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March 15, 2010 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I March 15, 2010

Ohio State guard Evan Turner (left) is mobbed by teammates after hitting the game-winning half-court shot in Michigan's 69-68 loss to Ohio State. Junior Manny Harris (right) looks on after Turner's game-winning shot.

Postseason hopes end
with buzzer-beater loss

31' didn't deserve
that heartbreak

By JOE STAPLETON
Daily Sports Editor
INDIANAPOLIS - The Michigan men's bas-
ketball team has had more than its share of dis-
appointing losses this year, but none of them can
approach what happened in Michigan's 69-68
loss to Ohio State in the quarterfinals of the Big
Ten Tournament on Friday.
The Wolverines clawed their way back from a
13-point deficit to pull it to within five with less
than three minutes remaining.
After stopping the Buckeyes on defense with
the game tied at 64, Michigan guard Manny
Harris made an extremely tough fallaway
jumper to put Michigan up by two. Ohio State
answered with a floater at the other end, and
Michigan called a timeout with nine seconds left
and the score tied.
Harris got the ball, curled around a screen at
the top of the key, and elevated for a midrange
jumper with about three Buckeye defenders
hanging off of him.
It went in. And Michigan, as well as most of
the fans in the stadium, thought that was the
game, that the Wolverines had won, 68-66.
But there were still 2.2 seconds left, and Ohio
State had Evan Turner.
Turner took the inbounds pass, dribbled
about three feet past half-court and made a des-
peration 3-pointer to win the game with Michi-
gan guard Stu Douglass's hand in his face.
"I just wanted to stay in front of him, get a

hand up and try to distract him a little bit," Dou-
glass said. "But he got it off pretty clean, I didn't
want to foul him and it just dropped right in."
officials convened to make sure Turner
released the shot before time ran out, and the
confirmed that it had. Replays showed the clock
didn't start until about half a second after Turn-
er touched the ball.
"I tried to be a part of that, and they wouldn't
let me be a part of that," Michigan coach John
Beilein said. "I was in my coaching box. It's a
whole other issue for another day."
Even so, questions arose after the game about
why Beilein didn't have someone pressuring
the inbounder or someone on Turner before he
crossed half-court.
"I don't think Evan Turner is going to hit a
half-court shot better than anybody else is going
to hit a half-court shot," Beilein said. "If you try
and put two guys on Evan or you try to deny him
by throwing over the top, then he even can get
closer. A half-court shot is a half-court shot."
The shot effectively ended Michigan's season,
with an NIT bid looking highly unlikely.
It was obvious from thebeginningthe Wolver-
ines (7-11 Big Ten, 15-17 overall) knew this might
be their last game of the season - they played
with intensity on both offense and defense.
'We just really wanted to win this game,"
sophomore Zack Novak said. "We honestly felt
we had a pretty good shot to do that. They got
ahead and we kept fighting back and fighting
See BUCKEYES, Page 2B

INDIANAPOLIS -
Two point two. Two and two-tenths.2.2.
It's a number that's going to haunt the
Michigan men's basketball team and the
entire Wolverine fanbase during a painfully
long offseason.
It's a reminder of just
how close Michigan came to
upsettingthe No. 5 team in
the nation, Ohio State, and
continuing its run in the Big
Ten Tournament, and per- '
haps winning it.
It's a reminder of coach-
ing imperfection.0
And it's also a reminder
that, for every ridiculous NICOLE
SportsCenter buzzer-beater AUERBACH
highlight, there's the other-
team, the one on the losing
end. The one poised for abig win. You know, the
team sitting shell-shocked on the bench while
players like Evan Turner are mobbed, cheered
and deified.
Maybe Michigan didn't deserve to win Fri-
day's quarterfinal game, but you can't tell me
they deserved to lose that way. After every pain-
ful loss these players and coaches have been
through this season, they didn't deserve this.
After clawing back from a 13-point deficit, after
building a two-point lead, they didn't deserve

the heartbreak they endured.
"I was hoping that a miracle would happen,
where it'd say 'basket no good,"' Manny Har-
ris said after the game. He wasn't the only one
praying duringthe brief official review at the
end of the game, which ultimately confirmed
that Turner released his 37-footngame-winner
with two-tenths of a second to spare. Basket
good. Michigan crushed.
But even though there seemed to be no good
reason for the Wolverines' season to end, there
was a reason for what happened in the game's
final moments.
Was Michigan coach John Beilein's peculiar
defensive strategy in the final 2.2 seconds the
most disappointingpart? No full-court press?
No defensive pressure at all? Why not double-
team Turner, a national Player of the Year can-
didate?
"They gave me one good look," Turner said
afterward. "I guess being open, it felt a littlebit
free. I had a lot of time to shoot the ball. I felt
like I was in the gym by myself."
Turner is right - Michigan gave him a
better-than-he-should-have-had chance to win
the game.
ButI have a hard time siding with those who
want to bury Beilein for that defensive lapse.
A 37-footer, no matter who shoots it, is not a
guaranteed shot. He said after the game that he
See AUERBACH, Page 2B

'M' bounces back against No. 3 Illinois
By MICHAEL LAURILA as Kelley and Ian Makowske.
DailySports Writer Finally healthy again, Cameron
won the still rings, placed second
After two tough losses over the in the pommel horse and parallel
past two weeks, the No. 4 Michi- bars and tied for fourth in the floor
gan men's gymnastics team got a exercise.
much-needed win against No. 3 "I scored pretty well on rings,
Illinois in Champaign on Saturday, but probably the best moment for
359.65 to 358.65. me was P Bars," Cameron said. "I
"I think we did great," junior knew I had to hit and I went out
Chris Cameron said. "We went out there and it felt incredible."
there, we knew what we had to do, Kelley finished second on the
and we proved to everybody that high bar, receiving a season-high
we are true champions." score of 15.45 and Makowske
The Wolverines avenged a ten- placed third in the floor exercise
point loss from last year at home and the high bar.
against Illinois. Going into the final rotation,
The victory, especially after two Michigan was up by a mere tenth
tough losses to No. 1 Stanford and of a point. Taking second, third
No. 2 Oklahoma. It was a much- and fourth on the high bar, the
needed confidence boost for Mich- Wolverines built a nice cushion
igan at this point in the season. and ensured the one-point victory.
"Last year, Illinois came up to In recent meets, Michigan has
Michigan and beat us," Michigan struggled in one or two events,
coach Kurt Golder said. "And I but on Saturday the Wolverines
just think there was a little extra appeared much more well-round-
incentive there." ed.
Leading the way for the Wolver- ANNA SCHULTE/Daily "We still made some mis-
ines were juniors Cameron, Thom- Junior Ian Makowske, pictured here, celebrates after a dismount. See ILLINOIS, Page 3B

WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS
Blue defeats defending
champs in dramatic meet

By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Daily Sports Writer
Freshman Natalie Beilsteain
and junior Kylee Butterman led
the comeback for the Wolverines
on the floor routine just as they did
against then-No. 5 Utah on Feb. 19.
Even with the same scores: 9.875
and 9.950, respectively.
The stage was set, but the scene
was nothing new. The No. 12 Mich-
igan women's gymnastics team
took another elite squad down to
the wire at Crisler Arena, and it
once again failed to disappoint.
Last Friday on Senior Night,
the Wolverines (4-1 Big Ten, 13-2
overall) finished with a flash and
ended the evening with stellar floor
routines to overthrow defending
national champion No. 5 Georgia,
196.375-195.800.
Just as the team ousted then-No.

5 Utah on Feb. 27, with freshman
Natalie Beilstein and junior Kylee
Botterman leading the comeback,
so they did again against the Bull-
dogs - with the duo again posting
scores of 9.875 and 9.950.
"We must have good luck against
fifth-ranked teams, to beat Utah
and Georgiaboth in the same year,"
Michigan coach Bev Plocki said.
The Wolverines beat the then
top-ranked Bulldogs in their last
meeting of the 2008 season, but
the all-time record of 36-4 heavily
favors Georgia.
Senior Sarah Curtis also played a
part in leading the team to victory,
posting consistent scores through-
out the evening and taking home
the all-around crown.
For what could be her final per-
formance in Ann Arbor, Curtis
took advantage of her opportunity.
See GEORGIA, Page 3B

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