Wednesday

March 9th, 2005

 

Sports

Volume 22, Issue 22

Women’s Basketball learns, grows throughout season

By Mark Brockett - Sports Reporter

While there weren’t a lot of victory celebrations for the UIS women’s basketball team this season, the team came out in every contest and played determined basketball.
With the first round loss last week in the American Midwest Conference tournament to rival McKendree, the Stars concluded their sub .500 season finishing 7-22 overall. Five of those victories were in the UIS Gymnasium where the Stars took advantage of the familiar atmosphere. However, the team was less than stellar on the road finishing with a mark of 1-13.
The team put together back-to-back wins this season only once which made things difficult as far as gaining confidence and momentum. Although there were many hardships, the team did have some bright spots to speak of. Senior forward Zabrina Harper led the team in scoring with an average of 17.7 points per game and shot 45.7 percent from the field. She also had the highest average in steals, a healthy 2.1 per game. Senior center Ashley Barton had an average of 12.3 points per game. She led the team in rebounding averaging 7.8 a game and averaged almost 1 blocked shot per game at 0.7. The teams assist leader was senior point guard Kelly Beyer who had 2.5 per game. With that, she averaged a little more than 30 minutes a game.
The highest three point percentage belonged to senior guard Chikayla Moss who impressed with a 36.6 percentage from behind the arc. This contributed to her 10.4 points per game average. Freshmen guard LaTrice Nettles also fit in nicely in her first season as a UIS Prairie Star basketball player by averaging 10 points per game.
The team looks to find ways to improve their standing in the basketball next season by rebuilding due to six seniors leaving. While there will be some hardships, one will find it hard to see a team that doesn’t give 100 percent day in and day out.


Stars end season in AMC Tournament

By Jason Stuebe - Sports Editor

The Stars came oh so close but in the end wound up so far away dropping a double over-time heartbreaker to Williams Baptist in Walnut Ridge, Ark., last Thursday night sending the Stars home for good, 71-72.
The Stars led at the half, 32-29 in the contest and were evenly balanced in the second half but the story line was the irony in the closing seconds.
With the game knotted in double OT and time running out, UIS’ leading free-throw shooter Joe Miller took a hard foul and injured his knee. The injury prevented him from shooting what could have been the game winning free throws.
The Stars were led by Antonio Puckett, who had 20 points; Miller, who had 11 of his own before the mishap; freshman Collin Crull, who nearly notched a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds and Che Jordan, who closed out his short UIS career with a nine point, six rebound game.
While the Stars had one of their better field shooting performances in quite some time knocking in 43.9 percent of the shots, their 7-27 shooting from behind the arc proved fatal compared to Williams Baptists 7-11 shooting.
The loss dropped the season record to 8-22 and 4-8 in the AMC and prompts the beginning of what should be an interesting off-season back at the drawing board and recruiting.


UIS Women drop tourney opener to McKendree

By Jason Stuebe - Sports Editor

The seventh-seeded Stars proved to be little trouble for the second-seeded McKendree, as the Bearcats soundly defeated UIS 97-54, ending the Stars’ tumultuous season at 7-22 overall and 3-1 in the AMC.
The Stars were basically out shot, out rebounded and outplayed throughout the game. McKendree dominated the boards, pulling down 58 total rebounds, 39 of which were defensive, while UIS could only muster 29 total rebounds.
It was those boards that generated transition points for McKendree as the Bearcats amassed some impressive numbers, shooting 49.4 percent from the field, 47.1 percent from the arc and 75 percent from the free throw line. All this compared to the Stars average 35.4 percent performance from the field, 11.1 percent from behind the arc, and 63.6 percent from the charity stripe.
The Stars were led by Kelly Beyer, who put it 17 points for the Stars while Kenoshia Brown had nine points and Ashley Barton had eight points and 10 boards. With the season behind them and nowhere to go but up in the future it could be quite the off-season with several changes on the horizon for the squad.


One more year in the sun for Green Bay's Brett Favre

By Mark Brockett - Sports Reporter

I know what you’re all thinking. It doesn’t make any sense, Mark. During your tenure at The Journal you have professed to us that the Chicago Bears are your one true sports love and the day they finally get it done, you’ll be there with them standing tall over such rival teams as Minnesota, Atlanta and especially, Green Bay. Please don’t tell us all that you’re serious when you tell us that your favorite athlete of your lifetime and anyone else’s is none other than Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers!
Well, I must explain to all of you that yes, all of that is true. Brett Favre is my favorite athlete despite being one of the most hated sports figures in the city of Chicago. For that, I’ve faced a lot of criticism in the family and with close friends who bleed orange and navy blue with me. But, it hasn’t always been this way.
Growing up, I most certainly did not like him or anything that he accomplished on the field. I saw him as another reason to wish the city of Green Bay nothing but heartache and tribulation. After all, since 1993, the Bears have not beaten Green Bay in Chicago and Favre has started in every single one of those games and has been incredibly effective, to say the least. But, as I grew wiser and indulged myself more into this crazy little world we call sports, I realized that respected the man as a player and saw a little of myself in him.
We rarely receive the opportunity to live out sports fantasies in reality. While everyone has their backyard stories of triumph and legendary performances, it isn’t quite the same when you actually see it done from the very best. One of the first legendary performances that I remember seeing was a 1995 regular season game at Lambeau Field between Green Bay and Chicago where Brett had a sprained knee but decided to play on it. In snowy conditions, Favre torched the Bears defense, especially the secondary, by going 25 of 33 for 336 yards and five touchdowns with zero interceptions. Don’t get me wrong; on that day, I threw every pillow in the house at the television set. But I gained a lot of respect for him because of that game.
Besides the tough guy attitude (Brett has never missed a start in his professional career dating back to 1992) and the gun-slinging passing style, he’s one of the most loyal teammates that a player can have. He has made careers for some less than stellar performers such as wide receivers Antonio Freeman, Robert Brooks, Bill Schroeder and Corey Bradford. To top it all off, he hasn’t had to experience a losing season in the last decade at least. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same in Chicago.
More than anything else that has impressed me about this man was the performance both on and off the field in December of 2003, when he found out one day before playing the Oakland Raiders in an extremely crucial game for the Packers’ playoff hopes that his father had passed away in an automobile accident. The next day had him contemplating whether or not he should play in the game as he spent it with family and friends. Brett’s father taught him everything he knows about football and also coached him at the high school level, so he believed that playing in the game would be the best way to honor him for the life that he lived and gave to him.
The performance on the field was as close to perfection that an athlete can get to. Favre completed 22 of 30 passes for 399 yards and four touchdowns. All four touchdowns were scored in the first half of that game and led the usually hostile Raider fans into a standing ovation for him. In the post-game interview, you could see in his eyes how truly great the loss was for him and that is something that I will never forget. So often we see athletes as just athletes, but to see the person shine through in that moment was truly touching.
At age 35 and after a dismal postseason game against Minnesota in Green Bay, Favre had contemplated hanging it up. After all, he is a three time MVP and has won a Super Bowl. But, much to the delight of the Packer faithful and anyone like me, it looks like he will be around for one more year in the sun. For those of you who are still reading this and no longer have that shocked look on your face, take the time this next NFL season to watch one of the all time great players in what may very well be his last year. From a sports perspective, players like Brett only come around every so often. Take advantage of the opportunity next season much like Brett will surely take advantage of his. Take care and thanks for reading.


Stuebe’s Sporting Goods
Prairie Stars Smorgasboard

By Jason Stuebe - Sports Editor

As we get ready to complete the last half of the last semester of the academic year, I’ve been sitting here thinking in this hotel suite of mine (yes, we’re broadcasting on location this week), and I thought now would be just as good of time as any to do some reflecting.
With winter sports having wrapped up or in the process of doing so in the next week and spring sports getting underway it’s a darn good time to look at men’s and women’s basketball, and the Blue Crew (or lack thereof).
Men’s Basketball
It goes without saying that that this was a year full of what-ifs and what-might-have-beens. Sure, the Stars were young and fresh but there truly was such talent that the end result of 8-22 wasn’t supposed to be quite that low.
What if Johnny Tate has been around during the conference season? What kind of momentum could the Stars had carried if they beat McKendree at home? The list could go on and on but the one good thing to realize is that this team could be something in the next year or so.
Antonio Puckett and Collin Crull stand to have the breakout type season that Coach Kevin Gamble certainly was looking for this year, while experience for Aaron Anderson and others should yield better results. Not to mention the fact that in the later part of the year, a parade of recruits came to several games in what looks to be Gamble’s most aggressive attempt at brining quality players to UIS.
Women’s Basketball
What more can you say about this? There were times when it looked like things were going to be all right this season and there were others where this particular program had more drama than a high school prom.
There were times when it was pleasure for Mark and me to cover these games though there were many more where it was a labor of love.
Much like the men’s team, this was a team with plenty of talent. You had Zabrina Harper posting double-doubles like they were going out of style with the strong support of Ashley Barton and Kelly Beyer. By season’s end, LaTrice Nettles was clicking on all eight cylinders and could prove to be quite the utility-man next season.
Nevertheless, it was what happened off the court and behind the seasons that ultimately sank this season; and I’m going to come out and say it: it’s time for change. UIS has reached the point of rivaling Harris Stowe as the worst in the conference; such a low could never have been imagined in anyone’s wildest dreams.
Blue Crew, where are you?
I have to admit, I’m a little befuddled here. The beginning of the year was awesome. With the Blue Crew under new leadership, new solidarity, new chants and cheers, new people, it was simply wonderful. Then the inevitable lull hit. Certainly it didn’t help having losing teams and conference games scheduled on two of the most class heavy nights but what happened to the fun and games? The pride? I miss it guys. Accept this as my plea: come back – they need you, hell, I need you.
Yes, there were those handful of crazies out there doing their best, but just imagine if every game had the type of support as that men’s game against McKendree in mid-January. If such was the case, the records, as mentioned above, might not be such a bitter pill to swallow.
So there you have it, the end of one season leading to the beginning of the next. With women’s tennis looking at a championship style season, men’s tennis greatly improving and women’s softball shedding its infancy, it could be quite the spring.
Oh yeah, and you can bet the farm that we’ve considered axing Mark Brockett after his prediction of an Illinois loss at Ohio State came true. As always, go Stars!


Campus Rec Briefs

The Intramural 5x5 Basketball League has crowned the Intramural Champions. The Losers did not live up to their name as they beat HUGE in the closely contested championship game 56-52. The Losers who were the number two seed upset previously undefeated HUGE to claim the title. Congratulations to co-captains Michal Haney and Jesse Vezina and their teammates Dan Caughey, Michael Fitzpatrick, Matt Garlits, Steve Ingram, Chase Kailer, and J.R. Pearce. NIRSA finished third in the league at 2-2. The Stars were 1-3 followed by The Girls at 0-4. Congratulations to all intramural basketball players for participating in this year’s league.

OZ wins the Intramural Men’s Badminton Doubles tournament. Doubles partners Jerome Pradal & Cyril Cottini took the best 3 out of 5 match series over the Shuttle Cocks (Kyle Simpson and Ryan Reese) to become this year’s Intramural Champions. OZ dominated the first game with a 15-1 victory, but the Shuttle Cocks stormed back to take the second game, 15-11. The deciding third game went down to the last point before OZ managed to hold on with a 15-14 win. Congratulations to all in this year’s doubles play.

Spring Break Informal Open Recreation Hours for the Rec Center (Fitness Center and Gym) will be shortened during the campus vacation. Beginning Friday, March 11 through Sunday, March 20, the facilities will be open Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm and 5-8pm; Saturday, 10am-2pm; and Sunday, 4-8pm. Participants wishing to use the above facilities must submit a valid i-card upon entering the Rec Center.

One day tournaments for Intramural 6x6 Indoor Volleyball and IM 4x4 Futsal (indoor soccer without the walls) will be held Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 respectively. Team entry forms are due in the CRS Office by 11pm on Tuesday, March 29. Both tournaments are mixed team. Intramural play is free to UIS Students and Rec Center Members with a valid i-card. Non-Rec Center Members and Non-UIS pay a $10 fee per sport. Check the website or campus e-mails for more tournament and roster information.

The Intramural Tennis Doubles Tournament is scheduled for Sunday, April 17 beginning at 2:30pm at the UIS Courts. Team entries are due by 11pm on Monday, April 11. Check the website or campus e-mails for more tournament and roster information.

Toning & Conditioning Fitness Class Session C meets Mondays and Fridays from 12:10-12:50pm in the UIS Gym from March 21 through April 29 (no class on Good Friday, March 25). Students and Rec Center Members with a valid i-card pay $9; Non-Rec Center Members pay $27. Register and pay the appropriate fee in the CRS Office before class begins on March 21.

Questions? Contact Campus Recreational Sports in the Fitness Center (SLB 118) at 206-6658 or send an e-mail to RecSports@uis.edu.


Snapshots

March 9, 2005
Snap Shots

Men’s Basketball
2005 AMC Tournament
First Round:
#1 MoBap – Bye
#4 Williams Baptist def. #5 UI-Springfield, 72-71 (2 OT)
#2 Columbia def. #7 Harris Stowe, 81-65
#3 McKendree def. #6 Hannibal-Lagrange, 82-60

Semifinal Round:
#1 MoBap def. #4 Williams Baptist, 112-70
#3 McKendree upset #2 Columbia 63-62

Championship game to be played last night between:
#3 McKendree at #1 MoBap

Women’s Basketball
2005 AMC Tournament
First Round:
#1 Columbia def. #8 Harris Stowe, 125-33
#4 William Woods def. #5 Hannibal-LaGrange, 75-69
#2 McKendree def. #7 UI-Springfield, 97-54
#3 MoBap def. #6 Williams Baptist, 95-65

Semifinal Round:
#1 Columbia def #4 William Woods
#2 McKendree def. #3 MoBap

Championship Game:
(WILL UPDATE TUESDAY MORNING!!!)

Women’s Softball
EU Show Me Games Tournament (Springfield, MO)
Playing in their second tournament of the year, the Stars dropped five of their six games, spiraling their season record so far to 2-8 heading into today’s home opener against Olivet Nazarene University.
The Stars opened the tournament with a 9-2 loss to William Jewell on Friday morning but quickly rebounded in a 1-0 win over Southwest Baptist. It would be the last time the Stars saw victory that weekend.
The women then lost their next four events to 20th ranked host team Evangel by a score of 9-0, Baker University by an 8-0 margin, Lindenwood by a 7-1 margin, and Benedictine by a 7-0 margin.
As is telling by the scores, the often time explosive bats of the Stars were silenced by nearly every opponent faced. Though it was not so much that the Stars were getting hits more than it was the Stars weren’t getting the hits when and where they needed them to produce runs.
Host team Evangel wound up the champions of the tournament.

Upcoming Games
Friday, March 11
Washington Park 1:00 p.m.
The #24 women’s tennis squad heads across town to begin their march towards a second consecutive Region V crown as they serve up their season opener against Lindenwood.

 

 

Women's basketball learns, grows throughout season

Stars end season in AMC Tournament

UIS Women drop tourney opener to McKendree

One more year in the sun for Green Bay's Brett Favre

Stuebe’s Sporting Goods

Campus Rec Briefs

Snapshots

 

 

 
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