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December 02, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-12-02

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 5A

Blue rolls to easy win
over Demon Deacons

M
58
B
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"So

[ichigan holds needs to be done for us to get this
win, is what needs to be done."
Vake Forest to After scoring zero points in
Michigan's 67-49 loss to Texas
season-low A&M last Saturday, Hicks
po t istepped up big in a game the Wol-
points in rout verines really needed to win.
She finished with 13 points,
y EVERETT COOK going 3-for-5 from behind the
Daily Sports Writer
"She feels like she has to do
'e were snowflakes falling well every game," Michigan
of Crisler Arena Wednes- coach Kevin Borseth said. "I'm
glad to be able to see her, espe-
WAKE FOREST 58 cially after last game, to come
MICHIGAN 91 back tonight and have a good
game."
rigid temperature, the It was junior forward Carmen
an women's basketball Reynolds who came up the big-
anaged to make it rain on gest, though.
mon Deacons. Reynolds led all scorers with
Wolverines shot 66 per- 25 points, 15 of which came from
om the floor, including 52 beyond the 3-point line.
t from the three-point line The Wolverines got the ball
r 91-58 victory over Wake into the post often, which forced
the Wake Forest players to col-
Demon Deacons' offen- lapse defensively.
epower was a big concern Nobody benefited from this
home team coming into extra room more than Reynolds.
ae. "Their defense gave us pitch-
big question was whether rhythm threes and Carmen is
an (4-3) could run with one of those kids that can make
fensively minded Wake those shots in the game," Borseth
team (5-2) and slow down said.
losive offense. "She is a tough kid to leave
question was answered open."
on when senior guard Though Michigan scored a
ca Hicks scored eight season-high 91 points, its defense
wered points in a little may have been more impressive
minute to put the Wolver- than its offense.
by 10. Wake Forest came into this
tone was set, and the lead game featuring the 13th-best
ver relinquished. offense in the nation, averaging
st knew that we were at 84 points a game.
nd already lost a game at The Wolverines forced 19
and you really don't want turnovers and rarely allowed the
a game at home," Hicks Demon Deacons an open shot,
ter the game. holding them to a season-low
it was like, whatever 58 points. Wake Forest is par-

ticularly strong in transition, but
Michigan slowed the game down
to the pace it wanted to play in.
"We didn't want them to get
transition conversion shots, so
we practiced getting back on
defense and avoided letting them
make any layups on fast breaks,"
Reynolds said. "I think that real-
ly converted to the offensive end
as well."
Sophomore guard Nya Jordan
and sophomore center Rachel
Sheffer also played key roles.
Sheffer scored 15 points, and
provided an exceptional post
presence.
Jordan scored 11 points and
set up outside shooters by driv-
ing inside.
She limped off the court late in
the game with an apparent ankle
injury, but it didn't seem to be
serious.
In the first game of the four-
year-old ACC/Big Ten challenge,
Michigan gave the Big Ten an
early advantage in an event the
conference has always struggled
in.
Since its inception in 2007, the
Big Ten has never won the chal-
lenge, though the Wolverines are
now 4-0 in those games.
This victory sets Michigan
up nicely for its looming road
matchup at Iowa State.
The No. 19 Cyclones have
not lost a non-conference game
at home since 2004, and their
rowdy fan base could cause prob-
lems for the young Wolverines.
"We want to keep the momen-
tum going this Sunday against a
top-20 team," Reynolds said. "It
is going to be a challenge, but
we will carry the momentum
with us and keep our confidence
going."

ActFROMM/[
Freshman forward Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 12 points per game for the Wolverines this season. Against the Tigers at
Littlejohn Coliseum on Tuesday, Hardaway Jr. put up 15 points, going 2-of-6 from behind the arc.

ily

New Wolverines
seem different in '10

n Michigan's home opener
against South Carolina
Upstate last month, I spot-
ted a secluded fan snoozing in
the student
section of
Crisler Arena. LUKE
The kid PASCH
was likely
hung over _ On Men's
the football Basketball
team had
just downed
Purdue earlier that afternoon,
and most students need some
recovery time after the raging
that follows one of Michigan's
rare Big Ten football victories
nowadays.
But it was still quite the trans-
formation from the start of last
season. When I showed up to
Crisler a few minutes late for
the 2009-10 home opener against
Northern Michigan, still high
off Michigan's run to the NCAA
Tournament a year earlier, I
found myself jostling for one
of the crummy student section
seats next to the band on the
baseline.
It's not rocket science. The
seats fill up when the Wol-
verines (4-2) win. And after a
dismal 2009-10 season in which
Michigan coach John Beilein
failed to garner even an NIT
invitation and an offseason in
which the team's two leading
scorers - who accounted for 53
percent of all scoring last season
- left for greener pastures, who
could blame the students for
not showing up (or not staying
awake)?
But a funny thing happened
in the game against South Caro-
lina Upstate.
A few minutes into the sec-
ond half, when the Wolverines
were struggling to put up
points, freshman forward Tim
Hardaway Jr. drove to the hoop
through traffic, elevated himself
well above the rim and poster-
ized the Spartan center as he
slammed one home.
Yep, sleeping beauty in the
student section awoke, and he
quickly stood up to applaud
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DAILY
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along with fellow fans, albeit a and that's an understatement.
little confused about what had The Wolverines are one of four
just happened. teams in Division I with no
A few minutes later, freshman fourth-year starters (no seniors,
forward Evan Smotrycz caught no redshirt juniors). Every
a pass in the corner and took an game, the team invariably shows
open baseline to the basket for its youth on the court at some
another dunk. And on Michi- point - a poor pass here, a lack
gan's next possession, juniorr of hustle there.
guard Zack Novak threw one And for Michigan fans, it's
down, hanging on the rim near- downright scary that Beilein
ly long enough for a technical. will enter Big ten play in less
That one got the Maize Rage than a month and start three
going. They hadn't seen that first-year players in the front-
much spunk in a Michigan play- court.
er in any game since the team's But there's a reason to think
tourney run. that this year's team is still
good. There's a reason these
Wolverines went to Atlantic
Any given day City over Thanksgiving break
and stuck with No. 8 Syracuse.
a different There's a reason they beat Clem-
son on Tuesday in the hostile
Michigan player confines of Littlejohn Coliseum.
It's the same reason every
can beat you. coach in the country hates play-
ing against a Beilein-coached
team. On any given day, a dif-
ferent Michigan player can beat
But the Wolverines weren't you.
done. Seconds later, Novak On opening day, Hardaway
blocked South Carolina Jr. led the Wolverines' scoring
Upstate's Chalmers Rogers and effort with 19 points in his col-
passed up to sophomore guard legiate debut. In game three
Darius Morris, who finished against Gardner-Webb, Mor-
with a dunk on the fast break. ris registered 21 points and
Three straight Michigan pos- 10 assists for the team's first
sessions. Three dunks, all from double-double of the season.
different players. And a crowd Against Syracuse, it was junior
that was smaller than the Michi- guard Stu Douglass with a big
gan Ultras contingent - the stu- day. Against Clemson, it was
dents who fill the substantially Smotrycz.
smaller bleacher seats of the You get the point. Last year,
U-M Soccer Complex - cheered the team's success lived and
louder than they had all of last died with the scoring abilities
season. of Manny Harris and DeShawn
I know what you're think- Sims. This season, opponents
ing. That was South Carolina won't know who to prepare for,
Upstate. Michigan's scrub play- and that makes Michigan a very
ers could have beaten them. And scary group of youngsters with
you're right, the Wolverines' tons of upset potential.
first few games this season were Go to Crisler, stay awake and
light matchups. see it for yourself.
The team's goal for the post-
season is still the NIT. I'm defi-
nitely not saying you should go
tell your friends that Michigan
is making it back to the NCAA
Tournament this year. Beilein's
current squad is just too young,
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A t

Michigan 'D' keys victory
over Wake offensive power

BY CAITLIN SMITH
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's bas-
ketball team has finally proven it
has a defense.
After struggling on the defen-
sive end of the court since the
beginning of the season, the
Wolverines (4-3) shut down a
competitive scoring opponent.
In a well rounded effort, Michi-
gan beat out Wake Forest 91-58
on Wednesday night at Crisler
Arena.
The Demon Deacons (5-1) are
known for their offensive prow-
ess, averaging 84 points per
game so far this season and tally-
ing more than 100 points in two
of their contests.
"(Wake Forest) can get up and
down the court and they can do
it in transition extremely well,"
Michigan coach Kevin Borseth
said after the game. "But we
got back and closed those lanes
down and played pretty good
defensively and kept them at bay
when we had to."
Although Michigan's strategy
was to play man-to-man defense
for the majority of the game,
there was no player who stood
out among the rest.
Instead, the Wolverines dis-
played a strong defensive pres-
ence as a team, and that proved
successful.
The balanced Demon Deacons

have f
threats
points
ines ke
scoring
Wak
by 6-f
Sandra
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Alth
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Wolver

our prominent offensive time it needed to get back, reset
who average at least 11 and defend.
per game. But the Wolver- "(We hit our shots) and then
pt all but two players from we got our defense to come
g in double digits. back," Borseth said. "And then
e Forest is typically led all of a sudden you're playing
oot-3 sophomore center against a set defense as opposed
Garcia, who averages to playing a defense that's just
oints and seven rebounds maybe three-on-three.
me. But Garcia struggled "And (Wake Forest) is a very
into her offensive game as good three-on-three."
By eliminating Wake Forest's
typical transition plays and exe-
cutingshots on the offensive end,
"W e got the Wolverines sealed the deal.
bac aMichigan also forced 19 Demon
Deacon turnovers, resulting in
24 points.
osed those in fact, Michigan has shown a
nes d w unique defensive trend over the
past three years, under Borseth's
leadership. The Wolverines have
a 40-13 overall record when hold-
ing their opponent to less than 60
olverines smothered her points. Conversely, Michigan is
I the basket, holding her to 11-35 when its competition scores
ints on the night. more than 60 points.
higan also shut down If the Wolverines continue to
guard Secily Ray. She aver- play with a solid defensive effort,
points and seven rebounds like that which emerged against
me, but was held to a mere Wake Forest, there may be a posi-
ints on Wednesday. tive turn for this barely over .500
ough Michigan was out- team.
ded 23-4 on the offen-
ass, its hand-in-your-face NEXT GAME: AT
ive mentality made up for IOWA STATE
nor differential by mini-
Wake Forest's transition Check the Daily in print and
And the sharp-shooting online at MichiganDaily.com
rine offense gave it the for coverage.

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