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January 12, 2012 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-01-12

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-8A - Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wolverines dominate
offensive glass in win

Sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and freshman guard Trey Burke each scored 19 points in the Wolverines' 66-64 overtime victory against Northwestern.
gMiinfnisesWldcats inO

By BEN ESTES Jr., who fouled Reggie Hearn
Daily SportsoEditor with one second left in the second
half and the game tied. That gave
All Michigan coach John the Wildcats a chance for the last
Beilein could do was breathe a shot, but guard/forward Drew
sigh of relief. Crawford was blocked and called
It wasn't pretty, and for for a travel when he came downto
long stretches they didn't look the floor after his failed jumper.
like they "(The fouls) were justdefensive
deserved 'to N'WESTERN 64 breakdowns, just scrambling,"
win, butthe MICHIGAN 66 Hardaway Jr. said. "They were
Michigan scrambling to get a shot off. The
basketball team held off a pesky refs made good calls, and we were
Northwestern team in overtime lucky enough that (Marcotullio)
on Wednesday night, taking the missed his first free throw"
66-64 victory. Michigan had to fight just to
Playing in the first overtime get a chance to win the game.
game of his college career, fresh- For the longest time, it looked
man point guard Trey Burke sank like Northwestern (1-3, 11-5) was
four free throws in the final 1:05 going to run away with it. In the
to give Michigan a three-point first half, the Wolverines looked
lead with just seconds to play. But overmatched, especially on
the 13th-ranked Wolverines had defense - Michigan struggled to
to survive one final scare, when keep up with the Wildcats' Princ-
sophomore guard Tim Hardaway eton attack, constantly losing
Jr. fouled Wildcat Alex Marcotul- cutters and allowing easy looks
lio on a last-ditch, low-percent- underneath the basket.
age 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds Northwestern forward John
remaining. Shurna, in particular, couldn't
But Marcotullio missed his be stopped, speeding away from
first free throw, allowing Michi- Wolverine defenders off the ball
gan (4-1 Big Ten, 14-3 overall) to and hitting almost all of his shots.
hold on for the win. Shurna finished with 21 points to
It was the second poor deci- lead all scorers.
sion in the clutch for Hardaway Michigan was caught off guard

when Luka Mirkovic, the starting
center for the Wildcats, was kept
on the bench at the beginning of
the game - Northwestern coach
Bill Carmody had decided to go
with a smaller lineup. Beilein
also pointed to senior guard Zack
Novak's extended absence - he
picked up two early fouls - as
a factor in his team's first-half
defensive struggles.
"We didn't have a plan for
Shurna as a 5 man," Beilein said.
"(Mirkovic) has a total of three
3-pointers on the entire year.
(Shurna's) got like 40 or 50.
"He's got incredible numbers,
one of the best in the country.
When that came at us, they got
out to an early start on us, and
then Zack goes down. I was really
proud of the way we foughtback."
A 10-0 Wolverine run with
13:38 left in the second half -
punctuated by a fast-break, two-
handed dunk by Novak - gave
Michigan its first lead, 46-44,
since early in the first frame.
But the Wildcats didn't go
away, quickly regaining their
composure and retaking the
lead. From there, it was a defen-
sive battle, as neither team could
manage to get many open looks
nor hit the ones they did get.

Hardaway Jr. was the only one
keeping Michigan in it as North-
western threatened to break
away in the first frame, making
four of his five 3-point attempts
and finishing the half with 14
points. He saved his biggest
3-pointer for late in the game.
Hardaway Jr. hit the shot with
a hand in his face with just over
two and a half minutes remain-
ing, tying the game at 54-54 and
setting up the frenetic finish.
While the Wildcats got open
looks in the paint with ease in the
first frame, the Wolverines got
nothing out of their frontcourt.
When redshirt sophomore for-
ward Jordan Morgan wasn't los-
ing his man on cuts on defense, he
was getting swarmed in the paint
and failing to put the ball in the
basket on offense. And sophomore
forward Evan Smotrycz struggled
even more - Beilein was forced to
sit him at the 11-minute mark of
the firsthalfafterSmotrycz picked
up his second foul.
Morgan nearly crippled Mich-
igan in overtime when he picked
up a technical foul with just over
two minutes left for throwing an
elbow after a Wolverine basket.
But Michigan recovered and did
just enough to hold on to win.

Daily Sports Editor
If the rebounding effort of
the Michigan men's basketball
team on Wednesday night could
be described in one word, it'd be
offensive. But in
a good way. NOTEBOOK
The Wolver-
ines pounded the offensive glass
throughout the second half and
overtime, which helped them to
13 second-chance points in their
66-64 victory over Northwestern.
In fact, Michigan had just two
fewer offensive rebounds than
defensive rebounds on the game.
Twelve second-half offensive
rebounds and four more in over-
time were instrumental in keeping
Michigan's possessions alive and
overcoming an eight-point deficit.
"It helped give us extra pos-
sessions out there on the court,
and we really needed those
because we really weren't crash-
ing the offensive glass in the first
half," said sophomore forward
Tim Hardaway Jr. "So just get-
ting those extra opportunities
on offense and getting key plays
down the stretch really helped us
with the victory."
Michigan's 10-0 second-half
run, which erased the deficit and
gave Michigan a brief lead, was
sparked by an offensive rebound.
Senior guard Zack Novak followed
his miss on a 3-pointer, which gave
the Wolverines' possession new
life and culminated in an easy
layup from Hardaway Jr.
And with the Wildcats clinging
to a four-point lead with less than
five minutes remaining, Michi-
gan scrapped for three offensive
rebounds on the same possession.
Eventually, sophomore forward
Evan Smotrycz buried a jumper
to end a stretch of eight-straight
Wolverine misses.
In overtime, with the game
tied at 58, freshman point guard
Trey Burke rebounded his own

miss, then rebounded senior
guard Stu Douglass's miss and
buried a leaner to give Michigan a
lead it would not relinquish.
"Trey Burke," said Michi-
gan coach John Beilein. "I don't
want him ever getting offensive
rebounds because I always want
him rotating back. I'm glad he got
that one. Because that was a big
point in the game."
In the final minute of the game
with Michigan up a point, Hard-
away Jr. missed a 3-pointer, but
the Wolverines recovered it and
Burke knocked down two free
throws to give Michigan its final
margin of victory.
was a tale of two halves for Burke.
But both halves were disappoint-
ing, so he used overtime to get the
happy ending.
The Columbus native went
4-for-15 in regulation and con-
tributed to the Wolverines' dis-
mal first half.
But in overtime, Burke put the
last 40 minutes behind him and
carried Michigan to its fourth Big
Ten victory. He scored eight of
the Wolverines' 12 points in the
extra frame and was unfazed at
the line, knocking down all six of
his free-throw attempts.
In the final minute, Northwest-
ern sent Burke to the line twice.
Both times, the Wolverines were
up by a point and needed two
makes to ensure thatthe Wildcats
could do no better than tie.
With the crowd of 12,605 qui-
eting to a hush on each attempt,
Burke stayed cool and found
nylon each time.
"Thank God we have him,"
Hardaway Jr. said. "That's what
I'm saying. Trey Burke is just
growing as the season goes on,
blossominginto agreatplayer and
a nationally ranked player. Him
knocking down these big free
throws just gives him more con-
fidence going down the stretch of
the season."

Ryan has tough task guarding
Nittany Lions' standout Lucas

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Daily Sports Writer
Junior guard Jenny Ryan
began practice on Tuesday
morning with a couple rounds of
power slides. Her drill requires
her to stay
low, go for the
imaginary Michigan at
ball and keep Penn State
her imaginary
defender at Matn St. 1-4;
bay. But for Michigan 13-3
Ryan, that
defender is When: Thurs-
anything but day, 6:00 p.m.
imaginary. It Where: Bryce-
changes week Jordan Center
to week, but TV/Radio:
this week, she BigrTen Net-
has a very spe- murk
cific target in
mind - Penn State sophomore
guard Maggie Lucas.
Lucas, last year's Big Ten Fresh-
man of the Year, is one of No. 25
Penn State's three high-scoring
guards around the arc. Last Sat-
urday, she scored 33 points against
Michigan State and has led her
team to four 100-plus scoring out-
ings this season alone.
"They can flat out score," said
Michigan coach Kevin Borseth.
"Penn State has the most talent of
anyone in our conference, hands
down. They are extremely strong,
extremely athletic, and they have
great size. They are a handful to
anyone that plays them."
Though the bulkofPenn State's
offensive production comes from
its perimeter players - a scor-
ing scheme the Wolverines have
matched up well against so far
this season - Michigan's bigs
are sure to find their hands full
with 6-foot-4 junior center Nikki
Greene. Though she may not be
a main scoring threat, Greene's
rebounding and blocking capabili-
ties will force the Wolverines to
make some major adjustments on
both sides of the court.
"They have a monster of a kid
around that basket that makes
life very difficult around the
hole," Borseth said. "We have
to find a way to rebound around


Junior guardJenny Ryan will go up against Penn State guard Maggie Lucas.

the basket. (Penn State) grabbed
up 25 offensive boards against
"The reason Nebraska won
was because (the Cornhuskers)
were able to score well on the
other end. Our keys are going to
have to be taking care of the ball,
rebounding, and taking shots
in rhythm. We have a challenge
ahead of us, no question about it."
It is difficult to categorize a
team as strictly offensively or
defensively oriented, but for
Ryan, the Wolverines' strength
lies in its defense. The numbers
are on her side.
Michigan has held the bulk of
its opponents to about 50 points
thanks to a combination of solid
one-on-one defense and the abil-
ity to steal nearly everything in
sight. It has been said on multiple

occasions that the Wolverines
are flesh-and-blood rebels to the
old, steadfast belief that the best
defense is a good offense. In fact,
Michigan seems to believe the
best offense is a good defense.
Thursday, the Wolverines will
play a team that believes in the
old and steadfast, an ideology
that has guided the Nittany Lions
to several victories surpassing
the century-mark.
How it will all play out is
unclear, but the goal remains the
same for Michigan - pull out a
"We pride ourselves on our
defense, and with them being the
best offensive team and us one of
the best defensive teams, this is
going to be a battle of the man-
tras," Ryan said. "We're just look-
ing to come out with the win."

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