ajan on a breakaway and Alex Chiasson on a heavy one-timer ab

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Any family that celebrates the holiday likely has its own Christmas routine, an order of events governing gifts, family and feasting.So once presents are opened on Christmas morning in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, Katelynn Flaherty and her dad head to a basketball court. Even last year, when the University of Michigans basketball schedule allowed Katelynn a brief return home, she and her dad left the wrapping paper behind so that she could shoot a few hundred jump shots, almost as many off the dribble and a bundle of free throws.For a few years, Lynn Flaherty would explain to family why her husband and daughter were running late. Eventually no one needed the explanation.Forget sleigh bells. The sound of a ball swishing through a net marked the season.It was the same sound Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico heard recently as she left the practice complex at the end of a long day. In an otherwise empty gym, Flaherty worked her way through a daily routine.There are approximately 5,000 women eligible to play Division I college basketball this season. Only two of them, All-Americans Kelsey Mitchell at Ohio State and Kelsey Plum at Washington, averaged more points per game a season ago than the 22.1 Flaherty produced for the Wolverines.A person doesnt reach those heights without something driving her, especially when an unimposing 5-foot-7 frame sometimes leaves even those on her own campus skeptical that she actually plays on the basketball team, let alone she is its star. What her first two years in Ann Arbor showed Flaherty, now a junior, is that what drives her is the product of her own free will.Today, I could totally say without hesitation that its her passion, Barnes Arico said. I didnt know if I would always say that.Listen to the family history, and it is apparent that Flaherty didnt really choose basketball any more than an Alaskan grizzly bear chooses to hunt salmon. No one made her play, but she was born into basketball. Her parents, Lynn and Tom, met on a basketball court. Both played the sport in college -- Lynn at the College of New Jersey and Tom at Seton Hall. Both coached various levels of youth basketball. Their daughter grew up on sidelines and in gyms.The first time Barnes Arico heard about Flaherty was when the coachs husband told her about some third grader from a town on the shore who was supposed to be the next big thing. The die was already cast.When Michigan tempted Barnes Arico away from St. Johns after the Red Storm reached the Sweet 16 in 2012, Flaherty was one of her first recruiting priorities. She knew that Flaherty, an outstanding student, could handle Michigan. And she was convinced, having seen the small guard put up big points at the highest levels of AAU, that she could thrive on Big Ten courts.But opposing defenders who had several inches and a couple of dozen pounds on her werent the only challenges Flaherty faced as a freshman. An only child, she was on her own for the first time. Lynn wasnt there to take care of her when she was sick. Tom, who so carefully trod the ground between coach on the court and dad off it, wasnt there to be either. There were new demands and new challenges. Amid all that was new, it was difficult to figure out what to do with old routines. Was basketball her passion or a passion others assumed was hers?Sometimes I wondered was basketball something that she was continuing because it got her an education, or did she really love it? Lynn said. And in the beginning, when she was first there, I think she was definitely figuring that out, like I just want to be a normal student sometimes. But as shes become more adjusted, you definitely know that basketball -- shes doing it for her. Of course she wants to please everybody around her, she wants to be good. But she has this inner drive.That is what college should offer: the freedom to figure out who you are.I think sometimes kids get here and realize, I like it, but I dont love it. Barnes Arico said. And there is a different level. Liking it is, youre going to practice, youre going through it, youre getting a scholarship, youre having a solid career.To love it takes more of an effort, a drive, a passion.It takes not just sticking around after practice to take more shots, but wanting to do that, looking forward to that solitude, when the noise of the swish of the net replaces the noise of daily life.It used to be more of a struggle for me, especially coming to college and being so tired all the time, Flaherty said. Now I look forward to it more than dread it.So a person who plays far bigger than her frame is now the key if Michigan is to finally act its size in womens basketball. Over a span of decades, there might not be a more underachieving program in the sport. Though rarely awful, it is almost less befitting Michigans self-image that it has almost always been irrelevant.The Wolverines have been to the NCAA tournament just six times and won three tournament games.That isnt an easy identity to change. And despite at least 20 wins in each of her first four seasons, Barnes Arico is still trying to change it after three consecutive WNIT trips.Now youre associated with the block M and one of the greatest universities, one of the greatest athletic departments, in the world, Barnes Arico said. But womens basketball hasnt done it. So why cant we be the first to do it?I think the players in our program believe that, Katelynn headlining that.It cant be a one-woman show. Flaherty was not only among the most prolific scorers in the country a season ago but also one of its most efficient. Given the volume of shots she took from the 3-point line, her overall field goal percentage (.449) was about as efficient as a post player who shoots 60 percent from the field. So its not as if she gets her points at the expense of the offense. All the same, Michigan may well be a better team with Flaherty scoring 18 points per game than 22, if it means 6-foot-5 sophomore Hallie Thome is a force inside and senior Siera Thompson beats Flaherty to the career record for 3-pointers.At the same time, there is no reason to make the game more complicated than it needs to be. The Wolverines will need her to shoot the ball hundreds of times this season. So Flaherty puts up hundreds of shots each day.Alone in the gym, listening to the voice in her own head that drives her to be the best.I can honestly say that I found my passion, Flaherty said. Especially just being able to get in here by myself and really enjoy it and cherish every moment knowing its not going to last forever. Panthers Jerseys From China . Mickelson barely made the cut but had the best round of the day with nine birdies and an eagle coupled with two bogeys to sit two shots behind leader Craig Lee of Scotland. Lee shot a 69 for a 12-under 204 total. "I just love the fact I am in contention and have an opportunity in my first tournament of the year here in Abu Dhabi," Mickelson said. Wholesale Panthers Jerseys . Then the Pacers gave Oladipo and his Orlando teammates the cold shoulder. Paul Georges buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter spurred a 21-4 run, finally sending Indiana past the Magic 97-87 in a tougher-than-expected opening night matchup. http://www.cheapfloridapanthersjerseyschina.com/ .1 million pounds ($61.2 million) on Saturday, giving the beleaguered English Premier League champions a major lift. Panthers Jerseys Outlet . Dallas hasnt ruled out the star quarterback for Sunday nights game against Philadelphia, but all signs point to Romos back injury pushing Kyle Orton into the starting role after two years of limited play as the backup. Surely Ortons name isnt the first that comes to mind for fans wanting a change after years of damaging interceptions, fumbles or, most infamously, the field goal flub when Romo dropped the snap on a kick that could have won his first playoff game in 2006. Adidas Panthers Jerseys . -- The Magic have their first victory of the new year. NEW YORK -- ?? The New York Islanders have found their footing in Brooklyn once again, and the road-weary Calgary Flames dont feel too bad about Monday nights result, either.Thomas Hickey scored 1:53 into overtime, helping the Islanders rebound from a vexing West Coast trip with a 2-1 win over the Flames.Hickey won it after Flames forward Michael Frolik broke a stick in the defensive end, leading to an awkward line change for Calgary. Islanders captain John Tavares wheeled around the zone with the Flames momentarily short-handed before backhanding a shot that Hickey tipped off goalie Brian Elliott and in.I was glad to get a stick on it in overtime, Hickey said. This was a game we had to have.New York improved to 3-1-0 in home games following a road loss by relieving frustration from a wild swing through California. They beat Anaheim in a 14-round shootout but then lost twice on goals in the final 3 minutes of regulation against Los Angeles and San Jose.Last-place New York is just 1-6-1 on the road but remains respectable in Brooklyn, improving to 6-4-3 at Barclays Center.Tavares also scored in the first period and has six goals and 11 assists this season. The goal was his first in 10 games.I have a lot of expectations, Tavares said. I have to make plays and produce. And lead by example.Thomas Greiss stopped 25 shots for the Islanders, standing tall during a barrage late in the second period before allowing Sean Monahans tying goal 5:51 into the third. Monahan scored on a one-timer from the left circle.Elliott was mostly solid with 25 saves but still lost his seventh straight start. He was acquired from St. Louis over the summer to be Calgarys primary goalie but had sat three straight games in favor of journeyman Chad Johnson.Elliott had a few pivotal saves late, including when he stopped Shane Prince on a breakaway midway through the third.The guy works so hard and cares so much, Flames captain Mark Giordano said. So for him to have a big night for us and come and bounce back and play that well was nice to see.Monahans goal helped Calgary complete a grueling six-game, nine-day trip 3-2-1.I think anytime youre over .5000 on a long one its successful, Giordano said, adding, I think we can build off of getting a point there.ddddddddddddhe Flames fought fatigue in a 5-2 loss to the Flyers on Sunday and didnt show much life early in this one, either. Both teams flailed at the start, with each getting one shot on goal in the first 5 minutes. Calgary finished with just four shots in the first period.Josh Bailey and Tavares teamed up for a 1-0 lead 7:28 in. Bailey rushed into the middle of the zone, turned left in the high slot, and then delivered a no-look, backhand pass for Tavares, who shot over Elliotts shoulder from the right side.The goal started a strong stretch by New York, and the Islanders had a few near misses later in the first, including a shot off the post from Cal Clutterbuck with about six minutes left.Calgary made a push in the second period but got stalled by solid goaltending. Greiss gloved Michael Ferlands shot on a rush and got his pad on a chance by Sam Bennett around the midpoint of the period. Later, he stopped Matt Stajan on a breakaway and Alex Chiasson on a heavy one-timer about 15 seconds apart.The Islanders have won five straight over the Flames and improved to 17-1-3 against Western Conference foes at Barclays Center.Game notes Islanders D Adam Pelech exited late in the second period and did not return because of an upper-body injury. ... The Flames have scored two goals or fewer in 13 of their past 16 games. ... Calgary F Johnny Gaudreau missed his eighth straight game with a broken finger. The Flames were also without Ladislav Smid (neck) and Lance Bouma (shoulder). ... The Islanders made Ryan Strome and Scott Mayfield healthy scratches and also sat Ryan Pulock (lower-body injury) and Dennis Seidenberg (upper-body injury).UP NEXTFlames: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night to begin a three-game homestand.Islanders: Host the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday for the second time in two weeks. Pittsburgh won the first matchup 3-2 in overtime. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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