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Wayland participates in Olympic torch relay

[JAN. 10, 2002]  Annie Wayland, a member of the Illinois State soccer team, carried the Olympic torch during a portion of its trek from Atlanta to Salt Lake City as the relay passed through St. Louis on Wednesday.

Wayland, a native of St. Peters, Mo., received the torch in front of the Wentzville City Hall and carried it for approximately a quarter of a mile before handing it off to another torchbearer.

"It was an awesome experience," Wayland said. "It was really hard not to have a smile on my face. It's amazing thinking that you are the only person in the world doing that at that moment."

More than 200,000 individuals were anonymously nominated to be torchbearers. The potential bearers were then sent an application that was reviewed by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee and Coca-Cola to narrow the field to 11,500.

"It was a great feeling," Wayland added. "A 76-year-old passed the torch to me and there were a lot of people cheering as it went by. Lots of kids got out of school and went on field trips to watch."

The Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Torch Relay began on Dec. 12, 2001 in Atlanta and will cross 46 states before making its way to Salt Lake City for the opening of the Olympic Games on Feb. 8.

[Heather Henning, ISU athletic media relations]

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College basketball

Pre-season favorite Drake comes to Redbird Arena in women's basketball

[JAN. 10, 2002]  NORMAL Drake got surprised on Sunday. The Bulldogs, the pre-season pick to win the Missouri Valley Conference, dropped an 80-78 decision at home to Wichita State -- their first conference loss. Because of that, Illinois State coach Jenny Yopp figures her team will face a focused Drake team starting at 7:05 p.m. Thursday in Redbird Arena.

"Drake is one of the top teams in the country and suffered a loss they probably weren't expecting," said Yopp. "We know they will be focused. Certainly, they have an athletic team which creates excellent opportunities for players to score from every position."

Scoring has been a problem for Yopp's Redbirds, 2-10 overall, 0-3 in the Valley, in recent times. Averaging just 54 points per game and shooting below 37 percent from the field, both Drake coach Lisa Stone and Yopp believe the 'Birds are capable of better.

"There's a lot of talent on the Illinois State team," said Stone, whose team is 9-4 overall, 3-1 in the Valley and has faced one of the ten toughest schedules in the nation this season. "I don't think their record is indicative of that talent. You look at players like Steph Reichle and Stacey White and Taren O'Brien, Kristi Larson and [Katie] Donovan. They are a dangerous team because of that talent and because we're supposed to win. We'll need a great effort to win at Redbird Arena."


[to top of second column in this article]

"We've talked about what we value [early in the week]," said Yopp. "The great thing is that every player and coach understands what it's going to take for us to be successful. It's one thing to talk the talk; now we have to walk the walk. Our scoring needs to be more consistent and our players need to play with confidence."

That Redbird confidence took a blow during a second-half blowout Sunday at Bradley.

"I think our players will be ready for Drake," said Yopp. "Bradley is an up-and-coming team which has surprised people with their aggressiveness and success. Our players know about Drake and understand that, year in and year out, Drake is one of the strongest teams in our conference ... and it's a strong conference."

Drake's loss left Creighton, Illinois State's next opponent, as the league's only undefeated team two weeks into the season. The Redbirds and Bluejays meet at 8:05 p.m. Saturday in Redbird Arena in a game that will include halftime ceremonies retiring the jersey of 1970s All-American and Olympic star Charlotte Lewis.

[ISU news release]

Illinois State vs. Drake women's basketball pre-game notes

[JAN. 10, 2002]   

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

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]


High school basketball

Area game results

[JAN. 9, 2002]   


At Mount Pulaski

Heyworth                           9 20 34     42
Mount Pulaski                  13 27 42     57

Blaum 6-2-14; Delbert 1-0-2; B. Erienbush 1-0-2; Schilling 1-0-2; Anderson 8-5-25; Coers 2-1-5; Olson 1-0-2; N. Tierney 1-0-2; Clements 2-0-4

Totals 23-8-57

Three-point field goals: Mount Pulaski (3) Anderson 3

At Olympia

IVC                        4 11 20     30
Olympia                  8 16 24     34

Dillenburg 5-6-16; Sherman 0-2-2; Olson 1-0-2; Wise 2-2-6; Schultz 2-2-6; Kieser 1-0-2

Totals 11-12-34

At Hartsburg-Emden

Warrensburg                        21 41 56     73
Hartsburg-Emden                   4 12 29     42

Warrensburg Calmes 2-0-4; Aughenbaugh 1-1-3; Shirley 2-1-6; Traughber 2-2-8; Z. Binkley 5-2-13; Santos 2-0-4; Doyle 5-0-10; P. Long 1-0-2; K. Long 10-3-23

Totals 30-9-73

Hartsburg-Emden Ke. Leesman 3-0-6; Anderson 1-3-5; Gleason 5-4-14; Jones 2-0-4; Wrange 4-0-8; Ko. Leesman 2-0-4; Sherwood 0-1-1

Totals 17-8-42

Three-point field goals: Warrensburg-

Latham (4) Traughber 2, Shirley, Z. Binkley


At Normal Community

Olympia                             9 17 33     53
Normal Community          12 20 29     48

Gaither 3-8-16; Litwiller1-0-2; Floyd 6-5-17; Prager 2-0-4; Canopy2-0-4; Goebel 4-0-8; Brand 1-0-2

Totals 19-15-53

Three-point field goals: Olympia (2) Gaither 2

College basketball

Illini vs. Purdue men's basketball pre-game notes

[JAN. 9, 2002]   

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

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]

Illinois State vs. Drake
men's basketball pre-game notes

Notes from Drake: 

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

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]

Notes from Illinois State:

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

High school basketball

Area game results

[JAN. 8, 2002]   High school girls basketball results

At Lincoln

Lanphier                  10 18 28     32
Lincoln                    17 33 43     58

Dawson 2-0-4;  Robbins 2-2-7;  Ingram 9-0-19;  Froschauer 4-0-8;  Moore 1-1-3;  Carey 4-2-13;  Verderber 2-0-4

Totals 24-5-58

Three-point field goals: Lincoln (5) -- Carrie 3, Ingram, Robbins

At Virden

Mount Pulaski                  11 22 33     45
Virden                               9 19 35     50

Maske 1-0-3; Sanders 10-0-20; Faith 3-2-10; Rucks 2-4-8; Howe 2-0-4

Totals 18-6-45

Three-point field goals: Mount Pulaski (3) -- Faith 2, Maske

College basketball

LCC men's and women's basketball results

[JAN. 8, 2002]   

Men's @ Greenville

Lincoln Christian                  30 44 1286
Greenville                            39 35   781

Turney 1-1-4, Grooms 5-0-10, Searby 7-1-16, Clark 9-18-38, Below 6-2-15, Raymer 1-1-3

Totals 29-23-86

Three-point field goals: Lincoln (5) Clark 2,Turney, Searby, Below

Women's @ Lincoln

Greenville                            42 45      87
Lincoln Christian                  41 27      68

Robbins 4-4-12, Urton 3-1-9, Szostek 1-0-2, Wright 8-4-21, Wertin 0-2-2, O’Malley 3-5-11, Jewell 3-0-6, Davis 2-0-5

Totals 24-16-68

Three-point field goals: Lincoln (4) Urton 2, Wright, Davis

Illinois State finds defense, defeats Wichita State, 81-71

Shawn Jeppson and Randy Rice set career highs in win

[JAN. 8, 2002]  Seniors Shawn Jeppson and Randy Rice each set new career highs as Illinois State defeated Wichita State 81-71 at Redbird Arena. The victory snapped a five-game losing skid for the 'Birds.

Jeppson made five three-point baskets in the game to break his previous career mark of four and led the 'Birds in scoring with 27 points to pass his old career high of 22 points at Wichita State on Jan. 29, 2001. Rice scored 16 points in the contest; his previous high was ten points at Evansville on Feb. 12, 2001. He also set career highs in steals with six (previous high was five in two separate games) and blocked shots with three (his previous high was one in four contests).

Baboucarr Bojang and Gregg Alexander also had strong performances for Illinois State. Bojang scored 15 points and led the team on the boards with seven. Alexander chipped in 13 points, including 3-for-6 shooting from behind the arc.

The Shockers, 7-7 (1-2 MVC) were led by senior Terrell Benton with 16 points. Wichita State had three other players in double figures. Senior Troy Mack led the Shockers in rebounding with nine and also put in 11 points.


[to top of second column in this article]

In the first half, Wichita State jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, but the Redbirds answered with an 18-3 run led by seven points from Randy Rice to take the lead 18-10 with just over nine minutes remaining. However, the 'Birds went 0-11 from the field over the next seven minutes, 47 seconds and allowed the Shockers to take the lead 21-19 at the 2:56 mark. Gregg Alexander hit a big three-point shot with five seconds left to give Illinois State its first halftime lead, 29-26, in five games.

The second half saw the Redbirds pull away, outscoring the Shockers 30-15 through the first 11 minutes behind three three-pointers from Jeppson. The 'Birds took their largest lead of the game at 59-41 with 8:49 remaining in the game.

The Redbirds, 5-9 (1-2 MVC) head to Des Moines, Iowa, Thursday to play Drake at 7:05 p.m. in Missouri Valley Conference action.


[Erica Fricke, ISU asst. director of media relations, athletic media relations]

College basketball

Illini stumble in Badgerland

[JAN. 7, 2002]

The Fighting Illini capped off a disturbing week of losses by bowing to the Wisconsin Badgers, 72-66. Charlie Wills was made to look like an All-American by scoring 19 points and helping to thrash the Illini in front of a packed house of delirious patrons. The Illini continued to see their big men spending far too much time on the pines. Robert Archibald led the Illini with 17 points followed by Cory Bradford with 13 and Frank Williams with 12. Lincoln's Brian Cook finished with 8 points as he spent half the game mired in foul trouble, albeit with some of the most interesting calls made in quite a while. It doesn't get any easier for Illinois as Wednesday night they will head into very hostile Mackey Arena to take on the Purdue Boilermakers.

[Jeff Mayfield]

Southern Illinois crushes Illinois State, 79-58

[JAN. 7, 2002]  CARBONDALE Illinois State committed 24 turnovers and continued to have problems generating points throughout the game as the Southern Illinois Salukis cruised to a 79-58 conference victory over the Redbirds in Carbondale. The Salukis had four players reach double figures in scoring during the game.

Southern Illinois, 12-2 (2-0 MVC), started to pull away midway through the first half with an 11-2 run. With the score 43-31 at the half, the Salukis added some more cushion to their lead with a 13-3 run to open the second half. SIU took their largest lead of the game, 72-40, with a little over eight minutes remaining in the game.

Shedrick Ford led Illinois State, 4-9 (0-2 MVC), with 16 points shooting 7 for 14 from the field. Baboucarr Bojang was the only other Redbird to reach double figures with 13 points. Bojang also led the 'Birds on the boards with nine rebounds.


[to top of second column in this article]

Southern Illinois was led in scoring by junior Jermaine Dearman with 16 points, while freshman guard Stetson Hairston put together the best performance of his young collegiate career with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Salukis tallied 20 offensive boards in the game, which helped create plenty of opportunities for SIU to score.

The Redbirds return home for a Missouri Valley Conference match-up against the Wichita State Shockers on Monday, Jan. 7, at 7:05 p.m.

[ISU news release]

Illinois State vs. Wichita State men's basketball pre-game notes

[JAN. 7, 2002]   

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

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]


High school

Area game results

[JAN. 7, 2002]   


At Lincoln

Taylorville                  9 27 39     51
Lincoln                    10 16 32     57

Farmer 3-3-11;  Komnick  0-2-2;  Gallagher  1-0-2; Schonauer  3-0-8; Welch  2-0-4; Young  9-6-24; Schrader  2-1-6

Totals 20-12-57

Three points field goals, Farmer 2, Schonauer 2, Schrader.


At Lincoln

Lincoln 42-Normal West 37

103-Valdes(L) won by forfeit; 112-Rogers(L) won by forfeit; 119-Fannin(NW)won by forfeit; 125- M.Zemmel(NW) pinned Allen(L),4:00; 130- Martin(L) pinned Reeves(NW),5:07; 135- Jackson(NW) dec. Sullivan(L), 15-9; 140 Sparks(L) pinned Moore(NW), 1:11; 145- Purcell(L) pinned Homer(NW), 1:27; 152- A. Zemmel pinned Frost(L), 5:25; 160- Sanders(NW) maj. dec. Barringer(L), 17-4; Leisinger(L) won by forfeit; 189- Henderson(NW) inj.dec. Babbs(L), 2:15; 215- Reinhart(L) pinned Fogle(NW), 2:50; Hwt.- Iden(NW) pinned Copper(L), 3:14.


College basketball

Northern Iowa downs ISU in women’s basketball

[JAN. 5, 2002]  Abbi Schutte scored 11 of her game-high 15 points to lead Northern Iowa past Illinois State 53-44 Friday in a Missouri Valley Conference game, which featured low shooting percentages and just 24 total turnovers.

Taren O'Brien led the Redbirds with 13 points and Katie Donovan added 10. Sharon Blade and Kristi Larson had nine rebounds each and Larson had three blocked shots. ISU had just 15 turnovers, but the Panthers had only nine for the game, a season-low against the 'Birds.

The Redbird defense limited UNI to just 28 percent field goal shooting in the first 20 minutes.  The Panthers raised that to 32 percent by game's end.  Illinois State shot 33 percent. UNI made 11 of 15 free throws, but ISU made just four of nine for the game.

Redbird coach Jenny Yopp appreciated her team's defensive effort, but was disappointed the 'Birds couldn't score more.

"The bottom line for us is we didn't put the ball in the hoop enough," said Yopp. "Neither team shot particularly well. We held them 10 points under their average and our defense played well. We also got the shots we wanted, but we couldn't get enough of them to fall."

ISU has held its last four opponents under 60 points after allowing 70 points per game to opponents the first seven games. Yopp thought her team missed Stacey White, who was limited to 19 minutes because of foul trouble.

"We didn't have Stacey White when it was critical," said Yopp. "She's a player who really makes a difference for us at both ends of the court. We missed that for much of the game tonight."


[to top of second column in this article]

The 'Birds, 2-9 overall, 0-2 in the Valley, took a 15-9 lead at the 11-minute mark on a 6-0 started by Katie Donovan's 360-degree spinning layup with 13:15 left. Seven different Redbirds scored in their first 17 points. UNI came back to take an 18-17 lead on Nadine Brandt's three-pointer with 5:41 left. Kristi Larson tied it at 18-18 with a free throw 90 seconds later.  UNI scored the final four points of the half to take a 22-18 advantage.

After a 7-15 shooting start, the 'Birds missed their last nine attempts in the first half and didn't have a field goal in the final 8:57 before halftime.  UNI hit its first two shots of the second half to go ahead 27-20. Donovan's back-to-back baskets cut the lead to 27-24, but UNI muscled up on the 'Birds inside for a 9-0 run to lead 36-24 with 15:18 left.

UNI maintained double-digit leads until O'Brien's three-pointer with 2:52 left cut the lead to 47-39. Her third three-pointer of the game sliced the lead to 49-42 with 1:03 left, but the Panthers made their last seven free throws to ice the decision.

The Panthers played their home opener this season after traveling more than 9,000 miles to play 13 games in 10 cities this season. Ironically, their last home game was an 80-76 win over Illinois State March 3, 2001.

UNI, 7-7 overall, 2-1 in the Valley beat the 'Birds for just the 10th time in 39 meetings.

The Redbirds play at 2 p.m. Sunday at Bradley in Robertson Field House.


[ISU news release]

LCC vs. Ozark Christian College

[JAN. 5, 2002]   

Cookson Hills Classic

At Kansas, Okla.

Lincoln Christian                      40 43—83
Ozark Christian College          
32 43—75

Meyer 1-2-29; Champ 11-2-29; Burgus 4-0-11; Chase 4-3-11; Hodges 2-0-5; Hedger 5-0-12; Anderson 2-1-5

Totals 29-6-75

Three-point field goals: Lincoln Christian (11) – Champ 5, Burgus 3, Hedger 2, Hodges.

High school basketball

Area game results

[JAN. 5, 2002]   Boys basketball results

At Pontiac

Olympia                  8 19 30     49
Pontiac                 10 25 37     58

Cheek 3-0-8; Sherman 2-0-4; Dillenburg 3-2-9; Elliott 0-2-2; Olson 3-1-7; Schultz 1-0-2; Wise 4-1-9; Kieser 2-0-4; Thornton 2-0-4

Totals 20-6-49

Three-point field goals: Olympia (3) — Cheek 2, Dillenburg.

Junior Varsity — Olympia 61, Pontiac 53

At Lincoln

Lanphier                  24 32 56     72
Lincoln                      4 20 29     50

Farmer 7-0-15; Komnick 1-0-3; Gallagher 3-0-8; Schonauer 1-2-5; Young 7-1-15; Heibreder 1-2-4

Totals 20-5-50

Three-point field goals: Lincoln (5) — Gallagher 2, Farmer, Komnick, Schonauer.


[to top of second column in this article]

At Mount Pulaski

Hartsburg-Emden                  5 10 22     33
Mount Pulaski                     20 35 45     65

Hartsburg-Emden -- Ke. Leesman5-5-15; Anderson 1-5-7; Gleason 2-1-6; Ko. Leesman 1-0-2; Jones 1-1-3

Totals 10-12-33

Mount Pulaski -- Blaum 1-0-2; Deibert 1-2-4; Erlenbush 1-2-5; Schilling 2-0-5; Wilson 0-2-2; Anderson 10-1-28; Milner 1-0-2; Coors 2-1-6; N. Tierney 1-1-3; Olson 3-0-6; J. Tierney 1-0-2

Totals 23-9-65

Three-point field goals: Hartsburg-Emden (1) — Gleason; Mount Pulaski (10) — Anderson 7, Erlenbush, Schilling, Coors.

At Williamsville

Illini Central                  7 24 34     51
Williamsville                10 24 40     49

Miller 9-0-18; Scott 3-1-7; Williams 1-0-2; Grimsley 2-3-7; Clark 4-1-9; Giesler 3-1-8

Totals 22-6-51

Three-point field goals: Illini Central (1) — Giesler.

Grade school basketball

Carroll Catholic vs. Mount Pulaski

[JAN. 4, 2002]   The Carroll Catholic Crusaders eighth-grade team suffered its first loss of the season last night, to the hands of Mount Pulaski, 48-31.

"Maybe the two-week layoff had something to do with it," coach Todd Lowman said. "As all coaches say, ‘you play as you practice,’ and we have had terrible practices during the Christmas break. This team has had a lot of character in the past, so let’s hope they take this loss in stride and get prepared for the ‘grade school postseason.’"


High school basketball

Area game results

[JAN. 4, 2002]   

Lincoln vs. Taylorville

Taylorville         13  23  37  59

Lincoln              13  24  45  56

Dawson 3-0-6, Ingram 5-0-10, Moore 3-3-9, Carey 10-0-24, Hoffert 1-0-2, Robbins 1-1-3, Schonauer 1-0-2

Mount Pulaski vs. Porta

Mount Pulaski    9  25  42  56

Porta                18  25  31  54

Maske 2-0-4, Sanders 12-0-24, Faith 5-0-12, Rucks 2-0-4, Howe 4-2-11

Olympia vs. Pontiac

Pontiac           9  17  28  37

Olympia       18  31  40  51

Gaither 3-4-10, Brand 1-0-2, Goebel 4-4-12, Floyd 8-2-20, Prager 2-0-5, Hieser 0-2-2 

College basketball

Illini vs. Wisconsin men's basketball pre-game notes

[JAN. 4, 2002]   

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

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]

Illinois State Redbirds at Southern Illinois
men's basketball pre-game notes


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

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]


Williams named to watch list for Wooden honors

[JAN. 4, 2002]   PARK RIDGE — The Big Ten Conference saw four men’s basketball student-athletes named among the top 30 midseason candidates for the 2001-02 Wooden Award Player of the Year and All-American Team. Iowa led the way with two selections in seniors Reggie Evans and Luke Recker, and the Hawkeye duo was joined by Illinois’ Frank Williams and Indiana’s Jared Jeffries.

 Iowa was one of only five schools to earn two or more spots on the 30-man list. Duke led the way with three picks, and Florida, Kansas and Maryland matched the Hawkeyes’ two selections.

The Big Ten saw two players named to the Wooden All-American Team last season: departed-senior Charlie Bell of the Spartans and Illinois’ Williams. In fact, the Illini point guard is one of only four members of the 2000-01 Wooden squad to be named to the 2001-02 midseason list, joining Duke’s Jason Williams, Kentucky’s Tayshaun Prince and Stanford’s Casey Jacobsen.

The 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be named on Tuesday, March 26. One member of that team will be selected on Sunday, April 7, as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate men’s basketball player.

[Provided by Kent Brown, assistant athletics director and sports information director at the U of I,
from news release by Scott Chipman, associate director of communications for the Big Ten]

[Click here for the Frank Williams bio on the John R. Wooden Award website.]

Mayfield’s Mutterings…

Illini lay another egg

[JAN. 10, 2002]  Illinois made Purdue look like world beaters by allowing the Boilers to put six players in double figures last night en route to an 84-75 loss in West Lafayette, Ind. Even though Frank Williams hit 23 points, Illinois allowed Rodney Smith to score 17 and the Illini never looked like the #9 nationally ranked team. This game may have been lost just before halftime when with a five point lead and the ball, Cory Bradford launched an ill-advised 3 that bricked, and opened the door for Purdue to score four unanswered points just before intermission. Coupled with the five they scored right after the break and Illinois was forced to play catch-up the rest of the night. Lincoln's Brian Cook only contributed five points and seven rebounds to the cause. They will need more help from him to get back into the Big Ten race. Next up for the Illini: Saturday at home versus Michigan at 3:30...  and, boy, does this team need a home game!

[Jeff Mayfield]

Alexander, Redbirds shock the Shockers

[JAN. 8, 2002]  Somebody needs to tell Gregg Alexander that he’s only a freshman. The true freshman from Lincoln continues to play like he’s always been a college player as he and the Redbirds stymied the Wichita State Shockers last night 81-71 in Normal before a small but boisterous crowd of 4,776 paying customers (I want to talk more about that in an upcoming story).

Alexander was not the only one who came to play on Monday night. The maligned Shawn Jeppson had a career high 27 points including five 3-point rainbows, but perhaps more important was the leadership he demonstrated on the court. He could have forced up some other shots but wisely dished to Alexander and to Randy Rice, who also had a career high night. Rice threw in 16 points, but also had three assists and six steals. However, he did two other things that were more impressive to this would-be reporter.

First he was attacking the basket all night. In my mind, the more you attack the basket the more good things that happen to you; especially when you consider that ISU was firing at an 80% clip from the charity stripe. 

Second, he too was exuding some much-needed leadership to this Redbird ball club. At times this team has been a little lethargic. Their passion has been questioned. It has to be frustrating for the coaching staff since they can’t check themselves into a game to get the guys fired up.

If the Birds would only play like they did last night against WSU and like they did against the Illini, I think that they will be alright. When you bring the fight to the contest and you’re clawing to compete on every possession, you become a very dangerous opponent. So, if I could give ISU any new year’s resolutions it would be that they would show the intensity and the focus that they showed last night in every game the rest of the way.

You have to give the Shockers credit. They did what you’re supposed to do when you go on the road. They competed hard in the first half, displaying a deft inside-outside game. They kept the score close and tried to keep the crowd out of it. Troy Mack was a ton in the paint and he finished the night with 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Terrell Benton torched the nets for 16 and Bob Kampman, who was on fire in the first 20 minutes, cooled off to finish with 12 markers.

But credit the defensive job that Rice put on WSU’s scoring leader, Randy Burns as another key to the Redbird’s victory. Rice and some good old-fashioned team defense kept the hot-shooting guard to five points and limited him to 1-of-6 shooting from the field. In fact, they had him so frustrated that it took him out of other facets of the game.  You could say that the whole second half was a study in frustration for the Kansas quintet. Foul trouble and the stifling Redbird D’ made it rough going for the Shockers on nearly every trip down the court.

Besides Alexander, Rice and Jeppson give some accolades to Boo Baboucarr. He continues to be a very pleasant surprise for ISU. He hit for 15 points, led the team with seven rebounds and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the line.


[to top of second column in this article]

ISU played some stellar defense on the night forcing the Shockers into 22 turnovers while only committing ten themselves. When you throw in the 12 steals that ISU recovered that combines for a nice recipe for success.

Good shooting doesn’t hurt either. The Redbirds hit for 55% in the second half and 47% for the game in route to a blistering 52-point second session explosion. Also encouraging to see, were some new offensive sets that gave ISU better spacing and more penetration opportunities.

Next up: A road tilt at Drake. Hopefully they now have the confidence booster they need to go on the road and be successful.

Post-game quotes

Gregg Alexander on tying the game and then knocking down a three to give ISU the first half lead:

“Even though “Jepp” [Shawn Jeppson] and Randy [Rice] were hot when they threw me the ball, I was wide open. I thought we were more aggressive offensively tonight. We set good, hard screens and we moved the ball on the perimeter well.”

Jeppson on Alexander and the younger players:

“We have a semi-young team out there. It is our duty to show them the ropes. Gregg Alexander showed that he can be a great player.”

 ISU coach Tom Richardson on the game:

“This game came down to leadership by our two seniors and a much-needed win. It’s been a month since our last one. I felt we played with confidence. I still say that we’re a good shooting team and tonight we were cutting with a lot of energy. We had good spacing and a good inside-outside presence. We tinkered with the offense a little bit with the high ball screen and sticking our shooters in the corner. However, the real key was getting the ball inside and having Randy Rice aggressively penetrating like he was. Jeppson has played well for the last 40 minutes. Alexander improved his footwork. His feet were set from the corner and he’s very capable of hitting those shots that will come off of kick-outs. Those open threes that he hit are a big part of the game. We are now playing with the kind of confidence that we need.”

Former Clinton Maroon shooting guard, Josh Rich who was at the game on leave from his station aboard the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in the Pacific fleet:

“That Alexander is quite a player. Last time I saw him, he lit up Pontiac for 41 points. What really gets overlooked about him is his tenacious defense. I’m glad I got to see him play again and ISU win before I head back to the ship.”


[Jeff Mayfield]

Mayfield’s Mutterings…

Local team of the week, professional team of the week, this, that and the other

[JAN. 7, 2002]   

Team of the week

Our LDN team of the week is the Carroll Catholic eighth grade boys basketball team. Despite losing their first game of the year to the always-tough Mout Pulaski quintet, they still have had a monster year. They are in hopes that this one slip will demonstrate to their players that they need to remain focused in practice and in the upcoming games as they ready themselves for post-season play. Regardless of what happens, we here are excited for them and they were easily our team of the week. Good luck guys the rest of the way!

Professional team of the week

This one is so easy. On the count of three, let’s all say it in unison…1-2-3:  the Chicago Bears, who else? Many NFL insiders didn’t even predict a .500 season for the Bears. No one realistically figured the Bears for a play-off spot. Many are saying the only reason Chicago made to the post-season was because they got to play one of the easiest schedules. I’ve got one word for all of those experts…Bologna!!! And you can call me here at the LDN at (217) 732-7443 and I’m asking our editors to forward your calls…I’ll say bologna to your face! I’m not the biggest Bears fan in the world, but I’m happy for all of you fans who have stuck with them through the years. Other than the Bulls, you Chi-town fans haven’t had much to root about lately. If you’re a faithful follower of our sports news here, you know that we’ve been pluggin’ the Bears all year. We’re not like many sunshine lovers who’ve jumped on the bandwagon the last month or so. We wish you fans a long play-off run and who knows, maybe a trip to the Super Bowl!



[to top of second column in this article]

Railers Improving

Despite getting beat by the #1 team in the state, the Lanphier Lions, the Lincoln Railers continue to improve. The win against Taylorville Saturday night takes Lincoln to 10-4 and 3-2 in the league, not bad for a team that was supposed to be in a rebuilding mode. The Railers displayed outstanding ball movement, good penetrating passes and a nice inside-outside combination this past weekend. Once the defense gets tweaked a little more and the rebounding continues to improve, it appears that the Railers will be a team that no one will want to play during March Madness! Playing with passion and a deep sense of urgency can make you very dangerous during play-off time.

Random thoughts

Does anybody run the screen pass play better than the Green Bay Packers?

Has there been a tougher week being an Illini fan than this past one?

Look out for Lincoln College’s and Lincoln Christian College’s basketball teams; both men AND women! All of them seem to be on a roll.

Speaking of LCC, wait ‘til you see their new athletic complex…it is really nice! We’ll bring you more info on that in the next few weeks.

Is it just me, or have the Bulls played a little bit better under Bill Cartwright?

ISU girls and guys could use your support and we have dozens of alums right here in Logan County. Our own Steph Reichle and Gregg Alexander are contributing all they can; maybe YOUR energy could help get their respective teams over the hump. The girls play this Thursday, Jan. 10 against Drake at 7:05 p.m. The guys host Wichita State Monday night at 7:00 p.m. Illinois State athletics department is sponsoring Lincoln Day at Redbird Arena on Jan. 12 and 26 in honor of these two extraordinary young athletes. [Click here for more information.]

Have a great week and keep displaying that good sportsmanship!

[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 where 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]

Lincoln Day scheduled at Redbird Arena, twice

[JAN. 7, 2002]  NORMAL Residents of Lincoln will have the opportunity to support a native son, Gregg Alexander, and daughter, Steph Reichle, as the Illinois State Athletics Department will sponsor Lincoln Day at Redbird Arena on Jan. 12 and 26.

On Jan. 12, the Redbird men’s basketball team will host defending league champion Indiana State in Missouri Valley Conference action. Tip-off is slated for 4:05 p.m. The women’s team faces conference champion and NCAA Final Four participant Southwest Missouri State on Jan. 26 at 2:05 p.m.


Tickets are $6 for the men’s game, $3 for the women’s and are available in Lincoln at these local businesses: CEFCU, Kroger, Woods and Bates, Jim Xamis Ford, Woody Jones Insurance and Coy’s Car Corner. They can also be purchased by calling the Redbird Arena ticket office at (309) 438-8000.


[Todd Kober, ISU director of media relations]

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