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Horizon League Notebook

February 19, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments



Horizon League Notebook

by Nick Dettmann

Within one game of their first regular season league championship in school history, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee traveled to Youngstown State to play the Penguins.

UWM head coach Bruce Pearl knew that YSU is no push over team and he was right. The Penguins scored the biggest upset of the Horizon League season, 85-84 from the Beeghly Center on Saturday.

Adam Baumann hit two free throws with 6.2 seconds remaining in the game to give the Penguins an 85-82 lead. UWM had one chance to send the game to overtime and they thought they did after Kalombo Kadima hit a long-range shot as time expired. However, the officials ruled that Kadima’s foot was on the three-point line and ruled it a two to give YSU the win.

“We did a lot of good things. They just did a few more than we did,” Pearl said. “Youngstown State is a good team. They’ve knocked on the door. I just don’t think they’ve gotten enough credit.

“We had our chances. We missed a lot of good shots and they made a lot of tough shots.”

YSU head coach John Robic said, “What a great game. It’s one of the biggest wins since I’ve been here.”

By downing the Panthers, the Penguins picked up their first win over UWM in six tries since YSU joined the Horizon League from the Mid-Continent Conference prior to the 2001-’02 season.

UWM held YSU to no field goals for the final 4:05 of the game, but managed to hold on thanks to the charity stripe.

UWM had a chance to tie it with 21 seconds remaining in the game, but Chris Hill was called for a charge, sending Baumann to the line for the game-winning free throws.

Doug Underwood burned UWM for the second time this season. In the previous outing back on Jan. 15, Underwood scored a collegiate-high 29 points in an 80-74 loss in Milwaukee. This time out, Underwood scored 26 points, including 18 in the first half, while TeJay Anderson had 19. Baumann had a solid outing as well as he registered a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. He almost had that double-double in the first half with nine points and nine boards.

It was also a historical night for Underwood as he registered his 1,000th point in a Penguins uniform. He hit a free throw with 29.5 seconds remaining in the first half to help eclipse the mark.

Dylan Page led UWM with 17 points, while Hill had 16, Joah Tucker with 13 and Ed McCants scored 12 to round double-figures for UWM.

Player of the week

Javier Mendiburu, UW-Green Bay

Mendiburu had one of the most all-around weeks a player could have. He averaged 17.5 points, seven rebounds, 5.5 assists and three steals in two overtime wins for the Phoenix.

Newcomer of the week

Jovan Stefanov, Illinois-Chicago

Scored six points and a team-high seven rebounds off the bench in a win over Youngstown State.

Game of the week

Take your pick!

Illinois-Chicago at UW-Green Bay, Wednesday, Feb. 18
UW-Milwaukee at Butler, Wednesday, Feb. 18
Manhattan at UW-Milwaukee, Saturday, Feb. 21 for ESPN Bracket Buster Saturday

UIC can overtake second place with a win as they won the previous in Chicago on Jan. 24. UIC is riding a season-long six game win streak, while the Phoenix are riding a three-game win streak. They are also 10-1 at the Resch Center this season. What else is on the line? A bye all the way into the semifinals of the league tournament in two weeks.

UWM can clinch at least a share of the regular season Horizon League title with a win. Unfortunately, they cannot clinch the top seed in the league tournament, but their hopes would increase if Green Bay loses. Butler would love to play spoiler, as they have won four of their last five games at the Hinkle Fieldhouse. That loss came on Jan. 24 against Wright State.

In front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. (EDT), the Panthers and Jaspers will hook up in one of the premier games of the weekend. UWM comes into the game 58th in the R.P.I., while the Jaspers are 54th. Both teams have not lost two games in a row all season. Manhattan last lost on Jan. 25 at Iona, a six-game win streak and 14 of their last 15. This one will be a resume booster for both teams.

UW-Milwaukee (17-7 overall, 12-2 Horizon League):

The week started off right for the Panthers, as they defeated the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers 77-71 in Milwaukee on Thursday. Dylan Page had 26 points and Ed McCants had 21 for UWM. Page was 9-of-14 from the field, including hitting four three-pointers. McCants also had four assists and three steals. The last time out between these two rivals, UWM won 97-87. This time out, it was not that high scoring, but was not an easy one for UWM. Loyola made it 49-45 in favor of UWM with 13:17 left in the second half, but UWM reeled off the next six points. Then, would go on a 17-5 run after a Terrance Whiters three for Loyola.

Looking to clinch not only a least a share of the regular season title, but the top seed for the league tournament, the Panthers traveled to Youngstown, Ohio to play the Penguins. Paced by Doug Underwood’s 26 points and TeJay Anderson’s 19, the Penguins pulled off a big 85-84 upset of the Panthers on Saturday. The game nearly went to overtime as Kalombo Kadima hit a shot with 0.4 seconds remaining, but it was ruled that his foot was on the three-point line and was given credit for two points. UWM had a chance to tie the game earlier after Khari McQueen missed two free throws. Chris Hill was called for a charge with seven seconds left, sending YSU’s Adam Baumann to the free throw line. He would hit both to make it 85-82. Page led UWM with 17 points, but on only 6-of-19 shooting. Hill had 16 points, Joah Tucker, who was marred by foul trouble, had 13 and McCants had 12.

The Panthers have their two biggest games of the year this week. Up first is their annual trip to hated Butler. Last year, Butler won 76-74 on a buzzer beater by Avery Sheets, giving Butler the regular season championship. Then, UWM will be on national television for the second time this season as they host Manhattan for Bracket Buster Saturday. Tip-off is 2 p.m. (EDT)

UW-Green Bay (16-7, 10-3):

The Phoenix overcame a nine-point deficit with 4:11 left in the game to steal a 73-70 win in overtime over Youngstown State in Ohio. YSU jumped out to 55-46 lead with 4:11 remaining as Green Bay failed to hit a field goal for almost 10 minutes. The Phoenix mounted a comeback and Tyler Koening finished off a brilliant pass by Javier Mendiburu with 5.9 left to tie the game at 58. UWGB went out to a seven-point lead in the overtime, but YSU went down fighting. The Penguins made it 71-70 in favor of UWGB with 15 seconds remaining. Mendiburu, who connected on 6-of-6 free throws in overtime, hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to stretch the lead to three. Brian Radakovich tossed up a potential game-tying three, but came up short. Mendiburu finished the game with a collegiate-high 19 points, including seven rebounds, five assists and five steals.

In their second overtime game of the week, the Phoenix remained perfect in the extra frame following an 80-73 win over Loyola-Chicago on Saturday. Overtime has been a way of life with these two rivals. Four of the last six meetings have come down to the overtime. This time was the first that UWGB came out the winner. Mike King capped off an 8-2 rally in the final minute of regulation by hitting a game-tying three with 17 seconds left. King also hit a three in the first possession of the overtime and Green Bay never trailed. Mendiburu had another strong showing with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists. King finished with a season-high 23 points for the game.

The Phoenix tries to protect the number two spot in the league standings as they host UIC on Wednesday night. A win for UWGB will give them a two-game lead with three games to go on UIC for the two seed in the league tournament, which means a bye into the semifinals. Then, they will take part in Bracket Buster Saturday as they host Northern Iowa at 2:05 p.m. (EDT)

Illinois-Chicago (18-7, 9-4):

The Flames are back in the hunt and they could not have chosen a better time to be hot. They picked up a big 62-58 win at Youngstown State on Thursday. UIC won their fifth straight overall and 11th in a row over the Penguins. Cedrick Banks, the reigning player of the week, was the only UIC player in double figures as he had 23 points. It was his 13th game where he reached 20 points, third highest in the league. UIC had a 25-18 lead at the break. Then, YSU fought back to take a 38-36 lead with 12:45 to go. UIC would re-build their lead up to eight over the next eight-plus minutes to hold onto the four-point win.

Staying in the state of Ohio, the Flames traveled to Cleveland State on Valentine’s Day. UIC showed no love as they jumped out on the Vikings quick and early en route to a 67-56 win. UIC scored the first 10 points of the game and built a 20-point lead late in the first half. CSU closed the gap to 15 by halftime and would get only as close as six in the second half. Banks only had 13 points because of early foul trouble. Aaron Carr also scored 13 points for UIC and pulled down eight rebounds. Armond Williams had 12 and Joe Scott had 11 points to round out double-figure scorers for UIC. Jermaine Robinson, the second leading scorer in the league, scored 25 points in the loss for CSU who lost their 19th straight game.

Big game for the Flames on Wednesday as they look to grab hold of second place as they travel to UW-Green Bay. UIC won the previous meeting, 74-57, in Chicago. UWGB is 10-1 at home this season. After that, UIC will return home for Bracket Buster Saturday and host UNC-Wilmington. UIC defeated Bowling Green 83-72 last year at the UIC Pavilion in the same event.

Wright State (13-11, 9-4):

The Raiders had to travel to revenge seeking Detroit last Wednesday and revenge is what the Titans got. Detroit got 22 points from Jimmy Twyman en route to a 74-60 for the Titans. Detroit avenged what they did at Wright State on Jan. 10, blowing a 13-point second half lead, as they closed the first stanza with a 9-2 run to take a 34-28 lead. Wright State would close to six on two occasions, but the Titans used the home crowd advantage by going out on a 14-3 run on their way to building a 20-point second half lead. Vernard Hollins led Wright State with 22 points, on 6-of-12 shooting and 9-of-10 from the charity stripe. Seth Doliboa, who is known to provide at least 10 points, managed only eight on 2-of-11 shooting. Freshmen Alex Kock scored 11 points and DaShaun Wood had 10 to round out double figure scorers.

In a non-league bout, the Raiders rebounded with a close 66-64 win over IP-Fort Wayne on Saturday. Four players reached double figures for the Raiders, led by Hollins’ 18. Drew Burleson had 13 points and Doliboa and Zakee Boyd each had 12. In front of 5,615 fans, the Mastadons built up a 33-30 lead at halftime as they shot an even 50 percent from the field. In the second half, it was the opposite. Wright State shot the even 50 percent to close out shooting 47 percent for the game. Keion Henderson had 23 points to lead the game for IPFW, while David Simon had a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

The Raiders are the only team from the Horizon League that will not take part in Bracket Buster Saturday. They will play one game this week and it is a home meeting with in-state rival Youngstown State for the home finale. Then, the Raiders will play their final two on the road. They will be their two biggest games of the season as they play UIC on the 26th and Green Bay on the 28th. These two games will determine who is seeded where in the league tournament. Wright State currently holds the tie-breaker on UIC after defeating them 61-60 earlier in the season.

Detroit (13-10, 7-6):

The Titans kept hold of hosting a first round tournament game by going 2-0 for the week. They have now won four in a row, including a big 74-60 win over Wright State last Wednesday in Detroit. Making his third straight start, Jimmy Twyman scored 22 points, two shy of his collegiate-high, to lead the Titans. Since taking on the starting role, he has averaged 18 points a game. In their last meeting, the Titans blew a 13-point second half lead to fall 67-61 on Jan. 10 at Wright State. This time, that was not going to happen as the Titans closed out the first half with a 9-2 run and would eventually build up a 20-point second half lead. James Thues scored 12 points and Ben Green scored a season-high 10 points to round up the double-figure scorers for the Titans.

It was an emotional day in Detroit in front of national television audience. The Titans honored one of their legends before the tip-off with Butler on Saturday. They honored Dave DeBusschere as part of the homecoming festivities. DeBusschere is the only three-time All-American in Titans history and helped lead Detroit to their first three post-season appearances 1960-’62. As for the game, Butler jumped out a quick 13-2 lead. Detroit did not take the lead for good until 6:22 was left in the game. The Titans downed the Bulldogs 54-48 to pick up their fourth straight win. It was also Detroit’s first win over Butler in six tries. Butler won the meeting earlier in the season 70-69 in overtime in Indianapolis. Ryvon Covile had a collegiate-high 19 points to lead Detroit.

The Titans are in the drivers seat to hold onto at least a home first round league tournament game. However, they will play two of their final three on the road, where they are 4-7 this season. Up first is a home showdown with Loyola-Chicago on Wednesday. If the tournament started today, the Ramblers would play the Titans at Calihan Hall. After that, Detroit will travel to the alma mater of David Letterman, Ball State, for Bracket Buster Saturday. Tip-off is 1 p.m. (EDT)

Butler (11-12, 6-7):

Whew, what a close one! That was the theme in the Butler locker room after the Bulldogs captured a 57-56 win over Cleveland State on Thursday night. Mike Monserez hit a 12-foot jumper with one-tenth of a second remaining to give the Vikings their 18th straight loss. The winning shot would have been a buzzer beater, but the buzzer did not sound and the red light on the backboard did not light up. The referees ruled that Monserez got the shot off in time and put 0.1 seconds left on the clock. CSU tossed up a desperation shot but would come up way short. The Vikings, who opened the season 4-2, fell to 4-20 overall and 0-13 in the league. Duane Lightfoot scored 17 points to lead the Bulldogs. Monserez had 16 points and Bruce Horan, who launched all of his shots from three-point land (4-of-12), scored 12.

Riding a three-game win streak and holding onto the last spot for getting the home game for the first round of the tournament, the Bulldogs lost 54-48 in Detroit on a national television. Detroit’s Ryvon Coville had a collegiate-high 19 points and had six rebounds. Monserez had a chance to tie the game with 25 seconds remaining, but his shot bounced off the front rim and Detroit pulled down the board, forcing Butler to foul. Bruce Horan had 15 points for Butler, all off of three’s. Lightfoot had 10 points and eight rebounds as well.

The Bulldogs will be thinking upset and spoiler when the hated UWM Panthers come to town on Wednesday. UWM is looking to clinch at least a share of the league title. Butler stole that from them last year on buzzer-beater. After that, Butler will host Ohio for Bracket Buster Saturday. They will finish off their home schedule with Youngstown State on Wednesday the 25th. Butler would host YSU in the first round of the league tournament if it started today. YSU would like to make that game a battle for that last home spot by the time they arrive in Indianapolis.

Youngstown State (8-15, 4-9):

The Penguins got out to an early nine-point lead and led by two mid-way through the half. But they could not hold on as they lost 62-58 to Illinois-Chicago on Thursday. UIC’s Cedrick Banks ad a game-high 23 points, while Martell Bailey dished out eight assists. Trailing 25-18 at the half, YSU scored the first six points of the half to pull within one, 25-24. YSU took the lead with 13:39 left at 35-34. The two teams exchanged buckets for the next minute and YSU had a 38-36 lead with 12:43 to go. Then, UIC went on a 6-0 run to take a 42-38 lead with 10:17 to go and would not trail the rest of the game. YSU made one last push to take the lead with 8:43 as they trailed 44-43. But UIC answered back with five straight points to take a six-point lead.

Doug Underwood scored 26 points to lead the Penguins to an 85-84 upset win over league-leading UWM on Saturday. Underwood has now scored 55 points against the Panthers this season. He had 29 back on Jan. 15 in Milwaukee. With 21 seconds remaining, Khari McQueen missed two free throws, giving UWM a chance to take the lead. But Chris Hill was called for charging and sent Adam Baumann to the free throw line. Baumann hit the two free throws to give YSU an 85-82 lead with 6.2 seconds left. UWM’s Kalombo Kadima would hit a shot with 0.2 seconds left, but would be ruled a two after his toe was said to be on the line. Baumann finished the game with a double-double, 17 points and 13 points.

The Penguins, who trails Butler by 1½ game for sixth in the league standings, will play at Wright State on Thursday night. That sixth place is the last spot that would have the right to host the first round league tournament game in two weeks. After Wright State, YSU will travel to play Bowling Green for Bracket Buster Saturday. Then, YSU can be playing for sixth when they travel to Butler next Wednesday night.

Loyola-Chicago (7-17, 3-11):

It has been a disappointing season for the Ramblers. Their frustrations continued this week with two losses in the Cheese state. First was a 77-71 loss to league-leading UWM in Milwaukee on Thursday. Paul McMillan had 18 points and 15 rebounds for Loyola, but that would not be enough as UWM’s Dylan Page scored 26 points. The Ramblers had five players in double figures, but were marred by 19 turnovers. Loyola held a 52-51 lead mid-way through the second half, but UWM scored the next seven points to take the lead for good. Demetrius Williams scored 13 points, DaJuan Gouard and Louis Smith each had 11 and Terrance Whiters added 10 more points.

In four of six previous meetings with the UW-Green Bay Phoenix, they have needed the extra frame to decide. That was the case again on Saturday, but for the first time it was the Phoenix that came out victorious after an 80-73 overtime setback. UWGB’s Mike King and Javier Mendiburu combined for 39 points off the bench. The tight knit affair saw 12 ties and eight lead changes. UWGB had an early 38-37 lead in the second half, but Loyola came back with five straight points as part of an 11-4 run to take a 48-42 lead with 8:04 left in regulation. With 40 seconds to go, Loyola had a 62-57 lead. But, Green Bay mounted a ferocious comeback, capped off by King’s three with 15 seconds left to tie it. Whiters led five players for Loyola in double figures with 15 points. With the loss to UW-Green Bay, the Ramblers assured themselves that they will play the first round of the league tournament on the road on Mar. 2.

Loyola will continue their four-game road trip as they pay a visit to Calihan Hall to play the Titans on Wednesday night. Then, they will play their final regular season road game at Illinois State in Central Illinois, Bloomington for Bracket Buster Saturday. The Ramblers will play their final home game on Feb. 26th against Cleveland State.

Cleveland State (4-21, 0-14):

The woes continued for the Vikings last week as they dropped a heart-breaking 57-56 loss to Butler on Thursday. Butler’s Mike Monserez hit a jumper with one-tenth of a second remaining to win the game for Butler. CSU shot 53 percent from the field, but the free throw line killed them as they were only 7-of-20. Omari Westley had 19 points to lead CSU.

Jermaine Robinson, the league’s second leading scorer, scored 25 points, but that would not be enough, as the Vikings lost 67-56 to UIC on Saturday. The loss extended the school-record losing streak to 19. CSU has not won since Dec. 13. Westley added 15 points as well for the Vikings.

The Vikings have only one game this week. It is their home finale against Eastern Michigan for Bracket Buster Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. (EDT)

     

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