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February 09, 2012 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-02-09

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;8A - Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

'M' boils 'Huskers in Lincoln

Getting to know
Nebraskan custom

By LUKE PASCH
Daily Sports Editor
LINCOLN - On Wednesday,
Michigan basketball coach John
Beilein stepped foot in the state
of Nebraska _
for the first NEBRASKA 46
time. And MICHIGAN 62
after beat-
ing the Cornhuskers handily
on Thursday night, he's prob-
ably sad he has to return to Ann
Arbor so soon.
Following a tight, low-scoring
first half, the 22nd-ranked Wol-
verines rode a 15-4 run to open
the second half to pick up their
second road win of the season,
62-46.
Neither offense could get
the ball to drop early on. By the
second media timeout, Michi-
gan (8-4 Big Ten, 18-7 overall)
was 4-for-12 from the field, and
Nebraska (3-9, 11-12) was just
1-for-12.
Per usual, though, the Wol-
verines were able to rely on
senior guard and co-captain
Zack Novak to knock down shots
while the rest of the offense
stalled. By that second timeout,
he was responsible for three of
Michigan's four buckets, two of
which came from behind the arc.
On his second basket of the
game, Novak became the 45th
player in Michigan basketball
history to register 1,000 career
points.
He is just the 28th Wolverine
to top 1,000 career points and
500 career rebounds. He fin-
ished the game with a game-high
14 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
"I didn't know," Novak said,
laughing about his milestone.
"Maybe if I did it in a timely
fashion it'd be cool ... I've been
playing 35 minutes a game for
four years. I don't think that
averages out very well."
Aside from Novak, neither
offense fared very well in the
first half. Michigan was a mere
32 percent from the floor, while
Nebraska was shooting 22
percent. And neither defense
seemed particularly imposing -
the shooters simply had trouble

NATI HARNIK/AP
Senior guard Zack Novak scored a game-high 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting against Nebraska in Lincoln on Wednesday.

Wit, you do whatrwith
the corn?
Husking, for the
non-Nebraskan, is the act of
removing an ear of corn from its
outer shell. Aside from being a
practical thing to do on account
of the fact that the outer shell
of corn isn't particularly tasty,
one's ability to husk quickly is an
admirable skill and highly valued
in America'sbreadbasket. In fact,
people from
the great state MATT
of Nebraska SPELICH
participate in
an inter-state On Women's
competition Basetball
every year in
which contestants separate the
wheat from the chaff by separat-
ing the cobs from the stalks.
While the contemporary
Huskers play only for pride, they
are vigilant not to forget the
spirit of corn husking- a physi-
cal activity to distract them from
remembering that they are stuck
in Nebraska. Nebraska is new
to the Big Ten this year and has
taken the conference by storm.
Its women's basketball team
has clawed its way to third in
the conference and 13th in the
country, thanks to the dynamic
scoring powers of junior guard
Lindsay Moore and sophomore
forward Jordan Hooper.
You, dear reader, are probably
asking yourself whya sports arti-
cle that has nothing to do with
corn or how it's picked wouldput
so much emphasis on the history
of corn husking in the first three
paragraphs. If this thought has
truly crossed your mind, you
obviously have no appreciation
for mindless games with the sole
purpose of punctuating long
stints of tedious physical labor.
You are probably a student at the
University of Michigan, and so,
despite your lack of appreciation,
I will connect the pieces for you.
Corn husking is more than
what it seems. It is a way of life.
Granted, not all of Nebraska is
stuck in the Stone Age, but the

land is just as flat and boundless
as it was before mechanized trac-
tors and pickers. It is that flatness
that can drive a person to strange
ends, so strange thatthey spend
years of their life bouncing a ball
and shooting it into a hoop over
and over again until their fingers
bleed. It is that kind of oddness
that drives them into the gyms
instead of into the streets so that
they can get their mind off of
their breadbasket existence for a
short while.
The point is simply thus:
whether it's corn-husking, ball-
bouncing or cow-tipping, the
Nebraskan is ruthless, for they
know no other way to be. The
Michigan women's basketball
team has a game scheduled in the
Cornhusker State on Thursday,
and only the Lord knows if they
will make it out alive, let alone
with the win.
An intelligent warrior knows
to fear those with nothing to lose,
and therefore all who travel to
Lincoln mustbe weary. However,
for the Wolverines, who are fresh
off a loss to Michigan State last
Sunday and are clinging desper-
atelv to the sixth spot in the con-
ference, perhaps they may have
less to lose than eventhe Corn-
huskers, which is a disconcerting
notion to any and all Lincolnites.
I wish to leave you with this
amusing antecdote before Thurs-
day's game, because I feel it is the
only justifiable way to end this
travesty of dog-day journalism -
Cornhusker is a funny word for
those on the outs. A colleague of
mine once asked why Nebraskans
say husking and not shucking -
which is simply another way to
describe the removal of the hard
outer layer of a corn ear. Though
I've since learned that it's con-
sidered a sin to use the word
"shuck" in the state of Nebraska,
my answer to his question was
far simpler - who would want
to be called the "Shuckers?" It
sounds like someone with low
self-esteem and a speech impedi-
ment.

sinking shots.
The Wolverines also had trou-
ble penetrating inside, failing to
score a single point in the paint
in the first half.
Beilein must have had a con-
versation about that in the locker
room at halftime, as sophomore
forward Jordan Morgan got a
couple of looks underneath early
in the second frame. He finished
with eight points after going
scoreless in the first half in Lin-
coln.
"We just wanted to get two
feet in the paint, not settle for
shots," Morgan said. "When we
execute and get early, easy bas-
kets, we're tough to guard."
Sophomore guard Tim Hard-
away Jr. has struggled recently,
coming into Wednesday night's
matchup shooting a dismal 21 per-
cent from 3-point range. And he
didn't help his average against the
Cornhuskers, going 0-for-7 from
the field in the first half, including

0-for-5 from long range.
He didn't register his first
bucket until the 16:55 mark in the-
second half - a finger roll after
finding an open lane to the bas-
ket.
He wound up with six points,
none of which came on 3-point-
ers.
"I felt bad after the Michigan
State game, and I don't want to
hurt my teammates in any way,"
Hardaway Jr. said. "This is Zack,
Stu (Douglass) and Corey Per-
son's last season. Just think-
ing about that, you just want to
give it all you got the rest of the
season ... just make a concerted
effort to do the little things like
rebound, take charges and play
great defense."
Added Novak: "We're trying
to get our guy going - we all got
a ton of faith in him.
"The longer this little slump
goes, we just know that at the
end of the year he's going to

make up for it."
Junior guard Matt Vogrich, on
the other hand, was able to snap
out of his recent shooting funk,
knocking down three-straight
triples late in the game to ice the
contest. It was the first time he's
registered a 3-point bucket since
the Wolverines beat Northwest-
ern on Jan. 11.
Vogrich played a big role in
the second-half turnaround -
the team was a lights-out 76 per-
cent from'the field in the half.
Despite Nebraska's obvious
shooting struggles, some credit
has to be given to the Michigan
defense, which allowed the few-
est points since allowing just 41
to Wisconsin at Crisler Center
on Jan. 8.
"It was really big," Novak
said. "We really didn't want to
let any offensive woes dictate
what we were doing on defense,
and I was proud that we didn't
do that today."

Wolverines welcome hometown Winter Classic

Event organizers
hope to shatter
attendance record
By MATT SLOVIN
Daily Sports Editor
With the National Hockey
League scheduled to make
a "major announcement" in
Detroit on Thursday, members

of the Michigan hockey team
reacted with enthusiasm to the
news that the Winter Classic is
expected to be held in Ann Arbor
next January.
Fifth-year senior goalie Shawn
Hunwick grew up a fan of the
Detroit Red Wings, who are
expected to face the Toronto
Maple Leafs in the New Year's
Day affair.
And the Winter Classic is an
event that he's quite familiar

with - in 2010 he went to Fen-
way Park, home of the Boston
Red Sox to watch his brother
Matt skate for the Boston Bru-
ins.
"It was pretty much the best
sporting event I've ever been
to," Hunwick said. "We had
tickets on the (Green) Monster."
So it shouldn't come as a sur-
prise that his face brightened
when asked about the outdoor
game.
"It's just really cool, especial-
ly when it's around New Year's
Eve," Hunwick said. "Around
that time, the city's buzzing."
Yesterday, the University's
Board of Regents voted to
approve the lease of Michigan
Stadium to the NHL for a sum
of $3 million.
Though the game is slated
to be played over winter break,
Athletic Director Dave Bran-
don anticipates no problem
filling seats, especially consid-
ering how many Maple Leafs
fans will likely make the trek
across the border. Ann Arbor is
roughly a five-hour drive from
Toronto, and the Maple Leafs
are known to have an interna-
tional presence.
The Wolverines knocked off
Michigan State at The Big Chill
at the Big House in 2010 in a
game that drew 104,073 fans.
Brandon said on Wednesday
that he's "hell-bent" on ensur-
ing the Winter Classic shatters
the mark set in that game.
Though Hunwick has played
in his fair share of outdoor
games, the appeal of playing
and watching outdoor games is
still as strong as ever.
"Every city wants to host,"
Hunwick said. "I think you
should be able to fill up stadi-
ums, especially baseball stadi-
ums. It's really a cool event."
Sophomore forward Luke
Moffatt didn't have to think
twice when asked if he would
attend a Winter Classic in Ann
Arbor.
"Absolutely."
Moffatt acknowledges that

6

FILE PHOTO/Daily
The Big Chill at the Big House, which took place in December 2010. was the first hockey game in Big House history.

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r hockey isn't exactly a hockey teams face off at the Big
'anymore. Games at base- House.
amonds and football fields "At least from a player's per-
opped up across the coun- spective, it's something you
ch the Frozen Diamond really look forward to," Moffatt
f the Wolverines partici- said. "It's a really fun point of the
n last month in Cleveland. season. (It's) somethingto kind of
bring the old-school, classic pond
hockey feel back into the game."
The official announcement is
t was pretty expected to come on Thursday
at a press conference at Detroit's
Lch the best Comerica Park.
Comerica Park, the home of
orting event the Detroit Tigers just off Wood-
ward Avenue is expected to host
e ... been to." several auxiliary events, and
several reports indicate that the
Great Lakes Invitational would
be included. Michigan has won
Moffatt will undoubtedly that event, traditionally held at
cited when January rolls Joe Louis Arena, for two years
1 and two Original Six running.

BY THE NUMBERS
2013 Winter Classic atthe Big House
1/1/13
Date of th 2013 Winter Classicthe
second-ever outdoor hockey game at

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