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December 04, 2008 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-12-04

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Terps down Michigan

Thursday, December 4, 2008 - 5A

Despite first-half woes,
Rust makes Team USA

ByJASON KOHLER
Daily Sports Writer
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland
lived and died by the 3-pointer Wednes-
day night, but the Michigan men's bas-
ketball team
wasn't able to MICHIGAN 70
take advantage MARYLAND 75
with its own
hot shooting from beyond the arc.
The Terrapins shot 9.1 percent from
beyond the are in the first half, while
the Wolverines made a season-high six
threes. The contrast helped the Wolver-
ines build a 35-29 halftime lead.
Butin the second half, Maryland caught
fire from 3-point range, shooting 40 per-
cent to rally and defeat Michigan 75-70 at
the Comcast Center. It was the first half-
time lead Michigan has lost this season.
The Terrapins began the second half
with back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the
game right out of the break. The shots by
junior guards Greivis Vasquez and Eric
Hayes ignited a previously tame crowd
and started a 16-3 run to open the half.
"We'd like to take those first three or
four minutes ofthe second half out,"Mich-
igan coach John Beilein said. "Maybe you
don't win the game, maybe you lose at the
buzzer. But you just let them take over the
game at that time."
Michigan (5-2) thrived from beyond
the arc all night, but used the 3-pointer to
stick around in the second frame rather
than continuing to build on its lead. Five
minutes into the half, freshman Zack
Novak put an end to the Terrapin run
with a three from the corner and made
it a four-point play with a trip to the foul
line. Novak went 4-for-8 from the field
and had a career-high 12 points.
"We regather our poise after they went
on that big run and fought back," Novak
said. "I mean, we're not going to quit."
The game went back and forth for the
rest of the second half, and the Terrapins
didn't pull away until late.With four min-
utes left in the game, Maryland's Landon
Milbourne slammed home an emphatic
dunk, giving the Terrapins a 65-61 lead

Sophomore Manny Harris was held to just 15 points by a stifling Maryland defense.

they wouldn'trelinquish.
Even with the game out of reach in the
finalminutes,WrightandsophomoreKel-
vin Grady hit shots from beyond the arc
to keep Michigan close. Wright's three
with 12 seconds left brought the game to
within three points, 73-70. The Wolver-
ines ended up shooting a season-best 41.4
percent from 3-point range on the night.
One reason Maryland (5-2) was able to
sustain its lead late in the game was accu-
rate foul shooting. Michigan fouled the
Terrapins 11 times in the second half, and
Maryland converted 16 free throws after
taking just two shots from the charity
stripe in the first half.
Maryland employed a full-court press
throughout the game, learning from
Michigan's struggles against pressure
from Savannah State last Saturday. The
Tigers forced 19 Michigan turnovers in
that game.
"What happened was they were able
to score baskets (in the second half) and
they really set (the full court press) bet-
ter," Beilein said. "What they did is they
made the tempo so we rushed, and then
we created turnovers at the other end.
They'd slow you down, and then we'd
start our offense and there'd be only 18
seconds on the shot clock."

Although Michigan looked shaky get-
ting the ball past halfcourt, it didn't sur-
render any backcourt turnovers in the
first half. But in the second half, the press
ignited Maryland's comeback, frustrating
Wolverine players and forcing them to
cough up the ball.
With the loss, Michigan falls to 3-5 all-
time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It's
the Wolverines' third consecutive loss in
the tournament, and they haven't beaten
an ACC opponent since 2006 when they
knocked Miami out of the NIT.
"Watching Duke and Purdue last night
doesn't want me to think about Duke at
all," Beilein said.
Michigan will face another ACC foe
Saturday when it rematches Duke at Cris-
ler Arena. The Wolverines lost 71-56 to
the Blue Devils two weeks ago at Madison
Square Garden.
As the players filtered off the court,
Maryland coach GaryWilliams addressed
the crowd. He told fans to stick with his
team despite the ups and downs of the
early season.
It's something Beilein could echo to
Michigan fans.
"We're still searching for the right
mix," Beilein said. "I'm notsure what it is,
but we'll find it."

By MICHAEL EISENSTEIN
Daily Sports Editor
In the Michigan hockey team's season-
opening exhibition game, a Wolverines' 4-1
win over the U.S. National Team Develop-
ment Program, sophomore forward Matt Rust
tallied two goals.
It was an inconsequential game - except
that the opposing coach, Ron Rolston, is
also Team USA's coach for the World Junior
Championship. He will be coaching Rust, and
sophomore Aaron Palushaj, who were both
named to the National Junior Team Tuesday
in the tournament.
"I won't hold that against him in the tour-
nament," joked Rolston, recalling the loss,
"because we're goingto need him."
The team, made up of the country's top
playersunderthe ageof20,willplayinOttawa
from Dec.26 to Jan. 5 as a partof a lO-country
field.
Rust, a former USNTDP player, was also
part of Team USA's disappointing fourth-
place finish last year. It will be Palushaj's first
time competing for Team USA. Just two other
CCHA players, both Notre Dame defensemen,
were selected to the team.
But Rust's pair of goals against Rolston's
team earlier this season was anything but
indicative of how the sophomore has played
thus far. He's lit the lamp in just one regular-
season game this season, a two-goal effort
against Northern Michigan in the first week-
end of CCHA play. And in 12 games sincethen,
Rust has just one assist.
What isn't working for the sophomore who,
at this point last year, already had five goals
and five assists while centering the second
line?
"I think a little bit of everything," Michi-
gan coach Red Berenson said. "I think a little
bit of thinking about it too much, a little bit of
trying to be too cute, worried too much about
scoring."
As a result, Berenson moved sophomore
forward Carl Hagelin back alongside Rust
a week ago to rekindle the strong chemistry

they had on the second line last year, and to
boost Rust's confidence.
"Now he's worried about playing well
defensively and working hard as a penalty
killer," Berenson said. "And now he's getting
more chances than he did when he was wor-
ried about scoring."
Rust has always been a two-way player,
as opposed to a purely offensive center like
first-liner Louie Caporusso. The Bloomfield
Hills native excels because of his versatility,
a characteristic Rolston really likes about the
sophomore.
And Rolston is hoping Rust's defensive
presence and his previous experience will
facilitate his emergence as a leader for Team
USA, especially with the team hopingto make
a gold-medal run after it collapsed in its final
two games against Canada and Russia last
year.
"That's something I can bring to this team,
just trying to keep the guys on task and hav-
ing that experience knowing how difficult the
tournament really is," Rust said.
But his struggles on offense are still a con-
cern for Rust, who thinks the break for the
tournament can only help.
"I think it'll help me get out of my slump,"
Rust said. "Slumps are mostly mental stuff, so
hopefully this change of pace will freshen my
mind, give me a fresh start coming back."
Berenson has always encouraged his play-
ers to play in the tournament, even though it
forces them to miss the Great Lakes Invita-
tional. But atthe same time, he doesn't neces-
sarily expect a reinvigorated Rustto return in
January because the tournament takes a sig-
nificantphysical and mentaltoll.
"He does well here, and I think if he takes
what he does here he'll be an effective player
there, butrarely do I get a better player back,"
Berenson said.
The results of the World Junior Champion-
ship won't effect the Wolverines. But if Rust
can revitalize his offense in Ottawa, Michi-
gan may returnwith a much deeper and more
consistent scoring unit the second half of the
season.

WRESTLING
Todd looks to join elite club of Wolverine wrestlers

By MICHAEL FLOREK
Daily Sports Writer
The banner listing Michigan's
wrestling Al-Americans hangs on
the south end of the team's practice
room. Every day, the wrestlers see
the names of all the wrestlers that
have come through the door and
gone on to achieve greatness.
But when fifth-year senior Tyrel
Todd walks in, he sees a familiar
name: his D twice.
And this upcoming weekend,
Todd has a chance to join one more
of the most distinguished clubs in
Michigan wrestling history, the
100-win club.
"It was a goal coming in as a
freshman," Todd said. "I wanted
to have 100 varsity wins for Michi-
gan. ...Honestly, though, I'm not
thinking about that, it's just some-
thing that comes with the hard
work, it comes with the prepara-
tion and the mental preparation
and just the whole experience."
Todd heads into this weekend's
Cliff Keen Invitational in Las
Vegas just two wins shy of the cen-
tury mark. He looks to join former
Wolverines Josh Churella, Eric
Tannenbaum, and current assis-
tant coach and 2008 Olympian
Andy Hrovat, among other pro-
gram greats.
"He joins an elite group of
Michigan alums who are up on
that board," Wolverine coach Joe
McFarland said. "I think it is excit-
ing for him. I know he is probably
not going to make a big deal about
it, but I think it says a lot about the
kind of competitor he is."
Todd will go for his 100th win
in a brand-new weight class. This
weekend's tournament is Todd's
first in 197 pounds, moved up from
184 pounds in the offseason. Both
he and McFarland agreed the
move was necessary because of the
strength he gained over the sum-
"er.
But the weight gain will not
stop the senior from continuing his
illustrious career. Todd earned All-
America honors in 2007 and 2008
and finished third at the NCAA
Championships last year, illustrat-
ing his dominance as a wrestler.
Along with all of his other
accomplishments, the Bozeman,
* Mont., native will get to realize
one more dream this year - wres-
tling back in his hometown. The
Wolverines have a "home" dual
meet against Oregon State, Jan. 2,
in Bozeman to promote the rees-
tablishment of Montana State's
wrestling program. In a state
with almost 10,000 fans at its high
school state tournament, the meet
is a big deal to Montana natives,
who are billing it as the greatest
wrestling event ever to come to
Montana.

"I'm jacked about it," Todd said.
"It's a dream come true, it really
is. Coming all the way across the
country, you never think you'll be
, able to wrestle again in your home
town...there's going to be a lot of
people out to watch the dual."
The return home is a fitting
reward for the two-year co-cap-
tain. The position is especially
important this year, because most
of the starters are underclassmen.

"He leads by example, there's no
question about it," McFarland said.
"But he can be vocal, too, at times
and that's been great. He was one
of our captains last year because
the coaching staff felt he was one
of those guys who wasn't afraid to
get vocal when he needed to and
let the guys know, 'hey, this is how
we do things and this is the way we
do things here."'
Todd is looking to continue his

wrestling career well after his
stint with the Maize and Blue is
done.
"My goal is to bea world cham-
pion and eventually an Olympic
champion in 2012," Todd said.
"Next year I'm going to be at
Michigan for sure...training full
time for freestyle and then we'll
see where that leads me, hopeful-
ly, eventually, to the gold medal in
2012."

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