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January 13, 2014 - Image 40

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-01-13

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4B - January 13, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

lose of reality: Wolverines slip up late

Second-half
comeback falls just
short in rivalry.
By MAX COHEN
Daily Sports Editor
It could have been the Michi-
gan women's basketball team's
statement win ina season full of
surprises. But the team fell just
short.
In MICHIGAN 72
what MICHIGAN ST. 79
could've
been a coming out party for the
Wolverines in front of a pom-
pom waving lower bowl, the
Spartans (3-0 Big Ten, 11-6 over-
all) played the role of spoiler.
Michigan left the Crisler Center
with the first blemish on its Big
Ten schedule.
The Wolverines (2-1, 11-5)
couldn't shake off early offen-
sive shortcomings produced by
Michigan State's smothering
defense en route to a 79-72 loss.
Though Michigan eliminated
the early deficit on the score-
board, the expended efforts of
the comeback prevented a sec-
ond one later.
Michigan coach Kim Barnes
Arico said the stingy Spartan
defense took a physical toll on
the Wolverines, particularly the
guards.
"That wear and tear - (fresh-
man guard Siera Thompson)
played 40 minutes - really takes
atoll."
Michigan State took a 67-65
lead with 2:47 left when for-
ward Becca Mills made a jump-
er from the key. The Wolverines
responded with turnovers on
their next two possessions.
Mills extended the lead to 69-65
with just over a minute remain-
ing. After Smith missed wide on
a 3-pointer with the shot clock
expiring, the Spartans sealed
the game from the free-throw

the game.
The Wolverines fared much
better from the field in the sec-
ond half,, finding more qual-
ity shot opportunities after the
Spartans placed a more concert-
ed effort on stopping Michigan's
interior game.
The Wolverines shot 56.7 per-
cent from the field in the half,
including four-for-nine from
beyond the arc.
But even that wasn't enough
to earn a victory, because Michi-
gan State fared even better from
the field, knocking down 58.1
percent of their shots after the
break.
Thompson led the four Wol-
verines who scored in double
figures with 16 points. Goree led
the team with 10 rebounds in
the narrow defeat.
Though Michigan State came
away with the victory, Barnes
Arico is confident that the
Wolverines are on their way to
narrowing the traditional gap
between the two programs.
"I think tonight we showed
that we're right there," Barnes
Arico said.
BY THE NUMBERS
Michigan vs. Michigan State
4,510
Attendanceat the Crisler Center, the most
this season.
58.1
Shooting percentagefor the Spartansin
the second half.
36

TRACY KO/Daily
Sophomore guard Madison Ristovski made two key 3-pointers in the second half, but Michigan lost its first Big Ten game this year at the hands of the Spartans.

line.
For much of the first half,
Michigan could get little going
offensively, cloaked by a tight
Spartan defense. Forced to fre-
quently take unbalanced shots
as the shot clock wound down,
the Wolverines were down 26-17
with under four minutes left in
the half.
Then, Michigan's offensive
focus shifted. The Wolverines
needed to pound the ball inside
to create a comeback, and junior
forward Cyesha Goree was
the catalyst. Smothered by her
defender with five seconds left
on the shot clock late in the first
half, Goree advanced towards
the basket, taking it straight
at her defender. Even with the
arrival of the extra defender,
Goree laid the ball in over both

defenders and was fouled to The forward scored nine con-
start the spurt that ignited the secutive points to end the first
Wolverines. half. She finished with 11 points
"If I want the ball, whether I on the night.
get it or not, I'm going to draw Michigan continued pen-
attention to myself to create etrating the ball inside to start
shots either for my teammates the second half. The Wolverines
or myself," Goree said. scored their first 11 points of
Michigan the half either
ended the first around the
half on an 11-2 "I think tonight basket or on
run, largely free throws.
due to a strong we showed After Mich-
presence in igan took a
the paint. On that we're right 37-32 lead,
the possession Michigan
that brought there" State went on
the Wolverines an 8-0 run to
within two, take a lead of
they collected its own.
two offensive rebounds before The Spartans stretched their
Goree fought off contact for lead to 44-41 before the Wol-
another layup. verines extended their offense

to beyond the 3-point line. Ris-
tovski and freshman guard
Paige Rakers made back-to-back
3-pointers to give Michigan a
brief lead in the seesaw-like sec-
ond half. Lead changes became
abundant, with the Spartans
attacking the Wolverines' inte-
rior, while Michigan went right
back at them on the other end.
Ultimately, the Wolverines
didn't have the power to mount
another comeback.
Michigan State settled in to
a 65-60 lead with just under six
minutes left in the game before
Ristovski hit another 3-pointer
to bring the Wolverines to with-
in two.
On Michigan's next posses-
sion, senior forward Val Driscoll
found Goree inside for a layup
with a defender in her face to tie

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico appreciated the crowd that watched Michigan face Michigan State on Sunday night.
Large crowd gets a show

By SHANNON LYNCH
Daily Sports Writer
With nearly two minutes left
in the first half of the Michigan
women's basketball game on
Sunday afternoon at Crisler Cen-
ter, junior forward Cyesha Goree
went on a 7-0 run, bringing the
Wolverines within two points of
Michigan State for the first time
all game.
The 4,510-person crowd
erupted at a decibel usually
reserved for the men's team. Sec-
onds later, freshman guard Siera
Thompson tied the game at 28
with one minute left before half.
It'scommonplacetosee alarge
amount of green and white in the
stands of any sporting event in
Ann Arbor that hosts the Spar-
tans. This fact stood true once
again, but the voices of the Spar-
tan fans couldn't hold a candle to
the roar of loyal Wolverine sup-
porters. Though Michigan fell
79-72, that fan presence made a
big impact and kept the team in
the game until the very end, even
if it isn't quantifiable.
"Anytime you can get a group
of people behind you, cheer-
ing for you, regardless of if they
think they hear it or not, they
get excited about it," said Michi-
gan coach Kim Barnes Arico. "I
know that Michigan State has
fans like this every single game,
so for us to be able to have that
support tonight means a tremen-
dous amount, and that's what we
are striving for night in and night

out."
While Michigan fans didn't
disappoint, it looked as though
the team might not give them a
worthy show early in the first
half. The Wolverines, who cur-
rently rank 14th in the nation in
field goal percentage, fell behind
quickly, going 5-for-18 in the first
13 minutes of play.
Michigan kept the Spartans
from gaining an insurmountable
lead in the early going, grabbing
a number of defensive rebounds
and hustling hard to keep posses-
sion of the ball. But at one point,
Michigan State led by nine. The
Wolverine faithful continued to
play its part, trying to fake out
the Spartans by counting down
their shot clock five seconds
early a number of times.
Goree singlehandedly kept
the Wolverines in the game at
the end of the first, and her team
returned the favor after half-
time. Michigan came out and
scored the first points of the sec-
ond half, and then held onto the
lead for almost four minutes.
Fans continued their efforts
into the second half, chant-
ing "Let's go blue," along with
the pep band, booing question-
able calls from the referees and
exploding with excitement after
alayup from Thompson or points
off a turnover for senior forward
Val Driscoll.
Even after the run by Goree,
scoring wasn't easy. The Spar-
tans' defense, continued to pile
on the pressure, limiting junior

guard Shannon Smith's produc-
tion. She was held to two points
and three assists in the first 30
minutes.
"Shannon is our scorer and as
a team when the game is on the
line, we always want the ball in
her hands," Barnes Arico said. "I
always feel like the next time she
has the ball in her hands, she can
make a play."
But Smith never got in a
groove. In fact, every Michigan
player had difficulty finishing
plays on offense. Most of the
Wolverine attempts came with
less than three seconds left on
the shot clock.
By the second half, those
attempts started turning in
points, but the Spartans' ability
to force Michigan to run the shot
clock down to get better looks on
offense gave Michigan State the
upper hand to win the game.
"We had to cut, and we were
doing a lot of standing around,"
Goree said. "Once we actually
ran our offense and got it mov-
ing I think we were able to create
shots for ourselves or get to the
rim and attack."
Though the Wolverines
couldn't come out on top, the
crowd was almost four times
the number that Goree and her
team are accustomed to at home
this year. And the increase in
attendance didn't go unnoticed.
Without question, Barnes
Arico says, everything they did
impacted the aggressiveness of
the Wolverines.

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