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D-1 Independents Notebook

December 4, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

D-1 Independents Notebook

by Stephen Murphy


The season got off to a sluggish start for the Gents, as Kevin Johnson’s team dropped their first three games. Centenary lost at Nebraska 68-45, at Wisconsin-Green Gay (68-48), and at UC Santa Barbara (69-84). The Gents picked things up as of late putting together two straight victories over Louisiana Monroe, and Northwestern State. Centenary leader and Independent best player Andrew Wisniewski is averaging 18.5 points early in this season, and that is after scoring what should be his season low at Nebraska. Wisniewski led the team in scoring in all but one of the games so far this season, but he is only averaging 16% from behind the arc. Centenary plays December 3rd against Stephen F. Austin, two days later at Lafayette, then home for a rematch against Louisiana Monroe on the 7th. Shawn Davis is second on the team averaging 12.4 points, with Demario Hooper tallying 6.8 PPG. Centenary’s goal was to increase the distribution by Wisniewski, but to no avail so far, as he is only averaging two assists per game.

David Lipscomb

The Bisons lost their first three games by a total of five points. The Troy State University Trojans scored 60 second-half points to defeat the Bisons 95-77 after being down 44-35 at halftime. Sophomore Jeff Dancy led the Bisons in the first half with 17 points. Coach Sanderson’s squad ripped Milligan as four players scored in double-figures. Lipscomb junior Chad Hartman scored a game-high 22 points in the loss to Morris Brown College in the second round of the Florida International Classic in Miami. Junior Chad Hartman and sophomore Eric Broomfield led the Bisons with 16 points each in their first loss to Iona. Lipscomb is home to play Independent IPFW December 2nd, Tennessee State December 5th, followed by Tenn. Martin, and a rematch with Troy State.

Birmingham Southern

The Big South Conference is going to get bigger ( the Panthers become official members next season) as BSC coach Duane Reboul has signed yet another international player. Augustinas Vitas, a 6-1, 240-pound center from Danska, Lithuania and Okaloosa-Walton Community College has signed to play his last two seasons of eligibility with Birmingham-Southern, BSC coach Duane Reboul announced. Vitas will join fellow junior college standout Rostislav Vergun as 2002-03 signees for the Panthers.

Jakob Sigurdarson led five Birmingham-Southern Panthers in double figures with 20 as BSC dominated visiting Covenant College, 108-65, Saturday afternoon at Bill Battle Coliseum. BSC lit up the nets, shooting 60% from the field and nearly 50% from three-point range. Sigurdarson was eight-of-11from the field, four-of-six from behind the arc, and added two rebounds and four assists. The win got the Panthers to .500 early in the season. BSC could not hold off South Alabama’s second-half spurt as Henry Williams scored 20 points and hit five-of-six free-throws in the final :42 to help South Alabama to a 77-64 home victory over Birmingham-Southern in the Mitchell Center. South Alabama is now 5-0 all time against the Panthers. Senior Corey Watkins came off Duane Reboul’s bench to score 17 points and grab eight rebounds, both led Birmingham-Southern. Sigurdarson would also lead BSC in double figures with 20 as BSC dominated visiting Covenant College, 108-65, Saturday afternoon. BSC could not miss, shooting 59.7% from the field and 48.4% from three-point range. Sigurdarson was 4-6 from three point land, and eight-of-11from the field, While adding two rebounds and four assists. Derrick Williams and Josiah James each added six rebounds to their double digit scoring effort as they recorded 17 and 10 points, respectively. Shema Mbyirukira and Andrius Montrimas came off of the bench to record impressive offensive numbers. Mbyirukira added 16 points and was six-for-seven from the floor. Montrimas had the hot hand from three-point range as he recorded all of his 12 points from three-point range. BSC then would hand Stetson a loss for their second straight win, and pulling the Panthers to .500. The Panthers have been alternating their lineup with most times having center Michael Bilostinnyi come off the bench, giving them a smaller but quicker lineup.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi

The season is off and running, the islanders have won two out of four. A&M won their fourth consecutive season opener. Brian Evans scored a game-high 24 points and Travis Bailey netted 22 points as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi opened its fourth season with an 83-76 victory over Fullerton State in the first game of the Hawaiian Airlines Tip-off Classic, November 22. The Islanders luck would run out in their next game against Hawaii, as they succumbed to the prolific offense of the Rainbow Warriors. Haim Shimonovich led six players in double figures as Hawaii posted a convincing 100-81 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Shimonovich netted team-high 18 points, while Carl English added 17 as the Rainbow Warriors improved to 2-0. Texas A&M-CC fell to 1-1.Two telling stories were evident in the Hawaii victory. The Rainbow Warriors were on fire shooting (.600) from the floor, hitting 10 of 19 (.526) three-point attempts.

TAMCCU would turn it around in their ensuing game with Trinity. Derrick Murphy logged his fifth career double-double and Nick Jackson came off the bench to provide a spark as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi downed Trinity University (Tex.) 73-49 November 27th. Murphy went 4 of 6 from the floor and drilled 8 of his 9 free throws. Trinity jumped out to a 14-5 lead in the opening four minutes of the game. A&M-CC would take the lead for good at 40-39 on a lay-up by Jackson with 12:41 remaining. The islanders shooting improved dramatically in the second half, and dominated the boards with a 43-30 advantage. Travis Bailey would reach doubled digits netting 16 points. The Islanders play at Lamar in Beaumont Texas on Sunday November 30th. A&M would fall to Lamar despite an 18 point, 7 rebound effort by Brian Evans to fall to 2-2

Indiana Purdue-FT.Wayne

IPFW fell to Colorado State in their regular season opener in the Dell BCA Invitational 80-62.
Sophomore Terry Collins led IPFW with 15 points, while junior Jim Kessenich chipped in 14, and senior DeAngelo Woodall scored 10 points. Kessenich also led the squad with six rebounds and Woodall had game-high four steals. In their next round Cleveland ST. came back to defeat the Mastodons 78-71. The Mastodons controlled most of the game as they finished the first half with a 14-3 run to take a 44-37 lead into the locker room. Percell Coles of Cleveland State had the hot hand as he drained seven three-pointers and scored 31 points to set a new BCA Invitational single-game scoring record and helped guide the Vikings to their first win of the season. Just when things seemed they couldn’t get worse, well how bout double overtime thrilling loss to Florida Atlantic? Terry Collins scored 21 points, including a key three-pointer, to send the game into overtime. IPFW fell to Florida Atlantic 93-86. Terry Collins and Jim Kessenich couldn’t rally the troops in Fort Collins. Collins finished with 21, and Kessenich 19 in the loss that sent the Mastodons to 0-3. The mastodons lost their first five games to open the 2002-03 season before finally prevailing over Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels opened the game with a 16-9 run as Ben Rushing hit a big three point shot at the 15:48 mark. IPFW had three players finish in double figures. Sophomore Ric Wyand led the way with 22 points shooting 7-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-6 from beyond the three-point arc.

Texas Pan American

Lose two, then win two, lose two again . . . the Broncs’ are hoping patterns repeat themselves just for now as they look to end a losing skid. UTPA lost a heartbreaker in their season opener at New Mexico, then were bombarded by Tulsa to fall to 0-2. The Broncs would defeat Mississippi Valley State, then go on to win their home opener against Concordia. Lehigh held UTPA scoreless for an eight-minute stretch, while Quinnipiac would strike quick, then hold on for a 10-point victory. Kevin Mitchell is second on the Bronc team in scoring averaging 13.2 points, while Allen Holcolmb is netting 14.0. Things are going to get increasingly difficult as Air Force, St. Louis, and Kansas State lie ahead.

Other Independents:

Morris Brown

Morris Brown won their first game of the season after dropping their season opener to Florida International. The Wolverines defeated David Lipscomb, before getting lambasted at USC to fall to 1-2. Cal State Fullerton, and Eastern Kentucky await, before the Winthrop University Tournament begins December 6th.

Savannah State

Its tough to find the State that Savannah is in, and its not a healthy one so far losing its first three. Then again I cover Independents, and their seasons are always an uphill climb. SSU fell to the Seminoles at Florida ST, lost to Jacksonville, then went to Miami where they found a Hurricane losing by 34 points. So much for strength of schedule as Georgia Southern, and Alabama A&M lie ahead.


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