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March 11, 2013 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-03-11

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2B - March 11, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

. C

Spartans bounce
'M' from tourney

Seniors Amanda Eccleston (top), Rebecca Addison and Jillian Smith and freshman Maya Long ran the fastest DMR in the nation.

Women's track championship relay team con-
DMR team captures sisted of senior Rebecca Addison
running the 1200-meter portion,
NCAA Indoor title freshman Maya Longrunningthe
400-meter, senior Jillian Smith
racing the 800-meter leg and
By ELI SPARKMAN senior Amanda Eccleston clos-
For The Daily ing out the relay with the crucial
1600-meter leg.
The Michigan women's track "It was really exciting after
and field team captured the pro- qualifying last weekend with
gram's fourth-ever Indoor NCAA the best time in the nation," said
Championship in the distance assistant. coach Mike McGuire.
medley relay event Friday at the "The girls came in with a real
Randal Tyson track in Fayette- focus, it was really exciting hav-
ville, Ark. ing three seniors out there and I
Led by its three seniors, the think it was a really great way to
relay team has a potent mix of end their careers."
experience, talent and confi- As the distance coach, McGuire
dence, and it's proven to be one has a lot to do with the success of
of the most successful teams in the relay team. He's been work-
Michigan history. The relay won ing with distance and relay run-
the Big Ten Championship in ners at Michigan with head coach
Geneva, Ohio, two weeks ago and 'James Henry for the last 21 years.
set a program record by running McGuire is also the head coach of
the fastest time in the nation last the Michigan cross country team
week in South Bend, Ind., with a of which Rebecca Addison and
time of 9:56.66. The four athletes Jillian Smith are captains, so the
once again outdid themselves this experience and chemistry needed
week by re-breaking their fastest - for success are there.
time in program history with a All of the recent success, com-
race time of 9:56.46 to win the bined with the experience of the
Indoor NCAA Championship. three seniors and the coaching
The Wolverines' national staff, proved to be key in winning

the championship in the face of
the nerves.
"You go in feeling ready to a
degree because we won the Big
Ten in the event with a nation-
best performance," McGuire said.
"But it's also a National Champi-
onship so there's some nervous
energy you have to deal with."
Despite the nerves, the Wol-
verines distance medley relay
team won in decisive fashion,
edging runner-up Villanova by a
second and a half.
"Rebecca Addison's leadoff
was a little touch and go early
on because she was in the back
of the pack," McGuire said. "But
she did a really good job of ral-
lying, particularly in the last
lap to hand off as a close third.
Maya's 400-meter leg kept us in
about the same spot, Jill Smith
moved us up into the lead on her
third leg which was 800 meters.
Amanda just did an outstanding
job anchoring, running as fast as
she did, leading the whole way
was as good of a performance as
we've ever had."
Also competing Friday for
Michigan was junior Erin Bus-
bee who finished sixth overall
in the long jump with a mark of
6.33 meters. The mark earned her
first-team All-American honors:
at her inaugural NCAA Champi-
onship. In the mile, sophomore
Shannon Osika finished 14th and
was awarded second-team All-
American honors with a time of
The Wolverines finished in
15th place in the National Indoor
rankings tied with both UCLA
and Florida State with a total
of 13 points. No. 1 Oregon domi-
nated the field with a total of 56
points eclipsing runner-up Kan-
sas by 12 points. The win marked
the fourth-straight Indoor NCAA
Championship for Oregon.
Michigan is now looking for-
ward to taking its indoor success
into the outdoor season which
starts next week.
Part of the team will head to
Tampa Bay, Fla. to face South
Florida while the rest of the team
will head to Orlando to take on
Central Florida.

After win over
Indiana, Michigan
bounced in
quarterfinals of Big
Ten Tournament
Daily Sports Writer
- The Michigan women's bas-
ketball team may have ended its
12-game losing streak to Michi-
gan State earlier in the season at
Crisler Center, but a new win-
ning streak for the Spartans
started Friday night as the Wol-
verines fell 62-46 to Michigan
State in this transported in-state
rivalry showdown.
Making its fourth consecu-
tive appearance in the quarterfi-
nals of the Big Ten Tournament,
Michigan (9-7 Big Ten, 21-10
overall) hoped to advance to its
first semifinals since 2001, but
the play of Spartan guard Klaris-
sa Bell and 14-0 second half scor-
ing run was too much for the it
to overcome in this wire-to-wire
victory by Michigan State.
"I think they just attacked
us defensively," said senior for-
ward Rachel Sheffer. "We really
couldn't come together defen-
sively, and we' couldn't carry
over with defensive stops to our
offense and nothing really was
going for us tonight."
Though the student cheering
sections were absent - the Mer-
chant Maniacs and Maize Rage
were not present - older alumni
for each school were. Positioned
behind each teams' bench, the
fans tried to emulate as raucous
of a crowd that was present
for their prior two matchups,
despite the attendance being far
less than before.
The volume favored the Spar-
tans (10-6, 23-7) to start, as Bell
sprinted down court on a fast
break to lay in a basket to begin
the scoring. She would score on
the their next possession as well,
and finish with 12 points in the
first half and 20 in the game to
lead the team.
"I thought Bell's offense
was unbelievable tonight," said
Michigan coach Kim Barnes
Arico. "And her defense was
great, too. But she came out of
the gates and hurt us offensively.
I think she might have had their
first 10 points. So we expected
her to do a great job defensively.
She did a really good job defen-
sively against Kate the last cou-
ple of times, but I thought she
really stepped up her game on
the offense tonight as well. She's
a good player."
Unlike Thursday night's
matchup for the Wolverines,
their offensive production was
lackluster against the confer-
ence's best defensive squad to
begin the game, falling down by
as much as 12in the first half.
Michigan State doubled up
Michigan, 24-12, following a
jumper by senior guard Jasmine
Thomas after an over the back
violation on the Spartans was
reversed and they retained pos-
While the Wolverines

remained visibly upset by the
call, they countered with a
3-pointer by Sheffer to trim the
lead back to nine. Sheffer would
finish with 10 points.
She added another basket less
than two minutes later to cut
the lead to eight. It appeared
Michigan might have shifted the
momentum back.
And it seemingly did, as
Michigan continued to trim
away, going on a 13-6 run, end-
ing on a senior guard Jenny
Ryan 3-pointer with 37 seconds
left to make the halftime score
30-25, in favor of the Spartans.
By shooting 40.7 oercent from

tory as they went nearlyten min-
utes without a ,field goal from
the field, while scoring just four
points on free throws.
Bell among others was the
reason behind this defensive
stand,limitingThompsonto 3-14
shooting from the field and 1-for-
10 shooting from deep as the
senior scored just eight points.
"(It was) a little bit differ-
ent than the last time we played
them," said Michigan State
coach Suzy Merchant. "I thought
(Bell) was late to the party, a step
slow - she would be three or four
feet behind (Thompson) coming
underneath. You get six inches


Senior forward Rachel Sheffer had 10 points and two blocks in the loss.

the field in the half, it remained
Though the Wolverines start-
ed off poorly, they remained
within striking distance thanks
to Sheffer's seven first-half
points and senior forwards Kate
Thompson and Nya Jordan's
four points each, as well as soph-
omore guard Nicole Elmblad's
four points.
Similar to its game the night
before, Thompson was held
without a 3-pointer in the first
half, but unlike against Indiana,
she did not open the second half
with one, as Michigan turned
the ball over on a five-second
violation on its first possession
and a shot clock violation on its
second possession.
In return, Michigan State
scored consecutive baskets to
push their lead to the cusp of
double digits at nine points.
But before, they could push
it into that territory again, the
Wolverines went on an 8-2 scor-
ing burst to come within strik-
ing distance at 36-33 and make
it seem this game was far from
But again, Michigan could
not close the gap any closer, as
sophomore guard Kiana John-
son scored seven straight points
for the Spartans as they went
on a emotion draining 14-0 run
to bring the Spartans' lead to a
then-game-high 17 points.
Unlike in the middle game
between these two, there would
be no second-half run by the
Wolverines to pull out the vic-

behind (Thompson), and she can
really do some damage. So I was
very pleased with her tenacity.
It's not an easy thing to guard
someone that gets flared, double
staggered, screened, rescreened
for 40 straight minutes."
Michigan's chance to win had
disappeared, just as what had
happened in these two teams'
matchup in East Lansing earlier
in the year, when Michigan State
opened on a 9-0 run to push a
seven-point halftime lead to 16.
Needing a run of their own
more than ever, it never came
for the Wolverines, as they got
within 13 points but never any
closer. Shooting just 28 percent
from the field in the second
half, compared to 54 percent
for the Spartans, doomed them.
While Jordan had a team-high
12 points and seven rebounds,
it wasn't enough, as Michigan
lacked another scorer with more
than 10 points, while Michigan
State boasted three.
As the Wolverine section
of fans dissipated as the clock
ran down, the Spartan fans
remained, loud, cheering their
team to the final seconds of the
game chanting "Go Green! Go
Both groups of fans knew one
of these teams would be going
back to Michigan after tonight
and for the other, a matchup
with top-seeded No. 8 Penn
State awaited.
In the end, it was Michigan
State that earned that date in the
Big Ten Tournament semifinals.


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