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Page 174 text:
Setting up for a free throw, freshman Courtney Sims helps secure the win against Michigan Tech. In the game, Sims hit a dunk and lay-up with 2:58 remaining to put the Wolverines ahead 31-27. J.Neff photo MEN ' S BASKETBALL Driving ii i -tiii i i it i/ if i * " " ^^^^ to the Hoop By Chelsea Anderson As Michigan entered its 88th season of play, the men ' s basketball team determined to prove themselves to their " maize rage " fans. Both the eligibility for a postseason and an impressive 2003 season put pressure on the team to excel. Returning starters forward Chris Hunter, forwards Bernard Robinson Jr. and Lester Abram, and guard Daniel Horton looked to lead a tough defense and a powerful offense. " We ' re a hungry program and a hungry team. We ' re older. You go through some things, hopefully that vill allow us to be more productive throughout the year, " said Head Coach Tommy Amaker. Adding to the strength of the experienced players, newcomer freshman forward Courtney Sims hoped to make an impact. Unfortunately, it was announced in mid-December that Hunter would undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and would be out indefinitely. Nevertheless, the team kept their heads high, counting on their leaders to pull them through. The Wolverines began the season with a four game winning streak. Sophomore guard Daniel Horton commented, " It feels great. This year we are actually getting the job done, going out and playing hard, playing as a team, being unselfish, MEN ' S BASKETBALL SCORES OAKLAND HIGH POINT BUTLER NORTH CAROLINA STATE VANDERBILT BOWLING GREEN CENTRAL MICHIGAN DELAWARE STATE UCLA BOSTON UNIVERSITY FAIRFIELD NORTHWESTERN INDIANA MICHIGAN STATE WISCONSIN PENN STATE IOWA ILLINOIS PURDUE MINNESOTA and playing good defense. " After their first loss against Vanderbilt, the team sprung back to capture the following four games to generate an 8-1 record, pleasing fans and surprising the competition. The kick-off to Big Ten competition began with a 78-54 win over Northwestern. The Wolverines performed with excellence as sophomore Lester Abram went 7-for-8 from the floor and 10-for-10 from the line to set a career-high 27 points. However, the two subsequent games resulted in losses to rivals Indiana and Michigan State. Against the Spartans, Horton tallied 20 points, hitting 5-for-15 from the field and 5-for-6 from the line. At the half, Michigan was down by nine, but despite their battle through the second twenty minutes, they were unsuccessful in closing the deficit. Amaker reacted to the defeat, stating, " We absolutely need to get tougher. You need that, especially on the road and in a tough environment. You need to be mentally tough and need to do all the little things. " Match-ups against other conference play powerhouses led to important tests for the squad. With the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Championship in sight, the Wolverines hoped to capitalize upon their ability to go all the way. 84-58 84-49 61-60 68-31 63-83 74-57 85-75 55-50 70-66 60-61 66-43 78-54 57-59 54-71 63-74 69-59 90-84 52-67 64-63 78-81 170 Sports
Page 173 text:
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Page 175 text:
abilulin geneme t Knud an went l die line itetw) jlndiaiu ledl ' IJ-W tab) ' : second [0 JO ill Up for the slam dunk in the final minute of play against Northwestern, freshman Brent Petway sees nothing but net. Petway, coming off the bench for the two point play, created maize rage for the crowd. J. Neff photo Sophomore wing Lester Abram defends the hoop against Northwestern guard Jitim Young. Due to his outstanding performance, scori ng a career- high 27 points, Abram was voted ESPN-Plus player of the game. J. Neff photo Men ' s Basketball 171
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