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February 11, 1991 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-02-11

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday- February 11, 1991

Blue victory centers on Riley

by Phil Green
Daily Basketball Writer
It wasn't quite Bill Russell versus Wilt
Chamberlain, but Saturday's center match-up
of Eric Riley and Acie Earl arguably pitted the
Big Ten's two best centers.
Earl, Iowa's leading scorer, rebounder, and
shot blocker, was named Big Ten Player-of-
the-Week last week for scoring 43 points, snar-
ing 21 rebounds, and swating ,way 1 .nt in
Iowa's three games. Thursday night, he picked
up where he had left off, tallying 24 points to
lead the Hawkeyes past Michigan State, 71-
He currently leads the conference in
blocked shots, ranks seventh in scoring, sixth
in shooting percentage, and 10th in rebound-
Riley rates second in the Big Ten in both
blocked shots and rebounds, but he has played
inconsistently on offense. He's the Wolverines
fourth leading scorer, averaging 10.8 points per
game. That includes impressive outings like
his 18 point performance against Duke, and
some not-so-impressive ones, like his eight
point effort against Wisconsin, which he fol-

lowed with a dismal two point showing versus
Whichever center played most effectively
Saturday would probably lead his team to vic-
Defense provided the difference. Both cen-
ters performed well on the glass, and neither
put up outstanding point totals. However,
Earl's 10 points were well below his 17 point
seasw, average while Riley's 11 met his usual
"We planned to double team him (Earl)
every time they threw it inside," Michigan
coach Steve Fisher said of the Wolverines' de-
fensive scheme. "We did a pretty good job of
having someone in his face every time he
caught it. We wanted him to shoot it from the
outside, we didn't want to give him post
passes for baskets and it wasn't just Eric, it
was everybody."
On the other end of the floor, the intimidat-
ing Earl served as the backbone of the Iowa
press. Last month, the press dismantled the
Wolverine attack, creating 54 turnovers and a
one-point Hawkeye victory. Saturday, though,
Michigan successfully inbounded the ball, of-

ten to Riley.
"We had Eric Riley there, and it's a lot
easier to throw it to a seven-footer," Michigan
inbounder Freddie Hunter said. "They had
guards on him."
Riley passed it to the quicker Wolverines
who took it directly at Earl, resulting in fast-
break lay-ups or short jumpers.
"I don't know that we gave Acie much
help," Iowa coach Dr. Tom Davis said. "I think
Acie's the kind of player who needs help,
whether it's good team ball movement to get
open or defensive play to help him, we ex-
posed him too many times defensively."
When Michigan employed its press, Riley,
like Earl, waited as the last line of defense.
Unlike Earl, Riley wasn't left exposed by his
teammates. When Iowa set-up its halfcourt of-
fense, Riley was there to clog the middle and
shut down the Hawkeye inside attack.
Eleven points doesn't generally account for
a dominating evening for any center, but in
this battle of the Big Ten's two best big men,
Riley's performance on both ends of the floor
contributed enough to help pace a Michigan

Big Ten Through Feb. 10, 1991
Men's Basketball Standings
Conference Games All Games
Indiana 10 1 .909 22 2- .917
Ohio State 9 1 .900 19 1 .950
Illinois 8 3 .727 18 6 .750
Michigan State 6 5 .545 13 8 .619
Wisconsin 5 5 .500 11 9 .550
Iowa 5 6 .454 15 7 .682
Michigan 4 6 .400 11 9 .550
Minnesota 3 7 .300 10 10 .500
Purdue 3 8 .272 11 10 .524
Northwestern 0 11 .000 5 17 .227

I . 'n". 4. a- 'a. 'a. 'a. a- 4 a 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. Z. .


IM-turned-Big Ten sensation Freddie Hunter boxes out Iowa's Jay Webb
to snare a rebound during Michigan's 84-70 victory over the Hawkeyes.


hopes to find future in OSU's past

by Theodore Cox
Daily Basketball Writer
It's awesome babeee! Michigan
getting some prime time in front of
me, Dicky V. That means only one
thing, it's the Big Ten on Big
The Wolverines will join Ohio
State, Dick Vitale, and ESPN at
St. John Arena in Columbus for
tonight's Big Ten showcase game
at 9:30 p.m. This is the first of two
straight Mondays where Michigan
will be seen on ESPN as next
week the Wolverines host Purdue._
Saturday's victory over Iowa
was a must win for Michigan if the
team had any hopes for the NCAA
tournament. The pressure is off of
the Wolverines tonight, as a minor
miracle might be needed to beat
the the Buckeyes, who are cur-
rently ranked number three in the
"We're going to have to play
exceptionally well, get some
breaks, maybe hope they don't
shoot real well," Michigan coach
Steve Fisher said. "We're going to
have to get real lucky, but better
teams have been beaten by poorer
teams. So we're going in to win,

we're not going in waving the sur-
render flag."
Ohio State (9-1 Big Ten, 19-1
overall) is battling with Indiana for
the conference title, while Michi-
gan (4-6, 11-9) is just battling for a
tournament berth.
.::::::30 pm
hifo S t.b n hen a
Ohio State beat the Wolverines
a month ago at Crisler, 67-57.
Michigan was playing one of its
best games until about three-quar-
ters of the way through the game.
At that point the Buckeyes had a

43-42 lead. But Ohio State coach
Randy Ayers called a timeout, and
turned the game over to his court
leader, Jimmy Jackson. The 6-foot-
6 forward then went on a scoring
terror that was a nightmare for
The story of Ohio State's rise to
national prominence is a Fisher
favorite. Last year, the Buckeyes
began their season slowly, in a
similar fashion to Michigan this
In Ayers' first-year as head
coach, his team went 3-5 early in
the Big Ten season. But he turned
things around when his team beat
tenth ranked Louisville in over-
time, 91-88, after trailing by 17
points in the second half. The
Buckeyes spurted to a 10-8 confer-
ence record and captured a NCAA
tournament berth, their first in
three years.
They then survived an overtime
thriller with Providence, winning
84-83 in the first round. Ohio State
fell to eventual champion Nevada-
Las Vegas in the second round.
Fisher hopes his young team can
make the same turnaround. And a
victory tonight just might do it.

Building blocks: Earl,
Riley boost top totals
by Andrew Gottesman
and Jeff Sheran
Daily Basketball Writers
BLOCKING BONANZA: Iowa's Acie Earl, who entered Saturday's
game needing four blocks to break the school's single-season record,
managed only two against the Wolverines. Earl, with 78 for the season,
leads the Big Ten in that category.
Michigan's Eric Riley, second in the conference with 58 blocks, out-
did Earl Saturday by rejecting three shots. However, Earl did win the
goaltending contest by swatting away two Michigan shots on their way
CRISIS AT CRISLER: Iowa's loss Saturday was the Hawkeyes' 10th
consecutive defeat in Ann Arbor. Overall, Michigan holds a 64-45 edge
in the series.
SHOOTING UP: Michigan shot over 50 percent for the first time in
Big Ten action Saturday. Their 53.6 rate from the field was the Wolver-
ines' third-best shooting performance for the season.
Calbert Cheaney scored 18 points to go over the 1,000-point career mark
as fourth-ranked Indiana beat Purdue 81-63 Sunday in the Big Ten.
The victory kept the Hoosiers (22-2) tied for the Big Ten lead with
Ohio State at 10-1, and completed a two-game sweep of state rival Pur-
due this season. Indiana beat the Boilermakers 65-62 in West Lafayette
last month.
Trailing 41-27 at halftime, Purdue ran off nine straight points to get
within 46-40 with 13:04 left in the game.
Matt Painter and Linc Darner had consecutive 3-pointers in the spurt*
for the Boilermakers, who dropped their fifth straight Big Ten game to
fall to 11-10 overall and 3-8 in the conference.
Indiana rookie Damon Bailey added 13 points and Jamal Meeks and
Pat Graham 10 each.
Jimmy Oliver and Chuckie White scored 17 each for Purdue.
big difference between No. 1 and No. 2. And that's what has UNLV
rolling toward the record books.
Everything that might have worked against the top-ranked Rebels
was there. Playing No. 2 Arkansas. On the road. Even trailing at halftime
for the first time all season. It didn't matter.
With Stacey Augmon leading the way with 31 points, the top-ranked
Runnin' Rebels ran away to a 112-105 victory over the Razorbacks on
Sunday for their 31st consecutive win.
In ending the Razorbacks' winning streak at 20 games, UNLV with-
stood the first-half pressure of a record crowd of 9,640 at Barnhill Arena
and went on a 16-2 run to start the second half to take control of the
The Rebels (20-0) trailed 50-46 at the half before seizing control and
taking a 62-52 lead with 16:19 left.



Continued from page 1
"I'm in better shape than I used to be,"
Voskuil explained. "The foot injury didn't al-
low me to do any leg workouts, so when I
came back, my conditioning wasn't as good
as it is now."
Neither were the Wolverines.
The most obvious change for Michigan
Saturday was its handling of the press - on
offense and defense. Nine inbound turnovers
signed, sealed, and delivered the prior de-
feat, as Iowa pressed the Wolverines into
This time, Michigan broke the Hawkeye
press and disabled Iowa's offensive machine
with equal skill. The key element was Fred-
die Hunter.
Hunter saw his first six minutes as a
Wolverine in Iowa City. Last night, he
flaunted the progress he has made as Michi-
gan's top scrambler, and turned the Iowa
press into little more than an inconvenience
for the Wolverine offense.
"The thing that destroyed us at Iowa City
was the press, and we did an excellent job
there," coach Steve Fisher said. "It started
with Freddie Hunter, who took it out every
time and made great decisions."
However, Hunter's most obvious im-
provement was his offensive play. The 6-

for the change.
"For the first time, maybe, in the whole
Big Ten season, we shot 50 percent from the
field," he beamed. "In order to win, we need
to do those same kinds of things."
The other reason was Michael Talley. His
21 points and five assists speak for them-
selves, but his decision-making and virtually
error-free play at point guard - one turnover
in 37 minutes - steered the Wolverines to
victory. Even Talley was pleased with his
"I think I did a pretty good job of making
good decisions and attacking their pressure
the right way," Talley said. "We seemed to
run at the right times and slow down at the
right times."
Fisher expressed bitter disappointment af-
ter that January loss at Iowa. He looked like
a coach at his wit's end, trying to find his
first Big Ten victory and fend off his critics
His tone was ominous. "We're 0-3 and
looking up the barrel," he said after the 79-
78 failure.
Last night, he took on a tone of quiet en-
joyment. Knowing his team needs five or six
more victories to earn an NCAA bid, Fisher
seemed to reflect the attitude that the
Wolverines were destined to win the re-
mainder of their games, and they had just
pocketed the toughest one - the first.

Continued from page 1
pointer, and the Wolverines never looked back. Only
seven minutes into the game, Michigan began to put
the Hawkeyes away.
Leading, 14-9, Michael Talley stole a pass off
Michigan's press, and Eric Riley finished the play
with a put-back dunk. Just five seconds later, Riley
blocked a shot at the other end, and Demetrius Calip
hit a 10-footer to give Michigan an 18-9 lead. With
6:27 left in the half, Freddie Hunter hit a layup to
give the Wolverines a 28-17 lead, and Iowa never
again got the margin down to single digits.
Talley, Voskuil, and Hunter all achieved career
highs, with 21, 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Hunter, who inbounded the ball for Michigan, also
excelled in helping Michigan break Iowa's press.
"It started with Freddie Hunter, who took the ball
out each time and made good decisions," Fisher
said. "I told Freddie I'd much rather he take a 5-sec-
ond call than toss it in and maybe have it stolen.
"Talley did a nice job, knowing when to penetrate
and when to pull it back and Calip made the right
decisions about when to pass it in."
Iowa was plagued by problems on both ends of the
"I think we were stationary on offense," Iowa's
Jay Webb said. "I think we were hurting on one-on-
ones. Most of the time, we'd only have one guy
back; they spread our press out."


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