Men's b-ball improves and upsets Bearcats over winter break
By Mark Brockett - Sports Reporter
Sometimes the overall results aren’t as important as one individual result. This would be the story behind the UIS men’s basketball team that posted a 2-3 record over the holiday break, but finished on a strong note by going on the road and defeating a perennial powerhouse in the American Midwest Conference, McKendree College. This was the team’s first victory in Lebanon in their short-lived history.
While trailing at halftime 31-29, the team forced themselves out of the funk that they had been in during their previous three road games (0-3) over winter break, tallying 40 points in the second half and hitting a key three-pointer and free throws down the stretch to steal a victory on the road 69-66 in their first AMC game of the season.
“We played real well, well enough to win this time,” said Aaron Anderson. “This was a big game for us and we had something to prove.”
This win erased some of the hardships that they faced over their five game stretch of the holiday season.
The team started out with a dominant home victory Dec. 16 against Davenport University, 94-55. Leading 41-29 at the half, the Stars never looked back and were relentless with their full court defensive pressure forcing 18 turnovers. The Stars were 9-17 from behind the three-point arc in the second half, an impressive 52.9 percent.
Four players had scored in double figures for the game including Michael Griffin, who led the way with 13 points, Curtis Collins with 12 points, Colin Beverage with 12 points in only nine minutes of play and Kelvin Johnson with 10 points. Cory Farmer chipped in with eight points and five steals.
Next up for the Prairie Stars was a big time match-up in Macomb against Western Illinois. The Stars had learned a great deal from their game at Eastern Illinois and didn’t back down against the Leathernecks.
The teams both played well on the offensive side of the ball and the outcome could not be decided in regulation, the fourth time this season for the Prairie Stars. Foul trouble sent the Leathernecks to the line excessively in the overtime period where they converted 12 of 15 free throws. The Stars only managed to reach the charity stripe for five attempts while converting four of them. In the end, that proved too much for the Stars as they fell 99-89. Leading scorers for the team were Antonio Puckett with 19 points, Griffin with 16, Johnson with 15 and freshman Dane Litwiller, chipping in with 15.
The road trip continued on to Romeoville where the team visited Lewis University. While continuing to force more turnovers than their opponent (20-13), the team could not put forth an offensive streak that would allow them to pull ahead in the game as they fell 83-70. The Stars only shot an anemic 28.6 percent from the field in the second half.
In defeat, Johnson had another solid game with 17 points. Collins added 13 points and eight rebounds. Puckett totaled 11 points and Nick Malone had eight points.
The holidays brought the team a nice break from action and didn’t play another game until Jan. 9 at Indiana Southeast University in New Albany. The team didn’t give themselves a puncher’s chance by shooting three of 23 from behind the three-point arc in the game and were defeated in their third straight game on the road, 76-60. Collins was the only player to top double figures in scoring for the game with 15 points. Brian McMillen had eight points.
The team entered the spring semester with an overall record of 9-8 and 1-0 in the AMC.
Women's basketball scores druing break
Mike Fitzpatrick - Sports Reporter
In an attempt to pull themselves out of their two-game losing streak on Saturday the women's basketball team took on the No. 2 Freed Hardeman Lions. As if the odds weren't already against the Stars, they also had the disadvantage of having to play the Lions on the road. Knowing what they were up against, the Stars went out there with the mentality that anything can happen on Sunday or in this case Saturday. Unfortunately the Lions were just too much for the Stars to handle.
The Lions came out strong showing why they were ranked No. 2, easily outscoring the Stars. They continued to bully the Stars by playing remarkable defense and making it nearly impossible for them to put up any points.
Throughout the game it appeared as if the Stars weren't getting any good looks at the basket, and the Lions were picking apart their defense. Things progressively got worse as the Lions flirted with a 30-point lead at one point in the game, and finally ended winning the contest easily 96-62.
On the positive side, junior Jasmin Lassere continued to play well, leading the Stars with 21 points. Seeing as the Lions did a really good job of containing the Stars, Kimyda Coleman followed Lassere with nine points, with Nicole White and Tamika Reeves contributing nine each. Junior Dominique Moses also pitched in with 13 rebounds but limited to only five points.
With a three-game losing streak now on the line, the Stars traveled to Quincy University last night in a match-up that should be quite competitive and entertaining to watch. Following the game at Quincy , the next two games on Friday and Tuesday will be held here at UIS. These games will mark the home opener, so be sure to head out and support our team by giving them some much needed encouragement.
New athletic director brings possibility for program growth
By Micheal Fitzpatrick - Sports Reporter
MacDonna was replaced by Dr. Rodger Jehlicka. For the past year, Paul MacDonna has served as the acting athletic director, taking over after previous athletic director Nick Adams stepped down and moved on to a position with the University of Maryland. After having only an interim athletic director for the past year, the University of Illinois at Springfield and its board of trustees came to a decision that it was time to find a new athletic director for the program. When a listing for the vacant job was announced, several applicants came to UIS to apply, hoping to help strengthen and run the program. The process was long and difficult, as there were so many very qualified individuals, but when the final decision was made, the board of trustees decided on Dr. Rodger Jehlicka.
Dr. Jehlicka comes to UIS from Eastern Illinois University where he acted as the associate athletic director for the Panthers. He has maintained that position since 1999 when he came to Eastern Illinois University with prior experience from Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. Dr. Jehlicka comes to UIS with experience as an athletic director and also holds degrees in health, physical education and recreation/sports administration. He also earned a Master’s degree in physical education and health from Winona State University in 1976. Dr. Jehlicka was unavailable for comment; however, we plan to continue this article and hopefully speak to Dr. Jehlicka later about the goals and plans for the development of the athletic program here at UIS.
New year, new opportunities light up the world of sports
By Mark Brockett - Sports Reporter
The start of a new year brings hope and inspiration to so many. In sports, we start the new year with the closure of last year’s accomplished and optimistic teams and individuals. Thus far in 2006, we have witnessed one of the greatest games ever played, one of the biggest upsets on paper, and the demise of champion and the anticipation of a new, unfamiliar champion.
USC vs. TEXAS: So often, games of this magnitude never live up to the hype, and this game certainly had plenty of hype. For the first time in its existence, the BCS lucked out in having the undisputed top two teams in the country square off for the National Championship of college football. The game had plenty of star power, (and no, I’m not referring to Will Ferrell and Matthew McConaughey) with the future NFL players of Heisman Trophy winners Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, Longhorns leader Vince Young, and underrated power back Lendale White. You could see how the pressure of such a big game could even affect the most polished of players with Bush’s lateral that was picked up by Texas deep in their own territory. The big things to take out of this game are that no college game is truly over until it is over, that USC was a true champion in handling their first loss in 34 games, and that we might have witnessed the greatest game ever played. Only time will tell us as with most historic moments, it needs to sink in.
COLTS COLLAPSE: This may seem harsh, but there was no reason for this team to lose in its first playoff game. I respect the Pittsburgh Steelers a great deal ( they were my Super Bowl pick for all of those who follow this column on a regular basis), but the fact that you had everything that you have wanted in the playoffs from your perspective (home field advantage throughout, the Patriots are out of the way, and two weeks to prepare) and you still lay an egg? That’s unacceptable. In hindsight, you can point to a few things that caused this. One thing would be worrying about whether or not you wanted to go for an undefeated season or just rest your players after clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs. I hate the idea of not playing your starters at any point in the season. It doesn’t make sense to me. So many times, you worry you might lose someone to an injury but is it worth it to play at a lower level the rest of the regular season leaving yourself open to a slow start against a hot wild card team? Herm Edwards, former New York Jets coach and current Kansas City Chief Head Coach said it best in an infamous press conference: “HELLO! YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!!” I believe you play every game as if you won’t play another and by telling your starters that they will only see limited action is not a testament to that philosophy. Another thing to look at is Pittsburgh is a better team than the Colts. If not for a few key injuries this season, the Steelers were looking to have the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC go through Pennsylvania. The Colts beat them earlier on in the season but this was the first game back for injured Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisburger. The Steelers are incredibly hard to beat when they get ahead of a team and once that happened in Indianapolis, the end was near. The last thing to look at is Peyton Manning. Manning is unquestionably one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL but his control over his team should be questioned. While he certainly is very smart in recognizing coverages and outsmarting most of the team defenses that he plays against, he may need to let his coaches do the coaching and the players do the playing. This would be a lot better for Peyton if he does since it will allow him to focus more on the game with his team as opposed to focusing on the game for his team.
PATS DEFEATED, WHO’S NEXT: Now that the Patriots are finally out of the driver seat, who will be the next team to take it over? It will come down the unlikeliest of match-ups if you were to look at preseason prognostications. The Steelers and the Seahawks will play in the 40th Super Bowl. Judging by what these two teams did last Sunday; this should be a very competitive game with the toughest of customers. Perhaps we might be on the cusp of a new dynasty, who knows? What we do know is that the opportunity is there for one of these teams.
Take care and thanks for reading.
Campus Rec Sports Briefs
Intramural 5x5 Basketball Entry forms must be returned to the CRS Office before the deadline of Wednesday, January 25 at 11pm. Play begins Sunday, January 29 in the UIS Gym and will continue on Saturday and Sunday afternoons until Spring Break. Minimum of 5 players per team with no more than two Non-UIS Rec Center Members/Non-UIS and no more than one present or past year's intercollegiate basketball player per team roster. All players must be at least 18 years old or a UIS student. (A maximum of 10 t-shirts will be issued to the championship team.) Men's, Women's, or Co-Rec Divisions available if entries warrant; otherwise play will be mixed (co-rec). UIS Students and Rec Center Members with a valid i-card play for Free. Non-Rec Center Members and Non-UIS must pay the $10 sport fee and sign a waiver form (only cash or check accepted). Intramural Badminton Doubles entry deadline is Monday, January 30 at 11pm. Entry forms are only available at the CRS Office. Play begins the week of February 6 in the UIS Gym. League play will be scheduled according to players and facility availability. (Participants must indicate team's availability on entry form.) Only one Non-UIS Rec Center Member/Non-UIS per roster. Players must be at least 18 years old or a UIS student. Participants may enter one women's or men's doubles team and one co-rec (mixed) team. UIS Students and Rec Center Members with a valid i-card play for Free. Non-Rec Center Members and Non-UIS must pay the $10 sport fee per entry and sign a waiver form (only cash or check accepted).
*Ski Trip 2006 - Friday - Sunday, February 10-12, 2006. Travel to central Wisconsin and ski or snowboard Cascade Mountain on Saturday and Devil's Head on Sunday. *Goju-Ryu Karate - Mondays & Wednesdays at 4:30-5:30pm starting January 30-April 26 with Gary Mazzotti, Yonda (4th degree Black Belt) Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Kyokai. *Beginning Yoga - Tuesdays & Thursdays at 12:10-12:55pm starting January 31-March 9 with Julie Slack, certified hatha yoga teacher with more than 18 years teaching experience. *Progressive Kenpo & Krav Maga - Tuesdays & Thursdays at 3:30-4:00pm starting January 31-April 27 with Sensei Amy Giles (Black Belt) and certified and licensed Krav Maga instructor. *Yama-Guchi Karate - Tuesdays & Thursdays at 4:30-5:30pm starting January 31-March 9 with Veplava Reddy Chintala (Black Belt). *Fencing - Wednesdays at 12:10-12:50pm starting February 1-March 8 with Larry Livingston, fencing instructor.
* Check the Campus Recreational Sports website at www.uis.edu/recsports for additional information including registration details, deadlines, fees, etc. Bodywork Fitness Class is continuing registration with forms only available at the Campus Recreational Sports (CRS) Office. Classes run Monday and Friday from 12:10-12:50pm in the UIS Gym through Monday, May 8. (No class on Fridays, February 3 and April 14.) Instructed by Amy Giles, the class includes a combination of cardio and weight training exercises that contribute to cardiovascular health, muscular strength and endurance, balance, and flexibility. Circuit training, floor exercises, and hand weights are critical components of the class. Participants must be at least 18 years old or a UIS student and should come dressed in workout clothes and wearing gym shoes. UIS Students and Rec Center Members with a valid i-card pay $22. UIS Community Non-Rec Center Members & Non-UIS pay $67 and sign a waiver form (only cash or check accepted).
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