The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
January 23, 2012 - 3B
Michigan junior center Rachel Sheffer scored a game-high 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting against Indiana on Sunday at Crisier Center. Michigan won 66 48.
All-around effort propels Wol-
verines over Hoosiers at home
Sheffer's 16 points
0 leads 'M' to 16-4
By COLLEEN THOMAS
Daily Sports Writer
It was another typical win for
the Michigan women's basket-
The team's defensive play was
outstanding thanks to a high-
energy squad that played a full
40 minutes of staunch defense.
And the bench played its nor-
mal role, contributing on offense
while playing an equally-impor-
tant role on defense, helping the
Wolverines to a 66-48 victory
over Indiana (0-7 Big Ten, 5-15
But the difference in the
offense was evident after an
abysmal point-scoring effort
against Northwestern last
Michigan (5-2, 16-4) came out
ready to attack, posting a sea-
son-high 42 first-half points on
53-percent shooting. Compare
that to last Thursday, when it
shot just 26.7 percent from the
What changed? Good passing
against Indiana's zone defense.
From Page 1B
In the first game of the series
split it worked. No. 7 Notre Dame
took the opener, 3-1, before No. 10
Michigan salvaged the split with a
2-1 decision on Saturday.
"I think they played a really
dirty game, I'm going to be hon-
est," said freshman forward Alex
Guptill on Saturday. "It was dirty;
it was a mean series. You had to be
playing tough out there to get any
kind of ice."
Senior forward Luke Glenden-
ing emphasized that the series
was particularly intense because
of the strength and style of each
team. Hunwick received extra
attention, but players from both
sides hit hard and often, combin-
ing for a total of 58 penalty min-
In the first period of the open-
er, scrums broke out after nearly
every whistle, especially around
Michigan's goal. The referees had
to call both team captains togeth-
"We really (practiced) their
zone," said junior forward
Rachel Sheffer. "Coach figured
it out on film, and we were prac-
ticing for hours with their zone.
We had great passes and found
people wide open underneath."
All night, Sheffer and junior
forward Sam Arnold had open
looks under the basket and con-
verted their layups. Sheffer
posted a game-high 16 points
on 7-for-9 shooting, and Arnold
contributed seven of her own.
In Big Ten play, Sheffer is
averaging 14 points per game
and has been the biggest fac-
tor in Michigan's post-play. Her
effort against Indiana didn't go
"(Rachel) did a really good
job of breaking the defense
down," said senior guard Court-
ney Boylan. "When she got in
the corner, she did a really good
job of penetrating the middle,
looking for people, or taking a
shot when it was open."
The shots were falling for the
rest of the team as well. Ten of
the 13 players who got in the
game tallied points, and the
team shot 43 percent on the day.
Sheffer noted how good ball
rotation helped the team get into
a rhythm, which in turn boosted
its confidence to knock down
er after the opening frame to calm
Berenson wouldn't comment
on Notre Dame's strategy toward
Hunwick, other than saying he
hoped it wasn't their strategy at
"I hope it's not," Berenson said.
"We don't do that to another goal-
ie. We go to the net, but we don't
run into the goalie or we're not
spraying snow on him or what-
Notre Dame got to the net often.
The Irish scored a goal in each of
the first two periods to take a 2-0
lead on Friday. The Wolverines
couldn't recover despite a power-
play goal by Guptill in the third
Notre Dame applied even more
pressure in the second game. In
fact, Berenson said he thought
the Irish were the better team in
their losing effort in the finale,
though he thought Michigan had
more chances in its loss in the
Despite the Irish's physical
defense, the Wolverines made a
tage helped them pull down 10
e improved production on more than Michigan.
ie was attributed to great "(The Hoosiers) had 21 offen-
rotection. The Wolverines sive rebounds in this game (and)
itted just nine turnovers, it (was) a mismatch from a size
helped them make the perspective," Borseth said.
of their possessions. "They're really big and strong
e had a lot of shots around around that hole.
tsket - (which) we made," "They had three big kids
Michigan coach Kevin banging the boards. That's
th. "We didn't turn it over. an area we're always going to
you turn the ball over, it emphasize."
't do a whole lot of good, Indiana coach Felisha
when you don't turn it Legette-Jack was impressed by
you give yourself a chance. her team's rebounding efforts,
but knew the game could've
been closer if the Hoosiers had
converted their second-chance
W e played opportunities. Indiana shot 29
percent from the field.
extremely Regardless of the under-
whelming battle on the boards,
lard on the Borseth was noticeably happy
ed"about his team's all-around per-
fensive end." formance, especially on offense.
And in honor of Parents'
Night, most of the reserves saw
action, which Borseth said made
at's what our forte is: to the win even sweeter.
are of it (and) make sure "Great win, obviously," Bors-
ve ourselves the best shot." eth said. "The good part was we
tugh the Wolverines had took care of (the ball) - that was
eat day offensively, the the best part of the game. We
ers outrebounded them. had a lot of energy defensively.
th has been stressing I thought we played extremely
nding all season, but Indi- hard on the defensive end and
strength and size advan- really smart."
From Page 1B
to 20 points before the Wolver-
ines started to claw back. Once
the Razorback shooting percent-
ages came back to Earth, the lead
came back down, too.
"We've got a lot of courage in
that locker room," Beilein said.
"We've got a lot of tough kids that
will not give in to fatigue, won't
give in to crowds. They hang in
After whittling its deficit
down to 13 at the half, Michigan
was within single digits just five
minutes into the second half.
Morgan scored eight-straight
points to close the Razorback lead
to 49-43 before Arkansas called a
timeout to stop the bleeding.
The bleeding didn't stop, and
neither did forms of actual physi-
cal harm. Novak clubbed Arkan-
sas guard B. J. Young in the head
on a fast-break layup attempt and
was called for a flagrant foul.
"All I know is Zack Novak
plays hard as can be and plays as
clean as can be," Beilein said. "So
From Page 1B
11 field-goal attempts of the game
- more consecutive baskets than
Michigan had given up all sea-
son - before the run mercifully
ended when guard Rashad Mad-
den missed a 3-pointer from the
left corner with 9:50 left in the
first half. Arkansas was already
up 19 points.
"They really came out and
made all their shots," Beilein said.
"Some of them were just transi-
tion (opportunities), and they
really got good looks. They got
tough looks that went in, and then
the momentum builds."
Given the box score - Arkan-
sas finished the half with a field-
goal percentage of 65.4 and made
four of its seven 3-point attempts
- one would think the Razor-
backs' run resulted from Michi-
gan's subpar defensive play.
And the Wolverines did have
plenty of defensive weak spots.
Early on, they allowed the speedy
Razorback guards to get to the
rim at will, even in half-court sets.
Michigan also hurt itself by miss-
ing jumpers on the offensive end,
allowing Arkansas to get out in
transition. While the Razorbacks
don't really embody the "40 Min-
utes of Hell" mantra that Mike
Anderson-coached teams are
known for, they do have a potent
That was evidenced by their
successful run-outs after Wolver-
ine misses. Michigan, was also
stymied by Arkansas' occasional
full-court pressure. The team had
six turnovers in the first frame,
thus giving up even more transi-
tion opportunities. That's not a
terrible number, but mistakes are
magnified against a team like the
But in many instances, the
Wolverines did play great defense,
only to see Arkansas make a tough
shot anyway. It was just one of
those days for the defense.
Nothing Michigan tried in the
first half to stop the Arkansas
attack seemed to work. Beilein
deployed the 1-3-1zone 12 minutes
into the frame, but Scott just shot
over it, making a jumper to extend
I'm sure there was no ill intent."
But Arkansas wasn't able to
convert on either free-throw
attempt or the ensuing posses-
sion, and the Wolverine attack
Burke came alive in the final
minutes of the game, scoring
seven of Michigan's final ten
points, and assisting on a 3-point-
er by Novak, which brought the
Wolverines within two points.
Novak buried five-of-seven
3-point attempts and led Michi-
gan with 17 points.
In the final minute, Arkansas
couldn'tmake its free throws and
provided the Wolverines with a
chance to tie.
Michigan had 65 seconds in
its final possession to try to force
overtime, but Burke had a better
idea - a win.
After looking to find space in
the lane to penetrate, he settled
for the try at a game-winner and
the Wolverines had to settle for
yet another road loss.
"It came off my hand right,"
Burke told UM Hoops. "Looked
good going into the basket. Ittjust
his team's lead to 19 ptints, 31-12.
When senior guard St Doug-
lass hit a 3-pointer with four and a
half minutes left in the first frame
to punctuate a 7-2 mini run for the
Wolverines, it appeared they had
stolen some of the momentum
back from the home team. But,
continuing the pattern, Arkansas
followed that with a basket of its
own, pushing its lead back out
to 16 points and killing another
Michigan attempt to get things
rolling. The defense's frustrations
were summed up by a play a cou-
ple minutes after that. Razorback
guard B. J. Young drove into the
lane, guarded by sophomore for-
ward Evan Smotrycz. The 6-foot-
3 Young stepped back and tried to
hit a fadeaway jumper, despite the
6-foot-9 Smotrycz sticking with
him and seemingly erasing any
sight angle to the basket.
But Young's shot went in any-
way. Arkansas totaled 46 points
in the first half, the most the Wol-
verines have given up before half-
time all season.
Later in the half, Michigan's
defense improved enough to get
some stops, allowing the team
to enter halftime just down 13
points, despite seeing the deficit
balloon to 20 earlier in the half.
And the Wolverines were even
better after the break, holdingthe
Razorbacks to a 7-for-22 perfor-
mance from the field in the second
half. The only glaring miscue was
a botched pick-and-roll late in the
game. Senior guard Zack Novak
was tardy in providing help after
Arkansas big man Hunter Mick-
elson found himself wide open
in the lane. Mickelson's basket
with 42 seconds left in the game
proved to be the winning score.
Other than that, Michigan's
second-half defense was excel-
lent. And it does say something
that the Wolverines were able to
come back like they did, especial-
ly on the road.
Still, one is left wondering how
the game might have turned out
if, early on, the Razorbacks didn't
manage to shoot as unconsciously
as they did.
"It took us a while to get adjust-
ed, but once we did, we played a
pretty good game," Beilein said.
"The early lead hurt us."
startling discovery in South Bend
- their power-play unit is in fact
allowed to score goals. Like, even
In Saturday's game, the Wol-
verines scored twice in the first
period, both with the man advan-
All three Michigan goals in the
series came on the power play,
despite not converting on the
advantage since the finale of the
Great Lakes Invitational on Dec.
More than halfway through
the first period on Saturday, Gup-
till tallied his second goal of the
series when he deflected a shot
from senior forward Greg Pateryn
out of the air and into the net. He
scored on a similar deflection on
With under a minute remain-
ing in the period, junior forward
A.J. Treais fired a wrister from
the bottom of the circle to give
Michigan a two-goal advantage.
The Irish threatened for the
remainder of the game and kept
much of the action in Michigan's
the difference in the first half
and the game. Granted, Borseth
threw in his reserve team in the
last five minutes of play, but that
second-half victory spoke louder
than words. This could have been
a battle after all - lending cre-
dence to Borseth's comment that
the Wolverines can take nothing
for granted in Big Ten play.
Hunwick allowed a goal early
in the second period, but stopped
the rest to finish the victory with
For his part, Hunwick said
he enjoyed the intensity and
trash-talking of the series. Of all
the players in postgame inter-
views, Hunwick seemed the least
angered by the weekend's physi-
cality. And, as he explained, he
likes to talk, too.
"I'm 5-foot-6, and they're some
pretty big guys," Hunwick said.
"I'd probably do the same thing."
Hunwick also elaborated on
some of the things he heard from
"Call me a midget, nothing I
haven't heard since sixth grade.
Some pretty funny stuff, nothing
Glendening was pleased with
the. way Hunwick, for the most
part, kept a level head.
"It takes a big man to do that,"
Glendening said, then added with
a laugh, "Not in that sense. But
yeah, it takes a big man to do that."
"I loved our second half, it was
awesome," said Indiana coach
Felisha Legette-Jack. "We pushed
the ball with poise and took open
shots. We ended up with the same
amount of shots as Michigan, we
just rushed half of ours. If we
focus on slowing down and get-
ting the shots we want, then we'll
From Page 1B
* THERE'S LOADS
RIGHT THIS WAY.
tory cordiality here. Though
the Hoosiers let an insurmount-
able deficit build in the first half,
they beat the Wolverines by five
points in the second half. That
missing asset could have been
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