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February 08, 2008 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-02-08

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10 - Friday, February 8, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 0

'M' edges Nebraska for first win in Lincoln NOrTEBOO

By NICOLE AUERBACH
Daily Sports Writer
Husker Country hasn't been
friendly territory for the Wolver-
ines.
The Michigan women's gymnas-
tics team had never won at Nebras-
ka in the regular season.
But last night, No. 5 Michigan
broke
tradi- MICHIGAN 196.575
tion and NEBRASKA 196.075
defeated
No. 12
Nebraska, 196.575-196.075.
Coming off a season-high team
performance last weekend at the
State of Michigan Classic, the Wol-
verines weren't shooting for the
stars on four days of rest with just
two practice days.
"It was more about doing quality
routines than quantity," fifth-year
senior Lindsey Bruck said. "But
everyone did a great job in practice
and kept the momentum going into
this meet."
Michigan put up solid scores in
bars and vault, its two strongest
events, to kick off the meet. Fresh-
man Kylee Botterman earned her
third straight vault title.
After cruising past recent oppo-
nents, the Wolverines (3-0 Big Ten,
9-0 overall) found themselves in a
tight contest down the stretch, a
rarity this season.
But the final gymnasts putup the .
high scores they needed on beam,
the team's final event, to edge the

Huskers (2-1 Big 12, 3-3 overall).
Beam has been a trouble spot
for the Wolverines this season, and
there was no shortage of drama last
night.-
After the three solid beam rou-
tines, Sarah Curtis, the Big Ten's
all-around leader coming into the
meet, suddenly fell.
Enter sophomore Jordan Sex-
ton.
Injured all last season, last night
was Sexton's second event perfor-
mance of the year.^
But Sexton, Bruck said, "went
out there like a veteran."
Sexton stuck her landing, cap-
ping off a 9.875-point performance.
The score earned her the first event
title of her career.
"I had been working on a new
series and I hadn't competed with
it yet," Sexton said. "I didn't know
if I should just play it safe, but I
got up there and felt good, so I just
went for it and nailed it."
It seems each week a Wolverine
who suffered an injury last year
makes the meet-changing routine.
Michigan coach Bev Plocki said she
"couldn't even script it that way."
This could be the Hollywood
season for the Wolverines, as they
take their unblemished record back
to Ann Arbor.
"This was our first true test of
the season," Plocki said. "I'm really
proud that we hung in there and
didn't count any falls. And against a
great team that's Super Six caliber,
this was really good."

cult for them," Borseth said. "We
didn't let them get the ball at point
blank range where they were get-
ting the ball before. We took them
out of the things they were doing."
Early in the season, Michigan
didn't prepare for its opponents.
Instead, Borseth figured it would
be enough if the team executed
the gameplan.
"We let teams run what they
wanted to run, and sat back and
hoped that we could rebound it,"
Borseth said. "This game, we tried
to take them out of their stuff."

Benson's scoring streak: Benson
is quickly becoming the Wolver-
ine's offensive leader. The junior
forward scored more than 10
points for the sixth straight game.
She went8-for-12 from the field,
leading the team with 18 points.
Last season, Benson was known
for her shooting ability. But this
season, she has.focused on being
an all-around player.
"Carly's going to be a major
player for this team for the next
two years," sophomore Krista
Phillips said. "She has so many
strengths and teams that scout us
realizethat. They take away her 3-
'point shot, and she'll drive to the
basket."

a

PENN STATE"
From Page 9
highest second-half output with
42 points.
And it wasn't because of 3-
pointers.
Michigan restricted itself to
the perimeter in the first half, but
looked inside after halftime.
Shooting 11-of-14 from the
paint, the Wolverines had their
best shooting from the field in a'
half this season at .667.
Much of that was because of
sophomore Krista Phillips.
After Phillips missed from
point-blank range on several occa-
sions in the first frame, senior.
Janelle Cooper told -her to. be
patient. The advice helped her

continue to remain aggressive,
earning all 16 of her points in the
second half.
Benson led the Wolverines with
18 points, but it was Minnfield's
eight assists that shined bright-
est. Her success in the backcourt
allowed Michigan to establish the
tempo in its half-court set.
Snapping a three-game losing
streak, the Wolverines kept pace
with the upper half of the confer-
ence. But more importantly for
Michigan, it was able to establish
momentum before hitting the.
road for its next two games.
"If we wanted to be contend-
ers for the Big Ten tournament
or anything, we're going to need
some confidence beating some
teams, and we're doing well at
home," Benson said.

6

The Michigan women's gymnastics team won for the first time at Nebraska last
night, beating the Cornhuskers 196.575-196.075.

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