NCAA Hoops Roundup: Local teams complete perfect Sunday

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NCAA Hoops Roundup: Local teams complete perfect Sunday

Northwestern tops Fairleigh Dickinson

EVANSTON -- Reggie Hearn scored 14 points and Northwestern's defense did the rest Sunday in an 80-53 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson.Fairleigh Dickinson's inability to convert in the paint prevented them from staying in the game early. The Knights missed six layups in the first half alone, which allowed Northwestern (3-0) to quickly take command in the first meeting between the schools.

For the second time in three games, Northwestern held its opponent to 14 points in the first half, a feat it previously had not accomplished since December 2008. The Wildcats led by as many as 36 points.

Eleven different players scored for the Wildcats, who shot 49 percent from the field. Northwestern's big men dominated Fairleigh Dickinson (0-2) in the post, outscoring them 36-16 in the paint.

Complete Recap Box Score

Loyola defeats Maryland-Eastern Shore

TAMPA, Fla. -- Ben Averkamp scored 27 points and Loyola of Chicago beat Maryland-Eastern Shore 62-46 on Sunday.

Averkamp also had eight rebounds and became the 19th player in Loyola (3-2) history with at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.

Maryland-Eastern Shore (0-6) got 13 points from Troy Snyder.

Both teams lost games Friday and Saturday in the three-day South Florida Invitational.

Loyola grabbed a 47-36 lead with five minutes remaining on Christian Thomas' three-point play and three in-close baskets by Averkamp.

Averkamp's rebound basket after a missed free throw and his 3-pointer on the Ramblers' next possession extended their lead to 54-36.

Jordan Hicks connected on a long-range jumper, part of a 7-0 run, as Loyola took a 32-31 lead eight minutes into the second half.

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Illinois State throttles Delaware State

NORMAL -- Tyler Brown scored 14 points, Jon Ekey and Nick Zeisloft each chipped in with 11 and Illinois State had no problems with visiting Delaware State in an 87-48 rout for the Redbirds on Sunday afternoon.

Illinois State (3-0) shot 54.7 percent from the field, making 35 of 64 shot attempts including a 9 for 23 mark from behind the arc. Jordan Threloff scored nine points, had eight rebounds and added four assists to his stat total while Bryant Allen and Jackie Carmichael each had eight points.

Delaware State (3-1) had only one player in double figures with Miles Bowman scoring 10 points off the bench, going a perfect 5 for 5 from the field in 20 minutes of play. The Hornets had 22 turnovers and were outrebounded 42 to 28 by the Redbirds.

Illinois State put the game away in the first half, taking a 49-22 lead at the break.

Complete Recap Box Score

Eastern Illinois edges IPFW

YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Sherman Blanford scored 17 points, including the deciding basket with 21 seconds to play, and Eastern Illinois defeated IPFW 68-67 on Sunday.

The game was part of the Ice Man Classic at Eastern Michigan University.

Josh Piper scored 12 points for the Panthers (2-3), and Malcolm Herron and Morris Woods added 11 points apiece. Blanford had seven rebounds to lead EIU.

Kevin Harden led all scorers with 22 points for the Mastadons (2-3). Frank Gaines had 15 points and Mario Hines scored 10 for IPFW.

The game featured 11 ties and 12 lead changes. Eastern Illinois built an early 11-point lead but IPFW drew within 34-33 at halftime.

Complete Recap Box Score

Link leads Western Illinois past Yale

OAKLAND CITY, Ind. -- Adam Link scored 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting while grabbing four rebounds and dishing out three assists to lead Western Illinois past Yale on Sunday afternoon 59-47.

Western Illinois (3-2) trailed the Bulldogs 32-31 at halftime but outscored Yale 28-15 in the second half to close out a win. The Fighting Leathernecks shot 45.8 percent from the field, making 22 of 48, and were almost perfect from the free-throw line, hitting 10 of 11.

Link was one of three players in double figures for Western Illinois. Ceola Clark scored 12 points and added six assists and five rebounds. Jack Houpt had 10 points and four rebounds.

Yale (1-4) didn't have a player in double figures but had two with nine points in Brandon Sherrod and Javier Duren. Justin Sears had eight points and nine rebounds to go along with his four assists.

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Northern Illinois crushes Judson

DE KALB, Ill. (AP) Sam Mader and Akeem Springs scored 16 points apiece and Northern Illinois won its home opener, defeating Judson of Illinois 72-54 on Sunday.

Kevin Gray had 10 points and eight rebounds to lead the Huskies (1-2), who dropped road games at Nebraska-Omaha and Valparaiso.

The Eagles (2-6), who play in NAIA Division II, jumped out to a 20-12 lead. NIU answered by running off 15 straight points and eventually led 39-32 at halftime.

Luke Pearson and Luke Labedzki led Judson with nine points - each of them hitting three 3-pointers.

It was the first meeting between the schools.

Complete Recap Box Score

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

For the past two seasons, David Accam was a bright spot on bad Chicago Fire teams.

This season, with more talent on the roster, Accam has blossomed into one of the most dangerous players in the league.

He had a hat trick and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Orlando. That gives him 10 goals and six assists on the season. Only two other players in Major League Soccer have 16 combined goals and assists, New York City FC's David Villa and teammate Nemanja Nikolic (the leading goal-scorer in the league).

“I thought I could do anything on the pitch today,” Accam said. “I just wanted to enjoy myself and entertain the fans and also help the team win. That’s what we did today, especially after my first goal. I just thought I could get more goals and also help the team win.”

Accam’s big game comes after he sat out the previous two games, which were both played on turf. He wasn’t listed on the injury report, but coach Veljko Paunovic said, “he didn’t recover from the physical issues that he had in the previous game.”

The rest seemed to do Accam some good, but his success in the game (as well as his recent run of eight goals and four assists in his last eight matches) coincides with questions about his future. He was recently rumored to be the target of a Turkish club.

In the past, Accam has spoken about his ambition to play at the highest levels. Typically, that means Europe. General manager Nelson Rodriguez said last month that he expects offers to come in for the 26-year-old because he is a good player in his prime ages.

So is Accam playing like someone trying to earn a new contract? That could be either impressing potential suitors in Europe or boosting his negotiation position with the Fire. Rodriguez has talked about contract negotiations with Accam before, and said those will not resume again until after the season.

“I wanted to be in a team where I would develop as a person and also win trophies, whether here or somewhere (else) I don’t know,” Accam said. “For me, I’m doing really well here and every year if I keep playing well there will be always interest. I know there is a lot of interest because I’m doing well. For me it’s always extra motivation to keep doing well. You don’t know where I will end up, whether here or somewhere else. I’ll just keep playing.”

Accam’s play earned him another call-up to the Ghanaian national team. He will join the team on Sunday for a pair of friendlies in the U.S. The Black Stars will take on Mexico in Houston on June 28 and the U.S. in East Hartford, Conn., on July 1 as the two North American countries prepare for the Gold Cup.

“That’s where I want to be,” Accam said. “I want to be playing for the national team so it’s extra motivation for me to perform well and also to go to the national team.”

Accam has been one of the most productive players in MLS this year, based on goals and assists, and is young enough to draw the attention of plenty of teams. For now, the Fire have him as a key part of the best season the club has had in years.

“I think that he understands very well how to play with the team that we have now and with the teammates that he is surrounded with,” coach Veljko Paunovic said. “We just have to work to give David opportunities… Then we expect that performances like that will come even more.”

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