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February 03, 2012 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-02-03

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8 - Friday, February 3, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Green's status uncertain
prior to rivalry rematch

MCKENZIE BEREZIN/Daily
Juniorforward Rachel Sheffer scored a team-high 17 points against Northwestern at Criser Center yesterday.
'M to les Wildcats in
tussle at Crisler Center

By DANIEL WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Writer
After losing to Michigan for a
third consecutive time, frustra-
tion and emotions got the best
of Michigan
State's Dray-
mond Green. So, Michigan
he guaranteed at MSU
a win, saying
that the Feb. M5achup
matchup would MSU 17-5
be circled on his
calendar. When: Sun-
That was on day 1 .M
Jan. 17 - Feb. 5 Where: Bre-
is this Sunday, slin Center
when the Wol- TV/Radio:
verines (7-3 Big CBS
Ten, 17-7 over-
all) will make the short journey
up I-96 to face the ninth-ranked
Spartans (6-3,17-5).
The two schools' biggest pro-
grams - football and basketball
- have undergone a recent role
reversal. Michigan basketball will
try to match Michigan State foot-
ball's four-game win streak over
its archrival.
The forward will surely be
anxious to back up his word, but
how effectively he'll be able to do
so is the biggest storyline enter-
ing the game. In a loss Tuesday at
Illinois, Green, who was already
playing with the flu, suffered
what initially looked to be a seri-
ous knee injury.
Green had to be carried off the
court and emerged from Assem-
bly Hall on crutches, though an
MRI on Wednesday revealed the
injury was just a sprain and he's
officially listed as day-to-day.
He'll play Sunday, but it remains
to be seen how the knee will hold
up. An injured Green - the Spar-
tans' best player and their heart
and soul - gives the Wolverines
a leg up, but senior guard Zack
Novak doesn't want the game to
come down to that.
"I hope so," Novak said
Wednesday, when asked if he
wants Green to play. "You don't
want a kid to get hurt in his senior
year. You like to see everybody
play."

Freshman guard Trey Burke is trailed by the Spartans' Draymond Green

By MICHAEL LAURILA
Daily Sports Writer
Following a two-game losing
streak - the first multiple-game
slide of the season for the Wol-
verines - the Michigan women's
basketball team rebounded with
a 79-68 vic-
tory against N'WESTERN 68
North- MICHIGAN 79
western on
Thursdaynight at Crisler Center.
The Wildcats aren't one of the
the conference's better teams, and
a Michigan loss would've been
devastating to the team's post-
season hopes.
"I thought our kids played
extremely hard to start and went
at them, where the last couple of
games we were very hesitant in
what we were going to do," said
Michigan coach Kevin Borseth.
"I thought we were a lot more
aggressive tonight offensively."
At one point in the first half,
the Wolverines went on an 18-3
run to put them up by 16. Michi-
gan took an 11-point lead into
halftime, shooting an impressive
51.9 percent from the floor. It also
used a ferocious defensive effort
to hold Northwestern to 38-per-
cent shooting from the field, and
just 22 percent from behind the
arc.
Coming out of the second half,
the Wildcats tied the game up at
44 with nine minutes left in the
game led by junior forward Dani-
elle Diamant. Diamant scored
13 second-half points on 3-for-4
shooting from behind the arc.

Junior
was tas
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Diamai
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fer. "SI
behind
reallyg
and N
(Boylan
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so it's h
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help m
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ine pos
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in the f
10:33 le
mant v
out her
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six min
back.
Mic
sive effi
most it

forward Rachel Sheffer season - and had four players
sked with guarding her for score in double digits.
f the game, but Michigan Sheffer and senior Carmen
rced to use help defense Reynolds led the way for the Wol-
the lob-pass down low to verines, scoring 17 and 13 points,
nt. respectively.
's a great player," said Shef- "They have a lot of people that
he can do everything, step can shoot," said Northwestern
the arc and play inside. I coach Joe McKeown. "I think
give credit to Jenny (Ryan) the one thing they do well is they
ya (Jordan) and Courtney share the basketball."
n) and whoever played help Michigan's balance was on
e because she's 6-(foot)-5,' display, tallying 18 points from
rard for me to (stop her) on behind the arc, 32 in the paint and
n, and they were there to 21 free throws.
.e." But it wasn't just an all-around
offensive effort. The Wolverines
were able to force 18 turnovers,
resulting in 18 points. Junior
Ve were a lot guard Jenny Ryan hawked the
ball the entire game, finishing
re aggressive with three steals and two turn-
.overs.
tonight "Everybody needs playmak-
ers," Borseth said. "(Ryan) is a
ffensively." playmaker for us on the defensive
end of the floor. She's part of who
we are and she creates a lot on the
defensive end."
nant also posed problems The Wolverines will need to
ffer and the other Wolver- play just as well when Michigan
t players defensively. State travels to Ann Arbor on
after picking up three fouls Sunday. The game against the
irst half and a fourth with Spartans will be crucial for the
ft in the second half, Dia- Wolverines, since they will be
went to the bench. With- looking to avenge their Jan. 4 loss
presence on the floor, the to their in-state rival.
ines turned a two-point "I think going into (Michigan
to an eight-point lead with State) with confidence and car-
utes left, and never looked rying this win into the next game
(will be important)," Reynolds
higan had a complete offen- said. "The difference is going to
ort - its 79 points were the be confidence, and I think we defi-
's scored in any game this nitely have that."

But if history has its way, even
a healthy Green would struggle
against Michigan. The Wolver-
ines have used frequent double
teams in the post to stifle Green.
In seven games against Michi-
gan, the senior has averaged
just seven points. Three weeks
ago in Ann Arbor, he was held
to seven points - a season low
until the injury-shortened game
in Champaign - and five turn-
overs, which matched a season
high. Freshman point guard Trey
Burke scored a game-leading 20
points in the last go around, a
60-59 win, but has struggled in
tough road environments like
Ohio State's Value City Arena and
Indiana's Assembly Hall. Next up
for Burke is the Breslin Center
and its vaunted Izzone student
section, which has helped pro-
pel the Spartans to a 13-0 home
record.
"They're going to give us every-
thing they've got," Burke said.
"We beat them here and we're
on a roll there, so we know that
they're going to come out with all
types of intensities. It's goingto be
a personal game on Saturday."
On Wednesday, No. 23 Michi-

gan used a scorching start and
strong defense to knock off the
Hoosiers, 68-56, holding Indiana
22 points below its season aver-
age. The Wolverines will use the
impressive win to ride into East
Lansing with momentum.
"It definitely helps us out tre-
mendously, just to take what we
did on the defensive end, how
we boxed out and how we played
tough in the first half," said soph-
omore guard Tim Hardaway Jr.
"We can definitely take a lot of
things from that."
Michigan's win over the Hoo-
siers moved the Wolverines into
a tie for second place in the con-
ference, just a half game behind
the first-place Buckeyes and a half
game ahead of Michigan State.
With just three weeks remain-
ing in the regular season, the con-
gested standings make this game
crucial.
"We feel like every game from
here on out is a must-win game,
justbecauseyou cango from (No.)
2 or 3 in the Big Ten to (No.) 6 or 7
in a matter of a week," Burke said.
"We know that every single game
is probably playing for a Big Ten
Championship."

0
0
S

Reynolds hits her stride

- - - :1".

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Senior guard
regains confidence
from beyond the arc
By COLLEEN THOMAS
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan coach Kevin Bors-
eth compared senior guard Car-
men Reynolds to Derek Jeter
after Thursday night's game
against North-
western. NOTEBOOK
How does
the New York Yankees' short-
stop compare to a women's col-
lege basketball player?
After failing to do so for sev-
eral games, Reynolds finally hit
her 183rd shot from behind the
arc to set the program record for
career 3-pointers.
Once she began to approach
the record, Reynolds began
to struggle offensively. Bors-
eth recognized her slump and
explained how the pressure sur-
rounding that milestone affect-
ed her game.
"(She has) had that laying
over her head the whole year,"
Borseth said. "(It's) nothing but
records, records, records, and
it's in her head. And all of a sud-
den, it's like Derek Jeter trying
to get his 3,000th hit. You have
a tough time getting it because
you're so anxious to do it, it
almost works against you.
"Well, that's over with. Hope-
fully tonight was a good sign
that that was done, and it's off
her mind now."
Reynolds seemed to have a
clear mind in Thursday's game,
shooting 3-for-5 from behind
the arc.
She finished with 11 points,
the first time she's scored in
double figures since Dec. 30
against Illinois in Michigan's
Big Ten opener.
FRESH FACES: Freshmen
guards Brenae Harris and
Nicole Elmblad have typically
played second fiddle to their
more experienced teammates

and ha
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game w
Har
the 14:1
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while
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Harris
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Bors
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aven't seen much action guard and give the team a differ-
Ten play. But Thursday's ent pace.
'as different. "She's really a good shooter,"
ris entered the game at Borseth said. "We sit and shoot
54 mark and played a con- in practice all day long and (she)
le amount in the first half just buries them one after anoth-
senior guard Courtney er. But she's a kid that's a very
rested on the bench. good player, and they're going
ris, who was previously to have to guard her because she
ing just 6.4 minutes in can shoot it.
ence games, played 14 "Brenae plays at a faster pace.
s on Thursday. And Elm- She jumps really well - she's a
rho was a starter earlier kid that can touch the rim.... She
season, saw significant can pressure the ball, she can get
and put forth a solid you moving in transition, but we
ive effort. haven't really given that oppor-
nolds believes it's good tunity yet to do it."
the younger players gain FOUL PLAY: Borseth always
experience, especially stresses the importance of free
they might have a vital throws, and they were critical in
own the stretch. Sheffer the victory against Northwest-
, saying it gives the team ern.
'ent look on offense. The Wolverines are the sec-
ond-best free-throw shooting
team in the conference, shoot-
ing 77 percent on the season.
' kThey made 70 percent of their
. shots from the charity stripe on
eter trying Thursday, making 21-of-30, 10
- more makes than their season
to get his average.
000th hit" fThe significant increase in
* free throw attempts came from
a battle in the paint between
Sheffer and Northwestern's
6-foot-5 junior Dannielle Dia-
think the second time mant.
i when you're playing a Sheffer and Diamant battled
t's just nice to throw dif- inthe post all game long. Though
things at them," Sheffer Diamant recorded 20 points, she
They haven't seen (Harris committed four fouls and was
mblad) play as much, and forced to sit out for much of the
very strong players. second half.
really nice having (Har- Sheffer was able to capitalize,
ere. She's quick. She does going 5-for-6 from the line, in
nt things (than) Courtney addition to an impressive 6-for-7
nd it's nice to see different in the paint.
from point guards." "When (Diamant) was out,
ugh Harris took just (the guards) really could start
shots against North- throwing me the ball down low
n, Borseth said she's a and just go at them," Sheffer
shooter. Several times, said.
had wide open looks Junior guard Jenny Ryan was
ehind the arc but dished also able to capitalize on the
ll to a teammate for an Wildcats' foul trouble.
mper. She went 7-for-10 from the
eth believes that as Har- charity stripe down the stretch,
ns more confidence, she eventually icingthe game for the
velop into a talented point Wolverines.

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