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Lauren Ladowski has always been a premier point guard on the University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball team.  

This year is no exception.  

The junior standout currently leads the Prairie Stars in scoring for the fourth straight season. She not only averages 16.6 points but also 5.8 assists, 3 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. 

That’s nothing new for Ladowski and third-year coach Casey Thousand, but this time the women’s group is on the winning side of things.

“It’s definitely different and we’re working together more as a team now,” said Ladowski, who has 1,171 career points and needs just 177 to become the school’s all-time leader. “We're finishing games at the end – and all through the game actually. I think we just work well together and that’s why we’re 6-2. We all contribute something different and I think that plays a huge role in why we’re 6-2.”

The UIS men’s basketball team also returns its top scoring leader from last season – sophomore combo guard Chase Robinson.  

The Matteson-native averaged 17.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game last season. For 2021-22, he ranks second on the team in scoring behind sophomore transfer James Kelley with 12.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. 

Robinson said the chemistry and defense is there. It’s just a matter of finding some offensive rhythm.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on Dec. 13, 2021.

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