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March 12, 2010 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-12

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, March 12, 2010 -9

Blue gets past Iowa in Big Ten opener

First-round win keeps to Michigan State,
in which Harris
Michigan's slim posted a career-
low four points, it
NCAA Tournament was reassuring that
his scoring touch
hopes alive returned.
After the early
By NICOLE AUERBACH burst of scoring
Daily Sports Editor and a comfortable
lead, the Wolverines
INDIANAPOLIS - For a fleet- cooled off toward
ing moment, all the pain, disap- the end of the first
pointment and frustration of this half. Iowa (4-14,
season disappeared from Laval 10-22) switched to a
Lucas-Perry's face. zone defense which
He had launched a three - like forced Michigan
he has coach John Beilein
so many IOWA 52 to adjust his game
times this MICHIGAN 59 plan regarding Har- Y
season - ris and Sims.
and this time, with a little over 11 The Wolverines
minutes left in yesterday's game could no longer
against Iowa, the shot fell. score at will, and
Lucas-Perry clapped his hands they didn't make a
and exhaled. field goal in the final
And just like that, the rest of six minutes of the
the Michigan men's basketball first half. That cold
team also relaxed and watched its spell carried into
crucial shots fall - en route to a the first few min-
59-52 victory over the Hawkeyes utes of the second
in the first round of the Big Ten half as well.
Tournament. But once more, all
It was a pattern that kept it took was a spark.
repeating itself throughout yes- Or rather, two.
terday's game: struggle, hit a With 14 minutes
shot and breathe a sigh of relief. left in the game
Junior guard Manny Harris was and Michigan's lead
the first; he knocked down a dwindling in the
three in transition in the game's single digits, Novak
opening minutes. After that, he stepped behind
cruised to another 19 points, and the arc and fired
better yet for the Wolverines, his a 3-pointer. That,
teammates found their strokes, followed shortly
too. by Lucas-Perry's
In the game's first ten minutes, monster three, gave For more pictur
Michigan (7-11 Big Ten, 15-16 the Wolverines not check out the D
overall) quickly jumped out to a only a cushy lead, michigandaily.c
24-8 lead, and it all started with but also confidence.
Harris's spark. Suddenly, the two-
"It was just good for our man show of Harris and Sims had
psyche," sophomore guard Zack some company.
Novak said. "We came out, shots 'We got a little bit of something
were falling, people were making from everybody, and that helps
good plays, and (it) kind of built Peedi down low and definitely
us a little bit of a cushion there. helps Manny," sophomore point
Any time you can do that in a guard Stu Douglass said. "Some-
tournament, in any game, that times, it turns into almost a two-
really helps." headed monster. You watch Peedi
Harris stayed hot, and senior and Manny, and that's where we
forward DeShawn Sims got in just crumble.
on the act, too. In fact, for nearly "We all need to stay together,
10 minutes to start the game, the and even if we're not shooting,
duo accounted for all of Michi- contributing, then cutting hard
gan's points. After Sunday's loss and running the offense smooth-

A scrt made for
the Wolverines

Daily Sports Editor
INDIANAPOLIS - (Cut to: Con-
seco Field House, home of the 2010
Big Ten Tournament)
The Michigan men's basket-
has just won
its first-round
against Iowa.
It moves on
to the second
round of the
tournament JOE
and will play STAPLETON
at noon tomor-
row against
Ohio State.
(Cut to: the stands of Conseco,
where two Michigan fans have just
finished singing the Victors after the
game. They sit down next to each
Michigan fan 1: Well, they almost
gave that one away.
Michigan fan 2: Oh, come on.
They couldn't hit anything, but this
time they found a wayto win.
Fan 1: They were up by 16! How
do you let Iowa get to within five
with two minutes left?
Fan 2: Iowa did a good job fight-
ing back. That Cully Payne kid kept
them in the game. What'd he have,
like, 20 points?
Fan1: Twenty-five Apparently
guarding him was optional. Anyway,
it was the same old story as the rest
of the season. They still can't shoot
and they're still inconsistentoffen-
sively. I mean, they were under 30
percent from three, right?
Fan 2: Twenty-four percent.
Fan 1: (rolling his eyes) Good lord.
Fan 2: Yeah, except it's not the
same old story because this time
theywon. Look, you're thinkingtoo
much about the season that was.
They weren't continuing to shoot
poorly, they just had a bad shooting
night. Trust me it's healthier to do-
what the team's doing: just forget
about this season and focus on the
next game. Remember? It's a "new

Fan 1: Did Coach Beilein give you
that line? Whatever, it's not like your
"new" (makes quotations in the air)
season is going beyond Ohio State
Fan 2: What?! Firstof all, air
quotes are really lame. Secondly,
they obviously match up great
with Ohio State! Theybeat them at
home and played them real tough in
Columbus. Hell, they were ahead at
Fan 1: Yeah, theybeat them at
home without Evan Turner, the Big
Ten Player of the Year, and they had
no business being ahead at halftime
in Columbus. I want them to win as
much as you do, but I just don't see it
happening. Yeah, Michigan won, but
Iowa sucks. They won'tbe playing
Iowa tomorrow.
Fan 2: Or the third-best, depend-
ing on how you look at it. Whatever.
I think they're gonna win.
Fan 1: Well, I think they're gonna
(Fade to black)
Michigan fans, like most fan
bases, are split between optimists
and pessimists. This season has
undoubtedly dealt a serious blow to
the number of optimists in Michi-
gan's camp,but they're out there.
The thing to remember, no mat-
ter what camp you fall into, is that
today's game against Ohio State
may be the last game of the Manny
Harris-DeShawn Sims era. Sure,
they could win, but if this season
is any indication, they will not. (I
guess I'mbetraying what camp I fall
into. Oh, well)
Barringablowout like the Wol-
verines suffered last weekend at
Michigan State, my advice to Michi-
gan fans is this: just try to enjoy
watchingthese two play.I'mriot
taking anything away from Anthony
Wright or Zack Gibson, but these are
the two players who have defined
this program for the past three
years. And today mightbe the last
time they take the court together in
Michigan uniforms.
Take it in, and just watch.
Stapleton can be reached
at jstaple@umich.edu

res ::o:: te gee:: t"Ifl Junior Manny Harris bonced b'ck agains' thn
ily's Sports blogat HawkeyesrMacyris2bpointsin the firsround
om/blogs/TheGame game matchup.

ly - things we just didn't do at
Michigan State, and it turned out
Beyond just balanced scoring
and offensive involvement, there
were other major differences
between yesterday's game and
the Wolverines' last loss. One
area they showed vast improve-
ment in was turnovers - they
forced 14 Hawkeye turnovers,
compared to turning the ball
over just eight times. Another
was Harris's involvement on both
sides of the ball. After a dreadful
scoring and rebounding perfor-

mance at Michigan State, he put
up 22 points and nine boards yes-
Michigan's win over Iowa was
its third of the season, and it
catapults the Wolverines into a
second-round matchup with No.
1 seed Ohio State on Friday at
"It might be a little bit of how
we match up with Iowa, but
we've had that contribution from,
a little bit of everybody against
them all three games this year,"
Douglass said. "We've got to keep
it going into Ohio State."

'M'to take on State in East Lansing

No. 1 seed Ohio State
looms in second round

Daily Sports Editor
The Michigan hockey team's sea-
son has been one chock-full of story-
The team's 19-year NCAA Tour-
nament streak
is in jeopardy. Michigan at
Its goaltender
is injured. And "
now a senior cap- Matchup:
tain who won't Michigan
play in the team's . 21-17-1; Michi-
most important gan St. 19-11-6
games of the sea- When: Today,
son against rival 7:05 p.m.
Michigan State, Where: Munn
a best-of-three Ice Arena
series that starts TV: Comcast
And with
the Wolverines' 1-3 season record
against the Spartans, Michigan
coach Red Berenson will be the first
to tellyou how this series is not short
on plot twists.
"There's a lot of stories going into
this weekend," Berenson said with a

And as much as the Wolverines
may miss their top defenseman
in senior captain Chris Summers,
Berenson remains confident that the
team's defensive corps is more than
capable of contending with the Spar-
tans' high-octane offense.
"When you lose a player, senior,
leader, captain, it speaks for itself,"
Berenson said. "But that's the way it
is. We can't sit here and feel sorry for
After Michigan handily defeated
the No. 10 seed Lake Superior State
last weekend, the Wolverines are
heading into the weekend with argu-
ably their most momentum of the
Over and over, the players and
coaches have assured that the team
is playing its best hockey of the sea-
son right now.
The Wolverines accounted for 11
goals last weekend against the Lak-
ers, tying a season series high. But
more important than the proficiency'
on offense was the defense's perfor-
mance, allowing just two goals on
the weekend in one of its most com-
plete series of the year.

Considering the Spartans boast
three of the league's most talented
scoring forwards in Corey Tropp,
Andrew Rowe and Derek Grant,
playing smart, mistake-free defense
is what Berenson says will be Michi-
gan's key to success, especially with-
out an experience blue liner like
Summers suitingup.
"If we let the defense get out-
numbered time and time again, then
it won't matter who's on defense,"
Berenson said. "You saw what
happened the last time we played
Michigan State (at Munn Ice Arena).
Outnumbered rush, outnumbered
rush and a turnover. That's three
Senior defenseman Steve Kamp-
fer, who will be the de facto leader of
the defense with Summers out, says
that situations like what happened
last time against the Spartans have
plagued the Wolverines' perfor-
mances on the blue line all season.
"That's been our Achilles heel,"
Kampfer said. "We've had some
breakdowns this year in our defen-
sive zone and teams have capitalized
on us, and when you have a team like

Michigan State who can put pucks in
the back of the net, you have to make
sure you're playing as tight as pos-
sible defensively."
If there's a bright side for the Wol-
verines, it's that Michigan State is
limping into the CCHA Tournament,
having finished the season with a
record of 4-4-2.
But on the flip side, the Spartans'
disappointing finish has put them
squarely on the NCAA Tournament
bubble, which Berenson says will
provide Michigan State coach Rick
Comley with enough motivation to
light a fire under his struggling Spar-
Regardless, with playoff hockey
in full swing, Berenson insists that
nothing is guaranteed for either side,
especially in a matchup of two rival-
ry teams.
"You don't have any script for how
a playoff series might go," Beren-
son said. "We want to win the game
Friday, not give the home team any
confidence. But I've seen it work the
other way whereteams have lost and
bounce back. They're going to have
something to say about that too."

Bausher successfully fills nine-hole for Blue

Daily Sports Editor
top-five team at any time is a daunt-
ing task.
Add in that
it's a heated Michigan vs.
rival, in the h
middle of a con-
ference tour- Matchup:
nament, and it Michigan
could poten- 15-16; Ohio
tially be the State 24-7
last game of the When: Today,
season - and 12:00 p.m.
it's clear that Where:
tomorrow's Conseco
game between Fieldhouse
the Michigan TV: ESPN
basketball team
and Ohio State
isn't ordinary.
But despite the standings, the
Wolverines have fared reasonably
well against their rival this season.
While the Buckeyes are the No.
1 seed in the Big Ten and the fifth-
ranked team in the country, the
reality is, Michigan has bested Ohio
State in three of the four halves
they've played this year.
While BigTen Player of the Year
Evan Turner was out with a back
injury in the Wolverines' 73-64 win
over Ohio State on Jan. 3, Michigan
did play the Buckeyes tough later in
the year, losing 66-55 at Value City
"I mean, we beat them for a full
game, and I think we beat them for
a half then the next game," sopho-
more Zack Novak said. "We're
confident going in. They're a really
good team. They've got a lot of tal-
ented guys. But we're going to be
ready to play, and just go out there
and have fun, see what happens."
After quickly falling behind in
that second game, the Wolver-
ines (7-11 Big Ten, 15-16 overall)
stormed back behind a first-half
team effort. While senior forward
DeShawn Sims boosted a 14-4 run,
it was threes by Novak and fellow
sophomore Stu Douglass thatreally
sparked the Wolverines, pulling
Michigan to a one-point halftime

Really, the only one not involved
was junior guard Manny Harris,
who scored just10points that game.
But Michigan kept it close by
having five players score in double
While the Buckeyes found a way
to shut down the Wolverines in the
second half, Harris's lack of pro-
duction was the key.
And once again, the matchup
will be between Michigan's star
offensive player and Ohio State
guard William Buford, who was
able to shut Harris down.
What should really scare the
Wolverines about the Buckeyes is
the improvements they made with
Turner not in the lineup. With him
out, they found secondary scorers
in Jon Diebler, Buford and David
Lighty who all average more than
12 points per game. Additionally,
the Buckeyes boast the Big Ten's
second-best scoring defense, allow-
ing justh60.4 points per game.
"The second time we played
them, they'd all gotten better with-
out (Turner)," Michigan coach
John Beilein said. "And then adding
him, it's just an X' factor to really
make them one of the league co-
champions or tri-champions and
a great chance to win the National
To beat the Buckeyes (14-4 Big
Ten, 24-7 overall) , Michigan will
need Harris to be at his best against
arguably the toughest defensive
matchup he will face all year in
Buford. While it's a given that the
Wolverines don't stand much of a
chance without a third or fourth
scorer - like they haven't all sea-
son - against Ohio State, it requires
something extra.
The Wolverines know their
season will end with a loss tomor-
row against the Buckeyes, and the
message the last few days has been
to put it all on the line. With Ohio
Statelookingfor apossibleoneseed
in the NCAA Tournament, both
teams have something to play for.
"We just have to go and it's all
or nothing, and try to win it," Sims

By LUKE PASCH Although . fans will forever
DailySpors Writer attribute the Cards' 1998 season
improvements to Mark McGuire's
The nine-hole in the lineup often 70 home runs, La Russa believes
presents a dilemma for baseball and his managerial switch made a sig-
softball coaches, including Michi- nificant difference.
gan coach Carol Hutchins. Tradi- And Michigan softball coach
tionally, it's saved for the weakest Carol Hutchins has appeared to
hitter in the lineup - often times take a page out of La Russa's book
times the pitcher - allowing the by batting senior center fielder
coach to stack the first eight spots Molly Bausher last in the lineup.
with more effective hitters. "She's making our offense tick
But MLB manager Tony La from that nine-hole." Hutchins
Russa was the first to take a differ- said. "She's really gotten in a
ent route. He famously shook up groove, and it will really help our
his St. Louis Cardinals lineup in team down the road if she can keep
1998 by batting his pitcher in the doing what she's doing."
eighth spot and replacing the ninth And early season trends for the
with the speedy Willie McGee. fifth-ranked Wolverines (14-4)
This created a double-leadoff hitter tend to reflect nothing less - offen-
scenario in which the bottom of the sive success has been far more like-
lineup flowed smoothly back into ly when Bausher sets the table for
the top where the scrappy Delino the top of the order effectively.
DeShields led off. In the team's four losses this

season, Bausher has mustered just
one hit in 11 opportunities. But
she's hitting an impressive .333
over Michigan's 14 victories. And
the team has won by a margin of
at least seven runs in each of her
multi-hit efforts.
Bausher's production may seem
unprecedented - she finished with
a career-best .244 batting average
in her junior season - but she's not
intimidated by the goal of main-
taining her average that's currently
40 points higher than last year's
"This season is a little different
than the rest because I am a senior
now." Bausher said. "I've figured
out what works and what doesn't
work, and I know what I need to do
to continue to be successful."
A major ingredient to maintain-
ing her success is patience. The
ability to wait for the right pitch

and not being overly aggressive at
the plate has been a three-year-
long progression. And it's one she's
still working on.
Through 18 games, Bausher has
still drawn just one walk. Although
her teammates want to believe she
can sustain her production without
taking more free bases, she knows
that's not the case.
"It's especially important for
me to not swing at too many balls."
Bausher said. "I have to let the
pitcher throw to me and avoid let-
ting her get two quick strikes."
In Hutchins's opinion, it
makes more sense to bat Aman-
da Chidester, Nikki Nemitz, and
Stephanie Kirkpatrick - who all
have lower batting averages than
Bausher - sixth, seventh and
eighth. And that's the look she's
gone with through the first quarter
of the season.

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