Friday, January 9, 2015

More System action coming up Saturday, with all our teams in action

Another big weekend is on the horizon for teams running The System, and I figured I would my best to stick to this New Year’s Resolution to keep everyone better informed. Hopefully, this will go better than that whole “diet and exercise” thing …

Grinnell – NCAA Division III Men

The Pioneers snapped a three-game losing streak in their only game of the week, beating Lawrence 126-116 in the friendly confines of Darby Gym last Saturday. Jack Taylor led the way with 21 points and freshman Braedon Bayer added 18 in the effort.

Others reaching double figures included Luke Yeager (16 points), Ikaika Phillip (15) and Tague Zachary (11). Grinnell (3-3 Midwest Conference, 5-6 overall) finished 30-for-64 on 3-pointers and forced 23 turnovers, helping overcome Lawrence’s 69.4 percent shooting from the field.

It doesn’t get any easier for coach David Arseneault and his team. Ripon travels to Darby Gym on Saturday, with the tip scheduled for 4 p.m. EST. The Red Hawks are 6-1 in the MWC, a game behind leader St. Norbert.

Oh, and the Pioneers now are averaging 118 points.

North Central College – NCAA Division III Women

The streak rolls on for coach Michelle Roof and the Cardinals, who stand 13-0 (2-0 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) after two victories since we last checked with them. They also are ranked 24th in the poll, the first time they’ve been recognized in that poll since 1999.

Last Saturday, North Central squeaked out a 59-56 victory over CCIW rival Illinois Wesleyan, the lowest point total of the season for Roof’s team. And the Cardinals trailed by 15 at one point in the second half before rallying back out front.

Tess Godhardt had 13 points to lead North Central, and Jamie Cuny added five points, six rebounds and six blocked shots.

Things went a little easier Wednesday for the Cardinals, who used a huge second half to run away from Millikan 95-75. Godhardt finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Cuny had 16 points (four 3-pointers), 12 rebounds and six blocks. Mayson Whipple scored 14 points off the bench.

North Central faces its most difficult game of the season Saturday, traveling to No. 13 Wheaton. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. EST.

The 59 points against Illinois Wesleyan helped drop the Cardinals’ season average to 98.8 points.

Olivet Nazarene – NAIA Division II Women

In a return engagement with Indiana University-Northwest, the Tigers lost a game that was tight throughout 98-95, falling to 11-15 overall and 3-1 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Abbey Hengesbach made a 3 with 27 seconds remaining to bring Olivet Nazarene within one, but Brooke Gardner converted two free throws to account for the final margin for IU-NW. Hengesbach scored 20 points to lead the Tigers and added seven rebounds and seven assists. Jayne Stuart had 15 points and Kayla Krassman and Ally Giampapa each finished with 14.

ONU’s game against conference rival Indiana University-South Bend was postponed Wednesday night because of some winter weather in the area, so coach Lauren Stamatis and her squad will get back at it Saturday at Judson University. That game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. EST.

Despite failing to reach at least 100 points for only the third time this season, the Tigers still are leading all of women’s basketball by averaging 110.9.

Sacramento State – NCAA Division I women

The Hornets might have turned their season around last Saturday with a thrilling 69-67 victory on the road against Big Sky Conference opponent Southern Utah. Sacramento State held the Thunderbirds scoreless for the final 3:39 of the game to avoid an 0-2 start in conference play.

Then on Thursday night, the Hornets led throughout and beat defending Big Sky champ North Dakota 93-86. Four players finished in double figures, including Hallie Gennett (18 points), Takara Burse (17), Gretchen Harrigan (16) and Brianna Burgos (16).

Sacramento State improved to 4-10 overall and 2-1 in the conference. It hosts North Colorado on Saturday, with the start scheduled for 5 p.m. EST.

Knox – NCAA Division III Women

The Prairie Fire went 1-1 in the past week, winning on the road at Ripon on Saturday 74-60 and losing a tough one Wednesday at home 108-100 to Cornell College. That still leaves coach Emily Cline’s team 5-6 overall and 3-3 in the Midwest Conference, a marked improvement from the previous three seasons with The System.

Jodi Marver led the way with 22 points against Ripon and Naja Woods had 14 against Cornell.

Knox is back on the road Saturday against Beloit. It is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. EST.

Reno Bighorns - NBA Development League

The team coached by Dave Arseneault Jr. is 0-2 so far this week, with another road game Saturday.

The Bighorns (8-9) lost at home to the Austin Spurs 138-134, then traveled to play the Rio Grand Valley Vipers on Thursday. That game was featured on ESPN's SportsCenter, as the two fasted teams in the D-League matched up.

The Vipers held on to win 159-155. Quincy Miller had 30 points and Brady Heslip added 27 in the loss.

Reno travels to Oklahoma City to face the Blue on Saturday, with the start scheduled for 8 p.m. EST.

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