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January 29, 2008 - Image 8

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8 - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily com
Top scorers receive the "Jordan treatment"

Harris and Sims
struggle against
stout Spartan
defense

By MARK GIANNOTTO
and IAN ROBINSON
Daily Sports Writers
EAST LANSING - Both fresh-
man Manny Harris and sopho-
more DeShawn Sims would never
dream of mentioning themselves
in the same breath as Michael Jor-
dan - especially after losing to a
bitter rival.
But after his team held the bud-
ding stars to a combined 5-for-21
from the field, Michigan State
coach Tom Izzo did it for them.
"We just wanted to give the Jor-
dan treatment," said Izzo of how
he stopped the duo in the Spartans'
77-62 win over Michigan Sunday.
"To be honest with you, that's
what we do with great players that
have the ability to shoot the three
and have the ability to put it on the
floor."
Izzo knew the only way the
Wolverines could muster an upset
over his tenth-ranked Michigan
State squad was if Harris duplicat-
ed his performance from last week
- he exploded for a career-high 26
points in Michigan's 64-61 loss to
Wisconsin.
By applying constant pressure
and having extra men focused on

help defense, the Spartans elimi- from beating an intra-state rival.
nated Harris as a threat, holding Led by the Izzone, Michigan
him to just 11 points and three State's basketball student section,
free-throw attempts. the crowd erupted into a "little
Michigan State was intent on brother" chant, referring to the
keeping Harris off the charity comments Mike Hart made about
stripe. Much of his success this Michigan's recent football domi-
season is due to an ability to draw nance over the Spartans. Seconds
fouls penetrating to the basket. later, a "little sister" chant arose.
Neither Harris nor Sims could Michigan coach John Beilein
do much of anything from the tried to distance himself from the
start in front of a near-capacity situation,claiminghewasunaware
crowd at the Breslin Center. In the of the cheers.
game's opening minutes, both had "I don't even hear it," Beilein
clean looks from 3-point range, but said. "I've done this enough that I
both missed badly. Harris's initial really don't get into those kind of
attempt was long, careening off things."
the backboard and rim wildly. If he wanted to feed into the
Sims's day began even worse. He rivalry, he could have reminded
didn't even hit the basket, some- the Spartans of Michigan's 91-71
thing the crowd didn't let him for- lead in the all-time series between
get quickly with constant "airball" the two schools.
chants throughout the first half. INJURY UPDATE: Senior Ron
The Detroit native has struggled Coleman was back in the lineup
shootingthe ball lately. Even in the Sunday and said his ankle was 100
encouraging loss to the Badgers, percent.
he shot a dismal 4-for-19 from the He subbed in at the first media
floor, scoring just 10 points. timeout of the game and hit a 3-
Against Michigan State, Sims pointer two minutes later.
was a disappointing 1-for-7, col- It was his only field goal in 16
lectingsix points and never finding minutes of play. He also grabbed
an offensive rhythm. Considering two rebounds.
Sims and Harris are the Wolver- Coleman suffered a sprained
ines' best scoring threats, it didn't ankle in the second half against
bode well for Michigan's hopes in Indiana on Jan. 8. He sat out
the game. for the next two games, against
MORE SIBLING RIVALRY: With Northwestern and Wisconsin, and
more than three minutes left in played sparingly against Iowa and
Sunday's game, the two teams Illinois.
gathered for the last media time- Junior Jevohn Shepherd has
out. The Spartan fans used the started five straight games in his
break to revel in the joy that comes place.

Freshman Manny Harris was held to just 11 points in the Wolverines' loss to Michigan State last Sunday.

Failure to foul foils 'M'
comeback attempt

Spartan goalie gets revenge by
stifling Blue's powerful offense

Miscommunication
sealed loss to Iowa
By JASON KOHLER
Daily Sports Writer
IOWA CITY - Michigan coach
Kevin Borseth thought it was obvi-
ous, but his team didn't get the mes-
sage.
Down by three
with 30.8 seconds NOTEBOOK
left in the game,
Michigan needed to force a turn-
over or foul to stop the clock.
During the timeout, Borseth set
up a play to trap Iowa and force a
turnover but forgot to mention to
foul if the trap failed.
"That's the only thing we didn't
say in the huddle," Borseth said.
"Obviously you need to spell every-
thingelse."
Seconds earlier, Michigan junior
Jessica Minnfield drilled a 3-point
basket, bringing the score to 64-61.
Michigan called a 30-second time-
out to set up its defense.
After the timeout, Iowa suc-
cessfully inbounded the ball and
proceeded to pass the ball around
the floor as the Michigan defend-
ers scrambled to recover from the
failed trap.

"We said, 'hang on, because
they're going to foul you hard,"'
Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "When
we sawthey weren'tgoing to foulus,
we said, 'spread theball out and play
keep-away."'
When Iowa junior Wendy Ausde-
more received
the ball off the
inbounds pass,
she chose to
pass the ball .
off, milking the '
clock rather
than sealing the
win with anoth-
er score. BENSON
"That was
tempting for her not to put that
one down," Bluder said. "That was
smart. I was happy to see they saw
they were playing against the clock
and not against Michigan."
Even when the ball was dished
down low, the Wolverines failed to
foul with two defenders near the
ball.
"I don't know why we didn't
foul," Borseth said. "I would think
you'd want to foul them. That would
make sense."
Even with Borseth screaming,
"Why aren't you fouling?" the Wol-
verines took until 1.2 seconds left
in the game to commit a foul, when

junior Melinda Queen pushed into
Iowa's Kristi Smith.
Smith stepped to the line and
made both free throws, putting the
game out of reach.
"The Big Ten Network prob-
ably thinks I'm an idiot and they're
right," Borseth said.
BENSON SHINES AGAIN:
For the second game in a row,
Carly Benson led the Wolverines
with 22 points. But Sunday was the
first time this season Benson scored
over 20 points in a losing effort.
"She makes things happen when
she's in there," Borseth said. "She
has a lot of confidence. But right
now she's probably boiling, and she
should be."
Benson turned in her best shoot-
ing performance of the season
against the Hawkeyes. She shot 7-9
from the field, 3-3 from beyond the
arc, and 5-5 from the free throw
line.
Benson scored 15 of her points
in the second half. From nailing a
three-pointer on one possession and
slashing to the hoop for a lay up on
the next, she consistently kept the
Wolverines close.
"Benson is an outstanding floor
player that can come out and hit
those threes," Bluder said. "She's a
hard one to match up against."

By ANDY REID type of team that if you give them
Daily Sports Writer a little life, they're going to keep
on steamrolling you."
EAST LANSING - Jeff Lerg Although Lerg is listed at just
probably wouldn't mind forgetting 5 feet 6 inches tall, he was huge
the last time he stood between the in net all night, stopping all 26
pipes opposite maize-and-blue Michigan shots. Lerg's ability to
winged helmets last season. minimize rebound opportunities
In that game, the semifinal made him especially effective.
of the CCHA tournament last Michigan has excelled this sea-
March, Michigan scorched the son in finding rebounds off goal-
Michigan State goalie, netting ies' pads for easy poke-in chances,
four goals on just 20 shots before but Lerg never hesitated to ice the
Lerg was pulled in favor of an puck, limiting the Wolverines'
empty net. offensive production.
And with the way this season's The shutout was the first-ever
schedule was set up - the Wol- win at Yost for anyone on the
verines and Spartans didn't play Spartan roster.
each other in the first half of the "Unbelievable feeling, obvious-
season - the junior had to wait ly," Lerg said. "I struggled here
more than 10 months to exact last year, and it's really nice to get
revenge. a win here, especially for all the
When the opportunity finally seniors."
presented itself last weekend, Things didn't get much easier
Lerg took advantage of it. for the Michigan offense in Sat-
Michigan (15-2-1 CCHA, 22-3-1 urday night's 2-2 tie at Munn Ice
overall) was shut out for the first Arena. The Wolverines tallied a
time this year in Friday night's 1- man-advantage goal in the sec-
0 loss at Yost Ice Arena. It was the ond period, and in the waning
first time the Wolverines haven't minutes, the Spartans suffered
tallied a goal on their home ice an own-goal when junior Matt
since Feb. 23, 2003. Schepke batted the puck past
"We played a really smart Lerg, knotting the game at two.
game,"Lergsaid. "We didn'tmake Lerg's performance was good
any costly turnovers. They're the enough to win his fourth consec-

utive CCHA Goalie of the Week
award. He's just the second-ever
CCHA player to pocket a Player
of the Week honor for an entire
month. Ferris State's Mike Brown
won the Defensive Player of the
Week award four consecutive
times in 2002-03.
Michigan coach Red Berenson
wasn't inclined to give Lerg too
much credit for the win. Beren-
son said the Wolverines' woes
began with poor shot selection
and execution on their best scor-
ing chances, which often flew
wide of the net or were deflected
by the stout Spartan defense.
Senior Kevin Porter's troubles
finding the net were especially
apparent. The Hobey Baker hope-
ful tallied just four total shots on
goal in the series. Most of Porter's
attempts hit the glass behind
Lerg.
Though Lerg is playing what
could be the best hockey of his
career, Berenson isn't ready to put
him on a pedestal above his own
goalie.
"Lerg's agood goalie,butI'llput
(Michigan goaltender) Billy Sauer
against any goalie in the league,"
Berenson said. "He's going to give
us a chance every night, just like
Lerg gives them a chance."

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4

Michigan has its cake and eats it too
in meet celebrating legendary coach

By RUTH LINCOLN
Daily Sports Writer
Former Olympian Red Simmons,
one of the pioneers of Michigan
women's track and field celebrated
his 98th birthday in high style this
weekend.
Simmons, the coach of Michi-
gan from
1978 to 1981,
enjoyed his TAURO
namesake,
the Harvey-
Simmons
Invitation-
al, from the
finishline at
the Indoor YEAR: Freshman
Track HOMETOWN:
Building on Manahawkes,
Saturday.
Simmons NJ.
sat, green SPECIALTY:
flag in hand, Distancerunner
smiling at
the success
of his team.
The meet officials honored the
track legend with a birthday cake
before events got underway.
The Wolverines had their cake
and ate it too.
Freshman Danielle Tauro got
things started in the mile with her

first-ever win as a Wolverine.
The freshman crossed the finish
line in 4:50, just two seconds off the
NCAA provisional qualifyingtime.
With the level of competition
spread thin, Tauro ran uncontested
much of the race.
"I'm not used to going out
and running a really fast time by
myself," Tauro said. "I'm happy
with the 4:50. It's a good start."
Tauro's first-place finish was one
of 11 Michigan victories in the 15-
event non-scoring meet.
Red Simmons may have been on-
site, butthe Wolverines' opposition
seemed to be missing.
Competitors from intra-state
teams Central Michigan, Detroit
Mercy, Ferris State and Eastern
Michigan joined the Wolverines,
but the visitors didn't make their
presence felt.
The Wolverines easily grabbed
victories, consistently demonstrat-
ing their focus and speed despite
the limited competition.
Junior Geena Gall won the 800-
meter run with an NCAA provi-
sional qualifyingtime of 2:07.
The meet's 800-meter race was
named after former Olympian and
Michigan coach Francie Kraker
Goodridge.
"We take special pride in that

event because it's named after
Francie," Michigan associate coach
Mike McGuire said. "We wanted to
make sure we put our best Michi-
gan representative in there."
Gall stepped up to the start line
ready for action. The Grand Blanc
native pushed the pace from the
start and ran tall and strong in
front of the large home crowd.
Tiffany Offili added to the vic-
torious campaign and made great
strides from her performance at
last week's Akron Invitational.
The junior co-captain captured
three titles, including a win in the
long jump (19-10). Offili's perfor-
mance was a 2-foot improvement
from her jump at Akron.
"She's just tapping her potential
as a top-notch long jumper," Michi-
gan coach James Henry said.
Offili attributed her progress to
changes in her steps down the run-
way. With her steps in place, Offili
connected from the takeoff board
and landed for her farthest jump
this season.
"I'mdefinitelypleased,butIhave
a lot of work to do," Offili said. "I'm
not comfortable by any means."
The Wolverines will host the
Michigan Intercollegiate this Fri-
day and Saturday at the Indoor
Track Building.

6

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