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Page 178 text:
WOMEN ' S BASKETBALL Facina tough opposition " Women ' s basketball faced major changes in the 2003- 2004 season. An entirely new coaching staff took over and hoped to lead the te am to victory. Cheryl Burnett, former head coach for Southwest Missouri State, was hired as the new head coach for the Wolverines. With drastic improvements needed from the previous season, Burnett came in prepared and ready to turn around the team. Complimenting Burnett was new Assistant Head Coach Karen Rapier. Rapier had worked with Burnett at Southwest Missouri State for the last eight seasons. The team started the season off strong, winning their first two games. Sophomore forwardguard Niki Reams explained, " [Winning] is a great feeling. It ' s awesome to see all the people here coming out and supporting us. We really appreciate it. " The women played their home games in Chrysler Arena, with a capacity of 14,000 fans. The Wolverine ' s first loss came against 15th ranked Rutgers, but the team rebounded in the next game with an impressive win against Western Michigan. The majority of the season went in this up and down fashion, with the Wolverines facing tough opponents and rigorous practices. WOMEN ' S BASKETBALL MIAMI (OHIO) W 79-68 CINCINNATI W 73-69 RUTGERS L 50-65 WESTERN MICHIGAN W 66-53 ALABAMA L 74-76 TEXAS TECH L 61-74 TEXAS-ARLINGTON W 68-51 CHARLOTTE W 72-65 DRAKE L 55-70 CREIGHTON L 66-82 SETON HALL L 52-63 XAVIER W 65-56 DETROIT W 64-48 MINNESOTA L 44-64 NORTHWESTERN W 62-43 INDIANA W 65-59 PENN STATE L 56-68 MICHIGAN STATE L 33-67 WISCONSIN W 63-60 IOWA L 58-69 OHIO STATE L 49-51 ILLINOIS L 78-94 PURDUE L 64-76 WISCONSIN W 75-55 MICHIGAN STATE L 54-59 By Emily DeMarco Halfway through the season, the women ' s basketball team had a record of 9-7 with a record of 2-1 in conference. The team was able to celebrate after an amazing win against Big Ten rival Northwestern on January 4, 62-43. It was the first Big Ten win for Burnett, and the first for the team on the season. Seniors Stephanie Gandy and Jennifer Smith each scored over 20 points, and Niki Reams had a career best 5 steals in the game. It was the emotion of these wins, coupled with the love of the game, that kept the girls motivated for the long haul and gave the girls the ability to bounce back from tough losses to teams such as Penn State, Michigan State and Purdue. Junior forward Tabitha Pool commented, " [Having a successful team is] important because we come together as a team. We all want it and we ' ve all wanted it for a long time. " Despite this desire, the team had to settle for close to just a fifty-percent win average. Individual accomplishments of the season included senior Jennifer Smith being named Big Ten Play of the Week twice. In addition, senior Stephanie Gandy was named to the Preseason WNIT all-tournament team. The team once again hoped to use the season as a foundation for the following year. 174 Sports
Page 177 text:
SECOND CHANCE REVIVAL On November 7, 2002 the Wolverine men ' s basketball team enforced a self-imposed sanction for the 2002-03 postseason to help rectify past wrong-doings. Ed Martin, an ex-booster, pleaded guilty to giving gifts of more than $600,000 to the " Fab Five, " past members of the University ' s basketball team. As a result, last year the men ' s basketball team sat at home land watched the whole post-season on television despite their contention to be among the 64 teams named. " It was very difficult, especially knowing that we had a very good chance to make it. The question on our minds was, ' Would we have been able to make it if we were eligible? ' It was very hard. We watched the tournament saying next year we want to be there, " said forward J.C. Mathis. On May 8, the NCAA Committee on Infractions announced additional sanctions including :a 2003-04 postseason ban. " When we heard the news this summer it was deflating, knowing that we wouldn ' t jhave the chance again, " said Mathis. Michigan appealed the 2003-04 postseason ban for this reason, citing it is !as excessive. On September 25, the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee reversed the imposed ban on postseason competition citing Michigan ' s " unique level of cooperation " in the investigation process. " ' This is a tremendously positive day for the University of Michigan and " t was more of a shock than anything ese.We were really happy, of course, to be able to be in a position where we can make the post-season. " The Revision, The Renewo,The Rejuvenation By Helen Wang our basketball program. We are so appreciative of the news we received today. I am thrilled for the young men on our team, and I believe they truly deserve this opportunity. We all remain excited about the upcoming season and truly look forward to the challenges that lie ahead, " said Coach Tommy Amaker. This announcement rejuvenated the team. " We got the call late to go and meet at Crisler. It was storming and we were all wondering what was going on. We saw Coach walk in and he had a big smile on his face, so we knew it was not bad news. As soon as he said it we were really excited. It was more of a shock than anything else. We were really happy, of course, to be able to be in a position where we can make the post- season, " said forward Colin Dill. This chapter in the men ' s basketball program produced a stronger and more resilient team. Director of Athletics Bill Martin summed it up by saying, " We have learned some hard lessons from this experience, but we emerged from it with a stronger program and a renewed commitment to the highest standards of integrity. I ' m proud of Coach Amaker and our current players, who gave their best effort last year despite a ban on the postseason tournament that was self-imposed by the University. We ' re looking ahead now to a terrific season. " After the University ' s seff- imposed sanctions. Coach Tommy Amaker speaks at a press conference. The NCAA mandated the 2003 post- season ban due to multiple rute violations in prior seasons. A. Gazmv? Athletic Media Relations Members of Maize Rage, a student organization dedicated to supporting the basketball team, occupies the student bleacher section at a home game. An anonymous donor made tickets free to all returning Maize Rage ticket holders. Nej NCAA Ban Reversal 173
Page 179 text:
Coach Cheryl Burnett motivates the Wolverines ' Niki Reams and Jennifer Smith during a time out. Burnett was named head coach after a sub-par last season. J. Neff photo ,:e.The BigTen BigTen nm on Jennifer id Niki at be girls ^ and Kite IJUSU eluded .fek [Ottlt again vear. Senior forward Stephanie Gandy cuts to the inside as she goes by her opponent. Gandy opened the season against Miami of Ohio with 23 points in the win.. Neff photo Calling for the next play, sophomore guard Rachel Carney directs the Wolverine offense. Carney had personal bests against Cincinnati, scoring 10 points and three triples.. Weiner photo Women ' s Basketball 175
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