clock was winding low and UIS faced a tied ballgame at 50 points apiece
against bottom feeder Hannibal LaGrange.
Thirty-nine minutes of play yielded the Stars only 3-14 shooting from
behind the arch.
UIS junior standout Antonio Puckett was just coming off his worst game
of the season not 72 hours prior.
And to UIS coach Kevin Gamble, it all made sense.
“We were shooting bad all game long, then with a few seconds to
go called for the single-hi, which Puck can pull up if he has to or drive
inside if our big guys help,” said Gamble, “he was contested
but stepped up and showed confidence.”
Puckett showed confidence alright, draining the game winning three after
holding the ball for 30 of the final 36 seconds in a perfectly executed
play that sent the Assembly Closet into a screaming frenzy.
The UIS victory snapped a four-game losing skid, which featured the three
top teams in the American Midwest Conference. Some might refer to Saturday’s
win as ‘relief.’
“I told ‘em at the half that we are supposed to win this game,”
said Gamble, “had we lost it, it would be very discouraging.”
As for the game itself, few shots and a decent bit of defense on behalf
of both teams led to an excruciatingly low score highlighted by a 24-22
UIS lead at the end of the first half.
“We play ugly and we don’t shoot the ball well,” said
Gamble, “so we got to slow down and play a sluggish game and make
the other guy play at our level.”
The lack of a run-and-gun system would leave most teams reeling for success
in the backcourt, but UIS has started to make it work shooting 48.9 percent
from the field on Saturday.
UIS was led by Antonio Puckett, who returned to form with 13 points, while
UIS freshman Aaron Anderson chipped in nine of his own.
The Stars are now just one win shy of hitting .500 in the conference (3-4),
and look to stick that feather in their hat when they resume conference
play against Harris Stowe this Saturday after taking a nonconference vacation
of sorts to avenge an early season loss to Brescia.
The Brescia game is scheduled to tip-off Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. in
the Assembly Closet.
control tempo, finally finish with big win
Mark Brockett - Sports Reporter
It has been a while
since the Stars have won in the friendly confines of the UIS gymnasium.
But, this past Saturday saw a complete ball game played by our beloved
women’s basketball team and the score displayed that as the Stars
were victorious over American Midwest Conference foe Williams Baptist
only a 33-31 lead at halftime, the Stars improved their shot selection
and shooting percentage as it went from 38.7 percent in the first half
to 44.8 percent in the second. In conjunction with the offensive improvement
was the stifling Prairie Stars defense that held Williams Baptist to no
higher than 35.7 percent from the field in the game. They also were able
to force 27 turnovers.
The Stars outscored Williams Baptist 41-32 in the second half and much
of that came from Senior Zabrina Harper, who led all scorers with 33 points,
10 rebounds, and 5 steals. This was Harper’s second straight 30
plus point performance at home. Also pitching in was freshmen guard LaTrice
Nettles who tallied 17 points in the game with 12 of those points coming
from behind the three point arc.
With the win came the end of a three game losing streak for the Stars.
Their overall record is now 6-16 and 2-6 in the AMC. The next home game
for the team is this coming Tuesday, February 15th against Harris Stowe
State College. Tip off is scheduled for 7 pm.
experience, Eagles inexperience difference in Super Bowl XXXIX
Mark Brockett - Sports Reporter
Another year of football
has come and gone and there aren’t many ways to cap off a season
that compare to what we saw Sunday night in Jacksonville, Florida. The
New England Patriots were victorious for the second straight year and
their third title in the last four seasons. While it was no surprise to
this reporter, there were many who still believed that the Philadelphia
Eagles had a legitimate shot to knock off the juggernaut that has been
created in Massachusetts. The interesting thing about that is how close
that came to becoming a reality.
In the first quarter, we saw a typical high strung performance on both
sides of the football from both teams. It’s your usual jitters that
every team has that take about a series or two to get out of their system.
The Eagles caught a break with what looked to be an opening drive fumble
by Donovan McNabb but replays showed that McNabb had been sacked with
one knee hitting the ground. Being able to dodge this bullet early on
allowed the Eagles to stay neck and neck with New England by being able
to play their style of physical defense.
With a 0-0 tie heading into the second quarter, I was amazed to see how
sloppy Donovan McNabb had been throwing the football. While he did have
good stats, he made some errant throws in huge situations. An example
that sticks out in my mind is the red zone trip that the Eagles offense
had right after recovering a Tom Brady fumble in Patriots territory. McNabb
threw a lame duck ball into the right corner of the end zone and had the
ball picked off. Luckily for him, it was called back due to an illegal
contact penalty. But, he again threw a bad pass, this time to the left
corner of the end zone and had the ball intercepted again. You can look
at it as bad play calling but you can’t fault the coaching staff
for wanting to put the ball in the hands of the guy who has led them to
where they are today. In the simplest terms, McNabb threw two horrendous
Even with the Eagles scoring first, the undaunted Pats were able to keep
their cool and score the next 14 points in the ball game. Yes, the Eagles
went down and tied the game up, but the momentum had seemed to shift into
the Patriots corner with the looming factor of the experience that the
Patriots have had in close football games, especially in the Super Bowl.
With the help of the MVP, wide receiver Deon Branch, the Pats went back
ahead and intercepted another poorly thrown ball from Donovan McNabb.
I recall sitting in my not so comfortable couch after the Pats kicked
a 22 yard field goal and thinking that this would be another game winning
field goal for the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Sure enough, the Eagles
took advantage of an injury to safety Eugene Wilson (former fighting Illini
player I might add) and found speedy receiver Michael Lewis in the end
zone for a touchdown. However, this would also prove to be the end of
the game for the Eagles due to their bad clock management and questionable
strategy to simply walk to the line of scrimmage as the time dwindled
down to less than two minutes. Thus, they weren’t able to allow
themselves reasonable field position to make a play in their last offensive
So what can we all take from this game? In my eyes, it was a matter of
experience that shined through for the Patriots. While I will not say
that Philadelphia doesn’t have any big game experience, it is too
hard to say what any of us who weren’t there would have done in
their situation. The heat of the moment will force some bad decisions
out of all of us, but on this night, the Patriots proved why they are
so special: they didn’t make the big mistakes. This victory does
a lot for both their organization and the National Football League. For
those of you out there who are frustrated with the success of this team,
have no fear. For you see, next season marks the 20th anniversary of the
greatest football team to ever play in a season: the 1985 Chicago Bears.
And how fitting will it be to see our beloved Bears right back in the
Super Bowl next year and play these same Patriots and duplicate their
previous 46-10 win. Go ahead, laugh now. But, come next year at around
this time, I will be doing the laughing for all of the Chicago faithful.
Take care and thanks for reading.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
Jason Stuebe - Sports Editor
watch that loony crackpot on News Channel 15, Mark Hyman? He’s got
that segment called Point/Counterpoint (it’s usually the three minutes
of a day when you should really consider spacing out and think of swimming
with seahorses). Well, I’ve been running out of ideas lately so
I thought I’d do my own useless commentary called Sport/Not-sport.
Now, the only way this works is for you to not be offended (well, seriously
offended at least), and take everything I say in jest or completely disregard
it, as I’m sure you do every week. Basically, if you like hockey
or any other sport that is related to Canada and are easily offended,
it may be best to put this down and work on a crossword puzzle instead.
If this doesn’t land me in a town square tarred and feathered, I
don’t know what will. The case of cheerleading as a sport is largely
debatable. It usually winds up with a young gent on the floor groveling
in pain and unable to produce offspring. However, the fact of the matter
is, though, when cheerleading occurs on the sidelines of an event, let’s
say basketball, it is an act of entertainment. Period.
Before I have 90,000 members of NOW calling for my resignation, I will
say this: When cheerleading occurs at a competition, such as the one in
my favorite movie “Bring It On”, it is most definitely a sport.
The reasoning behind my John Kerryesque approach to this debate, you might
ask? To be considered a sport, mere acts of athleticism are not enough.
Genuine competition is also a requirement, you know, like gladiators and
Maybe you heard about this or maybe you haven’t, but there’s
this game called Texas Hold ‘em. You might have also heard that
in the early spring there was a serious effort to promote the game to
Olympic Game status. No joke, people actually wanted it to be an Olympic
Can anyone else say redonkulous? Much like cheerleading at a competition,
there certainly is a level of contention between separate parties. However,
unlike cheerleading at either a competition or a sideline act, there is
absolutely NO athleticism involved. Just because you get on ESPN for 20
out of 24 hours a day does not make you a sport, even if it does give
us out-of-shape and uncoordinated folk something to do.
I can totally see a few dozen of you out there rolling your eyes, but
you know something? There’s more to racing than just turning left.
To anyone that says racing is not a sport, I dare you, no, I challenge
you to go to a real driving school. You will soon learn that there is
a great deal of athletic ability and coordination involved, lest you find
yourself plowed into a wall.
As a former racer myself, I can tell you that it requires a great deal
of hand-eye coordination, and depending on what you race in, a great deal
of upper body strength and stamina as well. To put it in perspective,
on average, IRL and NASCAR drivers tend to lose nearly seven to nine pounds
of water through perspiration in the course of an event where the outside
ambient temperature is a mere 70 degrees. Athleticism necessary? You bet.
As always, go Stars!
dominate, still fall to Spartans
Mark Brockett - Sports Reporter
controlling the tempo of the entire game, the UIS women’s basketball
team was defeated by the Spartans of Missouri Baptist 74-73.
UIS put forth one of their best team efforts of the season with their
ability to find open shots and play physical defense. For the majority
of the game, the team dominated both sides of the ball and looked to be
on their way to a solid victory. But, with a nine point lead with 4 minutes
to go, some costly turnovers allowed the Spartans to claw back into it
and with their three point specialist Angela Cerrtio, who went 5 of 9
from the three point arc in the game, hit a game winning three-pointer
with only 7 seconds left.
On the in-bounce play, the Stars were able to get the basketball down
to their center, senior Ashley Barton, but the ball was knocked away from
her and time expired. The buzzer sent the Spartans into frenzy and left
the Prairie Stars in a state of frustration and shock.
Senior Zabrina Harper led all scorers with 32 points in the contest. She
also had 4 steals. Chipping in with other big scoring nights were Barton,
with 14 points and 10 total rebounds, and Kelley Beyer with 8 points.
With the heart-breaking loss, the Stars fell for the third straight game
and their seventh of the last eight games. Their overall season record
dropped to 5-16 and 1-6 in the American Midwest Conference.
The annual Wisconsin
Ski Trip to Cascade Mountain and Devil’s Head is this Friday-Sunday,
February 11-13. The bus will be leaving at 3:30pm from Parking Lot B.
Please be on time for departure.
The Intramural 5x5 Basketball
League kicked off with two games being played this past Sunday, February
6. In the first game, HUGE, captained by Mike Moriarity, defeated The
Losers, captained by Michal Haney and Jesse Vezina, by a score of 68-43.
The second game of the doubleheader saw Robert Skorczewski’s NIRSA
team post an 81-40 win over The Girls, captained by Kaley Noel and Danielle
Simler. Another doubleheader is scheduled for this Sunday in the UIS Gym
starting with games at 2:30pm. Come out and cheer on the intramural teams
The Intramural Badminton Doubles
play has started in the UIS Gym. There are 4 women’s teams competing
and 2 men’s teams. Check the website or the posted schedule on the
bulletin board outside the Fitness Center for badminton doubles match
Registrations are still being
accepted for the Toning & Conditioning classes. Toning & Conditioning
meets on Mondays and Fridays in the UIS Gym. All classes meet from 12:10-12:50pm.
The Spring 2005 Milers Club
is up and running. This 15-week activity promotes cardiovascular fitness
through unstructured recreational activities in which participants choose
when and where to exercise. A 150-mile goal (10 miles a week) is the minimum,
but participants are encouraged to set a higher goal if they wish. You
may choose walking, jogging, biking, or other measurable distance exercises.
Participants are required to turn in weekly exercise slips on Mondays
to the CRS Office so that the staff can make a progress chart. The Milers'
Club is a free activity but you must sign up by registering at the CRS
Office with a valid i-card. The Miler’s Club runs through Sunday,
Informal Open Recreation Hours
for 2004-05 for the Rec Center (Fitness Center and Gym) are Monday-Thursday
8am-11pm; Friday 10am-8pm; Saturday 10am-4pm; and Sunday 2-8pm. These
hours are subject to change during campus vacation periods or scheduled
events. Participants wishing to use the above facilities must submit a
valid i-card upon entering the Rec Center.
HOW CAN I LEARN ABOUT CAMPUS
REC SPORTS NEWS?
(1) Send an Email to RecSports@uis.edu to be included in the 2004-2005
Campus Rec Sports News List to receive personal up-to-date information
about future events and activities. (2) Click on “Public Folders>All
Public Folders>UIS>Announcements>Campus” on your UIS e-mail
account and read the e-mail announcements sent out by UIS Campus Rec Sports.
(3) Check out the website at www.uis.edu/recsports/. (4) Contact the Campus
Recreational Sports (CRS) Office located in the Fitness Center (SLB 118)
or call 206-6658.
UIS vs. William Woods (W)
UIS vs. Brescia (M)
UIS Assembly Closet 5:30 p.m.
UIS vs. Harris Stowe
UIS Assembly Closet 3:00 p.m.
UIS vs. Harris Stowe
UIS Assembly Closet 7:00 p.m.
Women’s Softball home opener
UIS vs. ONU
UIS Athletics West 2:00 p.m.