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February 10, 2014 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

When one
loss feels
like more
Outside the press room in Pegula
Ice Arena, a media director
stops Mac Bennett's walk to
the bus with a tug on his suit jacket to
come speak with
Inside, Penn
State coach Guy
Gadowsky begins
to praise his team
for coming together
in Saturday's game.
He's commending
GREG his team for
GARNO bouncing back from
Friday night's game
to earn a win.
But outside, Bennett, the senior
defenseman, stands with his lips
pursed shut and his face drawn. He
wants to hide in his red headphones
and forget Saturday night's 4-0 loss to
the Nittany Lions.
Inside, Penn State goaltender Matt
Skoff calls the game something "he will
remember for a long time." He smiles,
and his coach smiles, and for the first
time since December all feels right in
Hockey Valley.
But outside, Bennett, a normally
talkative, optimistic player who spent 15
minutes talking to reporters earlier in
the week, takes just one minute and one
second to answer questions.
"It's frustrating," Bennett says,
looking up from his downward glance.
"How would you feel?"
Above the hallway the cleaning
crew clears the seats after 6,100 fans
stood on their feet and roared when
the Nittany Lions celebrated near their
own bench like they had just won the
Stanley Cup. The workers cleaned up
the popcorn remnants and thrown
pom-poms after the horn blared louder
and longer than any point in the game at
the end of regulation to celebrate Penn
State's first-ever win in the Big Ten
Earlier that week, Bennett talked
about not being "that team" that gives
Penn State its first conference win, like
a baseball team becomes "that team"
that was no-hit.
Just one night earlier, Bennett,
along with Michigan coach Red
Berenson, said the 7-3 score of the
game prior wasn't indicative of how
his team played. They needed to shore
up defensive-zone coverage, Bennett
Even after the first period Saturday,
he told ESPNU reporters that he felt
like his team could comeback from a
three-goal deficit that energized an
already loud Penn State fan base.
"We let up too many goals and we
didn't score any," he said frankly.
It wasn't the fact that Penn State
scored more goals and barely upset the
Wolverines, it's that the Nittany Lions
scored four goals and dominated them.
Penn State was there with a constant
forecheck and pressure in the neutral
zone. The Nittany Lions pushed the
puck forward where multiple forwards
waited around the crease to throw
pucks in the net.
There was Penn State forward David
Glen's first goal, for example, which

found its way in off an awkward angle,
or the second goal five minutes later
that Zach Saar banked off freshman
netminder Zach Nagelvoort.
Without agoal, Michigan never
really inspired hope that a comeback
could happen. Some shots, like
sophomore forward Boo Nieves'
attempt that rang off the post, came
close, but others never even threatened.
It wasn't just a loss, it was an
emphatic loss.
"I think everyone's mature enough
on this team to put this in the past,"
Bennett said.
But it's tough to remember much
from Friday's game after playing
through Saturday.
After the third goal, while fans
hugged one another, the music over the
speakers filled the arena and students
hit the glass and hollered at the
Penn State snapped Michigan's five-
game unbeaten streak on Saturday and
ruined its chance to move back into
second place in the Big Ten standings.
See HOCKEY, Page 3B

Michigan offenseflails with Stauskas silenced

Daily Sports Editor
IOWA CITY - Nik Stauskas isn't
much for expressing frustration. If
he's not playing well, he maintains
an even keel and keeps from voicing
displeasure. He's not willing to show
that he's been defeated, even if the
team has been.
So on days like Saturday at Carver-
Hawkeye Arena with Michigan getting
pummeled on the road, 85-67, you
wouldn't know from looking at the
sophomore guard that things weren't
going his way.
It wasn't that Stauskas was having
an off day, but rather that Iowa wasn't
even giving him a chance to have an
off day. For 35 minutes, Iowa guards
Roy Devyn Marble and Josh Oglesby
marked him closely. They denied the
ball when he'd make a cut toward the
ball, and they'd body him when he
tried to cut backdoor.
Just looking at Stauskas' stat line -
10 points on 50-percent shooting, you
wouldn't think it was a case of a star
player having an off game. More like a
role player playing a role-player game.
But make no mistake, the Hawkeyes
knew how important it was to make No.
11 in the blue jersey look like a role player.
"We were pretty much locked into
collectively going after Stauskas," said

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery.
Sixteen days after Stauskas battered
Iowa for a career-high 26 points, he
was unrecognizable Saturday with
a new man guarding him and a new
game plan from McCaffery.
Rather than sticking the big-bodied
Aaron White on Stauskas, Iowa would
follow Indiana and Michigan State's
lead and put its best athlete on the
star sophomore.
"What we did was we decided to
put Marble on him," McCaffery said.
"We thought that would be a better
match, and he was really good."
Marble limited Stauskas to six
field-goal attempts, zero assists and
four turnovers.
"I wasn't about to let him have
another 26-point effort against us,"
Marble said.
Just as Yogi Ferrell did last week
and Gary Harris the week before,
Marble guarded Stauskas tightly
throughout, but also had the game of
his season offensively. He scored 26
points with six 3-pointers, while 22
of those points came in the first half
with the game still in doubt.
"You've got to play both ends of the
court in order to be a great player,"
Marble said. "And I take pride in my
defense and trying to shut or contain
whoever the best player on the other
team is."

When he got his hands on the ball, the
tight defense, or maybe just the bottled-
up frustration forced Stauskas into
turnovers. His shake-and-bake dribble
that had turned Iowa into rubber a few
weeks ago had betrayed him. Twice
he dribbled off his foot and twice he
tried to makea pass to a Wolverine that
wasn't where he was expected to be.
"They made a lot of adjustments,"
Stauskas said. "They did some switches
on our ball screens and handoffs, which
made things difficult. They denied me
theball, andthenwhen Ididtryto drive,
all their guys were in the gaps. They
were trying to clog up the lane, which
made it tough for me to penetrate."
It's the third straight game that
Stauskas was held to 10 or fewer points
after having scored at least 12 in the
previous 12 games. Just as he was
emerging on the scene as a Big Ten
Player of the Year frontrunner, the
increased attention from opponents has
seemed to stymie his groove.
"I think all teams are starting to play
me like that," Stauskas said. "So it's
something I'm gonna get used to."
If this game was played at the
beginning of the season, the blame
for offensive woes wouldn't fall on
Stauskas. But as he has emerged as the
top offensive option, the team's success
in tough games appears to be strongly
correlated to Stauskas's performance.

In November, it seemed that
Robinson would bear a heavy
responsibility in the Wolverine
attack, but his inconsistent play has
rendered him an enigma - a player
with explosiveness, but who can't be
relied on from game to game. That
point was supported with his two-
point performance Saturday on 1-for-
7 shooting on the heels of a 23-point
game in Wednesday's blowout victory
over Nebraska.
Saturday, it was a pair of guards,
sophomore Caris LeVert and
freshman Zak Irvin, filling the
offensive void. Michigan finished
with 67 points, though even that
figure was inflated by late-game
apathy from the Hawkeyes. LeVert
was successful at dribble-driving his
way to 11 free-throw attempts and
22 points, while Irvin sustained his
lights-out shooting. He made seven of
his 12 shots for 19 points.
But to compete with Marble and the
high-octane Iowa attack, Michigan was
going to need more from its star player.
"I blame myself for that," Stauskas
said. "I think I haven't done my part
offensively. I know Caris and Zak, the
last couple games, they've done a great
job of stepping up and doing their fair
share. I think it just falls on me right
now. I've just got to be more aggressive
in finding ways to make it happen."

The Michigan women's basketball
team allowed a late run and fell to Purdue
on Sunday afternoon. Page 2B

The Michigan women's swimming and
diving team earned its 27th straight win
over Michigan State. Page 4B

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