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December 11, 2012 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-12-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2012- 5

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 5

Wolverines battle Eagles for
Washtenaw County supremacy

ALDEN REISS/Daily
Sophomore guard Trey Burke is spearheading the Michigan basketball team's new-look transition offense.
Michigan welcomes Bearcats

By DANIEL WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan basketball
team is a 38-point favorite over
Binghamton in Tuesday night's
game. But that doesn't necessar-
ily equate to an easy week for the
Wolverines.
Aside from
the added C
stress of finals Michigan vs.
week, fresh- Binghamton
1 man forward Matchup:
Glenn Rob- Michigan 9-0;
inson III Binghamton 2-8
described prac- When: Tes-
tices as "way day7 p.m.
harder than the
games." Where: Crisler
Michigan Center +
coach John TV/Radio:
Beilein echoed BTN
those senti-
ments, calling the scout team
"cagey, son-of-a-guns back
there."
"Our scout team gives us the
best games that we get some-
times," Beilein said.
And that'll likely hold true
this week, when Michigan (9-0)
welcomes the Bearcats to Crisler
Center, where it has lost just
once since the start of last sea-
son. Binghamton (2-8) is riding a
four-game losing skid, including
a 22-point loss to 5-3 Bryant on
Sunday.
The Bearcats have just one
player, freshman Jordan Reed,
who averages in double figures.

Reed is scoring 18.3 points per
game, but has probably never
played in an atmosphere like the
one he'll face inAnn Arbor.
Several blowout wins have
allowed Beilein the flexibil-
ity to reach deep into his bench,
sometimes playing upwards of
12-to-13 players. Weeks like this
and games against foes such as
the Bearcats allow Beilein the
opportunity to continue putting
the piecestogether in his rota-
tion with Big Ten play just a few
weeks away.
"(The rotation is) set, but it's
never really setbecause foul trou-
ble can change the whole rota-
tion, or an injury," Beilein said.
"Generally, you shorten it later on
in the year - I think every coach
does - but nine or 10 would be
good. Nine is always a pretty
good number."
The fight for a spoton the floor
is an everyday battle, and eight
players are scrapping for min-
utes, making practices this year
some of the most intense Beilein
has seen in his 34 years of coach-
ing. He said that onlytwo players,
sophomore guard Trey Burke and
junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr.,
don't necessarily have to prove .
themselves on a daily basis, but
that doesn't hamper their effort
in practice.
"Tim and Trey set the stage
because they know they're not -
their minutes aren't at stake like
other guys' may be at stake, (but)
they're the hardest two com-

petitors we have," Beilein said.
"Everybody knows that we're
watching everything, because
that's how we dole out the min-
utes.
"So when (Tim and Trey) set
that, it's like Zack and Stu all over
again - that set type of demean-
or for every practice. It's easy,
everyone else just follows along."
Redshirt freshman forward
Max Bielfieldt, who sprained
his ankle in practice last week,
is questionable for Tuesday's
game. The forward hasn't played
since registering nine minutes
against Bradley on Dec. 1, but was
expected to practice Monday.
Even with an injured Bielf-
eldt, Beilein has more frontcourt
depth than he's ever had at Mich-
igan. While redshirt forward
junior Jordan Morgan, freshman
forward Mitch McGary, and even
redshirt sophomore Jon Horford
see most of their action as the
only true post presence on the
floor, the sixth-year headman
said he'd like to have two big men
on the floor for about 10 minutes
per game.
And even with a little time
before conference play kicks off
on Jan. 3, Beilein was careful not
to push his players too hard on
Sunday following the 80-67 win
over Arkansas and its '40 minutes
of hell' playing style.
"The exams are here, every-
thing is really tight," he said.
"After the Arkansas game, I
needed a rest, let alone our team."

By ALEXA DETTELBACH
Daily Sports Writer
The 21st Battle Washtenaw
County is upon us, as the Michi-
gan women's basketball team
takes on Eastern Michigan (1-7)
on Tuesday.
Separated by just seven miles,
the two teams will face off in a
non-conference game in Ypsi-
lanti.
The Wolverines are a week
removed from a big victory
over Illinois
State, hut even
with the time Michigan
off Michigan at EMU
(7-2) is poised Matchup:
to win hark Michigan 7-2;
the county. EMU1-7
The Eagles
have won the en:Tues-
last two meet-
ings between Where: Con-
the two teams vocation Center
including a Stats:
67-59 victory MGoBlue.com
in the 2011
WNIT and a 77-59 win last sea-
son.
Despite its recent lack of suc-
cess against Eastern Michigan,
Michigan leads the all-time
series 12-8, and plans to add to
that Tuesday. The Wolverines
hope to build off their success
against Illinois State.
"Anytime you win on the
road against a quality opponent
it's a great victory," said Michi-
gan coach Kim Barnes Arico. "I
was really happy with that. We
are ready to move forward and
build off of that."
The victory over the Red-
birds was also Michigan's best
rebounding game this season.
The Wolverines grabbed a
season-high 42 rebounds, and
sophomore forward Nicole
Elmblad had a career-high 10
rebounds. In addition, Michi-
gan's opponents have averaged
32.7 rebounds per game, but the
Wolverines held Illinois State to
only 24 rebounds.
"I think we rebounded excep-
tionally well," Barnes Arico
said. "We (also) limited them to
second-chance points, so we did
a great job there (too)."
Rebounding has been a huge

PATRICK BARRN/ail
Senior forward Rachel Sheffer and Michigan seek revenge against the Eagles.

issue for the injury-depleted
team. And now that the Wolver-
ines have started finding suc-
cess on the boards, it's time to
focus on turnovers, which con-
tinue to be a problem as Michi-
gan averages 15.1 per game.
"We have to get better at pres-
sure," said senior guard Rachel
Sheffer. "We (also) missed a lot
of layups and turned the ball
over by traveling. (But) all of
this leads to turnovers and (we)
know we have to work on that."
Eastern Michigan will have
to force as many turnovers as
it can to help slow down senior
forward Kate Thompson's hot
hand. Thompson had a game-
high 18 points against Illinois
State, and leads the team in
scoring with 15.7 points per
game.
Senior guard Jenny Ryan will
also make the Eagles' task more
difficult. Ryan averages 12.9
points per game, 5.1 rebounds
per game, and 3.8 assists per
game.
"It (was) big for our season

andbigforour team," Ryan said.
"(That was) a very good Illinois
State team, so it was a key win
for us."
Meanwhile, farther down
Washtenaw Avenue, Eastern
Michigan is coming off a heart-
breaking 66-65 loss to South
Dakota State. The Eagles are
5-4 against the Wolverines on
their home floor, and know they
can turn their season around
with a win.
Eastern Michigan will need
redshirt senior guard Miranda
Tate to continue stepping up.
Tate has scored ateam-high 14.4
points per game, and the Eagles
also have junior forward Olivia
Fouty's 10.7 points per game
and team-high 8.3 rebounds per
game.
Though they've only won
one game this season, Eastern
Michigan has been resilient in
every matchup. Besides a large
23-point loss against Wyoming,
the Eagles average defeats by 6.1
points, showing they are a few
shots away from victory.

'M' to be tested by Texas in Final Four

By ERIN LENNON
Daily Sports Writer
Amid the season of term
papers and final exams, lb
Michigan students have a dif-
ferent kind of final on the brain:
the Final Four.
Having made history Satur-
day against
No. 2 Stanford Michigan
in the Elite
Eight in four VS. Texas
sets, the Mich- Matchup:
igan volleyball Michigan 27-11;
team will be Texas 30-4
back in Louis- When: Thurs-
ville, studying day 7 p.m.
up for its next Where: Crisler
big test in No. Center
3 Texas. TV/Radio:
But , the ESPN2d
Wolverines
could have just
as easily been another group of
students studying in the Fish-
bowl during finals week.
Since dropping two of the
their final four matches of the
season against unranked oppo-
nents, the Wolverines have put
together a season-high six-
game win streak at a time when
it mattered most - the postsea-
son.
And while Michigan had
seven consecutive postseason
appearances before this year,
Saturday's victory was the first
Final Four berth in team his-
tory.
"We knew we had the talent
all along," said Michigan coach
Mark Rosen. "It was just a mat-
ter of putting it together."
First, there was Tennessee, a
team that finished second in the
SEC with a 22-8 overall record.
Despite an early 2-0 advantage
for the Wolverines, it took five
sets to put away the resilient
Volunteers and advance.
Next, they faced Louisville.

against unranked Michigan.
But once again, it was an upset
in favor of the underdogs. Once
it was all said and done, the
Wolverines were in the Final
Four.
But up until the postseason,
Michigan hadn't been playing
up to its potential.
Sure, there were signature
Michigan wins against Nebras-
ka and Stanford, career-high
nights for junior outside hit-
ter Molly Toon and sophomore
setter Lexi Dannemiller. There
were also the disappoint-
ing losses to Northwestern
in straight sets and Michigan
State at home.
"We know that the games
that we've lost we could have
played a lot better," said senior
middle blocker Claire McEl-
heny. "Whether we would have
won (those games) or not, I
don't know."
As any University student
will tell you: it's all about the
final.
No. 3 Texas heads back to
Louisville with a 27-4 record
having breezed by Colgate,
Texas A&M, Florida and finally
USCto earn a place in the Final
Four.
Much like the Wolverines,
the Longhorns put together a
strong second half, winning 17
of its last18 matches. But Texas'
four losses this season came
against Penn State, Minnesota,
Illinois - two teams Michigan
defeated.
Michigan also put up abetter
fight against then-No. 1 Penn
State than the Longhorns who
were swept in three sets.
"We definitely feel like we
deserve to be there (in the
championship)," Dannemiller
said before the first round.
Now all the Wolverines have
to do is pass Texas's test.

Icers preparing for
Broncos final exams
By MATT SLOVIN this weekend presents the oppor-
Daily SportsEditor tunity for them to gain ground on
one of the league's top teams.
Coming off a bye week, Michi- "(Western Michigan) isn't a
gan hockey coach Red Berenson surprise anymore," Berenson
expects his team tobe more ready said. "They're definitely for real.
as it enters the penultimate week- ... I know they're going to be
end of the season's first half. good, so this is about us taking
But before No. 7 Western Mich- a step from where we were two
igan stands in the way of the Wol- weeks ago. We're a work in prog-
verines, losers of five of their last ress. It's a process, and we have a
seven, exams do. lot of things to get better at."
Berenson noted that it will be Once Michigan is finally able
a "relief" for the team to focus to focus solely on hockey, it will
exclusively on the weekend set in benefit from the return of sopho-
front of it as most exams will be more forward Alex Guptill, who
finished by Friday. was benched against Ferris State
"It's pressure off the ice, as well despite being the team's second-
as the pressure on the ice," Beren- leading scorer entering the series
son said. "When everyone's done against the.Bulldogs.
their exams, they just seem to "He's figured it out," Beren-
be a little more loose and a little son said. "He knows what the
more ready to focus on hockey." expectations are. Sometimes you
Playing on an exam day is have to take serious actions just
something Berenson had to deal to get a kid to understand what
with as a student at the Univer- you're talking about. If he's not
sity as well. listening, then he's watching the
"I remember writing a calcu- games."
lus exam and a chemistry exam Saturday morning, ,the Wol-
the same day of a game," Beren- verines held an intra-squad
son said. "That's something you scrimmage. But according to
have to do. It's difficult for our Berenson, the team's sub-par
guys. goaltending didn't improve, even
"I don't know their exam against its own team.
schedules but their exams are "I don't think anybody really
kicking in and we'll have exams helped themselves Saturday
right up to our game. % morning," Berenson said. "But
The Broncos are playing as (freshman goaltender Steve)
well as any team in the CCHA Racine - we need to get him
right now, and they are coming healthy and ready for the week-
off a sweep of a Ferris State team end, and then we'll see about a
that won the weekend against the backup."
Wolverines earlier this month. NOTES: Junior defenseman
Western Michigan is closing in Kevin Clare was kept out of prac-
on CCHA leader Notre Dame and tice again Monday with an undis-
is just two points behind Miami closed injury. Berenson says he
(Ohio) for second place. will continue to be evaluated
The Wolverines have sole pos- throughout the week before a
session of eighth place, 14 points decision is made on his status for
behind the Fighting Irish. But the weekend.

AUSTEN HUFFORD/Daily
Senior outside hitter Claire McElheny and the Wolverines are on to Louisville.

Playing on their home court,
the ninth-ranked Cardinals
were a another tough matchup-
for the Wolverines.
But as it had last year - after
upsetting No. 6 Stanford -
Michigan prevailed into the
Sweet 16.
Having bowed out of the
NCAA Tournament in the
Sweet 16 the previous year
against Hawaii, Michigan
headed out to California to bat-
tle in-state rival Michigan State
at a neutral site this time. It was

the teams third meeting this
year and, like the regular sea-
son split would have predicted,
anybody's game. This time,
though, three sets were enough
to advance past the Spartans
into the Elite Eight for the sec-
ond time in three years.
Finally, the second-ranked
Cardinal didn't just have tal-
ent on their side - they had
a grudge. Being eliminated
from the tournament before
the Sweet Sixteen was reason
enough to take it to the net

A

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