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November 19, 2013 - Image 5

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9 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 5

Toussaint's job maybe in
jeopardy after concussion

By ZACH HELFAND
Daily Sports Editor
For the better part of three sea-
sons, fifth-year senior Fitzgerald
Toussaint has been the running
back of choice for Michigan coach
Brady Hoke's football team. He
powered a resurgent downhill
running game in 2011. In 2012, he
toiled through a forgettable sea-
son, which ended with a leg injury,
but his job was never in danger.
Now, 10 games into 2013, Tous-
saint's position is in jeopardy
as Michigan prepares for Iowa.
As Toussaint sat out every snap
against Northwestern on Satur-
day - due to complications from
a concussion, Hoke said Monday
- freshmen running backs Der-
rick Green and De'Veon Smith
were the motor behind the Wol-
verines'best rushingperformance
in weeks.
This week, Toussaint is still
listed as the starter on the depth
chart. But that could soon change.
"I think we'll have a pretty
good decision to make at the end
of the week," Hoke said.
On Saturday, Hoke said Tous-
saint remains the starter for now.
On Monday, Hoke clarified that
Toussaint missed practice last
week with a concussion. Tous-
saint participated in practice later
in the week but not enough to con-
vince coaches he was prepared for
the Wildcats.
Hoke said Toussaint shouldn't
miss any practice this week as
Michigan gets ready for the Hawk-
eyes. Typically, the team practices
on Sunday, but Hoke instead chose
to use that day for film study and
positional meetings. When full
practice resumes, the three backs
will fight for the starting job.
"I think we always have a com-

Wolverines left out of
NCAA Tournament
By MINH DOAN Indiana ended the Wolverines
Daily Sports Writer season with a 2-1 overtime vic-
tory during the tournament in a
The season is officially over game where Michigan was miss-
for the Michigan men's soc- ing its two starting center backs,
cer team after it was left out of freshman Lars Eckenrode and
the NCAA Tournament field on sophomore Jack Brown.
Monday afternoon. Indiana's win also hurt the
The Wolverines (3-3 Big Ten, Wolverines' chances because the
8-7-1 overall) were on the out- Hoosiers wouldn't have made
side of the selection show look- the tournament by virtue of
ing in after bowing out in the their losing record - they took
first round of the Big Ten Tour- an at-large spot away from the
nament last week against Indi- bracket.
ana. They hoped that their body Also in the tournament are
of work over the season, which No. 1 Notre Dame, No. 8 Akron
included signature wins over and No. 17 Marquette. Michigan
tournament teams like Creigh- lost to each this season during
ton, Wisconsin and Indiana, their tough schedule.
would be enough to get into the Notre Dame goes into the
tournament. tournament as the No. 3 seed
But the NCAA selection com- while Marquette grabbed the
mittee did not deem their overall No. 9 seed. In-state rival No. 20
season worthy of an at-large bid. Michigan State seized the No. 11
Five Big Ten teams made the seed. The top seed in the tourna-
NCAA Tournament, including ment is No. 2 UCLA out of the
the Hoosiers, who earned an Pac-12, which has three of the
automatic bid after winning the top four seeds in the tourna-
Big Ten Tournament on Sunday. ment.

ADAM GLANZMAN/Dail
Fifth-year senior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint suffered a concussion last week and didn't play against Northwestern.

petition," Hoke said. "We'll see
where we shake out at the end of
the week with who will be the first
back in."
In Toussaint's absence, Green
earned the start against the Wild-
cats, and he handled the bulk of
the carries. Together with Smith,
the two running backs totaled 120
yards on 27 carries - Green 79
yards on 19 carries, Smith 41 on
eight.
That was a major upgrade on
the previous two weeks, when the
Wolverines failed to gain posi-
tive yardage on the ground. The
freshmen running backs did sev-
eral things well, Hoke said. But a
lot of the production is a credit to
the offensive line, which managed
to get a push for the first time in
weeks.

"We were in the black this time,
which is where you want to be as
an offense," said fifth-year senior
left tackle Taylor Lewan. "That's
huge, you can't just be a one-
dimensional offense."
Hoke said the embattled interi-
or of the offensive line established
the line of scrimmage and strung
together combination blocks to
the second level. At the same time,
offensive coordinator Al Borge's
use of bubble screens pulled in
the linebackers, which opened up
more running lanes. The offensive
line's targeting - finding the right
defender to block and then execut-
ing that block - was the best Hoke
has seen all year.
"You know what I'm going to
say, we weren't perfect," Hoke
said. "But we got movement."

With the offensive line get-
ting a push, Green and Smith had
the running style to gain yards.
Green, listed at 5-foot-11 and 240
pounds,had beenlargelyunable to
use his size to overpower defend-
ers, but he showed more power
on Saturday. Hoke said he doesn't
know how much Green currently
weighs.
Smith, listed at 5-foot-11 and
224 pounds, is also a bruising
back. Toussaint, meanwhile,
weighs just 200 pounds.
Does that mean Green and
Smith are best suited to Michi-
gan's offense?
"That's a hard question because
Fitz has done so good at some of
the things the last couple years,
three years," Hoke said. "And so
there's a fit for all three of them."

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Michigan coach Chaka Daley was left out of the NCAA Tournament.

*.'M\fining ways to
w n isentests
win close contests

Michigan steamrollsBroncos

By ALEJANDRO ZUI4GA
Daily Sports Editor
The Michigan hockey team
has done more than enough to
earn its top-five ranking, beating
three different ranked teams dur-
ing non-confer-
ence play and NOTEBOOK
avoiding bad
losses. Ten games into the season,
though, the Wolverines have also
benefited from their fair share of
luck.
Good teams find a way to win,
but No. 5 Michigan (7-2-1) has
made just about every game an
ordeal. In the Wolverines' last
seven contests, they've gone 5-2.
Each and every one of those was
decided by a single goal, the lon-
gest such streak in the NCAA.
That penchant for high-pres-
sure games was in full effect last
weekend against Nebraska-Oma-
ha. On Friday, the Wolverines car-
ried a 2-l lead into the third period
before surrendering two goals in
a three-minute span. The teams
were deadlocked for the rest of the
frame despite a relentless Michi-
gan attack.
The following night, the Wol-
verines dominated the second
periodtwice openingup two-goal
leads. Then the Mavericks scored
a pair, and Michigan needed a late
winner to escape.
Michigan coach Red Berenson
lamented the defense for its mis-
cues, which left goaltenders Zach
Nagelvoort and Steve Racine out
to dry on several occasions. But
as they've done all year, both net-
minders performed well enough
for the Wolverines to win.
"The only reason we have a
winning record is because of our
goals against and our save per-
centage," Berenson said.
COUNT 'EM: Freshman for-
ward JT Compher starred in the
U.S. National Team Development
Program last year, tallying 18
goals and 32 assists in 52 games
for the under-18 squad. He played
well for the Wolverines through

R ADuO \' Rs
LoN~.C4

9

By SHANNON LYNCH
Daily Sports Writer
In a season of transition, the
Michigan women's basketball
team is taking small victories
on the court and turning them
into wins. Such was the case on
Monday night in Kalamazoo,
Mich. as the Wolverines estab-
lished a formidable lead over
Western Michigan by focusing
on collecting rebounds. Michi-
gan defeat-
ed the MICHIGAN 73
Broncos WMU 45
for its sec-
ond consecutive victory against
in-state opponents, 73-45.
After trailing from tipoff
to the first media timeout, the
Wolverines took a 10-9 lead
on back-to-back baskets from
junior forward Shannon Smith
and freshman guard Siera
Thompson. After Michigan took
the lead, it never relinquished it.
By the end of the first half, the
Wolverines had out-rebounded
the Broncos, 35-15, after going
on a 24-2 run spanning seven
minutes.
Three former Wolverines sat
in the crowd and watched the
quick transformation unfold:
Sam Arnold, Jenny Ryan and
Rachel Sheffer. Sheffer is a cur-
rent Bronco who, after hanging
up her maize and blue basket-
ball jersey, headed to Western
Michigan to play volleyball
in her last year of eligibility.
Tonight, though, she cheered
for her former team and coach.
"It was an exciting night,
and any time we can have those
three back in the crowd, it real-
ly gets our team fired up," said
Michigan coach Kim Barnes
Arico.
Junior forward Nicole
Emblad took command on the
court with eight points and tied
her career-high 13 rebounds,
while also leading the offense
with four assists. Junior for-
ward Cyesha Goree, who kept
the Wolverines in the game
early on with their first four
points, recorded her second
double-double of the season,
with 13 points and a career-high
15 rebounds.

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Freshman forward JT Compher scored theefirst two goals of his career last week.

the first eight games of the season,
but one thing was notably absent:
goals.
That all changed in Omaha,
where Compher scored his first
two of the season.
On Friday, he recorded his sixth
assist by feeding senior forward
Luke Moffatt for Michigan's first
goal of the night. Minutes later,
Moffatt fired a shot off the post,
and Compher slapped the rebound
into the net.
"I knew it was just a matter of
time," Berenson said. "I was hop-
ing he would score sooner rather
than later. I'm glad he got it over
with."
Compher didn't need any help
the following night. Defending
aggressively on the penalty kill,
the freshman poked the puck
away from a Nebraska-Omaha
attacker before racing down the
ice. He then used a smooth back-
hand-forehand deke to tally his
second goal of the weekend.
"I wasn't surprised when he

came back with another one,"
Berenson said. "He's played well
right from day one, but it's nice as
a good player to get rewarded with
some points."
SZUMA SKATES: Michigan
was exposed defensively for the
first time all season against the
Mavericks, but the struggles were
magnified by a lack of available
personnel.
Last week, junior defenseman
Mike Szuma suffered an upper-
body injury and didn't travel with
the team to Omaha as a result. The
Wolverines only had six defenders
available for the two-game series.
Michigan gave up three goals
for just the second time all season
on Friday and surrendered three
more Saturday.
Szuma skated Monday, and
Berenson said his progress will
be assessed throughout the week
before he determines whether the
defenseman will be available for
the Wolverines' upcoming game
Friday against Niagara.

ERIN KIRKLAND/Daily
Junior forward Cyesha Goreefinished wth 13 points and 15 rebounds Monday.

"Offensively, we weren't
knocking down shots right away
at the beginning of the game,
but I think Cyesha did a really
good job of getting on the board
early on," Elmblad said. "So I
think that the turnaround was
a combination of our defense
and knocking down shots on the
offensive end."
Michigan shot 58 percent
from the field in the second half,
and with just over 10 minutes
left, doubled Western Michigan
up with a 62-31 lead, its biggest
of the night. The Wolverines
never allowed the Broncos a
chance to fathom a comeback
after gaining the lead - Goree,
Smith and Thompson all scored
in double figures, and Michigan
out-rebounded Western Michi-
gan by 30.
"What's really exciting is
that rebounding stat," Elmblad

said. "That's one of our points of
emphasis - getting to the glass
not only on the offensive end,
but boxing them out and getting
defensive rebounds."
Senior forward Val Driscoll
got some playing time in the
second half, scoring eight points
in 13 minutes, tier career high.
Junior forward Nicole Flyer, a
walk-on and former rower, also
saw time off the bench in the
second half and contributed two
points off free throws. Their
contributions, while small,
added to the 18 bench points
Michigan racked up against the
Broncos.
"I thought the other night
Shannon just didn't miss a shot,
and you know that's not going to
happen night in and night out,"
Barnes Arico said. "It's nice
when you have everybody con-
tributing."

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