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January 18, 2008 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-18

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8 - Friday, January 18, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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MICHIGAN 79,
LIVING ON A PRAYER New coaches

Last-second heave forces overtime in'M' win

square off

By CHRIS MESZAROS
Daily Sports Writer
MADISON - Luck is the only
word to describe it.
And the Michigan women's bas-
ketball team found it in the form of
a 40-foot 3-pointer by sophomore
Krista Phillips.
The basket forced overtime for
the Wolverines (4-2 Big Ten, 11-
5 overall), who eventually edged
Wisconsin, 79-73. Michigan is
now tied for second in the Big Ten
behind Ohio State.
"Our team was a bit deflated,"
Wisconsin coach Lisa Stone said.
"(That shot) kind of breaks your
heart."
Just seconds earlier, with the
score tied at 65, the Badgers (1-5,
8-8) were poised to win. Wisconsin
guard Rae Lin D'Alie drained a 3-
pointer with seven seconds left.
But after two consecutive Mich-
igan timeouts, the Wolverines stole
the momentum right back.
Phillips received an inbound
pass and immediately pulled the
trigger on a straight-away shot
midway between the three-point
arc and halfcourt. The Wolverines
and the crowd were astounded
when the shot fell.
At 6-foot-6, Phillips was an
unlikely candidate to take the shot.
But the sophomore, who had 15
points and seven rebounds, was
confident enough to put the game
on the line for Michigan.
"Like coach said, it wasn't
designed for me," Phillips said.
"But I got lucky."
The Badgers were demoralized
heading into overtime, and Michi-
gan capitalized with a seven-point
run.
Junior Carly Benson nailed a
three to give Michigan a quick
lead. A Janelle Cooper layup and a
Jessica Minnfield mid-range jump-
er widened the margin.
The Badgers kept the game alive
with a clutch 3-pointer by Jolene
Anderson, who shredded the Wol-
verine defense like she has against
the rest of the Big Ten. She dropped
30 last night.
But it was all for nothing as the
Wolverines hung on, sinking their
game-ending free throws.
The win for Michigan seemed
almost impossible earlier in the
game. At one point in the second
half, the Wolverines dug them-
selves an 11-point hole. But senior
Janelle Cooper kept Michigan in'
the game withtwo baskets near the
end of regulation. More important-

Beilein, an offensive
wizard, faces Iowa's
D'-minded Lickliter
By IAN ROBINSON
Daily Sports Writer
When John Beilein left West
Virginia to coach at Michigan,
everybodytalk-
ed about him as IoWa at
a master of X'sM .g
and O's. His Michigan
players com- Matchup:
pare his mind Iowa 8-10;
to a computer, Michigan 5-12
churning out When: Sat-
thousands of urday 7 P.M.
plays without Where:
pen and paper. Crisler Arena
When Todd .a
Lickliter left TNRadio
Butler for Iowa,
everybody
talked about his team's passion on
defense. His players said that lead-
ing up to the season, defense was
about all they worked on.
The two coaches, both in their
first year at newschools, will clash
tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. when
their squads square off at Crisler
Arena.
Michigan's offensive style is
different from anything else Iowa
will see in the Big Ten this season.
Beilein's offense is a custom ver-
sion of the Princeton Offense that
keeps his players on the perimeter.
As Oakland coach Greg Kampe
said about matching up against the
Wolverines, "It's the only game all
year when our 6-10, 6-11 guys are
going to be guarding at the 3-point
line."
In the conference season, when
teams have just a few days between
games, Beilein's offense requires a
coach to spend a large amount of
time on game preparation.
But because Beilein's players
don't have the skill set to match his
schemes, Big Ten teams haven't
had trouble stopping the Wolver-
ines. Illinois coach Bruce Weber

said he spent extra time preparing
for Michigan - and it paid off.
Against Beilein's uncommon
1-3-1 and other zone defenses, the
Illini got the ball inside to big men
Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle,
who had a size advantage over the
Wolverines (1-5 Big Ten, 5-12 over-
all). The strategy proved sound, as
the duo combined for 38 points in
Wednesday night's 18-point Illi-
nois win.
On defense, the Illini held
Michigan's leading scorer, fresh-
man Manny Harris, to a career-
low five points.
The Hawkeye defense could
be equally stifling tomorrow. At
home against then-No. 6 Michigan
State last Saturday, Iowa held the
Spartans to a post-Sputnik-low 36
points - the team's lowest scor-
ing total since the 1950s. In an
11-minute conversation on the Big
Ten Media Teleconference, Lickli-
ter described the performance as,
"defense with a purpose."
But just a few nights later, in a
loss at home to Purdue, the Hawk-
eyes (1-4, 8-10) allowed 67 points.
Injury update: Senior Ron Cole-
man returned to action Wednesday
night after sitting out the North-
western game due to a sprained
ankle.
The senior checked into the
game for the first time with less
than 10 minutes to go in the first
frame but was held scoreless.
"It's been a tough week for him,"
senior David Merritt said. "But it
lifts the team up just to see him."
Coleman said his ankle was all
right, but sounded unsure about
what lies ahead.
"We still have a lot of work to do
on it," Coleman said. "So we'll see
what happens."
Sports Editor H. Jose Bosch
contributed to this report.
MORE MICHIGAN HOOPS...
For the latest information on injuriesto
Coleman, Harris and juniorJevohn Shepherd,
check the Michigan Daily sports blog at
www.michigandaily.com/thegame
J

ROB MIGRIN/Daily
Sophomore Krista Phillips' 40-foot shot kept the Wolverines alive as they went on to beat Wisconsin in overtime.

ly, she settled down the offense,
which looked rushed in the middle
of the second half.
Phillips, who sat for much of the
second frame with foul trouble,
proved to be the difference, get-
ting easy buckets down low and
chipping away at the Wisconsin
lead. With less than three minutes

remaining, Michigan held a 64-61
lead.
"Out on the floor, we huddled up
together," Cooper said. "We would
always say, 'It's only six points, it's
only five points. Let's go and get
some stops."'
The Wolverines had trouble
putting the Badgers away, miss-

ing some clutch free throws that
would have ended the game, but
Phillips' shot breathed new life
into the team and rendered those
late-game struggles irrelevant.
Michigan was lucky Phillips did
not pick up her fifth foul. Without
her, they wouldn't have been lucky
enough to win.

Senior diver
sets bar high

Blue seeks to snap another streak

By COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
Daily Sports Writer
The Wolverines are hoping Notre
Dame's luck ran out last St. Patrick's
Day.
on that night in March, in the
CCHA championship game, Notre
Dame killed a
6-on-4 Michi- Notre Dame
gan advan-a .n
tage with
two minutes Matchup: Notre
left to nar- Dame 18-7-1;
rowly escape Michigan 20-2
with a 2-1 When: Tonight
victory. The 8:05 P.M.
Wolverines Where: Yost
left Joe Louis Ice Arena
Arena winless TV/Radio:
against Notre CSTV
Dame for the
season, going
0-3 against a team that captured
both the conference tournament
and the CCHA regular-season title.
Three months earlier, Notre
Dame crushed the Wolverines 7-3 in
a game where Michigan goalie Billy
Sauer was yanked after two periods.
Two days later, the Irish came back
from a one-goal, third-period deficit
to seal the weekend sweep.
"Last year, Notre Dame was just
about unbeatable," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said. "Nobody was
going to catch them. Notre Dame
put on such a stretch run that even
when we were playing well, it didn't
matter."
This year, it's Michigan (13-1
CCHA, 20-2 overall) that will come
into its biggest series of the season
to date with a nearly impeccable
record. Notre Dame arrives in Ann
Arbor with just two wins in its last
six games.
Regardless, the outcome of the
next two games could dictate the

By RUTH LINCOLN
Daily Sports Writer
When senior Elyse Lee first
walked to the edge of the Michi-
gan springboard three years ago,
she wasn't
sure what
kind of splash
she would
make in col-
lege diving.
After a
successful
high school
career, Lee LEE
wasn't sure
how competitive she could be at
the collegiate level. But she knew
the diving board would keep her
coming back.
"Everyone can run, everyone
can swim, but diving is a talent
sport not everyone can do," Lee
said. "There's a lot of fear with
diving. You don't have to be scared
running down the track."
But Lee wouldn't let anxiety
impede her competitiveness.
Coaches and fans saw just how
much talent the Albion native had
almost immediately.
Lee qualified for the NCAA
Diving Championships just three
meets into her freshman campaign
and has improved each season.
An NCAA Honorable Mention
All-American in 2007, the senior
has established herself as a domi-
nant diver. Lee has collected a
slew of accolades in her four years
at Michigan, including a spot
on the 2007 All-Big Ten Second
Team and two Conference Diver

of the Week honors.
Nationally recognized for its
diving talent, the Big Ten boasts
top diving powerhouses like
Indiana, Purdue and Ohio State.
The high level of competition has
allowed Lee to polish her tech-
nique and performance.
"She's just so consistent and
a great competitor," Michigan
diving coach Chris Bergere said.
"She gets up there, focuses, and
she's able to block out any distrac-
tions."
Lee leads by example in her
training, work ethic and graceful
movements off the board. With
five underclassmen on this year's
diving roster, the team has relied
on her talent and leadership.
"She brings a lot of poise and
self-confidence and (they) see
that," Bergere said. "She's also
exceptionally strong, but femi-
nine at the same time."
Her smooth yet precise diving
style makes judges take notice.
Lee has found plenty of success
so far this season, including eight
first-place finishes while posting
four NCAA qualifying marks in
the one-meter and three-meter
events.
But the senior has her sights set
on the honors that have eluded her
so far. Lee said she wants to cap
off her career with All-American
honors and stand atop the podium
at the Big Ten Championships in
either one of the events.
Lee will have a chance to show-
case her competitiveness when the
Wolverines take on Michigan State
today at Canham Natatorium.

PETER SCHOTTENFELS/Daly
Junior goalie Billy Sauer looks to defeat his second least favorite team this weekend when the Fighting Irish come to Yost Ice

Arena.
CCHA race for the rest of the sea-
son.
This weekend will be the last
challenging conference test of
the regular season for No. 8 Notre
Dame (11-4-1, 18-7-1), which will
spend the rest of its Conference
schedule playing mediocre teams
like Alaska, Ohio State, Ferris State
and Bowling Green.
The first-ranked Wolverines
still have two games against No. 2
Miami (Ohio) and four against No.
7 Michigan State before the end of
the season.
Michigan has shown few weak-
nesses this season, and after scor-
ing 11 goals in two games against
Western Michigan last weekend,
the team has focused on minimiz-

ing turnovers this week.
"I think we were taking too
many chances and kind of hanging
out Billy to dry, thinking he's going
to save everything they throw at
him," junior forward Travis Turn-
bull said. "That's not fair to Billy
and that's not fair to the team."
After Sauer found success skat-
ing far out of the crease to chal-
lenge Western Michigan shooters
last weekend, he plans to continue
playing aggressively while taking
away scoring chances before they
become threats.
"I know they're going to try and
crash the net quite a bit," Sauer said.
"I'm just kind of worried about my
rebounds, trying to make sure I
take care of that and work on it in

practice."
The Wolverines have already
showed they can improve every
weekend while ending historic
losing streaks. A six-game slump
against Minnesota. A 1-5 mark of
subpar play in the Showcase. An 11-
year stretch without a GLI title.
Next to those, snapping a three-
game winless stretch against the
Fighting Irish seems almost easy.
Sauer,who calledNotre Damehis
second least favorite team (behind
Minnesota), said he expected the
series to be an emotional one.
"We don't really like them,"
Sauer said. It's a big weekend, and
any time you playa big school ... it's
more on a personal level when you
play these games."

DAILY SPORTS BLOG:
MONDAY'S NEWS, NOW.
Go to www.michigandaily.com/thegame
for live blogs of this weekend's
hockey and basketball games.

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