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February 19, 2014 - Image 8

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8A_ Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8A -Wedesda, Fbruay 1, 204 Te Mchign Dily mihigadaiycu

Wolverines put stellar road
mark on the line at Indiana

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change to game this season and has started all
25 of Indiana's games.
me due to roof "She has had an exceptional
year for them," Barnes Arico
ialfunction at said. "It'll be interesting to see
how those two match up."
ssembly HallJunior forward Cyesha Goree,
coming off the game of her
By LEV FACHER career on Sunday, recorded just
Daily Sports Writer three fouls in Michigan's 70-63
win over Illinois. Staying out of
er plunging toward the foul trouble allowed her to stay
mark in on the court for 37 minutes. The
ence Michigan result was a pair of career highs:
the at Indiana 30 points and 19 rebounds.
gan Goree doesn't need to
ns Matchup: replicate that performance
ball Michigan for the Wolverines to be
is 16-10; Indiana competitive on the road.
ng 17-8 Michigan's typical trio of high-
trying When: scorers - Thompson, junior
ld on to Wednesday forward Nicole Elmblad and
winning 7 P.M. junior guard Shannon Smith
I and a Where: - normally accounts for more
n the top Assembly Hall than 29 points, as it did against
f the Big TV/Radio: the Fighting Illini.
tandings MGoBlue Curiously, the Wolverines are
three 8-1 this year in true road games.
away The lone loss was a 33-point
he Big Ten Tournament. blowoutatthehandsofNebraska.
dnesday, the Wolverines Michigan is in the midst of its
to Bloomington for their worst skid of the season, having
and only regular-season lost five of its past eight games.
ng with Indiana,
as (4-8 though, has
en, 17-8 lost eight
I), a "They're a of its last
more 11 contests,
ed than completely new including
inference several
I would team from laSt against
1. 1middle-of-
ey're year. the-pack
impletely Big Ten
am from opponentslike
ar," said Wisconsin
gan coach Kim Barnes and.Northwestern. That makes
"They took Nebraska Wednesday a viable opportunity
to the wire (on Feb. 16)." for the Wolverines to stay afloat
higan's biggest scoring in the Big Ten, get back on track
ice, freshman guard in the final weeks of the regular
Thompson, will have her season and maintain their
full on both ends of the remarkable road record.
Indiana's Larryn Brooks, Note: The status of
er freshman guard, is Wednesay sgame was briefly in
ing 16.7 points per game doubt after an eight-foot metal

beam fell from the rafters and
into the first level of seating at
Assembly Hall in Bloomington
Tuesday afternoon.
The incident forced the
cancellation of the Indiana-
Iowa men's game, which was
scheduled for 9 p.m. Tuesday.
In a statement on the school's
website, Indiana athletic
director Fred Glass said,
"University engineers have
advised us to postpone events
in Assembly Hall until it can
be determined what caused the
facing to fall and ensure the
safety of everyone attending an
event in the facility."
The school also said on
Twitter that the Michigan-
Indiana game "may be"
rescheduled. Nevertheless, the
Wolverines boarded their flight
for Bloomington on Tuesday
afternoon, and the gamble paid
off - it was later announced
that the game would be played
as scheduled.
BY THE NUMBERS
Michigan vs. Indiana
1
Number of losses the Wolverines have
suffered in true road games this year.
Theyboastan 8-1 record.
7
Games in a rowthat Michigan has
beaten Indiana,
17
Wins by the Hoosiers so farthis year,
their mostsince 2008-9.
7612
Percentage of Indiana'sapoints scored
by first-year players.

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
The Maize Rage is split between the lower and upper decks, turning the Crisler Center into a less intimidating venue.
Seeding, team chemistry,
e~xpanded student section?

By DANIEL WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Editor
What seed do you predict
Michigan will end up with
in the Big Dance? - Nathan
Schweid, @Nathanschweid.
In Joe Lunardi's most recent
'Bracketology' on ESPN.com,
Michigan men's basketball was
tabbed as a
No. 4 seed in MAILBAG
the Midwest
region. Ultimately, I believe the
Wolverines will finish with a
top-4 seeding, with a very strong
possibility of landinga No. 3 seed,
or even a No. 2.
Currently, Michigan sits at
No. 16 in the RPI ratings, but
its strength of schedule, No.
4 in the nation, will be looked
upon very highly on Selection
Sunday, as will the team's wins
in East Lansing, Madison and
Columbus. If Michigan beats
Michigan State on Sunday - and
I believe it will - the Wolverines
assume the driver's seat in the
Big Ten race, and I can't see
the champion of the nation's
toughest conference receiving a
seed lower than a No.2 slot.
Do you think Dave Brandon
pays enough attention to
Michigan basketball's student
section? If so, what is he doing
well, and, if not, what can he
do to improve the experience
and give our team more of a
home-court advantage?- Josh
Schostak, @Its-SchoTime.
Brandon's a money guy, but he
also cares about image - a lot,
actually. Remember, the switch
to general admission for student
tickets had nothing to do with
money and everything to do with
how Michigan Stadium appeared
on television.
Several games this year
have had noticeable pockets
of unfilled seats sprinkled
throughout Crisler Center, with
the exception of the student
sections. Fortunately, Brandon
has two things going for him.
First, even in games with unfilled
arenas, capacities were still
listed as sellouts, meaning the
Athletic Department could cash
its checks for the seats anyway.
Second, television cameras
inside the arena face toward the
Maize Rage and don't pan out as

frequently as they do in football
games, meaning that even a less-
than-full arena still appears to
be hopping and filled to capacity
on television.
There's no question that
CrislerArenawill nevercompete
with the Breslin Centers or the
Assembly Halls of the world
as long as the vast majority
of its student section is in the
upper bowl, but the Athletic
Department is bringing in loads
of money by adding a Preferred
Seat Donation tag to season
ticket holders' seats, in addition
to the per-game price they
already pay. There's no two ways
around it - Brandon is funneling
in boatloads of money by keeping
his high-paying customers close
to the court. As long as he's here,
don't expect any major changes
to the student section inside
Crisler Center.
Should Beilein consider
shortening Glenn Robinson
IIIs minutes if he continues
to let opposing players
go off on him while not
contributing much to the
offense? - Nathan Pilcowitz,
@thepilcofacts.
I think Beilein answered
your question wheni he benched
Robinson for a seove-plus
minute stretch midway through
the second half of last week's
win over Ohio State. Aside
from a 3-pointer late in the
game - and it was a clutch shot
that sealed the Wolverines'
win - Robinson played poorly,
offensively and defensively.
In his place, freshman guard
Zak Irvin came in and drained
a big 3-pointer off the bench,
as he has done so many times
throughout conference play, and
proved to be a major sparkplug.
Irvin is young, and his
defense is nowhere near the
level that Robinson has shown
he can play at, especially when
he's matched up with bigger,
stronger forwards in the post.
The freshmen isn't quite a
complete player yet, but his
ability to knock down shots
and score in bunches off the
bench aren't being ignored. In
Sunday's loss to Wisconsin,
Irvin's shots weren't falling and
he struggled to bring much else
to the table.

But Beilein has shown that
when Robinson is struggling and
Irvin isscoring, he'll lengthenthe
freshman's leash and let him play
for longer and longer stretches.
How have team dynamics
and chemistry in the locker
room changed from last
year after losing two of the
leaders? - Mitchell Shecter,
@shecterm35.
Fascinating question, and I
really think this is one the biggest
changes between this year and
last. You mentioned the loss of
two leaders, of course referring
to TreyBurke and Tim Hardaway
Jr., but remember the Wolverines
also lostfive seniorsto graduation.
With that said, the
cohesiveness of this year's
squad is, by all accounts, in
much better shape than last
year's. The 2012-13 team was
Trey and Tim's, and sometimes
that led to friction. While it has
sometimes appeared that this
year's team belongs to Stauskas
- and it certainly looks like
Michigan is better when he's
at his best - this squad truly
embodies a next-man-up
mentality. Irvin has stepped
up at times, sophomore guard
Caris LeVert has taken hold of
the icigns lately, and Robinson
can't be forgotten. Finally, the
players genuinely seem to like
each other, meshing together
better than last year's awkward
combination of five seniors, five
freshmen and two superstars.
And while it has nothing
to do with who is and isn't
here this year, the opposing
trajectories of the two teams
can't be ignored when it comes
to comparing their psyches.
Last year's 16-0 start may have
softened that team, because
early on, everything was coming
too easy. That showed down the
stretch in the regular season,
and it took some rough losses
- at Penn State and Michigan
State and the heartbreaker to
Indiana in the regular-season
finale - for that team to come
together in order to make the
NCAA Tournament run. This
year's team got some of those
losses out of its system in the
non-conference slate, and its
trajectory has been on the rise
ever since.

ADAM GLANZMAN/Daily
freshman guard Siera Thompson will be tasked with defending Indiana's Larryn Brooks, who averages 16.7 points.

WOMEN'S GOLF
'M' struggles in Puerto Rico

By JAKE LOURIM
Daily Sports Writer
Nearly four months have
passed since the Michigan
women's golf team's last
tournament. But when the
Wolverines got off the plane in
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, the
results were largely the same as
last fall.
Freshman Grace Choi was the
team's top scorer with a career-
high 54-hole 224, but Michigan
finished 13th out of 15 at the Lady
Puerto Rico Classic, which ran
Monday through Wednesday.
No. 8 Arkansas won the event
with a score of 867, 14 strokes
ahead of second place. The
Wolverines edged out 14th-place
Missouri by three and last-place
TCU by four. Six top-25 teams
competed in the event. .
Michigan slipped with a
second-round 307, which tied
for last on the round. Its best day
was the first, when it scored 304.
Still, first-year coach Jan
I

Dowling found improvements
in the Wolverines' game from
the fall. Choi worked in a
couple of technical changes,
and according to Dowling,
sophomore Catherine Peters had
more birdies than in the entire
fall season after working on her
putting over the winter.
"Every individual had some
different aspects of their game
that they were working on,"
Dowlingsaid."One ofthehardest
things to do in competitive golf is
actually implement that change
in the heat of the competition.
They were able to successfully
do that their first tournament of
the spring."
Added Choi: "It's a different
mindset you have to get into. You
have to kind of expect going out
there that you're not going to hit
every shot perfect, notgoing to hit
every putt perfect. We're going to
try to get all of our technical stuff
down, and I felt really good about
my technique."
Once the first round started,

Choi was locked in with help
from Dowling.
Choi shot a plus-l 73 on each
of the first two days, hanging
around the top 15 through
Tuesday. That score tied for ninth
in the tournament on the first day
and tied for 16th on the second.
Choi struggled on the third day,
though, with a plus-6 78 that
brought her down to a tie for 24th.
For Choi, the highlight of the
week occurred after she landed
a drive behind two palm trees
135 yards away from an elevated
green. She then snuck a 5-iron
shot around more palm trees 135
yards away from the hole before
sinkingthe 30-foot birdie putt.
Peters shot consistently,
scoring 76, 76 and 75 to tie for
34th. Senior Yugene Lee finished
with a 231on the week.
Junior Lauren Gregor and
senior Alyssa Shimel each
struggled on the second day,
shooting 81 and 87, respectively.
They finished plus-19 and plus-29
for the tournament.

I

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