Sports NewsSports TalkSchedulesAnnouncements

Sports News Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)

High school basketball

Area game results

[FEB. 12, 2002]   


Bloomington       5  11  11   26

Lincoln             10  20  29   44

Bunch 1-1-3, Dawson 4-2-10, Ingram 1-0-2, Moore 1-2-4, Carey 4-0-12, Robbins 4-1-11, McFadden 1-0-2

Three-point field goals: Carey 4, Robbins 2

High school basketball

Area game results

[FEB. 11, 2002]   


Moline      13  27  44   64

Lincoln       5  11  20   27

Farmer 1-0-3, Schonauer 2-0-4, Bast 1-1-3, Young 1-6-8, Bunch 4-0-9

Three-point field goals: Farmer, Bunch

College basketball

Lincoln College vs. Lincoln Land

[FEB. 11, 2002]   


Lincoln College      36  38 — 74

Lincoln Land          25  36 — 61

Robertson 6-3-17, Clark 3-0-6, Turner 5-3-15, Kehr 1-0-3, Sams 5-0-10, Major 2-4-8, Hollyfield 2-0-5, Bowen 4-2-10

Three-point field goals: Roberson 2, Turner 2, Kehr, Hollyfield


Lincoln College      32  37 — 69

Lincoln Land          24  40 — 64

Graham 1-0-2, Scott 4-1-9, McLaughlin 1-2-4, Bossingham 2-1-5, Beebe 6-5-17, Calhoun 3-3-9, Sims 3-2-8, Dullard 4-1-9, Harper 3-0-6

Redbirds get big road win at Indiana State, 67-61

[FEB. 11, 2002]   TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Randy Rice just missed a double-double with 15 points and nine assists to lead Illinois State past the Indiana State Sycamores, 67-61, at the Hullman Center in Terre Haute, Ind. Rice collected all of his points in the second half, including 9-for-9 from the free-throw line, to help seal the Redbird’s sixth win in their last seven games.

Illinois State, 12-12 overall and 8-5 in the Missouri Valley, had three other players reach double figures in scoring in the game. Shawn Jeppson had 14 points for the ’Birds, while Gregg Alexander chipped in 13. Andy Strandmark also contributed in the post with a season-high 11-point performance. Shedrick Ford and Baboucarr Bojang led Illinois State on the boards with seven rebounds apiece.

Indiana State, 4-18, 2-11 MVC, was led by Matt Broerman and Terence Avery with 14 points each. Djibril Kante earned a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Sycamores were out-rebounded 35-23 and managed only three offensive boards in the game.

The Sycamores held onto a one-point lead, 31-30, heading into the second half despite Illinois State closing out the first half with an 11-3 scoring run. The ’Birds fought back after halftime and took their first lead of the second half at 42-40 with just over 13 minutes remaining in the game.


[to top of second column in this article]

Rice scored nine straight points for Illinois State over a four-minute span midway through the second half, as neither team could pull away until the final two minutes of the game. With 1:20 remaining and the score tied at 60, Kante hit one of two free throws to give the Sycamores a one-point advantage. Rice hit two free throws to give the ’Birds the lead, 62-61, after he was fouled by Kelyn Block on the ensuing possession.

Avery missed a jumper on the other end, and Jeppson capitalized with a big 3-point basket with 11.3 seconds remaining and two free throws with 2.3 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

Illinois State travels to Evansville, Ind., on Wednesday, Feb. 13, to face the Purple Aces at 7:05 p.m.

[Rob Huizenga, athletics media relations,
Illinois State University]

Cook continues to lead
Illini to the promised land

[FEB. 11, 2002]   I wonder if Moses had this many skeptics when God named him leader of the people of Israel? People have been whining about Brian Cook for the last two years. Where would the Illini be without him, I ask you? They’d be sunk in the Red Sea, that’s where! All he did in Illinois’ most recent win, a 69-67 cliffhanger over the always-tough-on-Illinois-Purdue Boilermakers, was put up an Illini game-high 16 points, pulled down six rebounds, blocked three shots while altering several others, had time for a one-on-one with an LDN writer, while a certain photographer looked on and, for all we know, sold popcorn during halftime!!!

For as good a player as he is, Cook’s tender heart and good nature and his time for people is the one thing that the masses don’t even know about this young man who will one day make millions in the NBA. Saturday he was at least one player who kept his head in the game going north while many of his teammates were going south.


[A Cook supporter
struts his stuff
on the sidelines]

Even the ducks and geese haven’t gone as far south this winter as the Illini have gone at times. The first half versus the Boilers Saturday was one of those times. Illinois trailed by as many as 18 points, mostly because it appeared that the Illini were not picking up Purdue quickly enough. That was allowing players like Willie Dean, Maynard Lewis and Rodney Smith to toe up to the arc and hit many uncontested 3s. In fact, Purdue hit for some 67 percent shooting in the first half, and many in the Hall had to be murmuring, "Here we go again."

But Cook would not let his teammates even consider going back to Egypt or the abomination of yet another home loss, and he hit two huge second-half 3s that gave the Illini some breathing room. And it’s a good thing that he did, because Purdue came roaring back like they always do, and when Illinois mishandled the final snap in the corner next to the Orange Krush, Joe Marshall fired up a 3-point bomb that looked like it was locked in on the target. Luckily for the Illini, it was a scud.

[to top of second column in this article]

The Illini did out-rebound the Boilers (how many times have we been able to say that over the last five years or so?), and they forced 17 turnovers while limiting themselves to only 11.

Perhaps one of the biggest stats on the afternoon was Purdue’s ineptness at the free-throw line. The Boilers went 13-for-22 for not even 60 percent. That turned out to be the difference in the game.

Frank Williams had a pretty good second half with 13 points, while Cory Bradford added 12. Sean Harrington came up with eight big points off the bench.


[Both pictures by Tom Seggelke]

Illinois now goes on one of their roughest road swings of the year, with a Tuesday night date with Michigan State and a Saturday return game with the Pirates of Seton Hall.

All we know is that it has been lonely out here in the wilderness. And what would it have been like without Brian Cook?

[Jeff Mayfield]

High school basketball

Area game results

[FEB. 9, 2002]   


At Normal

Hartsburg-Emden       15   20   33    45

Calvary Baptist           11   31   48    58

Fletcher 5-1-14, Anderson 2-2-6, Gleason 8-0-18, Jones 0-0-0, Western 0-0-0, Wrange 3-1-7

Three-point field goals: Fletcher 3, Gleason 2

Totals 18-4-45

Junior varsity:  Hartsburg-Emden 39, Calvary Baptist 38.

At Stanford

Olympia                      16   29   43    55

Pontiac                         4   19    27    34

Dillenburg 4-2-12, Cheek 4-3-17, Elliott 2-3-7, Olson 3-4-10, Wise 1-0-2, Schultz 1-1-3, Kieser 0-2-2, Thorton 1-0-2

Three-point field goals: Cheek 3, Dillenburg 2

Totals 11-9-34

Junior varsity:  Olympia 64, Pontiac 40

At Springfield

Lincoln                         9   21    37    54

SH-Griffin                    3   17    22    31

Farmer 3-4-13, Carnahan 0-0-0, Gallagher 1-0-2, Schonauer 4-0-10, Bast 0-0-0, Schader 3-1-10, Young 7-1-15, Heidbreder 2-0-4, Bunch 0-0-0

Three-point field goals: Farmer 3, Schrader 3, Schonauer 2

Totals 20-6-54


At Mason City

Mount Pulaski               6   15    35    48

Illini Central               16   34    52    77

Mount Pulaski: Wilson 0-1-1, Coers 1-0-3, N. Tierney 0-0-0, Clements 7-3-17, Schilling 0-3-3, Olson 1-1-3, Blaum 0-0-0, Anderson 4-5-14, Deibert 0-1-1, J. Tierney 2-2-6, B. Erlenbush 0-0-0

Three-point field goals: Coers, Anderson

Totals 25-23-77

Illini Central:  Miller 6-2-14, Tra. Scott 3-4-10, Williams 3-2-8, Grimsley 1-7-10, Cremeens 1-0-3, Hieronymus 1-2-4, Clark 6-4-16, Giesler 3-0-7, Swaar 0-2-2, Dodson 0-0-0, Sickmeyer 0-0-0.

Three-point field goals: Tre. Scott, Grimsley, Cremeens, Giesler

Totals 11-9-34

Junior varsity:  Illini Central 62, Mount Pulaski 60


High school basketball

Area game results

[FEB. 8, 2002]   


Southeast        11  21  42  57

Lincoln            11  14  30  47

Dawson 1-2-4, Robbins 2-2-6, Ingram 1-2-5, Froschauer, 0-2-2, Moore 3-2-8, Carey 4-4-16, Bunch 1-2-4, McFadden 1-0-2

Three-point field goals:  Carey 4, Ingram

College basketball

Cook brings Illini back from the dead

By Jeff Mayfield

[FEB. 8, 2002]   As the LDN has been saying the last two weeks, reports of the death of the Illini have been greatly exaggerated. Take Thursday night in Ann Arbor, Mich., for example.

Yes, Illinois had not won a game on the road in the Big Ten yet this year. In fact, other than a few neutral-site wins, the Illini had not won, period, on an enemy’s hardwood. But Brian Cook didn’t care about that. And neither did his Illini teammates.

Cook is not moved by critics who say that he and Frank Williams are too up and down. Why? Because he knows what knowledgeable basketball people should have known for years — that the college basketball season is a long one, just like the actual games themselves. Every game is made up of several runs. Sometimes you won’t be able to fall out of a boat and hit water (i.e., see the last three games). Other times, if you throw it up somewhere near the goal, they will all go in. Heck, even my 1-year-old makes a few shots on his goal from time to time. If you could predict it, they wouldn’t have to play the games.

We did have to play Michigan though. And we don’t know about you, but we still have a bad taste in our mouths over what they did to us back in 1989. We don’t care if they ever beat us again. However, we will cheer for them when they’re playing Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State and of course Iowa, just to name a few!

And once again things looked pretty bleak last night during the first 12 minutes or so. Had it not been for a Herculean effort by Lincoln’s Brian Cook, we probably would have been in a tomb somewhere next to Lazarus! Somehow Cook coaxed his teammates to go on an 18-3 run just before half, which turned a 27-14 deficit into an improbable 32-30 Illini lead at the break!

In many ways, the game was won on that run. Since so many of you are thrilled with the overstatements of such geniuses as Dick Vitale, Bill Walton and Billy Packer, you might even say that the season was saved by that first-half run.


  [to top of second column in this article]

All we know is that Brian Cook scored Illinois’ first 12 points and seemed to draw a line on the court for his teammates, as if to say, "It stops here tonight!" He seemed to get through to Lucas Johnson. Then Cory Bradford got into it, and not too much later Frank Williams was in tune as well.

Cook led the way with 19 points and nine rebounds, helping the Illini control the boards to a 38-31 song. He also contributed zero turnovers on a night when Illinois committed only eight.

In some ways the Illini did play textbook road basketball. They took care of the ball and made their free throws. The only one they missed was an uncharacteristic clank by usually reliable Sean Harrington.

They also displayed what we’ve been trying to demonstrate in our columns all season long — balanced scoring. Cory Bradford, Frank Williams and Lucas Johnson did not brake for Wolverines, as they lit the tote board for 10 points each, and Sean Harrington drained three treys on them as well.

I’m sure that Michigan coach Tommy Amaker felt his team deserved a better fate, and they probably did. However, at this point in the season we can’t feel sorry for anyone.

Apparently we didn’t feel sorry for ourselves either. We saw more Illini diving for loose balls and crashing the boards than we had seen since the Missouri game. We should probably thank the aliens for bringing our Illini back, because we didn’t know who took them or when. We do know that thousands had already left us for dead, and we hope they don’t come back.

We said we just needed another day in the ICU. We are not pronouncing us well just yet. However, the announcement of the Illini’s demise was incredibly premature!

[Jeff Mayfield]

Illinois State vs. Indiana State pre-game notes  (men)

[FEB. 8, 2002]   

From Illinois State:

[Click here to view background information (in Adobe Acrobat)]

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]

From Indiana State:

[Click here to view background information (in Adobe Acrobat)]

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]

Grade school basketball

Eighth-grade state hoops tournament pairings

[FEB. 7, 2002]   Pairings have been released for the "Little Sweet Sixteen" Class 8A and Class 8AA Boys State Basketball Tournaments on Feb. 9, 11, 13 and 14. The Class 8A tournament will be at Fieldcrest East Middle School in Wenona. Class 8AA tournament play will be at Tri-Valley High School in Downs. Scores will be updated after each game on the IESA website:

Class 8A tournament schedule

Saturday, Feb. 9 (first round)

Game 1 — 9 a.m., Barry (22-1) vs. Woodhull AlWood (22-1)

Game 2 — 10:30 a.m., Concord Triopia (24-0) vs. St. Elmo (19-4)

Game 3 — Noon, Peoria Heights (15-2) vs. Bartonville Oak Grove West (18-4)

Game 4 — 1:30 p.m., Champaign St. Matthew (16-6) vs. Ford Heights Cottage Grove (8-9)

Game 5 — 3 p.m., Springfield Christ the King (21-1) vs. Pana Sacred Heart (18-5)

Game 6 — 4:30 p.m., Springfield St. Aloysius (19-5) vs. Bushnell-Prairie City (18-3)

Game 7 — 6 p.m., Nokomis South (16-4) vs. Pontiac St. Mary’s (19-4)

Game 8 — 7:30 p.m., Armstrong-Ellis (22-0) vs. Ottawa Wallace (18-5)

Monday, Feb. 11 (quarterfinals)

Game 9 — 4 p.m., Winners of Games 1 and 2

Game 10 — 5:15 p.m., Winners of Games 3 and 4

Game 11 — 6:30 p.m., Winners of Games 5 and 6

Game 12 — 7:45 p.m., Winners of Games 7 and 8

Wednesday, Feb. 13 (semifinals)

Game 13 — 6 p.m., Winners of Games 9 and 10

Game 14 — 7:15 p.m., Winners of Games 11 and 12

Thursday, Feb. 14 (finals)

Game 15 — 6 p.m., Losers of Games 13 and 14 (third place)

Game 16 — 7:15 p.m., Winners of Games 13 and 14 (state championship)

Class 8A sectional scores

Barry def. Winchester 42-21

Woodhull AlWood def. Media Southern 41-38

Concord Triopia def. Waverly 43-29

St. Elmo def. Martinsville 30-27

Peoria Heights def. Peoria Pleasant Valley 47-39

Bartonville Oak Grove West def. Brimfield 44-29

Champaign St. Matthew def. Hume Shiloh 43-35

Ford Heights Cottage Grove def. Milford 47-40

Springfield Christ the King def. West Lincoln-Broadwell 47-30

Pana Sacred Heart def. Decatur Our Lady of Lourdes 47-30

Springfield St. Aloysius def. Divernon 31-25

Bushnell-Prairie City def. Warsaw 33-28

Nokomis South def. Madison 51-30

Pontiac St. Mary’s def. Normal Metcalf 41-39

Armstrong-Ellis def. Fisher 45-30

Ottawa Wallace def. Toluca Fieldcrest West 47-40



[to top of second column in this section]

Class 8AA tournament schedule

Saturday, Feb. 9  (first round)

Game 1 — 9 a.m., Chatham Glenwood (20-4) vs. Bolingbrook Jane Addams (15-7)

Game 2 — 10:30 a.m., Charleston (17-4) vs. Piasa Southwestern (23-0)

Game 3 — Noon, Quincy (12-11) vs. Mount Zion (15-7)

Game 4 — 1:30 p.m., Blue Mound Meridian (22-0) vs. Stanford Olympia (18-1)

Game 5 — 3 p.m., Peoria Christian (19-4) vs. Coal City (16-5)

Game 6 — 4:30 p.m., Pekin Edison (16-6) vs. Danville North Ridge (20-2)

Game 7 — 6 p.m., Arlington Heights South (21-0) vs. Champaign Franklin (16-4)

Game 8 — 7:30 p.m., Markham Prairie-Hills (22-1) vs. Bourbonnais UGC (20-1)

Monday, Feb. 11  (quarterfinals)

Game 9 — 4 p.m., Winners of Games 1 and 2

Game 10 — 5:15 p.m., Winners of Games 3 and 4

Game 11 — 6:30 p.m., Winners of Games 5 and 6

Game 12 — 7:45 p.m., Winners of Games 7 and 8

Wednesday, Feb. 13  (semifinals)

Game 13 — 6 p.m., Winners of Games 9 and 10

Game 14 — 7:15 p.m., Winners of Games 11 and 12

Thursday, Feb. 14  (finals)

Game 15 — 6 p.m., Losers of Games 13 and 14  (third place)

Game 16 — 7:15 p.m., Winners of Games 13 and 14  (state championship)

Class 8AA sectional scores

Chatham Glenwood def. Springfield Grant 51-29

Bolingbrook Jane Addams def. Minooka 73-50

Charleston def. Effingham 45-36

Piasa Southwestern def. Gillespie 44-31

Quincy def. Macomb 32-31

Mount Zion def. Warrensburg-Latham 43-33

Blue Mound Meridian def. Rochester 51-40

Stanford Olympia def. Bloomington JHS 39-33

Peoria Christian def. Metamora GS 45-44

Coal City def. McNabb Putnam Co. 32-29

Pekin Edison def. Easton Illini Central 43-34

Danville North Ridge def. Tolono Unity 49-45

Arlington Heights South def. Woodridge Jefferson 57-41

Champaign Franklin def. Gibson City G.C.M.S. 38-28

Markham Prairie-Hills def. Calumet City Dirksen 52-43

Bourbonnais UGC def. Bradley Central 50-41

This is the 73rd year for Illinois Elementary School Association boys basketball and the 18th year for the eighth-grade tourneys sponsored by the IESA. 


College basketball

Lincoln College vs. Lewis & Clark

[FEB. 7, 2002]   


Lincoln College      41  40 — 81

Lewis & Clark       42 30 — 72

Bossingham 2-5-10, Beebe 3-0-6, McLaughlin 7-3-17, Story 1-0-2, Dullard 9-3-21, Bausley 1-0-2, Graham 0-1-1, Scott 3-0-6, Calhoun 4-2-10, Sims 2-0-5

Three-point field goals: Bossingham, Sims


Lincoln College    30  36 — 66

Lewis & Clark     31  32 — 63

Robertson 2-1-5, Clark 3-0-9, Fowler 1-0-2, Turner 3-0-6, Sams 4-0-9, Major 9-0-21, Hollyfield 3-0-7, Bowen 3-0-7

Three-point field goals: Clark 3, Major 3, Sams, Hollyfield, Bowen

Illinois vs. Michigan pre-game notes  (men)

[FEB. 7, 2002]   

[Click here to view background information (in Adobe Acrobat)]

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]

College swimming and diving

Swimming and diving team to host final home meet

[FEB. 7, 2002]   In final preparation for the Missouri Valley Conference meet, the Illinois State swimming and diving team hosts Big Ten foe Illinois on Friday night at 6 p.m. at Horton Pool.

The ’Birds are fresh off a 190-81 victory over Bradley on Saturday, while Illinois competed in the Big Ten Quad Duals last weekend, falling to Purdue, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Both teams have next weekend off before heading to their respective conference meets Feb. 21-23.

"We’re not trying to take away from the importance of this meet, but the MVC’s are in the back of our mind," head coach Steve Paska said. "The swimmers and divers have one more opportunity to compete at home, and we should have a great crowd honoring our eight seniors that have done great things for this program."


Friday’s meet marks the last time Redbird seniors Deb Birrer, Diana Cirstea, Amalia Constantinescu, Mary Cooper, Lindsay Crowder, Brittany Erickson, Jenny McGuire and Jenny Wilson will swim in front of the home crowd.

"This class is unique in so many different ways," Paska said. "It’s amazing that it’s been four years that have gone by. The parent group of this class have been very supportive of their daughters, Illinois State and the swimming program, and I will miss working with them. Their daughters have done great things at ISU, and the future looks bright for every one of them."

[Heather Henning, athletics media relations,
Illinois State University]

Freshman named Valley Diving Athlete of the Week

[FEB. 7, 2002]   NORMAL — Freshman Terra Whisman was named the Missouri Valley Conference Diving Athlete of the Week for her performance last Saturday, Feb. 2, in a dual meet against Bradley at Horton Pool.

The Indianapolis, Ind., native qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Meet with a total of 263.85 points off six dives on the 1-meter board. In addition, she also claimed the top spot in the 3-meter competition, with a score of 257.17.

Whisman is the first Redbird swimmer or diver this season to be recognized with Valley Athlete of the Week honors.

The Illinois State swimming and diving team continues their season by hosting Illinois on Friday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m.

[Kellie Johnson, athletic media relations, Illinois State University]

High school basketball

Area game results

[FEB. 6, 2002]   


Mount Pulaski         10  22  32  53

Rochester               10  29  46  64

Blaum 2-0-4, Erienbush 1-0-3, Schilling 2-3-7, Anderson 5-2-13, Coers 3-0-6, Olson 0-1-1, J.Tierney 2-2-6, N. Tierney 3-1-7, Waymire 1-0-2, Clements 1-2-4

Three-point field goals: Erienbush, Anderson


Olympia                 11  17  31  52

Central Catholic     17  34  48  65

Floyd 4-1-10, Prager 2-1-5, Short 1-0-2, Gaither 7-6-22, Goebel 1-0-2, Canopy 1-0-2, Litwiller 0-2-2, Brand 2-0-4, Wilcox 1-0-3

Three-point field goals: Gaither 2, Floyd, Wilcox


College basketball

ISU sweeps Bradley

By Jeff Mayfield

[FEB. 6, 2002]   The Illinois State Redbirds rode an impressive run just before halftime last night en route to a 60-51 defeat of the Bradley Braves. The win vaults the ’Birds into a third-place tie in the Valley alongside Northern Iowa.

Lincoln’s Gregg Alexander was not his usual self on the offensive end, but defensively he continued his stellar play.

Coach Tom Richardson said, "Gregg was not out of this game at all. Just because he wasn’t hitting his shots ... he still stays focused. He never lets one aspect of his game affect another. He’s a tough kid."

In fact, Alexander helped Redbird defenders limit the Peorians to 4-of-22 shooting from the arc.

The Redbirds move to 11-12 on the year, 7-4 in the MVC, and had a rare sweep of the Braves for the first time since 1998.

Shedrick Ford, the Bradley killer, tossed in 16 points, while Shawn Jeppson continued his inspired play by adding 14. Boo Bojang chipped in 13 points to go along with seven rebounds.

Next up for the ’Birds is a trip to Indiana State.

[Jeff Mayfield]


Redbirds sweep Bradley with 60-51 defeat

[FEB. 6, 2002]   NORMAL — For the first time in four years, the Illinois State men’s basketball team swept Bradley, taking the second meeting of the year with a 60-51 decision Tuesday night at Redbird Arena in front of 8,663 fans.

Illinois State (11-12, 7-5) last swept the Braves in 1998. Bradley falls to 7-14, 4-8 in the Valley.

Early in the first half, Illinois State’s Baboucar Bojang and Shawn Jeppson took control of the Redbird offense, giving them a 9-2 run over the Braves after Bojang followed a shot by Randy Rice by pounding it through the hoop, giving the ’Birds their first two points of the game. Then it was Jeppson keeping the run going, scoring an early five points after being fouled by Bradley’s James Gillingham on a 3-point attempt, sinking all three of his free throws and finishing a reverse layup over the Braves defense.

Then the Braves made a run of their own around the 16-minute mark, when freshman Brandyn Heemskerk nailed a jumper over Bojang, starting a 6-0 run and tightening the game to 9-8.

It was all Illinois State after that, when power forward Shedrick Ford came into the game and scored nine points in seven minutes to help the ’Birds go on an 11-0 run for a 28-18 lead over the Braves.

At halftime, Jeppson led all scorers with 12 points, followed by Ford’s nine. The score was 34-22, Redbirds.


[to top of second column in this article]

With 9:26 left in the second half, the Braves made a comeback when Phillip Gilbert hit a 3, bringing the Braves within five points, 37-43. The ’Birds answered Gilbert’s 3, going on a 6-0 run and pushing the score to 49-37. Gilbert again responded to the ’Birds

offense, hitting four free throws and a jumper to bring the Braves within four, 51-47, with 3:25 left in the game.

Still up by six points with 2:06 left in the game, the Braves tried to make a comeback, but the Redbirds held the lead after free throws by Bojang and Ford in the final minute and secured the win.

Marcello Robinson and Danny Granger both fouled out for the Braves.

Ford led all scorers with 16 points, followed by 14 from Jeppson and 13 from Bojang. Gilbert and Hall led the Braves with 12 each.

The Redbirds return to action on Saturday, Feb. 9, against at Indiana State, with a 3:05 p.m. tipoff.

[Kellie Johnson, athletic media relations,
Illinois State University]

Mayfield’s Mutterings…

The madness is almost here

By Jeff Mayfield

[FEB. 11, 2002]   We want to take this opportunity to invite all of our loyal LDN readers to join Greg Taylor and yours truly tonight at 6. Tune your radio dial to the new Fix 96.3 or come to this very site and hit the link.

Radio show

The idea is for this to be a sports call-in show. Greg and I will have a lot of starter stuff in case it’s hard for you to get to the phones, but there is only one way this radio program can be a success… and that’s if you make it one. We don’t just want it to be Fix 96’s show or the Mayfield and Taylor show; we want it to be your show. We hope to be talking about the same things you are talking about at school, at work, around town and around the county. If we’re not, call in and give us your comment or question.

One of the many things that excites me about doing this show in this area is that we have a lot of knowledgeable sports fans. I’m not all that hip on sports shows that are always ripping the coaches and players or the ones that have the uncanny ability to overstate the obvious. I’ve always been a sports guy who wants to dig a lot deeper than that. I want to know a player and a team’s psyche. I want to know what their collective morale is like. Are they loose or are they uptight? I want to know how an injury to one player affects the whole program — what that does to the practice plan, the coaches’ player rotations, recruiting, etc. I believe when you understand more fully how many factors are weighed, that in itself answers many questions, such as how much playing time a certain player is getting; why aren’t certain players out on the floor together; why is a certain team struggling right now, etc. At any rate, I know that the fans of this area watch sports with those kinds of eyes and I look forward to having an inspiring show instead of a whine session like so many of them have become.

What a great time to talk about sports. So many of our local teams are doing well, and so many of the teams that we all like to follow are doing well. It shapes up to give us a lot on our collective plate. Please join us tonight from 6 to 7 p.m. either here on LDN or at 96.3 on your FM radio dial. We hope to make it a special time for you!

Olympics in high gear

Even though the IOOC shunned the LDN from the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake (we even had our housing and meals already covered), they are in high gear without us. The USA claimed its first gold medal in snowboarding and seems to be holding its own early in the proceedings. Even though they rejected us, we won’t reject our wonderful LDN supporters and fans, and we’ll try to bring you some stuff on the Olympics from time to time. If any of our area readers have any ties to any of the athletes who are in Utah, please let us know.

Railer swimmers off to sectionals

It is our understanding that the Railer swimming team will be competing at the Pekin sectional this weekend. We will try to bring you more information on this meet as it becomes available. From the LDN, good luck to all you swimmers!

Cubs, Cardinals about to report

Spring training is just around the corner. Hopes are running high in this area, as most insiders are saying that basically all three of the closest area teams are in playoff contention. Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll bring you some features and predictions of the upcoming season. Stay tuned.

Lady Railers begin new season

We had the chance to speak with Lady Railer coach Ed Moore last week, and he told us that while the regular season has not gone very well for his ladies, a new season starts tonight. We believe that Lincoln will host Bloomington, a team that the Lady Railers handled earlier this season. Should Lincoln win this rematch, we believe that they would advance to a road showdown at Champaign Centenniel, a team that eliminated a nice Lady Railer run a couple of years ago. Wouldn’t a payback be nice? On behalf of your LDN sports crew, good luck, ladies!



[to top of second column in this article]

Illini not out of the woods yet

While the Illini did go on the road to beat a better-than-advertised Michigan team and they did hold on to fend off those pesky Purdue Boilers, they are far from 100 percent. Injuries still abound, and their play is still somewhat mechanical.

However, we don’t care how it looks or even whatever the stats are telling us. The most important thing is just like the most important thing here daily at the LDN… you gotta show up and post by noon. The Illini have shown up and they have posted the W’s. Maybe they haven’t been the most impressive wins in the history of Illinois basketball, but on the other hand, it sure beats the heck out of the alternative.

And maybe this is a good week to be on the road. Perhaps our boys will more fully develop the "us against the world" mentality and decide to take no prisoners!

Looming on the horizon are tough games at Michigan State, a three-point winner over Big Ten leader Ohio State yesterday, and at Seton Hall.

We’re not going to write about splits or sweeps today. We are going to hope that ultimately, no matter what happens, that this week serves as an opportunity to get better.

ISU, Alexander claim huge road win

Gregg Alexander continued his outstanding play as he was among a quartet of double-figure scorers in a 67-61 defeat of the Indiana State Sycamores. Alexander fired in 13 points, Randy Rice had 15 to go along with nine assists, Shawn Jeppson had 14 points, and Andy Strandmark had one of his best games of the year with 11. Shedrick Ford and Baboucarr Bojang both hammered the boards, pulling down seven caroms each.

The win vaults ISU back to .500 at 12-12 and makes them 8-5 in the Missouri Valley. What really looks good are their postseason chances, IF they keep playing this inspired brand of basketball. It won’t be easy. They must go to Evansville Wednesday night, and that is a tough place to win. Then its home to host SIU, followed by another tough road tilt at Wichita State. They close out their regular season with a home game with the Purple Aces. If ISU could get two or three of these remaining games and then maybe two more in the MVC tourney, I think with their relatively high RPI that they would be in a good position for a postseason bid. What an amazing feat that would be after the way this season started!

Railers preparing for the
postseason as well

The Lincoln Railers stand at 17-6, much to the chagrin of all the skeptics that said this team wouldn’t even be close to 20 wins! This next weekend provides a tough road trip to Springfield Southeast and then the last regular-season home contest with Jacksonville. The following Friday night will close out the CS8 campaign with a gritty road game at Lanphier.

The Railers did drop one to Moline Saturday night. Moline is the No. 1-ranked team in the Streator sectional, and the Railers did not hit for a high percentage from the field. When those two things are coupled, it’s hard to come away with the desired results.

I do commend Lincoln for always playing a tough schedule that makes them postseason-tough long before the playoffs even arrive. I also like playing all these tough teams now so that the Railers know exactly what they need to work on over these last few weeks leading up to the IHSA tourney. I know that the Railers will be prepared, as they were Saturday night. Should their shooting accuracy return mixed with their dogged determination on defense and on the boards, look for Lincoln to win yet another regional!

That would set up a first-round sectional contest at the PCCC versus Lanphier. The Lions lost there last season to Mount Zion, and it would be nice to see the Railers in that sectional championship on March 8! The LDN sports staff at least is hoping for a great final run. Good luck to all the players, and GO RAILERS!

[Jeff Mayfield]


Redbird athletics announce 'Take
a child to the game' day promotion

[JAN. 8, 2002]  NORMAL The Illinois State men's and women's basketball teams are inviting youth, ages 18 and under, to Redbird Arena Jan.12 and Feb.15 for "Take a Kid to the Game" day, when a child accompanied by an adult can attend a game free of charge.

The special promotion begins this Saturday when the men match up against the Sycamores of Indiana State at 4:05 p.m. Any adult who buys a regular price game ticket will receive a free youth ticket for a child 18 years and under.


The same special will take place for the women's basketball game on Feb. 15 when Illinois State faces Evansville at 7:05 p.m.

Anyone with questions can call the Illinois State Athletic Marketing Office at (309) 438-7429.

[ISU athletic media relations release]

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Letters to the Editor