets, and
it begins to fuel runs. We want to
start fast but it just isn't working."
The Aggies dominated in near-
ly every facet of the game. Most
important, they shut down Michi-
gan's perimeter threat. The Wolver-
ines went 1-for-9 from three-point
range, shutting down an integral
part of their offense.
The Aggies cruised through-
out the second half, never letting
Michigan within 24 points.

The game against Texas A&M
was the fifth of Michigan's six
straight road contests, and all but
one has been against a major con-
ference team. Although, a loss like
yesterday's hurts, Borseth knows
that playing quality teams is some-
thing his team must do.
"You can't mask wins by playing
bad teams," Borseth said. "You've
got to beat good teams even though
these games are frustrating, but, in
the end, we hope that we can figure
things by the end of the season."

4

4

Rivalry or
not: Michigan
not looking
past Buckeyes
By MICHAEL EISENSTEIN
Daily Sports Writer
Everyone knows the tradition of the Michigan-
Ohio State rivalry. In football, The Game often decides
the Big Ten Champion, and Ohio State has downright
dominated the matchup in the last few years.
But in hockey, the rivalry has had a different vibe.
"They've been downalittle bit the last couple years,"
Michigan associate head coach Mel Pearson said. "In
order to have a real healthy rivalry, both teams have to
be playing well, winning a lot."
By a healthy rivalry, Pearson meant one similar
to Michigan's with perennial CCHA Championship
contender Michigan State - not the one with the
Buckeyes, who haven't finished above seventh in the
conference the last two seasons.
But the rivalry is anything but one sided. The past
three series between the two teams have been split,
despite Michigan's (8-0 CCHA, 13-1 overall) signifi-
cantly better season-long success.
"Obviously, it starts with the football team," fresh-
man Matt Rust said. "Everyone just thinks it's a foot-
ball rivalry between two top powerhouses in football.
It's just as deep and just as fierce in hockey."
That's the type of attitude Michigan - which hasn't
swept Ohio State since 2004 - will need to bring to
this weekend's matchup at Yost Ice Arena.
It would be easy for the Wolverines to overlook a
team averaging just more than two goals a game com-
pared to Michigan's four-plus scores a contest. And
the Wolverines shined in their biggest test last week-
end when they knocked off two top-15teams, Wiscon-
sin and Minnesota. While it's impossible to look past
those teams in preparation, Ohio State's talent doesn't
compare to what Michigan just faced.
"It could be a trap weekend, definitely," Kolarik
said. "We just had a great weekend, and we've won
like 12 in a row or something like that, soit's definitely
size enough to be something like that."
But it's not just the Buckeyes (1-7, 3-10-1), and their
chance to knock off the nation's No. 2 team, that have a
lot to gain this weekend. With a sweep, Michigan will
take over first place in the CCHA and will tie its best
start ever.
Is there any way Ohio State could sneak up on the
Wolverines this year?
"In the past, I might have said 'Yes,' but I think with
this team they've shown so far that they've been real
dialed in on the team's they've played and focused,"
Pearson said.
And if the intensity from the end of last season's
after-the-whistle brawl from a cheap shot on Wolver-
ine Kevin Porter is a reflection, the Michigan-Ohio
State hockey rivalry is anything but slacking. Unlike
two weeks ago, Michigan looks as if they have a good
chance of sending the Buckeyes out of Ann Arbor
without a win.

4

Former Michigan coach and current Harvardcoach Tommy Amaker welcomes his old team to Boston tomorrow.

MAWKWAR D'
Matchup with old coach stokes conflicting emotions

By MARK GIANNOTTO
Daily Sports Writer
It stuck out like that proverbial sore thumb.
This game would be the giant elephant in the
room nobody wanted to talk about.
When Michigan's nonconference schedule
was released in September, there was no way the
team didn't notice tomorrow's road trip to Bos-
ton to face Harvard (3-4).
The Crimson have a new head coach this sea-
son that Wolverine fans may be familiar with.
His finger twirl to initiate the motion offense
became synonymous with players clumsily han-
dlinA the ball far from the basket before forcing
a desperate heave when the shot clock was about
to expire. He stomped his feet seemingly every
possession, trying to inspire his team's defensive
effort. And he helped stabilize a program that
was in disarray following the fallout of a disas-
trous scandal.
That's right, former Michigan coach Tommy
Amaker - who was fired last March after amass-
ing a109-83 record over six seasons in Ann Arbor
- was named Harvard's head coach last April.
Since Amaker coached or recruited every
single player on this year's Michigan (3-4) squad,
his presence on the opposing bench makes
tomorrow's game an unavoidable topic of discus-

sion in the Wolverine locker room.
"It's going to be awkward," senior Ron Cole-
man said. "He coached me for three years, and I
still have respect for him."
Amaker actually scheduled the game as part
of a home-and-home series that began last sea-
son when Michigan defeated Harvard, 82-50, at
Crisler Arena. At the time, there was no telling
he would end up coaching the home team both
times.
It's not like Amaker is completely removed
from Michigan, though. Some players say they
still have some form of contact with their former
coach.
The parents of freshman K'Len Morris still
talk with Amaker. Freshman Manny Harris
said he would give the man who brought him
to Ann Arbor a high five before stepping on the
court. Sophomore Zack Gibson wants to have a
couple words with the coach who convinced him
to transfer from Rutgers after his freshman sea-
son.
"(Amaker) is one of the nicest men you'll ever
meet," Morris said. "So he's always goingto keep
in contact with the people that he made friend-
ships with. I mean, he did bring us all here."
He may have brought them to Ann Arbor, but
they also played a part in his dismissal and sub-
sequent move to Boston.

While no players would ever directly criticize
their former coach, some did discreetly insinuate
their displeasure with the way Amaker ran the
program last season. In praising the new style
of Michigan coach John Beilein, it became clear-
dissatisfaction was rampant a year ago.
"Attitude and effort were definitely miss-
ing last year," said sophomore DeShawn Sims
at Michigan Media Day in October. "A lot was
demanded from us, but there weren't really any
consequences. Coach Beilein came in right away
and did things that will lead up to us winning -
very little things. Last year it wasn't established
that way, so our mindsets are totally changed."
Lost amid the talk of Amaker's reunion with
his former team is just how important tomor-
row's game is for Michigan. The Wolverines are
coming off losses in four of their past five games
and are in desperate search of avictory after fall-
ing below .500 for the first time the season.
For this reason, Beilein doesn't feel the need to
mention Amaker to his players.
"I won't even address it," Beilein said. "It's an
away game. Let's go try and get a win and try and
get better."
The problem is that giant elephant will still be
in the room whether the Wolverines want to dis-
cuss it or not. This time, he's taken the shape of a
finger twirling, foot stomping former coach.

J
i

U
MORE ONLINE
at michigandaily com/thegame

4

BLOGS
Live blogs from this
weekend's
hockey and
basketball games.

Blue gets home-court advantage to open tournament

By NICOLE AUERBACH
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan volleyball team
has played in the NCAA tourna-
ment six times, but it has never
played host. Until now.
Thehome-court advantage could
be the key to early-round success
for the Wolverines.
At 22-10, Michigan finished with
its best regular-season record in 26
years.
Michigan coach Mark Rosen
hopes hosting the first and second
rounds of the tournament will help
his team come out strong. Even
though the team will still be at
home, its weekend matchups will
be played at Crisler Arena.
"Certainly, we're excited about

hosting the tournament," Rosen
said. "We don't have to travel, and
we get more practice time this
week. It'll be fun to have our home
crowd, and it'll be fun for the play-
ers to have their family and friends
here to support them."
The Wolverines will face Miami
(Ohio) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the
first round. Tickets are normally $6
for students, but the volleyball pro-
gram received an anonymous dona-
tion, which will cover admission for
the first 500 Michigan students.
With a first-round victory, the
Wolverines would take on the win-
ner of Illinois State and Colorado
State.
The second-round match, set for
Saturday at 7 p.m., determines who
will advance to the NCAA Regional

in State College.
Rosen said the team feels confi-
dent it can have success against the
opponents in the early part of the
draw.
The Wolverines faced Miami
(Ohio) on Aug. 31, defeating the
RedHawks 3-0 (30-23, 30-22, 30-
28). Michigan has not lost to the
RedHawks since 1984 and has also
beaten potential opponent Colora-
do State earlier this season in four
games.
The Wolverines received a bid to
the NCAA tournament in seven of
the past nine years, but it has never
made it past the second round.
Michigan hopes to rebound from
a 1-3 (21-30,22-30, 32-30,21-30) loss
to No. 1 Penn State last Saturday in
their final regular-season game.

"We played a great third and
fourth game against Penn State,"
senior co-captain Lyndsay Miller
said. "I think that fired us up, play-
ing really well against a good team.
I think we're ready to go now. We
definitely have momentum."
The solid play and leadership by
its seniors contributed to the team's
end-of-season success, where the
Wolverines won five out of their
final eight contests - all against Big
Ten teams.
But Michigan has its sights set
on an even stronger finish.
"We've been playing really well
this past month," Rosen said. "One
of the goals the team has had from
day one was not just to get into the
tournament but to advance in the
tournament."

0

Senior Lyndsay Miller and the Michigan volleyball team will host the first and sec-
ond rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

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