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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

T hursday, January 21, 2010 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 7A

'Defense' is the
word for ' in
ton ight's game '

Rust's play evokes the past

In last meeting,
No. 5 Ohio State
inched past Blue
By AMY SCARANO
Daily Sports Writer
When Michigan coach Kevin
Borseth pictures the women's bas-
ketball team's defense, he wants
to imagine a solid block. Bors-
eth said his team's defense has,
at times, reminded him of swiss
cheese. And its
holes represent Ohio State
a lot of gaping
problems. at Michigan
Michigan is Matchup: Ohio
2-5 in the Big Ten State 19-1;
(10-7 overall) Michigan 10-7
and 1-1 at home. When: Tonight
And to improve at 7 p.m.
that record, the
defense will need Where:
to be uncharac-
teristically tight Live Blog:
in defending michigandaily.
its home court corn
against No. 5
Ohio State tonight.
Borseth knows the team needs
to learn how to respond when
opponents make mid-game
adjustments. It's something they
couldn't do against Wisconsin in
an ugly 20-point road loss on Jan.
10.
"In the second half, they just
0 diced us up (defensively)." Bors-
eth said after the loss in Madison.
"They changed their configura-
tion in the second half. We didn't
adjust to it, and that hurt us."
- And against a team as strong
as Ohio State, the Wolverines will
need an extra effort to put togeth-
er a full 40 minutes of defense.
Good teams will take advantage
ofthe holes in the Michigan defense
until it turns into that "solid block
of cheese", and the Wolverines
haven't played an entire Big Ten
gane of great defense yet.;
Any hopes of a mid-conference
winning streak were put on hold
after a loss to Indiana in their last
game on Jan.14. That doesn't bode
well for a young team desperate
for a momentum swing.
Against the Hoosiers, the Wol-
verines trailed in the first half,
allowing 40 points before the
break, after which they buckled
down and came out strong defen-
sively in the second half. They
held Indiana to just 23 points in
the final 20 minutes. And if they
had made a last-second layup that

rolled out of the rim, they would
have tied the game and forced
overtime. It was their unusually
strong and inspired defense that
gave them a chance to win.
And if Michigan is going to beat
the Buckeyes (7-0 Big Ten, 10-1
overall) tonight, the Wolverines
absolutely must lock down one end
of the court.
But that's easier said than done.
The Wolverines' holey defense
is prohibiting them from beating
mediocre teams - and for a team
historically strong on the defen-
sive end like Ohio State, that is
worrisome.
"If we get stops on our defense
then it leads to ... us pushing the
ball and making baskets," senior
center Krista Phillips said. "We
really need to focus and get stops
so we can push the ball and get out
in the front court and play the way
that we are used to playing."
In Michigan's first meeting
with Ohio State in Columbus, the
Wolverines had a chance to win
but couldn't capitalize.
Late-game defensive stops
would have made the difference in
the 59-56 loss.
"Obviously, I think we could
have done better on the defensive
end," sophomore forward Carmen
Reynolds said after the Jan. 3 loss.
"We could've gotten more stops, so
we got to look to do that in the next
game."
And true to their word, they did
improve defensively in their next
game.
In what became their first
sweep of the season, the Wolver-
ines held Iowa to below 30 percent
shooting to defend their home
court for the win.
"At the end of the game, we have
to come up with defensive stops,"
junior guard Veronica Hicks said
after the loss to the Buckeyes. "I
think we are putting ourselves
in a position where we are stop-
ping them during the game, but
a couple ofgymgs likethe North-
western game ... and also at Ohio
State, we just didn't get the stop.
It left us with a three-point deficit.
Those two games were kind of the
same, and they ended up kind of
the same."
Especially for a team with an
offense is fueled bX defensive
stops, turning swiss into solid is a
must if this team is going to start
winning again.
And in tonight's home-court
match-up with the Buckeyes,
Michigan has a chance to prove
that it can do that against the best.

By MARK BURNS
Daily Sports Editor
They were standout penalty kill-
ers for the Michigan hockey team.
Two former and one current Wol-
verine - each responsible for the
minor detailsthat didn'tjump out of
the box score at the end of the night.
From blocking shots and shut-
ting down the opponents' top line
to winning timely face-offs with
seconds left on the clock, Michi-
gan assistant coach Mel Pearson
recalled a duo of past Wolverines as
a perfect comparison to Michigan's
prototypical defensive forward
today - junior Matt Rust.
"(Rust) is a cross between Jed
Ortmeyer and Dwight Helminen,"
Pearson said. "Dwight was a great
skater, really good defensive player.
And Jed was just unbelievable -
blocked shots, put his body on the
line, and Rusty does that."
Both Ortmeyer and Helminen
are still in the process of establish-
ing themselves in the NHL as Rust
leads a Wolverine team that is try-
ing to make it to the NCAA Tour-
nament for the 20th-straight year.
The two older Michigan products
played for Wolverine coach Red
Berenson in the early 2000s. Ort-
meyer graduated from the Univer-
sity in 2003 and Helminen left after
his junior season a year later.
And Rust, a product of the U.S.
National Team Development Pro-
gram in Ann Arbor, has shown a
multitude of similarities to these
past Wolverines.
"It starts with hockey sense and
hockey smarts," Pearson said. "He
anticipates plays instead of just

.. ,.
: t
t-
,
;

ARIEL BOND/Daily

Junior Matt Rust is second on the team in scoring this season with seven points in his last seven contests.

reacting to them, and he's got that
bulldog mentality on the ice."
With just under five minutes left
in the second period of Saturday's
game against Alaska, Rust wheeled
his way behind the Nanooks' net,
looking for freshman Kevin Lynch
in the low slot. Rust spun on a dime,
in order to throw a forehand pass
out to a wide-open Lynch, who
then flipped the puck over goalten-
der Scott Greenharn's glove.
Rust then won a faceoff in the
Nanook zone with about three min-
utes remaining in the game. Junior
defenseman Chad Langlais cor-
ralled the puck and slid a wrist shot
on the ice that made its way past
Greenham's five-hole, capping off
a two-goal comeback to force the
game into overtime.
The two plays, though maybe

minor in the scope of the whole
season, are what the Wolverines
need more of, not only from Rust,
but from the entire roster. Despite
Rust's performance in recent
games, coach -Red Berenson was
quick to note how his first-line cen-
ter should have more goals at this
point in the season.
"He didn'thave as good an offen-
sive weekend (againstAlaska) as he
could have, because that line (of
freshman Kevin Lynch, Rust and
junior Carl Hagelin) generated
some two-on-ones," Berenson said.
"He had three glorious chances to
score this weekend, and if he had
a really good weekend, he would
have scored on those chances."
The Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
native is second on the team in
scoring, with seven points in his

last seven games. Rust could beone
of the leading forces necessary for
a late Wolverine surge with just six
weeks left in conference play.
But it could be Rust's loose
demeanor and carefree mental-
ity that has had one of the big-
gest impacts on the Wolverines.
The ability for Rust to maintain a
positive, upbeat atmosphere in the
locker room, especially during a
roller-coaster season, is a welcome
contribution to any team. And no
one would know Rust's charac-
ter better than teammate and best
friend, junior Louie Caporusso.
"He's a funny kid," Caporusso
said. "Me and him can go all day
and talk about whatever and have a
laugh about it. ... He's a great danc-
er. He can dance to Fergie like no
one else."

Blue squeaks by 19th-ranked Spartans

By STEPHEN NESBITT
Daily Sports Writer
The scene was oddly famil-
iar. A Michigan gymnast landed
her final jump, threw up her
hands, and flashed a smile to the
applauding crowd, only to be
crushed several moments later
with a mediocre score, just as it
had happened several times ear-
lier in the night.
Nevertheless, the 15th-ranked
Wolverines (2-0 Big Ten, 3-0 over-
all) needed their final two floor
performances - phenomenal runs
by freshman Natalie Beilstein and
junior Kylie Botterman - to secure
a slim 194.20-193.75 victory over
No. 19 Michigan State at Crisler
Arena.
Sure, Michigan came out with
the win, but the Wolverines know
there's much room for improve-
ment.
"We improved in some areas,
and we had some mistakes," senior

Sarah Curtis said. "Overall, it was
good for us to get out there. The
more we have under our belt, the
better we get at doing them, and we
get the nervous shakes."
But before the team makes any
drastic changes, it must consider
the conservative officiating.
"I thought the judging was pret-
ty tight tonight, and it was a little
frustrating," Michigan coach Bev
Plocki said. "Bot we'trgoing, to
have that, and I guess it's better
that we find out right now what
kind of stuff they're accepting so
we can go back in practice, and
see what we can do to get higher
scores."
The Spartans (2-1, 5-1) saw their
share of questionable scores, but
while they struggled in the open-
ing acts on the uneven bars, their
proficiency on the floor exercise
and on the balance beam pulled
them five one hundredths of a
point behind Michigan after three
events.

While the Michigan fans roared
at the judges after each controver-
sial score went up, the meet was
closer than necessary due to Wol-
verines' mistakes, according to
Plocki, who pointed to three falls
as major contributors to the small
margin of victory.
"I'm obviously disappointed
with the falls we had on beam,"
Plocki said. "We train beam in
practice like we're champs, and
you can see by the scores of the
kids who hit that we are a very
good beam team, but sometimes
when you have a fall ... itputs a lot
of pressure on people coming up
later in the lineup."
on a night when tumbles and
low scores plagued the Wolver-
ines, Curtis was definitely a leader,
winning the individual bar and
beam events with totals of 9.825
and 9.875 respectively, as well as
earning the all-around award with
a 39.275.
"We expect (Sarah) to do that in

her role, as experienced as she is,"
Plocki said. "We need to be able to
count on her in pressure situations,
and tonight she caine through for
us."
Another outstanding performer
was freshman Natalie Beilstein,
who made another bid for Big Ten
Freshman of the Week honors with
a second terrific meet. Beilstein
took the vault with a 9.875 and tied
Botterman with a floor routine
pegged at 9.825.
"It has been wonderful to see
that (Natalie) is coming out and
coming into her own and compet-
ing the way that she's trained,"
Plocki said. " She isa freshman, and
while most freshmen are uptight,
they're nervous, they're scared,
she just goes out there and lets it all
hang out."
Curtis expects the team to use
this meet as the building block for
a stronger showing, especially with
a matchup against No. 9 Nebraska
looming.

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For Friday, Jan. 22, 2010
ARIES
(March 21 to April 19)
This is an emotional day for you
because the Moon is in your sign. This
makes you impatient with others. Guard
against knee-jerk reactions.
TAURUS
(April 20 to May 20)
Perhaps because of chaotic activities
at home (or for other reasons), you need
a breather! Try to get some quiet time
just for yourself to work or relax alone.
GEMINI
(May 21 to June 20)
You might have a meaningful conver-
sation with a female acquaintance today.
Or the conversation could be competi-
tive and slightly challenging. Who
knows?
CANCER
(June 21 to July 22)'
Some aspect of your private life sud-
denly will be made public today.
Whatever occurs might put you on the
defensive. Actually, it's small potatoes.
Relax.
LEO
(July 23 to Aug. 22)
Try to do something different today.
You're restless, you want some adven-
ture and you want to learn something
new! Go someplace you've never been
behore. Talk to people from other cul-
tures and difterent backgrounds.
VIRGO
(Aug. 23 to Sept. 22)
Although you're focused on red-tape
matters about insurance, inheritances,
shared property and banking, do not
make any permanent decisions today.
Wait until tomorrow.
LIBRA
(Sept. 23 to Oct. 22)
Because the Moon is opposite your
sign today, you will have to go more than
halfway when dealing with others. Don't

worry. In two weeks, people will have to
go more than halfway dealing with you!
SCORPIO
(Oct. 23 to Nov. 21)
You have an urge to get better organ-
ized today. However, this is a poor day to
shop. It's a better day to just putter and
put things in tidy, neat piles.
SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22to Dec. 21)
This is a fun-loving, goofy day. It's the
perfect day to kick back and relax, if you
can. Enjoy playful times with children.
Watch some sports. Grab a movie.
CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)
Your thoughts turn to home, family
and domestic matters today. Discussions
with family members might take a sur-
prising turn. (They'll certainly be frank.)
However, avoid important decisions
today.
AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20to Feb. 10)
This is a busy day with errands, short
trips and possibly sbopping. Actually,
its a poor day for shopping. Above alt,
keep your receipts.
PISCES
(Feb. 19to March 20)
You might be concerned with cash
flow and financial matters today. Guard
against errors or loss. This is not a good
day for major expenditures.
YOU BORN TODAY Even though
you have an mtense energy, you know
how to keep it under control. This makes
you appear sophisticated and detached.
(You are anything but.) In fact, you are
quite impulsive! You need encourage-
ment from others. You like life to be
exciting. Your year ahead could possibly
be one the most powerful years of your
life! Dream big!
Birthdate of: Diane Lane, actress;
John Hurt, actor; Beverley Mitchell,
actress.

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m 2010 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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