Sunday, February 7, 2010

Huge win for Olivet Nazarene

The Olivet Nazarene Tigers coached by Doug Porter scored the first 13 points and never looked back, blowing out Holy Cross College 119-70 Saturday in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. And, yes, I believe Holy Cross is the school where this guy went before transferring to Notre Dame.

Simone Coburn had 19 points to lead six players in double figures for ONU (10-15, 2-3 CCAC), joined by Danielle Tolbert (15 points), Holly Wiersema (14), Lexie Heinold (12), Danielle Pipal (11) and Rachel Kearney (10). The Saints (5-21, 0-8) turned it over 38 times -- 28 in the first half alone -- and spent the final 31-plus minutes down by at least 10 points. Baysia Cox scored 26 points for Holy Cross and joined teammate Tanesha Vanardo with 10 turnovers.

Not much else to say about this one. It was a rout from the get-go, something much needed for Coach Porter and his squad. The Tigers finished 46-109 from the field, including 18-of-66 on 3-pointers, and collected 31 offensive rebounds. On Tuesday, they face a much tougher opponent when they travel to league-leader St. Xavier University (23-1, 6-1), ranked No. 3 in the most recent NAIA coaches' poll. Game time is 6 p.m. EST, and I'll be rooting for ONU.

Unfortunately, Grinnell didn't have quite the same good fortune Saturday, losing 99-96 at Beloit in the Midwest Conference. Freshman Dylan Seelman continued his impressive play for the Pioneers (5-14, 3-9 MWC), making eight 3-pointers for the second consecutive game and finishing with 28 points. Matt Chalupa added 16.

The Buccaneers (7-13, 5-8) shot 74 percent for the game -- 76 percent in the second half -- and scored the final five points to win what was a close game throughout. It featured 11 ties and 14 lead changes , with David Bremmer converting one of two at the line with 35 seconds left to give Beloit the lead for good. On the other end, Matt Skelly missed a 3 with 7 seconds remaining that would have put Grinnell back in front, and Patrick Kenny added two more free throws for the final margin. Skelly was only 3-for-20 from the field and 2-for-11 from behind the line.

For those of you keeping stats, that makes opponents 83-for-107 in the past two games against the G-men, or 77.6 percent. It's a tribute to "The System" that this one was as close as it was.

The Pioneers return home to face Knox College on Wednesday, beginning at 8:30 p.m. EST. I plan to watch it all live on the Internet, assuming the connection is a bit better than Saturday's game (in a word, it sucked!). Go, Grinnell!

In high school "System" action Saturday, the Galesburg (Ill.) Silver Streaks traveled out of conference to play Winnetka New Trier, ranked eighth in the state in Class 4A, and the Streaks lost 80-66. Jessica Howard had 17 points and Sara Baker added 11 for Galesburg (17-12), which made only 4 of 23 3-pointers in the first half according The (Galesburg) Register-Mail. Coach Evan Massey's team finishes the regular season at Western Big 6 leader Moline on Thursday.

And remember that big game Liberty High School from Hillsboro, Ore., faced Friday? Well, the Falcons rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Glencoe 91-88 in the Northwest Oregon Conference. Glencoe was first among "other teams receiving votes" in the Class 5A boys coaches' poll, but Liberty scored 33 points in the final period to win at home; Joel Tokple led the way with 23 points. Nice going!

Finally, I have to give a shoutout to the Oregon State Beavers, even though their style of play is about as anti-"System" as you can get. On Saturday, they completed their first season sweep of Oregon in 17 years with a 62-42 victory at historic Gill Coliseum. Very little about the boxscore impresses me: Oregon State took 42 shots and Oregon 47 FOR THE GAME, yet somehow they combined for 35 turnovers. Still, the Beavers had 20 assists on their 21 baskets, really an amazing total. The ol' Princeton offense must have been working perfectly for coach Craig Robinson's crew. So congrats to Oregon State -- and start shooting the ball more often!

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