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February 28, 2014 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-28

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8 - Friday, February 28, 2014

N)VtS

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Wolverines look for happy ending in Happy Valley

By MAX COHEN time playing in State College,
Daily SportsEditor capping a career that is nearly
unmatched around the country.
Saturday's game at Penn State Lucas is the
won't be the first challenge the reigning Big Michign at
Michigan women's basketball Ten Player ofM
team has had to overcome this the Year and Penn State
season. was recently Matchup:
From a lack of experience nominated Michigan 17-11;
before the season started, to as one of 10 Penn State 21-6
proving itself once other teams Naismith When:
figured out the Wolverines Trophy Saturday
could compete, new challenges semifinalists 3:30 P.M.
have risen around every corner for National Where: Bryce
for Michigan. Playing the Player of the Jordan Center
Nittany Lions in the final game Year. T .d
of the regular season could be "When Radio:
the stiffest one yet. everybody in BTN
Playing the No. 8 team in Americaknows
the country on any occasion is that she's the best shooter in the
difficult, but the game has added country, she's still averaging
emotion for Penn State (12-3 Big 25," said Michigan coach Kim
Ten, 21-6 overall) on the team's Barnes Arico on WTKA.
senior night. It will be senior Lucas actually averages 21.6
guard Maggie Lucas's final points per game, but Barnes

Arico's point still stands. Lucas
shoots a shade under 40 percent
from the field, despite being the
center of every team's defensive
game plan.
Defending Lucas too
physically also creates problems
because sending her to the free
throw line is essentially the
same thing as letting her score
from the field. If the defense
gets too physical and fouls her,
she will make her free throws
like she has done on 159 of her
165 opportunities this season,
good for 96.4 percent, the best
percentage in the country.
Though attemptingto contain
Lucas will be a challenge
no matter the situation, the
Wolverines (8-7, 17-11) will be
aided by their first full week of
rest since the first week of the
season. Coming off a tough loss
on its own senior day, Michigan

hopes the week off will give the
team a clean slate heading into
the regular-season finale and
the Big Ten Tournament.
"It's a great opportunity for us
to regroup," Barnes Arico said.
"It gives our kids a chance to rest
their legs, to get rejuvenated, to
get back in the gym and get their
shooting touch back."
The rest could do the
Wolverines well after some
lapses the team has experienced
in games recently that come
with a rapidly-paced schedule.
In its most recent game, the
senior-day loss against Iowa,
Michigan came out strong,
jumping out to a 13-0 lead but
then completely lost control of
the game, until it faced a large
second-half deficit. Though the
Wolverines fought back and
made the game close down the
stretch, lapses against an elite
- team like the Nittany Lions
would be even more costly.
The glimmei of hope for
Michigan is Peon State's
blowout loss to No. 16 Nebraska
on Monday night. Tho gh the
Wolverines aren't the same

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico looks to slow down a hot Penn State offense.
caliber team as the Cornhuskers, Though an NCAA
the 20-point loss proves the Tournament berth is very
Nittany Lions aren't infallible. A unlikely barring an improbable
little more than two weeks ago, Big Ten Tournament run, a
Michigan proved once again it victory against a top team in the
could keep pace with some of the regular-season finale wouldn't
top teams in the league, when it be a terrible place for the
lost by eight to Nebraska. Wolverines to start.

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