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March 05, 2012 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-03-05

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The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I March 5, 2012
HIAPPIER VALLEY

ALDEN REISS/Daily
Sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz, shown here against Oakland, scored 17 points in Michigan's 71-65 victory over Penn State on Sunday. With the win and a subsequent Ohio State win over Michigan State, 'M' earned a split conference title.
Michigan tops Penn State in finale

By BEN ESTES Hours after the Wolverines
Daily Sports Editor defeated the Nittany Lions, the
Buckeyes prevailed over the
STATE COLLEGE - They Spartans, 72-70. The result? A
didn't know it yet, but the Wol- three-way tie for the conference
verines were champions. title, and Michigan's first share of
No. 13 Michigan held on for the Big Ten Championship since
dear life against the last-place 1986.
team in Michigan coach John Beilein
the Big MICHIGAN 71 and his players were hesitant
Ten, top- PENN STATE 65 to talk about the possibility of a
ping Penn league title after besting Penn
State, 71-65, on Sunday afternoon. State, since it was out of their con-
Its task accomplished, the team trol at that point. But they knew
turned its eyes to East Lansing, what was at stake.
where Michigan State was set to "Our kids will value this win
tip off with Ohio State on senior very much," Beilein said. "It puts
day at the Breslin Center. us in position to be in position, if

the right breaks go our way, (to
win) a share of the Big Ten Cham-
pionship, which is something
that's very important at the Uni-
versity of Michigan."
The Wolverines have to feel
lucky they were even in that posi-
tion, after nearly blowing a lead
that reached 19 points in the sec-
ond half. The Nittany Lions made
a desperate charge on their senior
day, capitalizing on Michigan's
sloppiness to go on a late 13-0 run,
and nearly erasing the deficit in
the process.
Freshman point guard Trey
Burke, who led his team with 19
points, seemed to regain control

for Michigan (13-5 Big Ten, 23-8
overall) with a four-point play to
push the lead back to 10 points
with 4:39 left, but Penn State
(4-14, 12-19) answered with a
four-point play of its own, courte-
sy of Trey Lewis. Jermaine Mar-
shall, who spurred the Nittany
Lion surge and finished with 27
points to lead all scorers, made a
jumper with 2:38 left and cut the
score to 62-58.
"When you go up by 20 with
about 10 minutes to go, that's a
tough position to be in, because
you're not going to be as aggres-
sive on offense," said senior guard
Zack Novak. "You want to run

some clock and they're going to
turn it up aggressively.... I'm just
proud of the way we fought back
after they cut it down."
But Penn State would get no
closer. Sophomore guard Tim
Hardaway Jr. hit a short jumper
near the left elbow to extend the
lead back to six points with 41
seconds left and then grabbed the
rebound when Marshall missed
the next time down the floor.
The Wolverines made enough
free throws to seal the game from
there.
It's somewhat shocking the
game got as close as it did. Penn
State started out hot on Sunday,

making its first three 3-pointers
and leading the rebounding bat-
tle, 9-2, by the first media timeout
of the game. But Michigan quick-
ly responded and took control of
the game, as a Hardaway 3-point-
er with 10:37 left in the first half
erased the last lead the Nittany
Lions would have.
Following his 25-point,
11-rebound performance at Illi-
nois on Thursday, Hardaway con-
tinued to show signs that he had
broken out of his slump. Against
Penn State, he made three of his
first four attempts from deep and
finished with 13 points on the day.
See PENN STATE, Page 2B

Russell wins fourth
conference title

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Senior guard Courtney Boylan and the Michigan women's basketball team beat Illinois in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament but lost to Ohio State.
Buckeyes bounce 'in tourney

By LIZ NAGLE
Daily Sports Writer
WEST LAFAYETTE - "Two."
The sound of a takedown and
the referee's ensuing call for
points rumbled through Mackey
Arena this weekend. The bleach-
ers weren't filled with their usual
Boilermakers' basketball fan base,
instead, they were segregated into
12 rival sections, each representing
a school in the conference.
After a long season of dual meets,
the Michigan wrestling team came
to Purdue to repeat its victories and
avenge its losses.
Every match mattered in the
Big Ten Tournament, with teams
vying to earn a spot in the upcom-
ing NCAA Championships. And
again, fifth-year senior Kellen Rus-
sell climbed to the top to claim his
fourth conference title in as many
years (2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012).
In doing so, he became the first
Wolverine to accomplish the feat
and just the 11th wrestler in Big Ten
history.
But on Saturday, Michigan did
not get off to a great start. By the
end of the first day, four Wolver-
ines had already been eliminated,

and the team accumulated just 50
points for an eighth-place start.
"Guys just didn't wrestle up
to their potential," Russell said.
"It wasn't a lack of trying.... They
weren't wrestling a full seven min-
utes."
Fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip
and redshirt freshman Max Hunt-
ley were No. 4 seeds entering the
tournament, but both fell in minor
quarterfinal upsets to fifth seeds
after first-round byes.
Zeerip's foe was a familiar one:
Ohio State's Nick Heflin. Zeerip,
ranked eighth, squared off against
the No.10 Buckeyetin the 174-pound
contest exactly one month ago. In
February, he fell in the second tie-
breaker as a result of the referee's
waiver on the original reversal call.
Mackey Arena played host to
yet another close match between
the border-state rivals. Heflin stole
another win, leaving Zeerip to
wrestle in the consolation bracket,
where he placed seventh.
Redshirt sophomore Eric Gra-
jales, too, came to prove he right-
fully deserved his previous wins
and to take revenge on his former
losses in the 149-pound category.
See RUSSELL, Page 2B

By COLLEEN THOMAS
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - In its
attempt to take down rival Ohio
State for the fourth-straight
time, the
Michigan MICHIGAN 57
women's OHIOSTATE 48
basketball
team's late push came up short.
Ohio State (25-5 overall, 11-5

Big Ten), led by junior guard
Tayler Hill's 16-point second-
half effort, extended its three-
point halftime lead to as much
as 16 early in the second half.
But the Wolverines weren't
ready to let the game slip out of
their hands.
Michigan (20-11, 8-8) went
on a 10-0 run - capped by
freshman guard Brenae Harris'
first collegiate 3-pointer - forc-

ing the Buckeyes to take a time-
out. Just like that, Ohio State's
16-point lead was cut to six in
just three minutes.
The teams traded buckets,
but four free throws by Hill and
senior Samantha Prahalis with
just under a minute left iced the
game. The Buckeyes defeated
Michigan in season-low scoring
efforts by both teams, 57-48.
The game was headlined by

both teams' defenses: The Wol-
verines held the league-leading
scoring duo of Prahalis and Hill
to just 30 points - 11 points shy
of their combined season aver-
age. And Ohio State limited
junior center Rachel Sheffer's
production in the paint to just
two points.
Sheffer was up against
6-foot-5 center Ashley Adams,
See BOUNCED, Page 2B

UNLIKELY CAPTAIN
Luke Glendening was bound for Divi-
sion-Ill college football before Michigan
found him. Page 4B

SMC: HERE'S TO BLUE
Stephen J. Nesbitt toasts the Michigan
basketball team's Big Ten title with a little
help from his friends. Page 2B

a

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