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March 02, 2009 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-02

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The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I March 2, 2009

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Freshman guard Zack Novak and the Wolverines were outsized and outhustled by a more physical Wisconsin team yesterday. The Badgers won 60-55 in Madison.

Small size won't hurt Comeback attempt
Blue next week falls short in loss

MADISON -
xamining the starting line-
ups in the Michigan men's
basketball team's 60-55
loss to Wisconsin, there was a
clear'size disadvantage:
The Badgers' 6-foot-10 Jon
Leuer on the
} Wolverines'
6-foot-5 Zack
Novak.
Wisconsin's
6-foot-7 Joe
Krabbenhoft
on Michigan's
6-foot-5 Manny
Harris.
In total, the RUTH
Badger start- LINCOLN
ers outsized
Michigan's
leading five-man corps by four
inches - with length and muscle
to spare.
The Wolverines have faced big
teams before, and they know they
must find other ways to score.

Michigan got into a rhythm
early and headed into halftime
with a 34-32 lead. The Wolverines
quickly moved the ball to find
open teammates and hit 3-point-
ers.
But Wisconsin kept up its game,
plan and finished with 34 points
in the paint. Marcus Landry and
Leuer shot a combined 11-of-18,
and Krabbenhoft grabbed 11
rebounds.
The Badgers made it look too
easy.
"You want to compete with
them, but it is tough during the
season to gain 20 pounds," Michi-
gan coach John Beilein said. "It's
like arm wrestling. It's just like
guys who are stronger than you,
and you can't do that much about
it in one season."
Michigan couldn't do much
about its size yesterday, but it's
now more prepared for what lies
ahead.
With just one regular season

game left - Saturday at Min-
nesota - the Wolverines' NCAA
Tournament resume still requires
some polishing.
Yesterday's loss might have
crushed Michigan's hopes to
secure an at-large bid to the
NCAA Tournament. But next
week's game against Minnesota
at Williams Arena is crucial for
Michigan's eventual postseason
destination.
And the Wolverines are in good
shape to make the most of the
opportunity.
The Badgers have never lost a'
home game to an unranked Big
Ten opponent under Wisconsin
coach Bo Ryan.
They're 47-0 in that category.
It would have taken Michigan's
most valiant effort to pull off the
upset.
And in a hostile environment,
the Wolverines came pretty
close.
See LINCOLN, Page 3B

Slow start and lack
of communication
doom upset bid
By RUTH LINCOLN
Daily Sports Editor
MADISON - With 30 seconds
left in regulation and his team
down four points against Wiscon-
sin, Michigan men's basketball
junior DeShawn Sims launched a
3-pointer from the top of the key.
The forward made one from the
same spot at Crisler Arena late in
Thursday's game when Michigan
upset then-No. 16 Purdue.
But Sims's shot clanked off the
rim, all but sealing the Wolverines'
60-55 loss yesterday at the Kohl
Center.
And the attempt wasn't exactly
what Michigan coach John Beilein
had hoped for.

"Once (Sims) catches it, he's
actually been very successful to get
a guy coming off for a shot," Beil-
ein said. "I was saying 'patience'
to him in his ear. He thought I was
saying 'take it.' So, I've got to use a
different word than patience."
That kind of miscommunication
was common all afternoon.
Wisconsin (9-7 Big Ten, 18-10
overall) and Michigan (8-9, 18-12)
both entered the game teetering
on the NCAA Tournament bubble.
The Badgers now have an edge, and
the Wolverines have just one regu-
lar-season game left to boost their
resum6, Saturday at Minnesota.
Despite all of Michigan's mis-
takes, the team came close to
squeaking out the win.
"We had some lapses on execu-
tion, with getting offensive boards,
but we were right there," said fifth-
year senior guard C.J. Lee, who
finished with nine points, three
rebounds and four assists. We've

just got to make that play, get that
rebound, get that stop. We haven't
been able to get that play on the
road right now."
Just like when the two teams
met in a 73-61 Wisconsin win Dec.
31 at Crisler Arena, the Badgers
jumped to a quick start, scoring on
nine of their first 10 possessions.
The Wolverines edged their way
back, hitting five 3-pointers in the.
first half.
Michigan led 34-32 at the half
but fell to another Badger run at
the start of the second half and
never fully recovered.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan's
teams grind opposing defenses
down with slow, meticulous bas-
ketball, often shooting with single
digits left on the shot clock.
"When you get down to one of
Bo's teams, being down by five or
seven is like being down by 15 to
other teams," Beilein said.
See BADGERS, Page 3B

~MEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING
Mitera and Sauer return, pave n
way for Senior Night victory to 34th program
Senior duo shines 14 shots he faced. It was just his
... ... ~~~third start ince s qnho mre ran c n e e c i l

after final season
didn't go as planned
By GJON JUNCAJ
Daily Sports Writer
BIG RAPIDS - While Satur-
day's Senior Night was dedicated
to the six graduating members of
the No. 3 Michigan hockey team,
the attention centered around how
two of those players would each
finish the most disappointing sea-
sons of their collegiate careers.
Senior captain Mark Mitera
played in Friday's 6-1 victory at
Ferris State, his first game since
tearing his anterior cruciate liga-
ment in the season opener on Oct.
10. Mitera also chipped in a goal
and an assist, his first points of the
season, in Saturday's 4-0 victory
at Yost Ice Arena.
Senior goaltender Billy Sauer
registered his eighth career shut-
out Saturday in what might have
been his final college game: The
Walworth, N.Y. native stopped all

Hogan became the full-time start-
er in early December.
"It's pretty tough, but I felt
pretty into it," Sauer said, regard-
ing the light workload. "The crowd
was pretty loud, and the puck was
around me enough where I didn't
feel like I wasn't getting any
work."
It was a bizarre and frustrating
senior campaign for bothplayers.
Mitera, a first-round draft pick of
the Anaheim Ducks, delayed his
professional hockey dreams to
return for his final year only to
injure his knee in the first period
of the season.
Mitera's decision to stay came
one year after Kevin Porter
returned for his senior season
despite NHL prospects. Porter
went on to win the Hobey Baker
Award as the nation's top player.
Friday night was the culmina-
tion of a surprisingly successful
rehabilitation process.
After undergoing ACL recon-
structive surgery Nov. 6, Mitera
was given a 3-6 month timetable'

Michigan dominates
meet, winning by
over 300 points
By RYAN A. PODGES
Daily Sports Writer .
When the final team scores
were announced at the Big Ten
swimming and diving champion-
ships Saturday night, no one at the
Purdue Boilermaker Aquatic Cen-
ter was surprised.
After winning the first three
events of the meet, No.4 Michigan
held on to its lead for the entire
three-day event and successfully
defended its Big Ten title, winning
the program's 34th conference
championship.
And none of the scores were
even close.
On February 27, after the first
day of competition, Michigan led
the field of ten teams by over 120

points.After two days, the lead
grew to over 200 points. And at
the end of the meet, the Wolver-
ines were a whopping 308 points
ahead of second-place Ohio State.
The team celebrated on the
swim deck in their new cham-
pionship hats and T-shirts, and
then the party continued in the
pool when the swimmers, coaches
and even the trophy were pushed
into the diving well. As the team
splashed around and sang The
Victors, first-year Michigan coach
Mike Bottom said he floated
around and simply watched his
team enjoy the victory.
"It was fun watching the guys
swim their'best and it was fun to
watch them celebrate," Bottom
said. "We went in with a focus
on getting guys to qualify for the
NCAA championship meet. We
knew if our guys were qualifying,
then we would win the meet, and
we did. The points weren't some-
thing we thought a lot about."
See BIG TENS, Page 4B

SAID ALSALAH/Daily
Freshman forward Robbie Czarnik scored the first goal of Saturday's 4-0 win,
for a return to the ice. Just two Mitera said Friday. "I think the
months and three days later, he first couple of shifts were pretty
started to skate again. Mitera shaky. I felt a little. out of place
began practicing full-contact Feb. out there, just to get back to game
17. . speed. But other than that, I felt
"I felt pretty good out there," See BULLDOGS, Page 3B

NOT ON TRACK GOING... GOING...
U The Michigan women's track and field team ' The Michigan baseball team suffered its
stumbled at the Big Ten Indoor Championship, first two losses of the season but rebounded
- A" M' <PA N finishing third. Page 4B. for Maloney's 500th career victory. Page 3B.
Ar:.

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