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By Jeff Mayfield

[JAN. 19, 2004]  The Illini's victory over Iowa was anything but pretty, but I didn't hear many complaints as I left the Assembly Hall Saturday. Illinois needed a win in any shape, size or color to even their league mark at 2-2. Be prepared for a roller coaster ride the rest of the way.

It was good to see Roger Powell back on top of his game, and Nick Smith got back in the groove as well.

ISU won its first MVC game with a stifling 54-42 victory over the SMS Bears, one of this writer's alma maters. It brings back a lot of memories for me every time I see SMS. 

Lincoln's Gregg Alexander led the way again, as he led the team with six rebounds and nailed three important treys at critical junctures during the game. Coach Porter Moser called Gregg "the player who always gets us out of the gate." He said that Gregg always gets the team off to quick starts while other guys are watching the popcorn being made! He also commended Alexander's intensity and tenacity!

The Lincoln Railers proved once again that hard work and good coaching can overcome what looked like a super-talented bunch of Senators from Springfield High in a 53-44 victory. John Harmson was an incredible 8-for-10 from the 3-point arc!  

Springfield coach Pat McGuire has really improved his squad, and I look for their team to make more noise later if he can keep them interested!

The Lady Railers had a tough loss to Springfield but still showed a lot of fire. Lincoln continues to improve, and I think the Lady Railers will be a force the rest of the season. The Lady Railers blew out Lanphier earlier in the week.


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Speaking of Lady Railers, CONGRATULATIONS to former Railer Brittany Robbins, now of the LCC Angels, who just became that school's all-time leading scorer. She helped lead the team to two huge wins this past weekend, over Stephens College and over Northland Baptist. Robbins' great career underscores why I say that AA experience can really help on the small-college level. I'd like to see more local stars and even those players who play support roles on their high school teams give LC and LCC more of a shot during the recruiting phase. I think EVERYONE would benefit by those relationships!

LCC's Preachers claimed a big win over Northland as well and are making a bid to be a contender on the district level!

The Lincoln Lynx took an 87-73 over Lake Land. Perhaps B.J's trip to "FANdamonium" was all that was needed to turn the Lynx around… doubtful! Lincoln hopes to climb back to the .500 mark this week.

The Lady Lynx fell to Lake Land 56-68.

I didn't see any of the Colts' loss to New England, but I did see and was amazed at the play of the Carolina Panthers. It's not the biggest marquee matchup in Super Bowl history, but it should be an entertaining contest.

Player of the week: Brittany Robbins, who became LCC's all-time leading scorer!

Have a great week, everybody!

[Jeff Mayfield]


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