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
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DeShone Kizer stays the same leader for new group of Notre Dame teammates

DeShone Kizer stays the same leader for new group of Notre Dame teammates

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A number of teammates took the field for the first time with DeShone Kizer during the cacophony of Sunday night’s atmosphere at Darrell K. Royal Stadium in Austin. And much as Kizer did last year, he led the Irish offense with a certain kind of poise and mentality that deftly toes the line between confident and cocky. 

“When we were down by two touchdowns or when it was tied, he had the same demeanor,” sophomore receiver C.J. Sanders said. “That really speaks volumes about him as a man.”

Kizer wowed his teammates a year ago when he subbed in for the injured Malik Zaire and threw a game-winning touchdown to Will Fuller. It wasn’t just for the throw, but it was also for the way in which the quarterback conducted himself in a hostile, pressure-packed environment. 

Last year’s Irish offense, though, was loaded with leaders. Ronnie Stanley, Nick Martin and Chris Brown were pillars on that team, and there were veterans all around like Fuller, C.J. Prosise, Steve Elmer and Amir Carlisle. 

Notre Dame only returned a handful of upperclassmen who played on that 2015 team in Kizer, Torii Hunter Jr., Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson (running back Tarean Folston was injured in Week 1 against Texas, and tight end Durham Smythe missed the remainder of the regular season after an injury in Week 2). 

So that meant there was quite a bit of inexperience permeating Notre Dame’s offense Sunday night. But some of those greenhorns said Kizer’s composure and confidence helped them ease into a roaringly-intense evening. 

“When we were down, he brought us together and said we’re going to drive and score and come back,” sophomore receiver Equanimeous St. Brown said, adding that message from Kizer gave him and the rest of the Irish offense a confidence boost in the second half. 

“What young guys typically don’t understand when they go into that environment is that it’s not too much different from what you’re doing in practice,” Kizer said. “When you step in front of 100,000 people, there’s a lot of noise and that could definitely create some adrenaline. But other than that, we’re playing the same game that we’ve been playing all summer. 

“The plays have been made time and time again all offseason and just understanding that when they’re out there, they’re expected to make those same exact plays and all they have to do is do that and do that well. You don’t have to go out there and be someone else. We have a really good coaching staff who put you in good positions to make big plays and all you have to do is execute what they say.” 

Leadership is one of those nebulous things every football player and coach will tell you is necessary, but it’s a quality that’s impossible to quantify. It’s not an end-all, be-all for an offense or defense — Notre Dame, after all, didn’t score when it got the ball back after Jarron Jones’ miraculous blocked PAT, which probably had more to do with the loss of Hunter Jr. than anything else — but it is something that can be pointed to as an asset in close games. 

And with Kizer quarterbacking the offense, Notre Dame has to feel confident in its ability to hang in close games. It still needs its special teams, defense (which was primarily behind recent losses to Stanford and Texas) and coaching (behind the loss to Clemson) to come through, but the next time Notre Dame finds itself in a high-pressure, hostile situation, it can count on Kizer to keep things calm. 

And that counts for something, whatever the extent of it is. 

“Before the game he kind of talked to us, got in front of us and told us hey, I don’t care how young you are, I know you guys can make plays,” Sanders said. “So just hearing that from him developed a comfort level to know that he can depend on us. Hearing that from him really made a big difference.” 

Loyola excited for upcoming season, trip to Spain

Loyola excited for upcoming season, trip to Spain

Loyola didn't have the season they were hoping for in 2015-16 but they're optimistic that things can turn around for the upcoming season. Even though the Loyola roster is filled with newcomers, the Ramblers are hopeful that a summer trip to Spain can help give them a head start.

As part of the trip, Loyola will get 10 extra practices and four games against Spanish competition that will give the team some much-needed experience before practice officially begins in October.

Head coach Porter Moser is already happy about working with this group, which features some productive returnees and a lot of talented newcomers.

"We play four games over there. They get that feel of being coached in a game at this level with their teammates," Moser said. "So then when we start back up in October they have a sense of some of the things we're trying to teach, some of the things of what to expect. And I think that's such a big element."

On a team full of new players, it will be important for senior guard Milton Doyle to have a bounce-back year for Loyola after a disappointing junior campaign. A former star at Marshall, Doyle saw his shooting percentages dip last season as the Loyola coaching staff challenged him to improve for his final season of college basketball. 

Moser is happy with the strides that Doyle has made this summer as he's added over 10 pounds of muscle to now play at 192 pounds. Also committed on the defensive end of the floor and being a team leader, Doyle is the Ramblers' only senior this season, so he'll be counted on to be a productive presence.

"It's a lot this year just because we had four seniors leave last year and I'm the last senior," Doyle said. "So it's my job to make sure everyone stays on track and everyone is uplifted, even when coaches get on them. That's my job right now."

Junior wing Donte Ingram — a former Simeon product — and junior guard Ben Richardson also return as key contributors from last year's team while Iowa State transfer guard Clayton Custer is expected to come in and be a major factor in the team's backcourt rotation.

As for the newcomers, Moser compared juco transfer forward Aundre Jackson favorably to former Loyola forward Christian Thomas while Vlatko Granic gives the team a stretch option at forward that they didn't have in the past. The team's freshmen are also very talented as guard Matt Chastain has shown solid athleticism and a good basketball IQ through some early practices. 

Another freshman guard, Cameron Satterwhite, is coming off of a torn ACL that cost him his senior season, but the Loyola staff is optimistic about his recovery for this season. Croatian freshman guard Bruno Skokna is also recovering from injury as he has played against professionals in Europe the last few seasons on an amateur contract. He is expected to be cleared soon so that he can return to action this season.

"I love this group because it's a group full of gym rats. This is a really enthusiastic group," Moser said. "They've come together, we've got a lot of newcomers. That's the benefit, that's why we did the Spain trip this summer."

Loyola takes its trip to Spain from Aug. 12-22 as they'll hit cities like Barcelona and Madrid during the trip.