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February 01, 2013 - Image 9

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. The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, February 1, 2013 - 9

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, February 1, 2013.- 9

Another defensive struggle and Big
Ten road loss for the Wolverines

By GLENN MILLER JR.
Daily Sports Writer
This was a game the Michigan
women's basketball team needed,
yet played like it didn't even want.
After dropping two of its last
-three Big Ten matchups, the Wol-
verines can't blame Thursday
night's loss to Minnesota on a
short week. They also can't claim
they lost at the hands of a superior
Golden Gopher team.
When all the excuses are put
aside, this game stung a little
extra.
Michigan (5-3 Big Ten, 16-5
overall) allowed a season-high 82
points and turned the ball over 12
times in Minneapolis. Sophomore
guard Rachel Banham dominat-
ed the game for Minnesota (3-5,
14-8), finishing with a career-high
31 points. The Golden Gophers,
who entered the game ranked
eighth in the Big Ten, abused the
Wolverines' paper-thin defense
and routed Michigan, 82-67.
Three players finished in dou-
ble-digits for Michigan, includ-
ing senior guard Kate Thompson,
who led the offense with 18
points.
If there is a silver lining in
the loss' to Minnesota, it may be
Thompson's 5-for-8 shooting
performance from beyond the
arc, where she has undoubtedly
struggled in the past few games.
Senior forward Rachel Sheffer
nearly completed another double-
double, adding 17,points and nine
rebounds.
But it wasn't the Wolverines'
offense that failed to show up.
Rather, it was a lackluster defen-
sive performance that allowed
the Golden Gophers to control
the game throughout. Michigan
gave up a season-high 43 points
in the first half, despite allow-
ing 51.2 points per game entering

NICHOLAS WILL
Senior forward Kate Thomosn led Michigant in scoring by shooting 5-for-8 from deep en route to18 total points.

The men's swimming team will be one of the teams performing in Mock Rock.
Jalen Rose to
emcee Mock Rock

the evening. Minnesota shot an
impressive 59.3 percent from the
floor, while finding relative ease
scoring the ball within the paint.
Banham was sensational,
shooting 6-of-8 from 3-point
range while slicing her way
through the Wolverines' back-
court. Two other Golden Gophers
finished in double digits, includ-
ing junior forward Micaella Riche
and redshirt freshman Kayla
Hirt. Riche and Hirt contributed
15 and 10 points, respectively.
Minnesota got off to a hot start,
hitting five of its first seven shots
to start the game. Thompson's
shooting kept Michigan within
the game, but it could not slow

down Banham's production.
After allowing 11 points off of
seven turnovers in the first half,
the Wolverines found themselves
trailing, 43-39, heading into the
-break.
Michigan again started in
a 2-3 zone to begin the second
half, but the defense was simply
ineffective. The Golden Gophers
took advantage of the sluggish
pace, continually fending off the
Wolverines' attempt to grab the
lead. After a 7-0 run that brought
Michigan within a point, Minne-
sota responded with its own-7-0
run, putting an end to the Wol-
verines' hopes.
While they didn't win the war,

Michigan did win two battles in
the game. The Wolverines scored
18 bench points, 10 of which came
from freshman guard Madison
Ristovski. After shooting 4-of-5
from the field, Ristovski tallied a
career high in points. Michigan
also bested the Golden Gophers
on the boards, where the Wolver-
ines grabbed 29 rebounds.
The schedule doesn't get any
easier for Michigan, as it heads to
East Lansing on Monday to face a
hungry Spartan squad. With all
the excuses of last week put aside,
the Wolverines now have yet
another opportunity to get back
on track against their conference
rival.

Sugiyama leading No. 3 Michigan

By SIMON KAUFMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan has a top-ranked
team competing at the. Crisler
Center led by a sophomore having
a standout season - and it's not
the men's basketball team.
The No. 3 women's gymnastic
team and sophomore Sachi Sugi-
yama are quietly gaining a reputa-
tion as an elite team in the NCAA.
The Wolverines (2-1 Big Ten,
6-1 overall) are off to a stellar
start,featuringtremendous depth
overall and a group of athletes
that seems to enjoy nothing more
thanthe thrill of competition.
Among them is Sugiyama, who
is having a sophomore year that
might be bigger than her home
state. The native of Keller, Texas
turned heads last year when she
captured the Big Ten title on the
vault, second place on the uneven
bars and was named to the All-Big
Ten Championship Team.
She's on pace to do it again this
year.
"I haven't changed anything
specifically," Sugiyama said. "The
routines have stayed the same
from last year, but (I've) defi-
nicely just (been) working on the
details." -
And the details have been pay-
ing off, particularly on the floor
exercise, where Sugiyama is tied
for 13th in the nation, averaging a
9.888 mark.
She has placed in the top four

Sophomore Sachi Sugiyama is on pace to top animpressive freshman season that saw her win the Big Ten title on the oault.

By DANIEL WASSE
Daily Sports Edit
In what will be one o
gest public appearance
Arbor since his play
former Michigan b
player and current ES
ketball analyst Jalen R
emcee the 15th annu
Rock on Monday at H
torium.
The event, hosted
Student-Athlete Advis
mittee (SAAC), pitsr
from most of the Unive
varsity programs in a
tion for the best on-stag
performance.
A trio of 2012 Lond
pians - former Michig
polo goalie and 2012 g
alist Betsey Armstr
former Wolverine hur
and Tiffany Porter - w
as the event's judges,
C.S. Mott Children's
patient Kaitlin Huff.
Mock Rock origin
1999 to raise proceed
Jeff Reese Endowed
ship fund in memory of
former Michigan wres
passed away during
son training in 1997.
scholarship
was amply
funded, Mott
became the "
primary ben-
eficiary.
The
money for hor
Mott will go
to the Fam- th
ily and Hope
Fund, which
"provides
aid to families whose c
ness has created extra
financial hardshipsc
types of challenges,"
ing to the event's offic
release. -
After raising mo
$90,000 lastyear, SAAI
to raise more than $10
year.
"Mott's huge for1
letic department," sai
lacrosse player J.D. Jo
Mock Rock chair. "T
student-athletes a grer
tunity to volunteer all
and they get our sup
percent of the time, s
way, building that rel
is always important. M
is no exception.
"This is just perhaps
public way we do it, br
necessarily (the only w
Rose's charter sc
Detroit, the Jalen Ros
ship Academy, will se
co-beneficiary. Rose,
be on ESPN's College
set on Saturday in Blot
covering the Michigan
basketball game, follo
footsteps of an impre
lection of past specia
including Desmond
Adam Schefter and Dht
"That's the highlig
the big thing," Johns
Rose. "We know that h

in 11 of 12 routines on vault,
uneven bars and the floor exercise
this year. She already captured
the uneven bars title twice this
month, at the Cancun Classic and
against Nebraska, posting scores
of 9.850 and 9.900, respectively.
She also found herself atop the
podium for her floor exercise at
the Cancun Classic (9.900) and
for her performance on the vault
versus Minnesota (9.950).
"She's much more of a veteran
performer now," said Michigan
coach Bev Plocki. "She knows
how to handle pressure-filled
situations better than she did last
year, and she's doing a very good

job for us. ... We're very happy
with what she's been doing."
The sophomore credits her
success to a combination of new
confidence, as well as the support
she receives from her teammates.
"My confidence has improved
and my level of endurance (has
improved)," Sugiyama said. "I've
gotten more clean in my gym-
nastics and definitely better tech-
niques have been progressing
(that I've been) working on since
freshman year, and it's definitely
been paying off."
What will be most important,
though, is Sugiyama's ability to
handle the pressure come time

for the NCAA Tournament. She's
done a good job dealing with the
personal pressure and the pres-
sure that cotses with being on a
top-ranked team so far this sea-
son, and will hope to continue to
do so when Michigan hosts Iowa
on Saturday.
"We're definitely excited about
(the ranking)," Sugiyama said.
"We've been taking it more as
motivation because we definitely
want to stay up there, and I don't
think were taking it as negative
pressure.
"It's definitely like a good pres-
sure. We're really enjoying it ...
and it's a really good feeling."

RMAN personality on TV and brings
or great life to his shows, so having
him come back, bringing back
fthe big- the Fab Five, it's almost like a
s in Ann homecoming. Even if it is only
ng days, one of them, a lot of us feel like
asketball it is the homecoming forthe Fab
PN bas- Five coming back.
tose will "I know he's excited. I know
al Mock he's really looking forward to
ill Audi- having the show be huge, not
only for himself, but ... he's
by the always looking for ways to help
try Com- out."
members Last year's event - which
rsity's 27 included Denard Robinson
competi- dressed as a nerd and a trio of
e variety women's teams mocking the
academic standards at other Big
on Olym- Ten universities - was won by
'an water a skit featuring the men's and
old med- women's track and field and
tng and cross country teams. The men's
lers Jeff soccer team took home the
will serve "Better Luck Next Year" award,
alongside denotingthe show's skit thatleft
Hospital the most to be desired.
"To get people to seethe other
rated in side of athletes, it is extremely
s for the important and extremely fun
Scholar- for everybody," Johnson said.
f Reese, a "We're pushing for the skits to
tler who be prime and top notch - defi-
midsea- nitely pushing for a great show,
After the great entertainmentvalue."
But the
seniorsaidthat
fans shouldn't
"A lot of us expect skits
this year to
gel like it's a be as edgy as
some have
necoming for been in years
past. Without
.e Fab Five." citing any skits
in particular,
Johnson noted
that some
hild's ill- performances had lost sight of
ordinary Mock Rock's true values.
or other "I would say the focus of
accord- keeping a family-friendly show
-ial press was made secondary and we're
trying to bring thatback to fore-
re than front," he said. "The goal this
C's goal is year is to bring the show back
0,00 this to its roots of a family-friendly,
beneficiary focus show, rather
the .ath- than focusing on outdoing the
d senior last year."
hnson, a That doesn't mean, though,
hey give that the competitive nature
at oppor- , between the athletes has dimin-
the time ished.
)port 100 "Now tha the show's getting
o in any closer, people will say, Oh, you
aionship better not screw up this year,'
[ock Rock and that sort of thing," John-
son said of the banter between
the most teams. "Being that we're ath-
ut it's not letes, competition's always
ay)." huge. That's always important
hool in to see who wins and who goes
e Leader- home empty-handed."
rrve as a Tickets for the 7 p.m. show
who will at Hill Auditorium can be pur-
GameDay chased from the Michigan Ath-
omington letic Ticket Office on Friday or
i-Indiana Mondaybetween 8:30 a.m. and 5
ws in the p.m., at the door or at mockrock.
ssive col- org, where donations can also be
it guests,. made. VIP seats are $30, while
Howard, non-student general admission
aniJones. seats are $15. Students with
ht, that's valid M-Cards can purchase
n said of tickets for $12. Doors open at 6
e's a great p.m.

Swimmers to battle against OSU

By ISIAH KNIGHT
For the Daily
Any time a Michigan team
faces Ohio State, intensity is sure
to be at its peak. When the two
swimming and diving teams,
both ranked in the top 10, face off
this weekend, it will be no differ-
ent.
On Friday and Saturday at
Canham Natatorium, the top-
ranked Wolverines (4-0 Big Ten,
6-0 overall) will take on the 10th-
ranked Buckeyes (1-1 , 8-1) in a
two-day dual meet.
Despite the excitement of the
rivalry and the idea of putting

the team's undefeated record
on the line, senior Miguel Ortiz,
reigning Big Ten Swimmer of the
Week, is taking it all in stride.
"We're pretty confident about
this weekend," Ortiz said. "We've
been training hard. I mean it is
Ohio State, but we've been trying
hard every meet, so I don't think
there's any difference."
While they are taking the sea-
son one meet at a time, Ortiz and
the Wolverines are also looking
forward to the future. They hope
to remain unbeaten and carry
that momentum late into the sea-
son.
"We're trying to win Big Tens

and use that as a stepping stone to
the NCAAs," Ortiz said. "We're
definitely trying to get the cham-
pionship title this year. We have
a really good team with a lot of
depth, so I'm really excited."
Historically, Michigan boasts
an all-time record of 64-11-2
against the Buckeyes and hasn't
lost to its rivals in more than 20
years.
. But with a fierce rivalry and
two powerhouse programs com-
peting, these types of records
rarely mean much once the meet
begins.
While the upcoming contest
between the Wolverines and

Ohio; State is important to all
the members of the swimming &
diving team, it'll be particularly
special for the athletes that have
spent the past four years suiting
up for the maize and blue. This
weekend's matchup will involve
the team's senior swimmers hon-
ored before the meet.
"We have a class motto of
'Those who stay will be champi-
ons', and the present seniors have
definitely been following that
motto throughout the four years
we've been here," Ortiz said.
"I'm just excited to see all of the
seniors line up in front of every-
one and be recognized."

r

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