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D-1 Independent Notebook

January 8, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



D-1 Independents Notebook

by Stephen Murphy

Centenary

The Gents are keeping themselves tense, as they are having trouble on the defensive. With the exception of the Western Michigan game, Centenary finds itself on the losing end of teams breaking out of slumps. Centenary is now 5-8 after dropping their latest contest at TCU 102-89. The Horned Frogs opened the scoring and led wire-to-wire in the contest. TCU, which led by as many as nine in the opening stanza, held a 44-39 advantage at half time. TCU increased its lead to 15 at the 14:26 mark of the second half and the Frogs were able to keep Centenary at bay the rest of the way. For the second straight game, five TCU players reached double figures and the Frogs reached the 100-point mark. It was the first time that TCU has posted back-to-back 100-point games since Feb. 15-17, 2001. Star guard Andrew Wisniewski tried to keep pace offensively with a game high 28, while center Josh Thibodeaux chipped in with 19 points.

The Gents could not stop Texas A&M as Antoine Wright scored 22 points and Bernard King added a double-double as the Aggies rolled past Centenary 90-66. Texas A&M went on an early 13-0 run to take a 15-2 lead and never trailed. King posted his second double-double of the season, scoring 17 points with 10 assists. This was the third loss in a row for Centenary who was outscored by 24 points for the second straight game. Wisniewski scored 23 first half points for the Gents to cut an early Aggies lead to 39-36 at half-time. Centenary cut the lead to one on the opening possession of the second half. Texas A&M responded with a 15-0 run early in the half to take a 54-38 lead. Wisniewski picked up his third and fourth fouls in the first seven minutes of the second half and did not score the entire period as A&M cruised through the final 20 minutes. It was Western Michigan’s defense that played a key role in a 72-52 win Saturday over Centenary. Junior center Anthony Kann scored 16 points, but it was The Broncos, with the nation’s seventh-ranked defense yielding an average of 54.3 points per game, forced Centenary into 24 turnovers. Centenary point guard Andrew Wisniewski, who entered the game averaging 22 points, was held to just 12 as he turned the ball over seven times. Things get increasingly worse for Centenary as they take on Missouri, before heading home for two games, then traveling to Baton Rouge to take on LSU.

Birmingham Southern

Santa was kind; I guess he could have been better to the Panthers, as the month of December was a decent one for basketball. Stetson, Texas College, Louisiana Lafayette, those were prefaced with W’s for wins in the Panthers Schedule. Then came the Seminoles of Florida State, who’s second half lifted the Seminoles over BSC 56-47. Birmingham-Southern led by as many as 10 in the first half and eight at half-time. Corey Watkins led the scoring for the Panthers with 13 points. Head Coach Duane Reboul is not getting the production out of the center position that he feels the panthers could use. Michael Bilostinnyi, and Shema Mbyirukira average only 6.4 PPG and 5 rebounds combined. The Panthers are ecstatic about officially joining their new conference next year while playing a full Big South Schedule this season. So far the Panthers have struggled. Torrey Butler, the pre-season Big South Conference Player of the Year, scored 26 points and pulled down five boards as the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina defeated BSC 74-64. Derrick Williams led three Panther players in double-figures with 17. Josiah James and Jacob Sigurdarson each added 15. CCU held the Panther shooters to 35.3%, 18-of-51, for the game, and out-rebounded BSC 35-30. Coastal Carolina’s bench scored 22 points, with BSC’s reserves offered only three.

BSC got off the Big South snide as they dominated the second half and defeated rival Charleston Southern69-61. Josiah James led all scorers with 18 points as four Panthers scored in double digits. Derrick Williams and Grant Davis each added 12. Jacob Sigurdarson chipped in 11 with six rebounds. Josiah James, and Grant Davis have been doing their part to make up for the absence in the middle “For any team to be consistent, they have to have a solid inside game, and an inside presence,” Panther Head Coach Duane Reboul said. “That will allow our perimeter players to have more confidence

IPFW

After opening the season with five straight losses, the Mastodons thought they turned the page putting together their first win streak. IPFW took down Eastern Kentucky, and Independent foe David Lipscomb but they haven’t won since. The Mastodons lost their eighth straight as Dalron Johnson scored 21 points to lead UNLV 74-62. Johnson was 7-for-10 from the field and had seven rebounds. Marcus Banks added 20 points for UNLV, making 12-of-13 the free throws. He also had eight steals and five assists. IPFW fell to 2-13 so far this season committing 16 turnovers on the night and UNLV had 12 steals, six from Banks in the first half. The Mastodons’ David Simon led all scorers with 23 points, and had 10 rebounds. Prior to that the Mastodons suffered their 7th Straight setback against San Diego St., as Mike Mackell scored 11 points and reserve Evan Burns added 10. “They came out and put us under pressure for the first seven minutes and it was downhill from there,” said Head Coach Doug Noll. “They pretty much had their way with us in the first half. I thought we competed well in the second half, we started four freshmen in the second half and they gave us some energy.” Jim Kessenich scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half to lead the Mastodons, who suffered their seventh straight setback. Terry Collins added 10 points but went only 2-of-12 from the field. The Mastodons’ Brandon Jennings had 12 rebounds.

“I thought Brandon Jennings had a terrific game with nine points and 12 rebounds, he was our heart and soul and he played like we want all of our young kids to play,” stated Noll. The Mastodons committed 14 of their 17 turnovers in the first half. The Mastodons thought they had an adequate bench going into the season, but it is they who have been outscored by the reserves. It seems like an international conflict how many reserves get called into action to shoot down a Mastodon. Senior forward Jordan Harris and junior forward Stanislav Zuzak scored 18 points each off the bench to lead six UC Irvine players in double figures as the Anteaters defeated IPFW, 96-79, at the Bren Events Center Saturday night. Sophomore guard Terry Collins led the Mastodons with 36 points, hitting 11-of-18 from the field, including 9-of-13 from three-point range. Kessenich added 13 points for IPFW. The 2-15 Mastodons play home in the I-game against IUPUI, then travel to Utah, Morehead State, then Chicago University.

David Lipscomb

The Bisons are 2-8 since the beginning of December, and 3-11 on the year. In one of their few wins junior Chad Hartman marked up his second consecutive double-double as the Bisons rolled on to defeat the University of New Orleans Privateers 81-76 in Allen Arena. The winning ways would not last long as Kansas State placed four players in double-digits and went on to defeat the Bisons 88-64 in Manhattan, Kansas. Lipscomb managed to put only two players in double-digits. Freshman center Charlie Jenney led all Bison scorers with 15 points going 5-of-10 from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. Senior Ryan Roller finished with 11 points going 4-of-7 from the field and 2-of-4 from behind the three-point arc. Lipscomb lost to Troy State University by 12, the start of Hartman’s solid performances of late, but was still lingering from their overtime loss a game earlier. Earl Bullock led the University of Tennessee at Martin Skyhawks by scoring 24 points in a 99-90 overtime win over the Bisons. In their last game on January 4th Lipscomb guards James Poindexter, Ryan Roller, Eric Broomfield and Craig Schoen combined for only seven field goals on 25 attempts. The Bisons were far from perfect on the offensive end in an 83-71 loss to the Sacramento State Hornets of the Big Sky Conference in Allen Arena. “When you make six field goals the whole second half and shoot 27 percent you aren’t going to beat anybody,” said Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson. “We’re having to junk the game up and switch defenses and stuff. “It’s hard when you have to be perfect offensively. With our personnel we can’t stop anybody.” Nebraska, Independent Savannah State, and Stetson await a hungry Bison squad.

Morris Brown

20 boards against Tennessee State, 15 against Rutgers, 19 against Alabama A&M, and a sub par 10 against Pac-10 giant USC. I’m talking about Amien Hicks your nations 7th leading rebounder. Not too much other than that to be proud of, the Wolverines are on a 10 game losing streak. Their latest defeat was a 58 point loss to Tulane to fall to 1-11 on the year (Hicks did have 15 boards against the Green Wave) Senior guard Anthony Adams leads the Wolverines with 13.8 points, and Hicks grabs 11.4 rebounds per game. Florida A&M, Clemson, and Independent Savannah State lie ahead for the Wolverines.

Savannah State

We can’t explain enough the misery that has thrust itself upon the Tiger University. We thought IPFW had sorrow, then were swayed away by Morris Brown’s failure. The Tigers have hit the bottom of the barrel in their 2nd season trying to adjust to division 1 play. Aleem Muhammad led five Mercer players in double figures with a game-high 14 points as the Bears handed winless Savannah State its ninth loss of the season, 84-66, Thursday night. Muhammad scored 12 in the first half, and Mercer took a 39-28 lead into intermission. Sherard Reddick led the Tigers with 12 points. In other notes Air Force’s top-ranked defense held Savannah State to 28.3 percent shooting as the Falcons coasted to a 56-33 victory on Monday. (Jan 6th) Air Force entered the game averaging just 54.5 points allowed, lowest in the nation. Savannah State’s 33 points was the fourth-lowest Air Force has ever allowed and the lowest since holding Regis to 19 in 1978. The Green Wave of Tulane ripped the Tigers by 56 points; SSU has not played one single game this season that was decided by less than 12 points.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

The Islanders are hanging around and stand at 6-7, recently coming off a loss to FSU. Florida State overcame horrid shooting in the first half and put the clamps on a potent Texas A&M-Corpus Christi offense in a 72-56 victory, at the Leon County Civic Center. The Seminoles used a 12-0 run at the midway point of the second half to break open a three-point game and were never seriously challenged the rest of the way. The Islanders were coming off a predicted victory over Savannah State, and downed Oakland prior. Travis Bailey pumped in a game-high 26 points to pace Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to an 80-72 victory over Oakland in the finals of the Third Annual Flint Hills Resources Islander Classic, Saturday. Bailey, who also dished off 5 assists and registered 2 steals, hit 7 of 18 shots from the floor and drained 8 of 9 free throw attempts in the victory. Brian Evans chipped in 12 points, while Corey Lamkin and Sean Cole added 11 as the Islanders led from start to finish. Aaron White recorded 10 in a reserve role. The biggest drought this season has been four games and coach Arrow needed a solid performance from Aaron White. White came through as he netted a career-high 24 points to pace Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to a less than convincing 84-68 victory over Howard Payne. The freshman drilled 8 of 13 field goal attempts, including netting five three-pointers to help the Islanders snap a four-game winless skid. Derrick Murphy, Pre-season all Independent Brian Evans, and Thomas Bailey added 12 points apiece. Oklahoma State, Sacramento State, and Centenary await the Islanders in their next three games to come.

Texas-Pan American

The Broncs dropped their latest against Baylor who used a 24-10 run at the end of the first half to build a 15-point halftime lead and went on to defeat UTPA 78-50, at the Ferrell Center. The Broncs got three lay-ups from junior forward Allen Holcomb and led, 12-11, midway through the first half. Baylor center R.T. Guinn made a lay-up and a three-pointer as the Bears scored six consecutive points and took a lead that they would never relinquish. Texas-Pan American then used a three-pointer by senior guard Kevin Mitchell, and a jump shot by senior forward Tomas Sitnikovas to close to within nine points at 28-19, but BU scored nine of the final 11 points of the half to take a 37-22 lead at the intermission. The loss was the Broncs’ fifth in succession, and their record dropped to 4-12 as a result. Baylor improved to 8-2 with the victory. Prior to the Baylor defeat Chicago State dropped the Broncs. Point guard Craig Franklin banked in a shot from half-court at the final buzzer to give Chicago State a 57-54 victory over The UTPA in a consolation game at the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic. The Cougars, who received the ball in their back court with 2.1 seconds left, got the ball to Franklin at mid-court. He launched his shot, and it hit the backboard and went in as the final buzzer sounded. Franklin’s last-second basket erased a stirring comeback by the Broncs, who rallied to take the lead in the second half. The Broncs trailed, 54-53 with 14.3 seconds remaining. UT Pan American twice got the ball to senior forward Tomas Sitnikovas), but he was fouled each time by CSU’s Rubeen Perry. The Broncs got the ball back with 7.7 seconds left, and got the ball to senior guard Kevin Mitchell, who was fouled while attempting a three-point basket. Mitchell’s first two free throws went in and out, but he connected on the third try to tie the game and set the stage for Franklin’s game-winning shot.

Senior guard Kevin Mitchell leads UTPA with 14 points per game, with Allen Holcomb behind him at 11.1 PPG. Centenary, Texas Southern, and New Mexico State lie ahead for the Broncs as they get well into the new year.

     

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