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Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Summit League roundup 12-11-08

IPFW 63, Valparaiso 46
The Mastodons beat Valparaiso for the first time in seven attempts, doing so in convincing fashion and at Valpo on Wednesday night. It was the worst home loss for the Crusaders since 2003-04 when they were beat by Cincinnati by 19.
“I would say for our school, it’s a pretty big milestone,” IPFW coach Dane Fife told The Journal Gazette. “This is Valpo. Most of our Indiana kids remember when Valpo was put on the basketball map and Valpo has stayed there. Valpo is a program with a great tradition. I think it’s a big win for our guys, and it also stopped a three-game losing streak for us.”
Senior forward David Carson led IPFW (4-5) with 16 points and nine rebounds, junior Deilvez Yearby added 13 points and eight rebounds and guard Nick Daniels finished with 13 points.
The Mastodons led 31-18 at halftime, but the Crusaders (3-5) started the second half on an 8-2 run to pull within five, 33-28. IPFW responded with a 10-2 run to push the lead back to 12, 43-30. From there the Mastodons led by as many as 23 and never less than 10.
“We told them, ‘They’re going to come out and give us their best shot,’ ” Fife told the Journal Gazette. “We made some silly mistakes at the start. I remember Dave (Carson) saying in the huddle – I didn’t have to do any talking – Dave said in the huddle, ‘Let’s go now. Let’s get it going.’ And we came down and essentially built our lead back up to double digits and never let go.”

Western Illinois 71, Southeast Missouri State 66
The Leathernecks (4-5) won their third straight thanks to some clutch free-throw shooting. Western Illinois shot 8-for-9 from the free-throw line in the final two minutes. Senior David DuBois, who was 1-for-5 from the free-throw line prior to the final two minutes, shot 4-for-4 down the stretch.
"Yeah, I missed those three in a row earlier," DuBois told The Macomb Journal. "But I just stuck to my routine, calmed down and knocked (the others) down.”
DuBois finished with 25 points and five rebounds. Junior guard David Nurse finished with 16 points and five assists and redshirt freshman Ceola Clark had 14 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench. The Leathernecks had 22 assists on 26 baskets, led by seven assists from senior guard Josh Rivers.
Western Illinois’ student section (the Purple Haze) was apparently very vocal in the victory, but did draw some interesting comments from head coach Jim Molinari.
“I told them I want them to cheer but they have to respect our opponents," Molinari told the Macomb Journal. "I hope the 'Purple Haze' becomes a part of our tradition here."

"It was great to hear the crowd," DuBois said. "They gave us a lot of confidence and momentum. Coach (Molinari) has told us if we keep doing the right things, people will come to games. It's showing."

Minnesota 74, South Dakota State 60
The Jackrabbits rallied back from a 19-point deficit to cut Minnesota’s lead to five in the second half, but couldn’t complete the comeback and hand Minnesota (9-0) its first loss of the season.
“I fully believe you play the way you think," coach Scott Nagy told the Argus Leader. “Our kids just don't fully believe they're as good as they are. I don't know how to help them get over that hurdle. But it's costing us games.”
Nagy attempted to switch things up by having two regular starters (sophomore guard Clint Sargent and junior forward Kai Williams) come off the bench and started redshirt freshman Josh Cassady and sophomore guard Dale Moss in their place.
Sargent responded with a career-high 25 points in 29 minutes, but Williams had just four points in 30 minutes and shot 2-for-12 from the field. Williams, who was the Jacks leading scorer last season at 14 points a game, is averaging just 9.9 points a game this season and four points a game in his last three.
Nagy, whose squad is 4-6 this season, vented some of his frustration after the game.
"Once they settle down, it's clear that we've got some players, we're moving in the right direction," Nagy, whose club dropped a six-point decision in Minnesota last year told the Argus Leader. "But this had got to end. Nobody is going to hand us a game. Somehow, someway you have to decide enough is enough and do something about it."

Big weekend
Summit League teams will be playing in some big games this upcoming weekend.
Oral Roberts will face off with No. 1 North Carolina on Saturday at 6 p.m. with the game being aired on ESPN2.
IPFW travels to No. 24 Marquette Saturday.
North Dakota State will play two games as part of the Drake Hy-vee Classic, with one on Friday against Stephen F. Austin and another Saturday night.
Western Illinois will face in-state rival Eastern Illinois on Saturday. Centenary will also face an in-state rival when it plays at Louisiana Tech Saturday. UMKC will play at Horizon League foe Loyola-Chicago, while South Dakota State plays at Denver.
On Sunday, IUPUI plays at No. 20 Arizona State, while Oakland hosts Rochester College.
And the Summit League’s version of a Monday night game to cap off the weekend will be when UMKC plays at Northwestern, which will air on the Big Ten Network.



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