NCAA Hoops: Illini get message, end road woes

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NCAA Hoops: Illini get message, end road woes

Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011
Posted 10:35 p.m. Updated 11:21 p.m.

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - Mike Davis had 17 points and nine rebounds and Demetri McCamey scored 17 points in a surprise role off the bench to lead Illinois to a 71-62 victory over Minnesota on Thursday night.

D.J. Richardson added 11 points for the Illini (16-8, 6-5 Big Ten), who outscored Minnesota 23-2 off the bench to snap a four-game road losing streak.

Trevor Mbakwe had 17 points and 16 rebounds and Ralph Sampson III added 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for the Golden Gophers (16-8, 5-7). Minnesota has lost four straight games, including two at home that have seriously hurt their NCAA tournament resume.

Blake Hoffarber had 15 points, but Minnesota's leading scorer made just 5 of 13 shots and was harassed all night by a determined Illinois defense.

As the clock ticked down, a vocal contingent of Illini fans chanted, "This is our house!"

Box Score

Kreps' shot gives Illinois-Chicago 63-61 OT win

CHICAGO - Robo Kreps hit a driving runner as time expired in overtime, lifting Illinois-Chicago to a 63-61 victory over Wisconsin-Green Bay on Thursday night.

Kreps, who had 21 points, came off a screen near the top of the key, drove left and converted an up-and-under move for the game-winner. Paul Carter added 22 points and nine rebounds for the Flames (7-19, 2-12 Horizon), who had lost 12 of their previous 13 games.

Alec Brown had 14 points and Jarvis Williams 13 for Green Bay (12-13, 6-7), which had beaten the Flames 74-50 on Jan. 15.

The Phoenix forced the overtime period when Rahmon Fletcher scored a layup off an inbounds play with 1 second remaining, tying the game at 56.

Illinois-Chicago, which missed all 12 of its 3-point attempts in the previous loss to Green Bay, was 6 for 17 in the rematch Thursday. Green Bay, on the other hand, was just 2 for 16 from beyond the arc and made only 3 of 10 free-throw attempts.

Box Score

Wisconsin-Milwaukee beats Loyola of Chicago 66-57

CHICAGO - Tony Meier scored 16 points to lead Wisconsin-Milwaukee past Loyola of Chicago 66-57 on Thursday night.

Milwaukee (14-11, 9-5 Horizon) raced to a 16-2 lead and never trailed in the contest. The lead reached 26-7 later in the first half and the Panthers held a 32-20 edge at the break.

Tone Boyle added 12 points for Milwaukee and Kaylon Williams just missed a double-double with 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Andy Polka had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Loyola (13-12, 4-10). Terrance Hill scored 15 points and Ben Averkamp added 10 for the Ramblers, who never got closer than eight points after Milwaukee's opening run.

Box Score

Faried, Morehead State beat Eastern Illinois 81-65

MOREHEAD, Ky. - Kenneth Faried had 18 points and 13 rebounds for his 20th double-double of the season as Morehead State cruised to an 81-65 win over Eastern Illinois on Thursday night, splitting the season series.

Faried had 13 rebounds, but only five points, as the Panthers won 47-40 on Jan. 15.

The Eagles (18-8, 10-4 Ohio Valley Conference) took a 43-20 halftime lead and led by as many as 39 points, at 77-38 with 7:23 to play.

Eastern Illinois (8-16, 4-10) used a 19-0 run to close the gap to 77-57 with 2:15 to go.

Demonte Harper added 15 points for Morehead State, while Terrance Hill added 13 and Ty Proffitt 10.

For the Panthers, Isaac Smith had a career-high 15 and Nick McFarlin added a career-high 13, both off the bench.

Morehead State held Jeremy Granger, Eastern Illinois' leading scorer (14.7 points per game) to only seven as he fouled out with 11:19 left.

Box Score

North Dakota State stops Western Illinois 68-48

FARGO, N.D. - Taylor Braun had 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds as North Dakota State defeated Western Illinois 68-48 on Thursday night.

Drew Lundberg added 11 points and Michael Tveidt 10 for the Bison (13-11, 7-7 Summit League), who have won four of their last five.

Mike Felt hit three 3-pointers for North Dakota State, which piled up a 42-29 second-half advantage.

Matt Lander scored 21 points and Emeka Okafor Jr. 13 for the Leathernecks (7-17, 2-11), who lost their seventh in a row and 10th straight road game.

The Bison took the lead for good when Felt's 3-pointer made it 18-15 with 3:41 left in the first half. North Dakota State led 26-19 at halftime.

Western Illinois closed within 27-24 early in the second half, but Freddy Coleman's layup ended a 10-2 run that gave North Dakota State a 37-26 lead with 15:44 left, and the Bison cruised home.

Box Score
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

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USA TODAY

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

Northern Illinois University added it's fourth known verbal commitment today in its growing Class of 2018.

Maine South junior running back Fotis Kokosioulis (5-foot-8, 165 pounds) added an offer from the Huskies on Tuesday after making a spring practice visit, and today he gave head coach Rod Carey his verbal commitment.

"I chose NIU because it's been a school that I've liked for awhile now," Kokosioulis said moments ago. "I like the facilities at NIU, the stadium and everything else they have to offer. I also really like all the coaches at NIU. I felt that even if I got more offers I would've still chose NIU over other schools. I know that there are bigger school and programs but I feel that I just fit in well at NIU, so I committed."

Kokosioulis, who was an All-State performer for the Class 8A state champion Maine South Hawks in 2016, is now the fourth known in-state verbal commitment for Rod Carey and the Huskies and the fifth known commitment overall. Kokosioulis joins Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Plainfield East defensive end Jack Sullivan and Danville tight end Julian Pearl in the NIU Huskies in-state Class of 2018.

High School coaches 'leave no stone unturned' in helping players explore next level

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Photo at top: Loyola Academy assistant coach Paul Pryma extends his hand toward a Steinmetz High School player during pregame introductions on Feb. 21. (Andres Waters/MEDILL)

High School coaches 'leave no stone unturned' in helping players explore next level

By Andres Waters
Special Contributor to CSNChicago.com

After Loyola Academy held off rival New Trier 43-40 to win the 2017 Zion-Benton regional championship, Ramblers head coach Tom Livatino had a special message for his players.

"That's the best celebration that I have ever been a part of," Livatino said. "Because everybody was completely about love. You guys love each other and we all can tell. I'm really, really proud just to be one of our coaches."

While the speech was a powerful way for Livatino to tell the players of his appreciation, he and other high school coaches engage in something much bigger to show players how proud they are: college recruiting.

In addition to time spent planning and practicing, coaches also sacrifice countless hours each week helping their players find opportunities to play at the next level.

"It's a really long part of the process, but to be honest, it's a part of the job that I absolutely love," Livatino said. "We demand so much of our players in every aspect. And, from a basketball standpoint, the least I could do is everything in my power to help them out."

Less than 48 hours after the Ramblers completed their season with a loss to Evanston Township in the Waukegan Sectional semifinal, Livatino was back in his office holding individual meetings with each player.

Starting with the 10 departing seniors, Livatino discussed the factors that go into choosing a college for high school athletes.

His conversations with the two players who already committed, senior guards Ramar Evans and Matt Lynch, focused on how they felt about their next steps. With the others, Livatino asked whether they wanted to play at the next level and, if so, which schools they wanted to attend that shared an interest in them. The conversations held with the Ramblers' juniors are very similar.

"I wasn't just looking for basketball, I was looking for a fit academically and socially," said Lynch, who committed to Division III St. Norbert College. "[Livatino] said St. Norbert would be the best fit for me. It fit everything I was looking for."

Read the full story at Medill Reports Chicago.

CSN Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University,  features journalism by students in the graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. The students are reporters for Medill News Service. Medill faculty members edit the student work. Click here for more information about Medill.