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January 30, 2009 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


Friday, January 30, 2009 - 7


The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, January 30, 2009 - 7

Wolverines face No.1
Notre Dame in rematch

Daily Sports Editor
Michigan hockey coach Red
Berenson is hoping this season's
series against Notre Dame can rep-
resent a role reversal.
Last year, the
Wolverines held MicA n at
the nation's top
ranking for most Notre Dame
of the season. Matchup:
A path to the Michigan
NCAA Cham- 18-8; Notre
pionship game Dame 19-3-3
seemed almost When: Tonight
guaranteed. 8:05 P.M.
Notre Dame, Where: Joyce
on the other Center
hand, struggled
through its regu TV: CBSports
lar season. The
Fighting Irish Blog: http://
were swept by thegame.
Michigan in blogs.michi-
January, finished gandaily.com
fourth in the
CCHA and snuck
into the NCAA Tournament as a
fourth seed in the West Regional.
But Notre Dame got hot when it
mattered, storming through region-
al play and shocking the Wolverines
in a 5-4 overtime win in the Frozen
Four to reach the national champi-
onship game.
And this weekend's home-and-
home series marks the first meeting
between the teams since that semi-
final game.
This time, the Irish come into the
matchup as the top team in the coun-

try, unbeaten in 20 straight contests.
The Wolverines (12-6-0 CCHA,
18-8-0 overall) are the ones with
questions. Though they've won nine
of the last 10 games, five of those
wins came against CCHAbasement-
dweller MichiganState,leadingsome
to discount their recent success.
"They're playing like we were last
year, and we're playing maybe like
they were," Berenson said. "We've
got something to prove."
Berenson hopes his team gains
momentum heading into March,
much like Notre Dame did last year.
He knows it takes just a few back-
to-back wins to advance deep into
postseason play.
"I hope we play our best hockey
down the stretch," Berenson said.
"When you coach, that's your
goal - for everyone to improve, the
team to come together and finally
build to your best for last."
Tonight is the start of that final
Michigan has just 10 games
remaining in the regular season,
and if it hopes to secure a first-round
bye in the CCHA Tournament, it
needs to win almost all of them. The
Wolverines probably can't catch the
Irish, who have essentially locked
up the top seed, but they could end
up second with a strong finish.
Fortunately for Michigan, it's
playing its best hockey right now.
The staunch defense is allowingjust
2.15 goals per game on average, and
all four lines of forwards are con-
tributing offensively.
Early-season injuries have faded.

Junior defenseman Steve Kampfer
will return to the ice this weekend
after a brief hospitalization for a
head injury. Senior captain Mark
Mitera practiced with the team this
week for the first time since suffer-
ing a knee injury in early October.
He remains on track for a possible
return before the postseason.
The team has also stepped up in
big games, making especially loud
statements against rivals Miami
(Ohio) and Michigan State in the
past month.
But tonight will be the biggest
test so far this season, and the Wol-
verines think they'll be ready to
respond. Still, it will take near-per-
fect play to pull off the upset.
"If we don't play our best hockey,
it's not going to be a good outcome,"
senior forward Tim Miller said.
"We'llbringour best, and hopefully,
that'll be enough."
But Berenson isn't sure that atti-
tude is the right approach to an
opponent like Notre Dame.
"I sense good things going on in
practice, but we still have a lot to
prove," Berenson said. "We can't
just go, 'If we play our best, we'll
beat this team.' We don't know. I
don't know if we can."
And while there's certainly bit-
terness from last April's contest,
according to junior acting captain
Chris Summers, Michigan remains
focused on what it must prove.
"It's going to be huge," Summers
said. "We have to make sure guys
are going to come ready to play and
show up (tonight)."

Senior Melinda Queen defends Ohio State forward Star Allen in last night's 52-44 loss. Queen had10 had a team-high 10 point
Michigan can't stop Lavender,

the michigan daily 'emal:>co" Con

By TIM ROHAN Michigan was led. by Queen and
Daily Sports Writer freshman guard Courtney Boylan,
who both notched 10 points.
The Michigan women's basket- Lessthanaminuteintothegame,
ball team finally heeded the grade sophomore Veronica Hicks dove on
school cheer: "Be aggressive, B-E the floor for a loose ball. She came
Aggressive, B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I- up angry after being called for trav-
V-E." eling and Benson quickly covered
Unfortunately for the Wolver- Hicks' mouth, but she couldn't hide
ines,theiraggressionwasn'tenough Hicks' intensity. The urgency was
to clinch a obvious from the start.
victory OHIO STATE 52 Hicks proceeded to score the
against MICHIGAN 44 game's first points on the next pos-
No. 15 session.
Ohio State last night. Michigan Michigan drove to the basket
attacked the basket with backdoor in the first half, finishing strong
cuts, good positioning and nifty in the lane. Its efforts led to easy
passes but couldn't pull out the vic- baskets and trips to the free-throw
tory, losing 52-44 at Crisler Arena. line, and the team's first eight
For the second consecutive points came on layups. The Wol-
game, junior center Krista Phil- verines shot 8-of-11 from the char-
lips started over senior Stephany ity stripe in the first 20 minutes.
Skrba to defend a bigger opponent. Michigan led by one at halftime
This time, it was junior Jantel Lav- despite not making a single field
ender, the Buckeyes' best player. goal for the final 10 minutes and
Not stopping her down the 32 seconds. The free throws made
stretch proved to be the deciding the difference in the first half - but
factor in the game. that all changed in the second.
"I thought we did a good job The Wolverines didn't shoot a
in the first half (defending Lav- single free throw after the break
ender)," Michigan coach Kevin and Ohio State powered its way to
Borseth said. "In the second half, the free-throwline,shootingl16-of-
they shot 20 free throws. They shot 20 freebies in the final frame.
a lot around that basket. ... They Trading basket for basket
(just said) 'We're goingto throw it throughout the game, Michigan
in there, and see if you can stop us,' cut the Buckeye lead to two with
and we just didn't do it." just under three minutes to play.
Lavender, who won her fourth Hicks started to bring the ball up
Big Ten Player of the Week award the court but Ann Arbor native
on Tuesday, came into the game and Ohio State guard Shavelle
averaging a gaudy 21.6 points and Little tipped it away. Her effort led
11.1 rebounds per game. To put to a three-pointer by sophomore
those numbers into context, seniors guard Brittany Johnson from the
Melinda Queen, Carly Benson and left wing that created an insur-
Skrba came into the game averag- mountable Buckeye lead.
ing 24 points per game and 12.7 The Wolverines proceeded to
rebounds per game combined. turn the ball over on their next
Lavender finished the game two possessions and Michigan
with 17 points and nine rebounds. was outscored 14-5 in the last 10

minutes of the game.
TheBuckeye winimproved Ohio
State coach Jim Foster's record to
an impressive 10-0 mark against
Michigan. He could have learned
the secret to success from his pre-
decessors - the Buckeyes have now
won 45 of the 51 all-time matchups
between the two schools.
Though Ohio State's defense
gave Michigan trouble in the two
teams' first matchup, the Wolver-
ines handled the scheme well on
"I thought we handled (the pres-
sure) a lot better tohight," Borseth
said. "(Little) got a steal and to
me, that was critical. That led to a
three-point shot. That was huge."
* Michigan shot 2-of-20 from
beyond the arc, with Boylan respon-
sible for both baskets. But when the
Ohio State defense tightened during
crunch time, the Wolverines con-
tinued to take 3-pointers instead
of driving to the lane. Borseth
defended the "in rhythm" shots and
shrugged his shoulders at the fact
that the shots didn't fall.
Michigan stays at home to face
Wisconsin (4-6, 14-7) on Sunday.
A few weeks ago, Michigan lost by
four points inMadison, which was
the loss that sparked their current
six-game losing streak.
And the Wolverines will find
out how much heart they really
have soon enough.
' "It is pretty easy to show up
to practice after you win games,"
Borseth said. "But when you lose
games time after time, then you
find out a lot about yourself.
"It comes down to tomor-
row. I'll be able to see when they
walk through that door whether
they have fire in their eyes or fire
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Wolverines have a lot of questions
to answer before the Purdue game

For Saturday, Jan. 3t, 2009
(March 21lto April 19)
Delays with career plans or important
deals with bosses are over. Now you can
count on people being more receptive to
your new ideas and-new ways of doing
(April 20 to May 20)
Everything related to publishing, the
media, higher education, medicine and
the law will start to be more efficient and
have fewer errors. (Thank heavens!)
(May 2110o June 29)
New ideas about loans, mortgages,
inheritances, insurance matters and any-
thing to do with shared property might
start to get off the ground now. The
delays ond mix-ups will be far less now.
(June 21to July 22)
Important discussions with partners
and close friends can go forward with
'reater success now. Delays involvine
rehashing old business are almost over.
(July 23 to Aug. 22)
It's been a headache at work lately.
Confused communication, delays, silly
errors and glitches have been frustrating.
Now these are coming to an end.
Finally! (Whew!)
(Aug. 23 to Sept. 22)
Creative projects can get the green
light now. Distractions with old flames
and romantic partners from the past are
over. Plans for vacations look promising.
Forward ho!
(Sept. 23 to Oct. 22)
Visiting relatives have now gone
home. It's tite to reclaim your domestic
routine and make friends with where you
live (so that it (eels right to you.)

(Oct. 231to Nov. 21)
The past six weeks havebeen prone to
errors, accidents, delays and transporta-
tion breakdowns. All these snafus and
mix-ups will be greatly reduced from
here on. Glory hallelujah!
(Nov. 22to Dec. 21)
Money matters are more predictable in
the immediate future. Past business and
delays with checks being late in the mail
and whatnot are behind you now.
(Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)
I's been frustrating dealing with silly
errors, delays, transportation break-
downs and confused communication
with everyone. (You almost felt like a
fool.) Thank heavens this time is now
(Jan. 20 to Feb. 18)
You feel more confident about your
future. You have a stronger and clearer
idea now about how things are going to
play out.
(Feb. 19 to March 20)
Although you've been thinking of old
goals, now it's time to return to those
bright, "new" ideas you had about your
future. Let yourself get revved up again
about those hopes and dreams you were
nurturing before.
YOU BORN TODAY It's important
for you to be heard or seen for whatever
you do. You need recognition for your
work. Because of your excellent social
skills and attractive demeanor, it's easy
for you to get the admiration you seek.
At this stage in your life, it's important
for you to learn something new and valu-
able. You'll be able to do that this com-.
ing year!
Birthdate of Nolan Ryan, baseball
Hall-of-Famer; Zane Grey, author;
Suzanne Pleshette, actress.

N none would argue that
the Michigan men'sbas-
ketball team isn't drasti-
cally improved from last year's
The Wol-
verines lost
a program-
record 22
games last *
year and
weren't even
good enough
to earn an ANDY
invite to REID
the College
Invitational, the tournament that
takes teams not good enough to
play in the National Invitational
Tournament, which is for teams not
good enough to make the NCAA
This season, Michigan has, at
times, looked like a legitimate Big
Ten title contender, topplingteams
like Duke, UCLA and Illinois to
build one of the best early-season
tournament resumes in the nation.
Sophomore Manny Harris was
on his 'A'-game, putting up big
numbers while still finding ways to
dish the ball to teammates.
Junior DeShawn Sims looked
like one of the most improved play-
ers in the Big Ten.
And Michigan coach John Bei-
lein was enjoyingthe peak of the
"rollercoaster" - an analogythat
he has used all season.
Since then, the ride's been a
bit shakier. Wednesday night, the
Wolverineswere manhandled by
a taller, more physical Ohio State
team and began to look more and
more like last year's team.
"Sometimes, thingsjust don't

go our way," Harris said after the
Wolverines' 72-58 loss to Purdue on
March 9, 2008. "This year, it hasn't
been going our way, and we haven't
been playing all 40 minutes of bas-
Harris may as well have been
talking aboutthe team's Big Ten
slate this year.
Just five field goals, 18 points
and 12 turnovers in the first half
Wednesday night against Ohio
Shooting12.6 percent from
3-point range in a loss to Penn
Scoreless for almost nine min-
utes in a win over Northwestern.
Tomorrow, Michigan travels to
Mackey Arena to take on the Boil-
ermakers for the first time since
that game, and the same problems
seem to be plaguing the team as it
enters arguably thetoughest part of
its regular-season schedule.
The Wolverines are struggling
to play a full 40 minutes - and it's
imperative that they start now.
Michigan's next 10 days look like
this: at Purdue tomorrow, home
against resurgent Penn State on
Thursday, at Connecticut Saturday
and home against Michigan State
on Feb. 10.
Purdue is a team on a mission,
coming in at No. 2 in the Big Ten in
both scoring offense and scoring
defense and winning games by an
astounding average of 13.8 points.
Coming into the year, the Boil-
ermakers had just aboutthe loftiest
goals a team can have.
"Oh, a national championship,"
junior Keaton Grant said when
asked about what he expected from
this season atfBig Ten Media Day
in October. "That's it. Nothing less,

nothing more. A national champi-
When told about Grant's state-
ments, Purdue coach Matt Painter
couldn't help but laugh athis mis-
"He's got high goals," he said
at Big Ten MediaDay. "We've had
some tough days at Purdue. We've
continued to stay positive and work
hard to make strides....We do have
high goals, to win a championship
and put ourselves in the best posi-
tion to make the NCAA Tourna-
Even though the Boilermakers
may not look like ateam that will
be cutting downthe nets in March,
the team is vastly improved from
last year, especially in one particu-
lar department that Painter has
been focused on all season:
"Rebounding," Painter said suc-
cinctly at Big Ten Media Day. "We
have to be a better rebounding
The Boilermakers are second-
best in the conference atcgrabbing
boards, snagging more than 36 a
game. That could makethis contest
even tougher for the Wolverines,
since Beilein's 1-3-1 zone defense
rarely emphasizes rebounding,
meaning the Boilermakers may eas-
ily extend several possessions with
offensive rebounds.
But Michigan can't afford to
start sluggish, toss up too many ill-
timed 3-point attempts, fail to box
out or simply not score for extended
periods of time. And the team's
back-to-basics approach needs to
start tomorrow againstthe Boiler-
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0 2009 King Futeares Syndicatetnc.

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