Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's a great weekend for "The System"

As unhappy as I was with the results of last weekend -- when many of the teams I regularly follow struggled -- Saturday was nearly a reverse of that. The lone exception was the squad coached by my newest blog interview, Bunky Harkleroad, whose Glenville State College Pioneers lost a tough one on the road.

But first, the good news:
  • Matt Chalupa calmly sank a 16-foot jumper just before the buzzer to send Grinnell to a 101-99 victory over Carroll, the first time since Dec. 1, 2007 that coach David Arsenault and his bunch have beaten this Midwest Conference foe. A layup by Paul Grosshuesch with 4 seconds left tied it for Carroll, and Coach Arsenault called a couple of timeouts to set the final play. Scott Kaitz inbounded it to Chalupa, who dribbled toward the lane and pulled up from just beyond the free-throw to lauch his game-winner. Matt Skelly led Grinnell with 30 points, including nine 3-pointers, and Dylan Seelman added six 3s and 21 points. Overall, Grinnell finished 19-of -56 from beyond the arc and took 81 shots overall; Carroll shot 67 percent but only took 58 shots. Grinnell improves to 4-10 overall, 3-5 in the MWC with its first two-game winning streak of the season; Carroll falls to 11-5, 6-3. Next up for Coach A and the boys is a trip to Monmouth College on Wednesday, with a 8 p.m. EST tip. Good luck.

  • Coach Doug Porter and the Olivet Nazarene Tigers bounced back from two tough losses last week to beat Robert Morris 114-86 in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference play Saturday. Danielle Tolbert and Jaimie Buckman led a balanced attack with 14 points apiece for the Tigers (9-13, 1-2 CCAC), with Courtney Neil (13 points), Simone Coburn (12) and Danielle Pipal (10) also in double figures. Jessica Harris filled up the stat sheet for the Eagles with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 11 of her team's 40 turnovers. Yep, you read that correctly, 40 turnovers, "The System" pressure must have gotten to Robert Morris. ONU led by 14 at the break before quickly expanding that margin early in the second half, with a 3 from Buckman capping a 11-2 spurt to make it 65-42. The Tigers cruised from there as Robert Morris fell to 14-8, 1-2. ONU hosts Cardinal Stritch University from out of Wisconsin on Tuesday in non-conference action, then returns to the CCAC at Indiana University-South Bend on Feb. 2. I'm rooting for them.

  • The Galesburg Silver Streaks girls' team, coached by Evan Massey, split a pair of games, the third time this season they've followed the ol' Ernie Banks motto of "Let's Play Two!" In the nightcap, Galesburg lost a tough one 72-68 to Peoria Notre Dame in the Mid-Winter Classic at the home of the Streaks, John Thiel Gymnasium. They had beaten Macomb earlier 65-35 in a game that likely wasn't that close. The second game got to a rough start for Galesburg when it was called for a technical foul for running around the entire court in the pre-game warmup, something nearly every team does. According to The (Galesburg) Register-Mail, referee Jason Riesebieter felt it was "intimidation" toward the opponent, so he whistled the infraction. The bizarre decision didn't hurt the Streaks, as Elle Bielfeldt missed both free throws and PND turned it over on the ensuing possession. With the split, the Streaks now are 15-10, a year after falling to 14-18, and they travel to United Township High School in Moline on Thursday. Here's hoping Coach Massey and his team continues it's solid season.

  • As I said, Coach Harkleroad and his team of Pioneers fell out of their first-place tie in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 116-94 loss at Shepherd University. Still, Donita Adams had an amazing game for Glenville State, pouring in 39 points in only 19 minutes of run. She was 14-of-23 from the field, 7-of-12 on longballs, and had two of her team's 17 steals. Overall, the Pioneers were 32-of-84 from the field (38 percent) and 14-of-47 on 3s, yet they couldn't recover from a 60-34 deficit at the half. Shepherd (9-5, 8-2) now is tied atop the WVIAC standings with Fairmont State, while Glenville State (9-5, 7-3) is a game back. Next up for Coach Harkleroad's squad is a Thursday trip to Alderson-Broaddus (4-10, 2-7), which has lost five in a row. Good luck to this set of Pioneers, as well.

  • Finally, coach Ron Rohn and the Muhleberg Mules continue to roll in the women's NCAA Division III Centennial Conference, riding a five-game winning streak to the top of the standings. The 12th-ranked Mules (12-2, 9-1 CC) haven't played since throttling Ursinus 71-47 last Wednesday, but they travel to Swarthmore on Monday. As you surely remember, Mulenberg no longer runs "The System," but Coach Rohn is a frequent contributor to the Yahoo! message board dedicated to it and fully believes in its powers. He also is a great interview, as hopefully you found out last month. I'll continue to watch their progress and hope for the best.

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