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February 17, 2010 - Image 8

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8A - Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Key shots late lead 'M'
to road victory at Iowa

0

Blue finds its stroke from
downtown in clutch win

By GJON JUNCAJ
Daily Sports Editor
IOWA CITY - Ina helter-skelter
season for the Michigan men's bas-
ketball team, there is still some-
thing to_
be said MICHIGAN 80
for the IOWA 78
impor-
tance of momentum. The Wolver-
ines brought the confidence earned
from last Thursday's win at Minne-
sota with them into Carver-Hawk-
eye Arena last night.
The hot three-point shoot-
ing carried them early. And with
Michigan staring at a potentially
gut-wrenching road loss, DeShawn
Sims carried the team on his back.
The senior forward nailed a
game-tying triple with six seconds
left in regulation, giving the Wol-
verines a second chance. Sims and
the Wolverines made good on the
opportunity, stealing a thrilling
80-78 victory from Iowa.
Sims shot 8-of-18 from the floor
and pulled down eight rebounds in
the game's final 25 minutes, includ-
ing his biggest shot of the season
- when few in the arena were
expectingit.
"My thought there was that (the
Hawkeyes) were really going to sit
on our three-point guys," Michigan
coach John Beilein said of the play-
call atnthe end of regulation. "There's
one guy that they're not going to sit
at. ... It was a quicker-hitting play as
well. I thought they'd be sitting on a
lot of our other stuff.
"It was just a hunch, and it
worked. If it doesn't, you're all say-
ing, 'Why the heck did you go to
DeShawn Sims?"'
Sims was quiet in the first half,
knocking down just two jumpers
while being defended by Hawkeye
center Jarryd Cole. But with the
game going back and forth through-
out the second half, the Detroit
native became exceptionally aggres-
sive in the post, going directly at
Cole and Hawkeye forward Eric
May. Sims shot a season-high 25
attempts, seven more than his next-
highest mark.
"I didn't have very good position-.

Two 3-pointers late
against Hawkeyes
lift the Wolverines
in overtime contest
By CHRIS MESZAROS
Daily Sports Editor
IOWA CITY - After strug-
gling through much of the season
with its three-point shooting, the
Michigan men's basketball team
finally had a big night.
Senior forward DeShawn Sims
hit the game-tying shot that
forced overtime and sophomore
forward Stu Douglass's triple ulti-
mately gave the Wolverines the
lead for good.
Perhaps most crucial was the
effort by junior guard Manny
Harris, who not only made Michi-
gan's first shot in overtime, but
also made two key threes late in
the second half when the Wol-
verines (6-7 in the Big Ten, 13-12
overall) were battling to keep it
close.
Midway through the second
half with Michigan down two,
Harris drove to the basket, missed
his shot but got the rebound and
drained it to give Michigan a
48-46 lead.
"He hit a huge three when we
needed him to, off a broken play,"
Michigan coach John Beilein said.
"So he's still got a lot of courage,
we just try to channel that in the
right direction. Against some
teams he runs into a wall when
he's courageous, but today he real-
ly showed some great courage."

Over
behind
20 poir
from d
"Tha
shows
shootin
ward Z
and we
But
cashed
overall
the arc
its com
In th
distrib
their st
ized or
wh
sh
instead
leading
sophot
who hi
point a
verines
first ha
Soph
nailed
one.
"It f
ting to
just wi
in prac
fidence
In ti

-all, Harris shot 4-of-7 from Lucas-Perry couldn't miss. Even
the arc and accounted for when the sophomore took ill-
nts. Michigan shot 14-of-27 advised shots, they seemed to fall.
owntown in the contest. On one possession, Sims blocked
at was nice, this kind of a shot and the ball fell into the
what we can do when we're hands of Harris who passed it
ag well," sophomore for- upcourt to Lucas-Perry. Instead
ack Novak said. "We shot it of drawing out the possession, he
got the win." hesitantly pulled up and rattled
it wasn't just Harris that home his first three of the contest.
in from deep. It was the After gaining confidence in his
team shooting frombehind shot, Lucas-Perry went on to hit
that propelled Michigan to two consecutive threes, extending
e-from-behind victory. Michigan's lead to 10 with 7:29 to
e first half, the Wolverines play in the first half.
uted the ball to nearly all of But Michigan's success from
arters and they all capital- three-point land was matched
n their opportunities. And by Iowa (9-18, 3-11) and sopho-
more Matt Gatens, who made five
threes, and, for a time in the sec-
This shows ond half, the Hawkeyes were hot.
After struggling from deep for
at we can do most of the year, averaging slight-
ly above 29 percent on the season,
when we're the Wolverines have picked it up
of late, shooting exactly 50 per-
ooting well" cent in their last contest against
Minnesota and 52 percent yester-
day against Iowa.
Although it is a good sign for
i of either Harris or Sims Michigan, the success comes late
the way in scoring, it was in the season after several close
sore Laval Lucas-Perry, losses when those shots could
it three of his four three- have altered the team's post sea-
ttempts who led the Wol- son destiny.
with nine points after the "I think the last two games
if. we've shot 50 percent back-to-
homore Stu Douglass also back and that's what we're capable
two threes and Novak hit of," Beilein said. "We've had some
really disappointing losses, if we
elt like everyone was hit- make two more threes, there's a
night," Harris said. "It's whole different picture where we
hat we've been working on are in the standings. If we make
tice and we had a lot of con- one less today, we're in here won-
today shooting the ball." dering what's wrong. When it's
he first half, it seemed like there, we've got to take it."

oRiAN RAY/APt
Junior Manny Harris made two 3-pointers late in the second half to keep Michigan
close against Iowa. He finished with 20 points in the 80-78 victory.

ing (in the first half) as far as scoring
angles," Sims said. "It just became
better by the lastminute, minute and
a half. I just wanted to take over the
game."
For Michigan (6-7 Big Ten, 13-12
overall), it was the second consecu-
tive game at Iowa that was decided
in overtime. And though last year's
loss nearly derailed the Wolverines'
season, the team saw last night as a
chance for salvaging a 2009-10 cam-
paign that seemed like it was spiral-
ing out of control just a week ago.
"Last year, we were fighting for

an NCAA berth," sophomore for-
ward Zack Novak (nine points) said.
"On the other end, we were start-
ing to working our way out (last
year), and then they embarrassed
us in overtime. So I said 'Hey, they
embarrassed us, so we've got to
fight and return the favor.'"
Sims and junior guard Manny
Harris played solidly all night
despite heavy defensive pressure
from the collapsing interior defense
of the Hawkeyes (9-18, 3-11). They
combined for 47 points on 17-of-
42 shooting. Harris finished with
20 points, 10 rebounds and seven
assists.
He also tallied five points and
two rebounds in overtime, despite
playing the entire extra session
with four fouls.
"He doesn't foul much as it is,"
Beilein said. "In fact, he's got to
learn to play more aggressively
and still not foul. ... You worry
more about the charges with him
than you worry about fouling on
defense."
The win marks the first time
the Wolverines have tallied back-
to-back road wins this season.
Having put in solid 40-minute
efforts away from home twice in
the past five days, the players' con-
fidence is swelling with five games
left on the schedule.
But despite the wire-to-wire
drama, there was stillmroom for
caution anidst the optimism.
"We're getting better," Beilein
said. "Whether it's good enough
to continue and keep winning, I
don't know."

Learn more about the Peace Corps.
Attend an information session.
Wednesday, February 17th
6:30 p.m.
U-M International Center, Room 9
800.424.8580I www.peacecorps.gov
Life is calling. How far will you go?

MAX COLUNS/Daly
Michigan coach Red Berenson has led the Wolverines to19 straight NCAA Tournaments, but maybe not this year.
Withfour ames left, Michigan
still 'ha"s. some hope for Tourney

It hasn't been a black and white
season for the Michigan hockey
team, to say the least.
If one weekend the power play
couldn't convert on its handful
of scoring chances, the follow-
ing series the
goaltending
was suspect.
If the team
was fighting T
neck-and- "
neck during w
the course of
a game, leave
it to someone MARK
to take an ill- BURNS
advised pen-
alty and cost
the team a win. And all bets are
off if the Wolverines could string
together a few weekends of solid
defensive hockey.
Through 33 games, the Wol-
verines have compiled a sub-par
17-15-1 overall record, just good
enough for seventh in the CCHA.
And with four games remaining
in conference play, it's despera-
tion time for a team that had lofty
expectations. One weekend they
look like a team that could play
with anyone in the country. Other
weekends, well, they look like a
team poised to finish in the bot-
tom tier of the CCHA.
And despite the five-game losing
streak in mid-November, the loss
to RPI (who?) in the first round
of the GLI and two series sweeps

more than the last two years com-
bined, the Wolverines still have the
opportunity to gain a first-round
bye in the CCHA Tournament and
make the NCAA field of 16 for the
20th-straight year.
Is it far-fetched for an underper-
forming team? Eh, probably. But
could it potentially happen? Yes.
Would I be surprised if it did, in
fact, occur? No.
I've been scratching my head
for the last few months trying to
decipher what went wrong with
this Red Berenson team that had so
much promise.
It returned a core group of play-
ers, led by senior captain Chris
Summers, junior forwards Louie
Caporusso and Carl Hagelin along
with goaltender Bryan Hogan.
And after finishing in second place
at the end of the previous regular
season, the likelihood of contend-
ing for a regular season title for the
second time in three years looked
that much better.
After Michigan finished the
first half of the season with a 10-10
record and a third-place finish
at the Great Lakes Invitational,
a conference title was out of the
question.
But over the next 11 days, Michi-
gan will square-off against North-
ern Michigan - currently situated
in fifth place - and Notre Dame,
which sits in 10th. And three of
those contests are in the friendly
confines of Yost Ice Arena, with the

final game of the season in South
Bend. The Wolverines are 7-0-1
since Thanksgiving in front of the
Michigan faithful and couldn't be
in a better position to clinch a top-
four position in the CCHA.
So, Michigan can forget about its
past failures, its handful of upsets
and inability to rise to the top of
the CCHA.
Because, with two sweeps or
even three wins, the Wolver-
ines would finish in the top four.
You're probably thinking, 'Well,
that sounds a lot easier said than
done.' And while you're right to
an extent, Michigan has the tools
necessary to reach the NCAA
Tournament.
It's led by one of the most
respected and revered coaches in
all of Division I college hockey,
whose two National Champion-
ships and 10 Frozen Four appear-
ances speak volumes about his
coaching. Caporusso, a Hobey
Baker Award finalist last year,
looks like he has found his stride
down the stretch, scoring four
goals in as many games.
And if Hogan can play up to his
potential, there's no telling how far
this team.could go.
How's that for black and white? 0
Following his return from South
Bend next week, Burns will be in Fort
Wayne watching the Mad Ants ina
D-League Basketball affair. He can be
reached at burnmark@umich.edu.

I

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