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January 18, 2013 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-01-18

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8 - Friday, January 18, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Ten in a row for Michigan

m

W

PATRICK BARRON/Daily
Top: The Michigan basketball team huddles before a second tough road game in a row. Left: Junior Tim Hardaway Jr.led
the team with 21 points. Right: Freshman forward Mitch McGary continues to provide a presence on the glass off the bench.
What I learnedfrom
Adidas in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS -
Four of Michigan's blue
road jerseys ripped in the
Wolverines' 83-75 win
over Minnesota Wednesday.
Impossible is nothing, right,
Adidas?
Trey Burke's No. 3 was the
first to rip, so he played most of
the game wearing No. 12, which
was also
ripped
later in the
game. So
after Jor-
dan Mor-
gan used
Michigan's
second and
only other
extra jersey DANIEL
- the red- WASSERMAN
shirt junior
played the
second half wearing No. 30-
Burke and, later, Caris LeVert
were forced to play with holes in
their uniforms.
I can't remember the last time
the Wolverines beat a top-10
opponent on the road after four
of its jerseys were ripped since
no official statistics are kept on
road games won with ripped
jerseys. I can assure you, though,
that no Michigan team has won
a road game over a top-10 team
since the Wolverines beat No.
10 Duke, 62-61, on Dec. 8,1996
until Wednesday. That was more
than 16 years ago.
Impossible is nothing.
A response
Michigan blew its chance at
the No.1 ranking after playing
a dud of a first half last Sunday
against Ohio State. The lingering
question before that game -
could the young Michigan squad
win ina hostile road atmosphere
against an equally talented

roster? - only magnified in the
days after. No longer was it just
a whisper, a hypothetical, it
became something the Wolver-
ines needed to answer.
"When you don't lose very
often, they really hit hard,"
Michigan coach John Beilein
admitted Wednesday, which is
why he said the film sessions
following the loss to the Buck-
eyes were held ina positive
light.
"This is what we've been
waiting for - try to find ways
to get better, because you don't
necessarily become better if you
win by 20 points. You get better
when you get it handed to you
like we did in Columbus."
And they did.
In Columbus, Ohio State
jumped out to a 21-point lead
before the Wolverines mounted
their comeback. Tim Hardaway
Jr. was held to just 12 points on
5-of-15 shooting, so Hardaway's
message to his team heading into
Minneapolis was that from the
moment it stepped off the plane
Tuesday night, prepare to play
like you're down 10 points.
Hardaway did, bouncing back
from his rough outing Sunday
to score 17 first-half points, pro-
pelling Michigan to a six-point
halftime lead.
The Wolverines might strug-
gle to conjure up that type of
chip on their shoulder in every
game, but hey, impossible is
nothing.
Flying high
Michigan's first-half momen-
tum turned into a second-half
steamroller out of the gates.
At the 13:42 mark, Glenn Rob-
inson III stole a lazy Minnesota
pass near halfcourt, dribbled
uncontested up the floor, and
effortlessly slammed home a

360-degree dunk.
The dunk, which ESPN imme-
diately nominated as a Top-10
play of the day, gave the Wolver-
ines a 19-point lead, their largest
of the night.
In his press conference,
Beilein couldn't hold back a
smile while sayingthat he wasn't
judging the dunk, or giving it
any score, from his spot on the
sidelines. But when asked if
beating a top-10 team on the
road for the first time since
1996 meant anything to him, his
immediate response was no, and
there weren't any smiles to go
along with the answer.
Every time he's talked, Beilein
has seemingly failed to let any
historical landmark that this
team has reached sink in, and
this answer appeared to be no
different. But then he paused,
and something in the coach's
mind clicked, sparking a more
pointed answer.
"You know what it means?" he
asked, hesitating again. "If you
look at this season, this season
right now, we're going to have to
do something out of the ordinary
to be in the Big Ten hunt."
Michigan just did. Eventual
Big Ten champions need wins
like the Wolverines got Thurs-
day in a raucous environment,.
against the No. 9 team in Ameri-
ca, on national television in what
some said was Minnesota's big-
gest home game since the '70s.
And it did so with authority. And
with ripped.jerseys.
"We've got our confidence
back," Burke said afterwards
with a smile.
And for a confident Michigan
team, impossible is nothing.
- Wasserman can be
reached at dwassyumich edu

Wolverines blow
out Northwestern
to extend program-
best streak
By DANIEL FELDMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Looking to extend a series
of winning streaks, the No.
25 Michigan women's basket-
ball team took on Northwest-
ern (0-4 Big Ten, 8-9 overall)
Thursday
night in MICHGAN 67
its first N'WESTERN 53
game as a
ranked team since 2002. Play-
ing against a team that hd a
clear height advantage with
nine players over six feet tall,
the Wolverines (4-0, 15-2)
relied on their quickness and
shooting from deep to beat the
Wildcats, 67-53, and continue
the program's best start ever.
After failingto makesat least
one 3-pointer in its last game
against Wisconsin, senior
forward Kate Thompson got
back to her old ways, connect-
ing from deep 28 seconds into
the game to open up the scor-
ing. Thompson wasn't close to
done, though, and she finished
with a team-leading 23 points,
including seven 3-pointers -
a career-high and program
record. She helped Michigan
win its tenth-straight game
-tying its longest winning
streak ever. The victory also
pushed the team's best con-
ference start to four straight
victories. -
"Coach set me down and
told me that I have to be confi-
dent and just shoot the ball and
not think about it," Thompson
said. "Jenny (Ryan) was really
finding me. Nya (Jordan) was
setting great screens. I have a
really great team around me."
The Wolverines started
the game hot, outscoring
Northwestern 11-2, before the
Wildcats called a timeout to
attempt to cool Michigan's siz-
zling start.
The hotness carried over to
the second half, as the team
shot 45 percent from the field
for the game and never trailed.
The Wolverines managed to
overcome their obvious height
disadvantage to outscore
Northwestern in the first half,
29-23, including 10-6 in the
paint.
Led by Jordan and her six
first-half points, the Wolver-
ines' bigs were able to score 17
first-half points.
Senior forwards Rachel
Sheffer and Sam Arnold also
added four first-half points
each, taking advantage of the
early foul trouble of Wildcats'
leading scorer Kendall Hack-
ney, who only managed seven
points and one rebound in the
first half and 18 points and two
rebounds for the game.
Though Hackney's foul
trouble helped Michigan keep
the rebounding even in the
first half, another key factor
to its early success was its bal-
anced scoring from its starters
and Arnold.

It seemed that Northwest-
ern, after scoring the last four
points of the first half, could

challenge the Wolverines in the
second half.
But Michigan once again
started the half hot, scoring the
first eight points of the stanza,
beginning with a 3-pointer by
Thompson - just as she did to
start the game.
"We noticed at the end of the
first half that we started to get a
little bit lazy," Jordan said.
Unlike their last game, in
which Ryan was their lone dou-
ble-digit scorer with a career-
high 19 points, the Wolverines'
were able to divide up the scor-
ing.
Two players scored over ten
points - Jordan had 12 - as
well as eight apiece for Arnold
and sophomore guard Nicole
Elmblad.
But it was Thompson who
stole the show, making four
3-pointers in the first seven
minutes of the second half to
extend both Michigan's lead
and her nnitoa+to 1

"I thought Kate was tremen-
dous," said Michigan coach
Kim Barnes Arico. "And obvi-
ously she can't do it without her
teammates."
From that point onward,
the game was all but over as
the Wolverines' lead never fell
below double-digits following
their initial run to start the
half.
Thompson's prowess from
deep wasn't the only thing that
powered Michigan to a con-
vincing victory. After matching
the Wildcats with 16 rebounds
in the first half, the Wolverines
outrebounded Northwestern,
24-9, in the second stanza -
good for a 40-25 advantage for
the game. Elmblad led the team
nine rebounds, while Jordan
had eight.
"We really put an emphasis
on our rebounding," Barnes
Arico said. "It's nice when you
come out and you outrebound
+the y1 o u e."

Senior forward Kate Thompson hita school-record seven 3-nointers Thursday.

GOING,
TO THE

BASKETBALL
From Page 1A
ence opponent - confident
and poised - was a complete
turnaround to how it fared
against the Buckeyes, and was
exactly what Michigan coach
John Beilein wanted to see from
his team in yet another hostile
environment.
"Winning road games in this
league (is important)," Beilein
said. "In the past, there were
maybe three ranked teams,
maybe four. With Wisconsin's
win (over Indiana on Tues-
day), you're going to have seven
ranked teams very soon.
"There's seven games you
have to win against ranked
teams on the road. That doesn't
happen very often. So as a result,
when you get them, they're really
important (to win) if you're going
to stay on the top of the (Big Ten)

standings."
But at the beginning of the
game, the Wolverines didn't look
like they were playing to earn a
statement conference win on the
road. Minnesota forward Trevor
Mbakwe fired up the crowd early
with two consecutive blocks on
redshirt junior forward Jordan
Morgan. In response, Hardaway
Jr. and Burke sparked the perim-
eter offense for Michigan.
Hardaway, who had a similar
performance his freshman year
in Minnesota, tallied 17 first-half
points, 12 of which came from
beyond the arc, on 6-of-7 shoot-
ing. He was often found open on
the wing, and the extra passes
by Burke or freshman guard Nik
Stauskas found Hardaway open
for the bucket.
Hardaway cooled off in the
second .half, finishing with 21
points on 7-of-8 shooting.
Burke also took control of the
game early, shedding his defend-

er to be able to penetrate and
kick out, something he wasn't
able to do against Aaron Craft
and Ohio State. The sophomore
point guard - wearing No. 12
after his usual No. 3 was ripped
early in the game - dished out
nine assists and added 18 points
while playing basically an error-
free game against a tough Min-
nesota defense.
And though Hardaway,
Burke, and the rest of the guards
accounted for 57 points, Mbakwe
wasn't able to silence Morgan
and the forwards for the entire
game.
After Morgan was stuffed in
the paint early, freshman for-
ward Mitch McGary entered the
game and let his presence be felt.
The 6-foot-10 big man was
able to keep pace with Mbakwe,
tallying eight points and even
had three steals.
Morgan reestablished himself
in the second half and finished

with nine points, four rebounds
and a ripped jersey, and both big
men were able to overcome the
physicality of the post to help out
in the win.
"Guys were out there, we were
out there in the war, we had to
stick it out in the second half,"
Barke said.
Added Hardaway: "It's Big
Ten season, everybody's going to
be physical, everybody's trying
to win."
Thursday's win was Michi-
gan's first win against a top-10
team on the road since 1996, but
Beilein doesn't think getting any
more road wins will be easier,
espetially with the competitive-
ness of the conference.
"If you look at this season,
right now, we're going to have to
do that - something out of the
ordinary - to be in the Big Ten
hunt. Anybody in this league is
going to have to do that to be in
the Big Ten hunt," he said.

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