Sunday, February 14, 2010

Magnificent comeback for ONU

The Tigers of Olivet Nazarene, an NAIA women's team coached by Doug Porter, had a huge win Saturday on the road against the University of St. Francis. Down 95-93 with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation, ONU worked the ball to leading scorer Simone Coburn, who then fed Danielle Tolbert for the tying basket.

In overtime, the Tigers (11-16, 3-4 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) fell behind again before taking over. A 3-pointer from Lexie Heinold gave them the lead for good at 105-104 with about two and a half minutes left in the extra period -- one of four 3s made by ONU in those five minutes -- and they converted 6 of 8 at the line down the stretch to win 119-111. And, yes, nice job on the math, that's 24 points in 5 minutes of OT. Wow.

Coburn led five players in double figures with 20 points, joined by Jaimie Buckman (19 points), Heinold (18), Tolbert (16) and Holly Wiersema (10). Jacqie Storm led St. Francis (15-12, 6-2) with 27 points. The victory leaves ONU a game and a half behind third-place Indiana-South Bend in the CCAC standings with three games left, including the finale Feb. 27 at home against IU-South Bend. The Tigers have a week off before traveling next Saturday to Robert Morris, which they beat 114-86 on Jan. 23. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.

Grinnell didn't have quite the same effort Saturday in the Midwest Conference, losing 95-77 at Illinois College, dropping the Pioneers to 6-15 overall and 4-10 in the MWC. Dylan Seelman led the way (again) with 22 points and made six 3-pointers, giving him 41 in the past five games. He was one of the few who got off to normal output as the G-Men shot only 22-of-89 for the game, 24.7 percent. That includes 14-of-66 from beyond the arc.

Coach David Arseneault, the father of "The System," takes his team on the road to Knox College on Thursday night, with the tip scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST. Not sure if I've shared this yet, but you can watch the game live for free on the Internet. Just click here and follow the instructions. Hope it goes well for the Pioneers.

Meanwhile, the Glenville State College women's team put up some unbelievable numbers in a 99-92 loss Saturday to the University of Charleston (W.Va.). This set of Pioneers also had trouble putting the ball in the basket and shot only 24 percent for the game. Did you catch that? They scored 92 points and made less than one-fourth of their shots. How, you might ask, did they do that? BY PUTTING UP 125 SHOTS, THAT'S HOW!

This is one of those times where most of the goals of "The System" were obliterated, but the result wasn't a victory. To remind those out there not familiar with the five tenants of the greatest style of basketball known in the universe, here they are as produced by Coach A and a set of Grinnell students from back in the day:

1. Take at least 94 shots

2. Half of those shots (47) should be 3s

3. Get at least 33 percent of the misses back off the offensive glass

4. Take 25 more shots than the opponent

5. Force at least 32 turnovers

Now, some teams modify these goals, and I'm not sure what coach Bunky Harkleroad does at Glenville State, but the final stats from this game scream "System:"

1. 125 shots

2. 63 attempted 3-pointers

3. 49 offensive rebounds (52 percent)

4. 56 more shots than the University of Charleston

5. 28 turnovers forced

Only the turnover number wasn't reached, but if Coach Harkleroad's team has a normal shooting day, it wins going away. Kristen Golden led the way with 18 points for the Pioneers, with Autumn Davis adding 17 and Donita Adams and Tiffany Huffman each finishing with 16. Tough loss, which dropped Glenville State to 12-8 overall and 10-6 in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The University of Charleston improved to 15-6, 12-4.

The Pioneers travel to Concord University on Monday, with the game scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Good luck to them.

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