NCAA: Sobolewski leads Wildcats past Penn State

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NCAA: Sobolewski leads Wildcats past Penn State

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Dave Sobolewski scored 18 points and Jared Swopshire added 17 as Northwestern handled cold-shooting Penn State with ease in a 70-54 Big Ten Conference victory Thursday night.The Wildcats (10-6, 1-2) used a 25-4 run over an 11-minute span to lead by as many as 17 points, 33-16, in the first half. Penn State didn't score a basket for nearly seven minutes during that span.Northwestern shooters maintained their touch after the break, as the Wildcats made 5 of 10 from 3-point range in the second half. Freshman Kale Abrahamson matched his season-high with three 3s in the game.Penn State (8-7, 0-3) struggled all night to find a rhythm offensively. The Nittany Lions, who were led by 20 points from guard D.J. Newbill, shot just 31.6 percent (18 of 57) from the floor and were just 3 of 15 beyond the arc.Nittany Lions coach Patrick Chambers' frustration was evident as he knelt often at the end of the Penn State bench with his head hung low. The Lions went to a full-court press early in the second half but found little success in slowing down Northwestern.Sobolewski finished a tightly contested layup on a fast break at the 14:07 mark to put Northwestern ahead by 21 points, 45-24. A pair of free throws by Jermaine Marshall cut the Wildcats' lead to 46-33 with 11:39 remaining, but Northwestern countered with a 10-0 run to keep Penn State at bay.Northwestern relied on the long ball throughout the game, and it was a pair of deep 3-pointers that gave head coach Bill Carmody's squad momentum during that run. Redshirt freshman Tre Demps hit a 3 from the corner to start the stretch.The Wildcats had four different players score in double-digits, as Reggie Hearn scored 14 and Abrahamson added 10. The crowd of 6,479 at the Bryce Jordan Center began filing out in the waning minutes.Complete Recap Box ScoreTennessee Tech edges Eastern IllinoisCHARLESTON, Ill. -- Jud Dillard scored 34 points to help Tennessee Tech slip by Eastern Illinois 77-73 Thursday night, snapping a five-game losing streak.Dillard was 12 of 18 from the field and had three 3-pointers, including one with 53 seconds to play. He also had a team-high five rebounds.Dennis Ogbe added 11 points for the Golden Eagles (7-9, 1-3 Ohio Valley). Jeremiah Samarrippas had eight assists.Eastern Illinois led 44-40 at halftime and stayed out front until Dillard hit a 3-pointer, putting Tennessee Tech up by two with 53 seconds remaining. Sherman Blanford made a layup to tie the game at 73, but Dillard scored again and Matt Marseille hit a pair of free throws to seal the win.Morris Woods led Eastern Illinois with 25 points and seven rebounds. Blanford added 18 points for the Panthers (3-14, 0-4).Eastern Illinois has lost 10 consecutive games.Complete Recap Box Score

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.