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Michigan Five Wallops Iowa To Gain Undisputed Crown

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Michigan Five Wallops Iowa To Gain Undisputed Crown

Second Half Rally Gives Wolverines Decision, 51 To 35

By Mill Marsh

Coach Ozzie Cowles was triumphantly carried out of the Yost fieldhouse last night on the shoulders of his joyous players after Michigan’s basketball team had clinched the Western conference title by beating Iowa in the climax game, 51 to 35.

The victory gave Michigan a two-game edge over the Hawkeyes who finished in second place and marked the second time in history that a Wolverine five ever won the undisputed conference crown and the first cage title of any kind gained in the past 19 years, or since the days of Ed “Skipper” Mather.

Players Were Happy

It was hard to tell just who was the most excited in the wild demonstration that followed the clinching of the title. It was something most unusual for Michigan basketball players to be celebrating a championship but was rather old stuff for Coach Cowles who won seven out of eight Ivy league titles at Dartmouth where he coached before coming to Michigan last season.

Now that the Wolverines have clinched the crown they can look forward to receiving a bid from the NCAA tournament to be held at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Big Nine champ always has been invited to this competition. Michigan also has an anti-climatic game scheduled with Michigan State here Saturday night which will close the regular schedule.

The Michigan basketball team thus takes its place alongside the Wolverine football team and the Wolverine golfers who have swept titles in the last three Big Nine sports to be up for grabs.

Neither Michigan, nor Iowa played very good basketball in the crucial contest here last night. Players of both teams appeared tense and rather tired after their strenuous campaigns.

Fought To Finish

Unlike the game with Ohio State Saturday night when the Wolverines stalled their way to victory, Michigan last night fought through to the finish and won going away.

It was not intentional stalling for the first nine minutes of the hectic second half in which the Wolverines went without a score and saw their half-time lead of 29 to 22 change into a 30-29 edge for the visiting Hawkeyes.

However from there on out, Michigan took control. Iowa then went nine minutes without scoring. Capt. Bob Harrison tied the score at 30-30 with a basket and after Iowa had again forged ahead by a single point on Murray Wier's free-throw, Mack Suprunowicz, who had been sitting on the bench returned to the fray and sparked the Wolverines into a safe lead.

Pete Elliott put Michigan ahead with nine minutes to go with a basket. Two baskets by Suprunowicz, one by Bill Roberts and another shot from the side by Suprunowicz and still another by Lefty Morrill rushed the Wolverines into a 45-31 lead and that was the ball game.

However, Murray Wier, the little red-head who set a new Conference scoring record this season, never gave the Wolverine fans a chance to sit back and relax until the closing minutes of the battle.

Pete Elliott did a swell job of guarding the Iowa red-head in that he held the sharpshooter to 14 points. And when you hold Wier to 14 points, he is having a bad night as his game average is better than 22 points. Elliott stated after the game that “Wier was the toughest opponent I ever had to guard.”

Wier can really hit the basket and his speed enables him to break away from most guards. He has perfected a shot in which he shoots while moving away from the basket, instead of toward it and the shot is difficult to stop. Wier made six baskets in 28 shots last night.

However, both teams were decidedly off-form in their shooting. Michigan made 17 baskets on 89 shots for a percentage of 19 while Iowa was even worse, getting 11 baskets on 74 shots for an average of about 15 per cent.

Mack Suprunowicz, whose four baskets pulled Michigan out of danger when things looked dark for the Wolverine cause, shared the high-scoring honors of the game with Wier. Mack also collected 14 points.

Harold “Lefty” Morrill, a guard, played by far the best game of his career. Morrill tallied six points and broke up many Iowa plays under the Hawkeye basket. His most spectacular piece of work came when the flashy Wier stole a Michigan pass and dribbled down the floor with no one between himself and the basket. Morrill pursued him and reached over his shoulder to bat down the ball just after Wier had started his shot.

Pete Elliott not only held the flashy Wier to 14 points but made seven points himself.

His brother “Bump” Elliott of football fame, also got in the game and guarded Wier part of the time. Bump, who has been playing with the Jay-Vee squad did not expect to get into action but merely dressed for the game so that he would have a good seat on the Michigan bench. He was given a great ovation when he entered the game and responded to the cries of the fans of “we want a touchdown” by tossing in three out of four free throws.

Bump Elliott will be honored during the halves of Michigan’s final game with Michigan State Saturday when he will be presented with the Chicago Tribune trophy for being the most valuable football player in the Western conference during the last season.


                        B  F  PF
Suprun'w'z      6  2  1
Mikulich          0  1  0
McIntosh        2  2  4
McCaslin         0  0  1
Bauerle           0  0  1
Roberts           2  0  1
Wisn'wski       0  1  3
Harrison         2  2  4
P. Elliot           2  3  4
Wierda            0  1  1
Morrill             2  2  3
B. Elliot           0  3  1
Poretta           1  0  0

Totals           17 17 24


                     B  F  PF
Wier              6  2  4
Magnusson  0  2  1
Vollers           0  1  2
Mason           0  1  2
Schultz          1  0  3
Finley            2  3  2
Spencer        2  2  3
Hays              0  2  2
Guzowski     0  0  0
Straatsma     0  2  1
Hall                0  0  1

Totals           11 15 21

Halftime score—Michigan 29, Iowa 22.

Missed free throws—Harrison, P. Elliott 3, C. Elliott, Wierda, Wisniewski for Michigan; Wier 4, Schultz 2, Finley, Spencer 2, Vollers, Hays 2 for Iowa.

Referee—Joe Reiff, Northwestern; Umpire—Jim Crowe, Indiana.

In The Big Nine


                         W   L   Pet.   PT   OP
MICHIGAN       10  2  .833   647  556
Iowa                   8  4  .667   643  612
Wisconsin         7   5  .583   608  623
Illinois                7   5  .583   692  638
Purdue              6   8  .500   608  655
Ohio State         5   7  .417   657  673
Minnesota         5   7  .417   616  638
Indiana              3   9  .250   626  643
Northwestern   3   9  .250   894  653

GRABS IOWA REBOUND: Harold “Lefty” Morrill (11) Michigan guard, is shown leaping high in the air at the Michigan-Iowa basketball game last night to take the ball away from Don Hays (8) Iowa center on a rebound off the Michigan backboard. Bill Roberts (6) Michigan center is shown at the left and Mack Suprunowicz (4) at the right. Next to Suprunowicz is Tony Guzowski, Hawkeye guard. Michigan beat Iowa, 51 to 35 to clinch the undisputed Big Nine basketball title.

Michigan Places Two Guards On All-Conference Selection


Player—School                          Pos.        Hgt.      Age      Class

Murray Wier, Iowa                   Forward    5-10       21          Sr.

Dwight Eddleman, Illinois     Forward    6-2         24          Jr.

Jim McIntyre, Minnesota        Center      6-9        20           Jr.

Bob Harrison, Michigan          Guard        6-1       21           Jr.

Pete Elliott, Michigan             Guard         6          21           Jr.


Forwards—Bobby Cook, Wisconsin, and Don Ritter, Indiana. Center—Dick Schnittker, Ohio State.

Guards—Jack Burmaster, Illinois, and Bill Berberian, Purdue.


Indiana—Lou Watson; Michigan—Mack Suprunowicz, Bill Roberts, Don McIntosh; Purdue—Dick Axness; Wisconsin—Don Rehfeldt; Iowa—Bob Schultz and Jack Spencer; Northwestern—Bill Sticklen and Chuck Tourek.