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February 14, 2014 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-14

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8 - Friday, February 14, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Second-half setback: Huskers top Michigan

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olverines find - Michigan's only Big Ten
blowout loss this year in a
ace in comeback season in which not much was
expected. It could've been the
despite loss same at Crisler Center, except
this time, the Wolverines made
By MAX COHEN sure their opponent noticed
Daily Sports Editor them.
"We were kind of in a
dan Hooper drained a similar situation in their place,
ter from way beyond the and we didn't know how to
ith ease. The shot by the respond," said Michigan coach
ska forward with more Kim Barnes Arico. "And we
des than Michigan's collapsed.... But tonight, we just
team put the Cornhuskers kept plugging away."
points with 6:48 left. After Nebraska flexed its muscle
ly contested first half, No. early in the second half after
'ebraska taking a three-
d off the point lead into
rines the break,
final "Tonight, we extending its
putting advantage
inferior just kept to 14 just
ent to minutes into
plugging away." the second
so it half. The
d. Cornhuskers

playing hard, fighting really
hard and never gave up," Goree
said.
The Wolverines didn't hit
a field goal in the final 4:51 of
the game, but drives to the rim
sent them to the free throw line
three times in the final 2:32.
In the final two minutes,
Michigan caused three
Nebraska turnovers when it
was down 10, hardly looking
like an inferior team. The
Wolverines forced them the
way a scrappy team would,
taking a hard charge and
drawing a tripping foul, never
shying away from contact,
In the end, it wasn't enough.
Michigan cut the lead to six
when freshman guard Siera
Thompson hit two free throws
with 37 seconds left, but that
was the closest it would get.
The Wolverines continued to
persist, but when junior guard
Shannon Smith's desperation
3-pointer rimmed out with 15
seconds left, Michiganwas once
again the team without a chance
at a victory.
"I think our kids felt better
about this game," Barnes Arico
said. "Obviously, you always
want to get the victory, but I
think they felt better about the
outcome than we did the first
time we played them."
This time, superior talent
and accolades again won out
against a young team. But
Nebraska left Crisler Center
with a few extra bumps and
bruises, and Michigan was just
fine with that.

Junior forward Cyesha Goreefinished with 20 points, but the Wolverines couldn't stop Nebraska's potent

ByALEXA DETTELBACH
Daily SportsEditor
The first time the Michigan
women's basketball team
faced Nebraska this season,
the Wolverines suffered their
second-worst loss under
Michigan
coach Kim MICHIGAN 68
Barnes NEBRASKA 76
Arico. This
time, Barnes Arico wasn't going
to let that happen.
And she didn't - in the first
half, at least.
Michigan's porous defense,
combined with a disappointing
start to the second half, led to
a 76-68 Wolverines loss to the
21st-ranked Cornhuskers - their
fifth loss in seven games.
Like in its last several games,
Michigan (6-6 Big Ten, 15-10
overall) was able to run with
its opponent during the first
20 minutes of play, but it was
the second half that caused the
problems.
"I think the first five or six
minutes (of the second half)
were a struggle, but I think we
adjusted," Barnes Arico said.
"They were able to get out in
transition, which is what they did
against us the first time at their
place, and they scored some easy
baskets so we got ourselves in a
bit of a hole."
Following the ugly start to the
half, the Wolverines were able
to make a run to close the gap to
as little as six with free throws
from freshman point guard Siera
Thompson, but it was too little,
too late for Michigan.
After allowing the

Cornhuskers (8-3, 18-5) to shoot
67 percent in the first half,
Michigan came out inthe second
aiming to improve its defense,
but the attempts never truly
came to fruition.
The Wolverines turned to
a man defense to try and slow
down Nebraska's offense, but
it didn't work, as it finished
the game shooting 59 percent
from the floor, including 18-for-
21 from the charity stripe.
And, like last time, two-time
first-team All Big Ten forward
Jordan Hooper dismantled the
Wolverines with 23 points and
nine rebounds. Hooper was
8-for-10 from the floor.
"She's a great player," said
junior forward Cyesha Goree. "It
was pretty tough guarding her,
but we did what we could."
Coming out of halftime,
Michigan turned the ball over
during its first possession. Two
possessions later, a backcourt
violation on junior guard
Shannon Smith turned the ball
back to the Cornhuskers again.
A three-point play from
Emily Cady on the subsequent
possession gave Nebraska a nine-
point lead - its biggest lead of
the game at that point. Though
Michigan cut it to six with
under a minute remaining, the
Wolverines didn't score a field
goal in the last 4:52 of the game,
relying on free throws to close
the deficit.
At the heart of Michigan's
struggles was, once again, its
defense. After spending the
first half of the season out-
hustling and outrebounding
their opponents, the Wolverines

are starting to look like a young,
inexperienced team.
In the first half, Michigan's
five offensive rebounds - four
from Goree - kept the team in
the game despite Nebraska's hot
shooting. But in the second half,
the Wolverines'contestedbaskets
were no longer falling, and even
though they were able to grab
three more offensive rebounds,
they were unable to convert the
second-chance opportunities.
"We hit some shots, but there
were so many shots we didn't hit,
and they'd hit those shots and
score," Goree said. "If we had
gotten more stops, it would've
been a totally differentball game."
Like the rest of the team, Goree
shined in the first half but went
quiet in the second. The junior
forward went into halftime with
12 points, six rebounds and four
assists. And while her hustle
remained present in the second
frame, her offense went cold.
Goree didn't hit a field goal
in the second half until 6:52
remained in the game, and by
then, the Wolverines were down
by 13. She ended the game with
20 points, 10 rebounds and a
career-high six assists. Smith
added 12 points and sixrebounds.
"Cyeshahas reallygrownleaps
and bounds, and you saw that
tonight," Barnes Arico said. "I
think our biggest challenge now
with a young lady like Cyesha
is, 'Hey you're doing a fabulous
job on the offensive end. You're
rebounding, you're scoring, but
now you have to contribute on the
defensive end.'
"That's reallyour challenge for
our team right now."

Despite the
significant deficit at the hands
of a ranked opponent which had
already handed it a drubbing
earlier this season, the Michigan
women's basketball team
scrapped, clawed and scraped
its way back. Scrums for loose
balls became the norm, and the
Wolverines sought out physical
contact on every opportunity.
But Michigan fell short
of pulling off the complete
comeback in the 76-68 loss.
The last time the teams
met, the Wolverines barely
made the Cornhuskers bat an
eye in an 84-51 loss in Lincoln

rarely missed,
shooting 26-for-44 in the game
and the Wolverines didn't help
their cause, sending Nebraska
five gifts in the form of turnovers
in the first eight minutes of the
half.But Michigan battled on.
Junior forward Cyesha Goree
seemed to spend more time
on the ground than she did
standing up. And when she was
standing, all she did was score,
gather rebounds and deftly dish
out assists when double teams
engulfed her. Her six assists
were a career high.
"We kind of had a chip on
our shoulders, so we came out

ALEXGALEL/Daily
Junior guard Shannon Smith tallied 12 points and six rebounds in the losing effort to the 21st-ranked Cornhuskers.

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