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6 - Friday, February 10, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

'M' welcomes Illinois to Crisler

Michigan tramples
Huskers in Lincoln

By COLLEEN THOMAS
Daily Sports Writer
After the Nebraska men's bas-
ketball team showed no spark
against Michigan on Wednesday,
it would seem that the women's
team would be looking for revenge
against the
Wolverines MICHIGAN 63
just a day NEBRASKA 52
later.
But the Cornhuskers couldn't
muster a basket during a 14-min-
ute cold streak in the first half of
an eerily similar performance to
their male counterparts in Lin-
coln. The Wolverines upset No. 13
Nebraska, 63-52.
The stellar defense of Michigan
held Nebraska, to a season-low 12
points and 13-percent shooting in
the first half, while the Wolverines
hit 12-of-21 of their first-half shots
and were up by 20 after the first
stanza. Reynolds hit one of her
four 3-pointers to open the sec-
ond half, and again the Wolverines
went on a run.
The halftime lead was extend-
ed to 27, and though the Huskers
tried to come back a couple times
late in the second half, Michigan's
lead remained in double digits - a
safe margin even against a ranked
opponent.
Four Michigan players scored
in double digits, and Reynolds
matched her season-high of 16
points. Senior guard Courtney
Boylan had 14, junior forward
Rachel Sheffer had 13 and junior
guard Nya Jordan had 11.
There was one issue in Michi-
gan's play that allowed the
Huskers to pull within eight -

turnovers. The Wolverines gave
up the ball 24 times.
"We turned it a lot over at the
end," said Michigan coach Kevin
Borseth. "That was a little dis-
appointing. (But) we had a big
enough lead, a big enough cush-
ion, and we came away with the
win."
The Michigan team's outstand-
ing rebounding efforts were also
a factor, and the Wolverines held
the Huskers to one-shot posses-
sions on most of their trips down
the court by hauling in 38 defen-
sive rebounds.
Jordan recorded a double-dou-
ble, reeling in 10 boards, while
Sheffer won the rebounding battle
in the paint against Husker soph-
omore Jordan Hooper with eight.
For just the ninth time all season,
the Wolverines outrebounded
their opponent.
Rebounding is something the
team has prioritized all season,
and the 48-30 advantage on the
boards was one of many reasons
Michigan was successful in com-
pleting the upset.
Those runs - the largestbeing a'
17-0 streak in the first half - gave
the Wolverines enough of a cush-
ion to fight off a rallying effort by
Nebraska, which was backed by
a crowd eager to see the Huskers
pull out the win.
Thursday night's win gave
Michigan its second win over
a ranked team this season and
its first big win on the road. The
Wolverines needed a win in Lin-
coln to prevent a losing skid after
dropping a close match at home on
Sunday to Michigan State.

By LUKE PASCH and DANIEL
WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Editor
and Daily Sports Writer
You never know which Illinois
you're going to get.
Will it be the Illinois that
scored 79
points against Illinois at
a normally
stingy Ohio Michigan
State defense Matchup:
on Jan. 10? Or Illinois 16-8;
will it be the Michigan 18-7
Illinois that When: Sun-
scored just 52 day,1 p.m.
.in a loss to Big Where: Crisler
Ten bottom- Center
dweller Penn
State the next TV/Radio:
CBS
game?
This Sun-
day, the Michigan men's basket-
ball team welcomes the Fighting
Illini to Crisler Center for their
first matchup of the season, and
the outcome may very well be
decided by which Illinois team
comes to play.
But as streaky as the Fighting
Illini (5-6 Big Ten, 16-8 overall)
have been this season, they do
have a constant in junior guard
Brandon Paul, who has been one
of the most reliable backcourt
players in the Big Ten this sea-
son. His shooting hasn't been the
most efficient, knocking down
just 39 percent of his shots from
the field, but he leads his team
in scoring and typically gets the
ball in key situations.
Against the Buckeyes last
month, Paul tallied an epic 43
points on 8-of-10 shooting from
behind the arc despite being con-
stantly pressured on the perim-
eter. Whoever guards him on
Sunday - probably senior guard

Stu Douglass - will be forced to
play him tight for 40 minutes of
basketball.
Michigan (8-4, 18-7) will
also have a challenge under
the basket: limiting sophomore
behemoth Meyers Leonard.
The seven-footer is Illinois' sec-
ond-leading scorer and leading
rebounder, so Wolverine sopho-
more forward Jordan Morgan
will have his-hands full.
Michigan coach John Beilein
will likely play a good deal of
zone defense to limit the produc-
tion of Leonard and the Illinois
frontcourt. But the Fighting Illi-
ni are not shy from longrange, so
the Wolverines will have to find
a balance between locking down
the shooters and closing lanes to
the basket.
On the offensive end, Michi-
gan could get a bigboost if soph-
omore guard Tim Hardaway Jr.
starts knocking down his shots.
Though he is still the team's
leading scorer, edging fresh-
man point guard Trey Burke by
a fraction of a point per game, he
slipped under 20-percent shoot-
ing from 3-point range after his
0-for-7 performance at Nebraska
on Wednesday.
With six games left in the
regular season, the Wolverines
would love to see Hardaway Jr.
turn it on down the stretch.
NOVAK NONCHALANT
ABOUT 1,000: With a 3-pointer
early in Wednesday's win, senior
guard Zack Novak became the
45th Wolverine to reach the
1,000-point milestone. With well
over 500 career rebounds, he
became the 28th player in pro-
gram history to reach both 1,000
points and 500 boards.
Michigan coach John Beilein
took a moment during his post-

TODD NEEDLE/Daily
Senior guard Zack Novak scored his 1,000th point against Nebraska.

game press conference to joke
at the expense of his three-time
captain.
"It's probably been the steadi-
est 1,000 points ever," Beilein
said, letting out a laugh. "If you
look at him, he probably aver-
ages seven or eight points a game
for four consecutive years. Who
does that? But he does that."
But the coach took a few
moments to reflect on the magni-
tude caNovak's accomplishment,
given where the senior was four
years ago. The Chesterton, Ind.
native - a signee in Beilein's first
recruiting class at Michigan -
had no Division-I offers before
the Wolverines finally extended
him a scholarship.
"So few young men get 1,000

points," Beilein said. "They've
got to have great perseverance
and the opportunity to play when
they're young.
"He's wonderful to coach. And
if he's got a thousand points, he's
also got a million points just in
leadership that he shows over
time."
The milestone,however,didn't
faze Novak. He even shrugged
off compliments from teammates
and coaches, prompting Beilein
to call him a "very interesting
young man" for not caring about
his achievement.
To Novak, the feat just wasn't
very impressive.
"Now, if I got 2,000 points,"
he remarked to one team official,
"that'd be something."

Michigan-Michigan State rivalry series takes center stage

By LIZ VUKELICH
Daily Sports Writer
Luke Moffatt didn't mince
words when talking about the
Michigan hockey team's rivalry
with Michigan State.
"You want to kill them," the
sophomore forward said bluntly
on Monday. "You hate them."
Those sentiments might be a
little extreme.
But all of the Wolverines take
the underlying meaning of Mof-

fatt's words to
heart: the game
against the
school down
the highway is
circled in red
on the calendar
every year. It's a
big deal.
To No. 4
Michigan,
there are more
than just six
points in CCHA

Michigan
at MSU
Matchup:
Michigan 17-9-
4; MSU 15-11-4
When: Friday,
Saturday
7:35 p.m.
Where:
Munn, Joe
Louis Arena
TV/Radio:
BTN, FSD

standings on the line this week-
end - it's about respect and
bragging rights.
So, the mood at practice this
week was a little different. As
Moffatt puts it, Michigan State
weekend demands "just that lit-
tle bit extra" from the team.
But perhaps nobody places
more importance on this week-
end than Michigan coach Red
Berenson, who has seen the
rivalry both from the ice and the
bench.

"(As a player), winning the
games was huge," Berenson said.
"I remember they were eml-
tional, physical and hard-fought.
When I got back here as a coach,
our team would always play bet-
ter against (Michigan State) than
anyone else."
In some ways, there's no bet-
ter time for the Wolverines to
take on the 17th-ranked Spar-
tans. Michigan has cruised up to
third in the CCHA standings and
is sitting comfortably in second

place in the national Pairwise
Rankings.
But the Wolverines' recent
success has come at a price, and
the first game in the series will
be played without junior forward
Chris Brown.
Michigan has had a string of
two intensely physical and emo-
tional series - so physical, in
fact, that Brown is suspended
for Friday's game for brawling
in last weekend's Miami (Ohio)
series.

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But Berenson was insistent
that the Wolverines and Spar-
tans have too muchv'seSrneet for
each other to get carried away by
emotions this weekend.
The last time the teams met,
they combined for a total of 12
penalty minutes - hardly any
in comparison to the 52 minutes
that Michigan alone spent in the
box last Saturday.
"They're hard-fought games,
but you don't get the stupidity,"
Berenson said.
"It just seems that when we
play Michigan State, there's a
rivalry edge that you get to and
then you just stay there - you
don't go any further.
Moffatt will take Brown's spot
on the top line in Friday's match-
up, skating with senior David
Wohlberg and freshman Alex
Guptill.
According to Berenson, Mof-
fatt is "the right guy" to put
there - the confidence and poise
he displayed when Michigan
last trekked to East Lansing in
December instilled a sense of
confidence in the coach.
And having Berenson's
approval means the world to
Moffatt.
"It's great that coach has a
trust in me and he can throw me
up there," Moffatt said. "(Playing
on the top line) is a great chal-
lenge. It's something I've been
looking forward to, something to
strive for."
Moffatt will only have to play
one game in front of a hostile
Munn Ice Area crowd this week-
end, though, as Michigan forfeits
a home game to play at Joe Louis
Arena, home of the Detroit Red
Wings, on Saturday.
The last time the Wolverines
and Spartans met in Detroit, on
Dec. 30, Michigan walked away
with an overtime win in the
finale of the Great Lakes Invita-
tional.
But the Wolverines don't have
to think twice about giving up a
comfy-home game in lieu of play-
ing at Joe Louis.
Playing in professional facility
has a magnetic draw for the play-
ers, especially when the crowd
is evenly split between the two
teams.
"Any time you play in an
NHL arena ... it's really nice,"
said fifth-year senior netminder
Shawn Hunwick. "You're grow-
ing up and watching the NHL
games .. anytime you can play
in a good match-up in the Joe,
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