Thursday, February 26, 2009


The third period was the charm, as Hamline University’s men’s hockey team broke a 3-3 tie with two quick goals to advance to the MIAC tournament semi-finals with a 5-4 victory over Augsburg.

The score was tied 3-3 after the opening two periods at the Pipers came out firing on their home ice, letting off 33 hard shots to just 18 from the Auggies in the first forty minutes.

Augsburg got on the scoreboard first in the four-goal opening period that saw three scores come on the power play. Nick Guran (Fy., McHenry, Ill.) slid the puck in from just outside the crease to score the Auggies’ first goal on a power play at 5:35 from Tyler Antony (Jr., Buffalo, Minn.) and Cory Ellertson (So., Albert Lea, Minn.).

Hamline trailed for just two minutes of clock time as Joe Long (Sr., Dayton, Minn.) led the Piper power play unit with a goal at 7:19 from Dustin Fulton (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and Chris Berenguer (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.)

Kyle Kurr (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) lit the lamp in convincing fashion just 41 seconds later when he slammed home a wrist shot from the slot at exactly 8:00. The goal was the lone even-strength score of the period. Brian Arrigoni (Fy., Saint Paul, Minn.) and Ryan Kupperman (So., Canterbury, N.H.) were credited with the assists.

While skating with a 5-on-3 advantage, Augsburg evened up the score at 13:05 when Joel Sauer (So., Madison, Wis.) picked up a rebound on a shot by David Hines (Fy., Sartell, Minn.) that hit the post.

The defenseman Berenguer netted his 13th goal of the season from six feet inside the blue line at 16:41 in the second. Jared Hummel (So., Eagan, Minn.) and Jim Erickson (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) earned the assists on the goal that put the Pipers up 3-2.

Augsburg evened the score once again at 18:33, as Ben Roberts (Sr., Bloomington, Minn.) scored from Guran and Jim Jensen (So., Plymouth, Minn.).

The Pipers then killed off the first half of a minor penalty to end the period and send the teams into the locker room tied for the second time.

After the 15 minute intermission, Hamline came back out on the ice and killed off the remaining minute left on their penalty kill.

At 4:13 in the third, Berenguer curved a no-look pass from just outside the middle of the crease to his right that Nick Zilka (So., Mound, Minn.) slid in to the net, breaking the 3-3 tie.

Three minutes later the Pipers gained a two-goal lead as the Augsburg goalie popped out of the crease and Cole Scattarelli (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) skated around him to score at 7:17. Austun Tavis (So., Grand Rapids, Minn.) and Brett Burgau (So., New Ulm, Minn.) earned the assists on the goal that put the Pipers up 5-3.

Augsburg cut the lead back down to one goal at 11:29 as Sauer tipped in a shot by Guren. Trevor Doden (Fy., Red Wing, Minn.) earned the second assist alongside Guren.

The Pipers spent two minutes of the final 2:25 on a penalty kill, with Augsburg taking a time-out and pulling their goalie with exactly 60 seconds to play in an attempt to set up a game-tying play. The Pipers held off the six-skater attack for the final minute for the 5-4 win.

Hamline’s record is now 15-10-1, 9-7-0 MIAC, while Augsburg finishes the season at 9-16-1, 8-7-1 MIAC. The Pipers head to Northfield on Saturday, February 28, for an 8:00 p.m. game against the #1 seed St. Olaf Oles.



Mike Davis scored 14 points and Trent Meacham added 13 to lead No. 20 Illinois to a 52-41 victory over Minnesota on Thursday night.

The Illini (23-6, 11-5 Big Ten) lost 59-36 at Minnesota in January.

Demitri McCamey added 10 points for Illinois, which took the lead for good and closed the game with a 14-2 second-half run.

Davis, who had 11 rebounds for his eighth double-double, had six points and six rebounds in the big run that lasted just under 10 minutes.

The Illini shot 42 percent from the field for the game, including 52.6 percent in the second half.

Damian Johnson had 18 points for the Gophers (20-8, 8-8), 14 in the first half.

While Illinois was finding its shooting touch, the Gophers lost what little they had in the second half when Johnson went 2-for-7 from the field.

Minnesota shot 34.4 percent in the first half, including going 0-for-9 from 3-point range. But it got worse in the second half when the Gophers shot 28.6 percent. During one stretch, the Golden Gophers managed just one field goal over 9 minutes. They didn't score over the game's final 6:21.

Illinois held Lawrence Westbrook, Minnesota's leading scorer, to four points, 8.5 below his average.

The Illini used a 9-0 run to take a 30-23 lead just under 2 minutes into the second half. The Gophers pulled within 38-37 with just under 11 minutes left on a steal and layup by Blake Hoffarber.

The Gophers took the lead at 39-38 on a basket by Travis Busch, but missed a chance to put some space between themselves and the Illini on consecutive misses by the suddenly cold Johnson, a jumper that clanked off the rim and another off the glass.

Davis made two baskets, the second a baseline jumper that gave Illinois a 42-39 lead with just over 8 minutes to play.

Minnesota's Ralph Sampson cut the lead to one, but Illinois hit two 3s — one by McCamey and another by Meacham — to cap a 10-2 run that made it 48-41 with 4:09 to play.


The Minnesota men's basketball team put forth a valiant effort Thursday night, however, couldn't make enough plays down the stretch and fell to Illinois 52-41 at Assembly Hall in Champaign.

The Gophers, who are fighting for an NCAA Tournament bid, led by one with 10:09 remaining in regulation but went without a field goal for the final 6:21 of the game before falling by double digits.

Damian Johnson paced the Gophers with a game-high 18 points and three blocks. Ralph Sampson III added eight points and Travis Busch poured in five. Colton Iverson grabbed eight rebounds in the loss. Minnesota falls to 20-8 overall and 8-8 in Big Ten play with two games remaining in the regular season .

Mike Davis posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Illini. Trent Meacham scored 13 and Demetri McCamey added 10. The 20th-ranked Illini improve to 23-6 overall and 11-5 in the Big Ten.

Early, it appeared as if Minnesota was prime to upset the Illini in their final road game of the season.

Led by the play of Johnson, Minnesota jumped out to leads of 9-2 three minutes into the game and 15-11 eight minutes into the contest. Johnson scored 12 of Minnesota's first 15 points of the half and was responsbile for seven of Minnesota's 11 made field goals over the first 20 minutes of play. In total, Minnesota went 11-of-32 (34.4 percent) in the first half. Meanwhile, Illinois didn't fair much better - going 11-of-31 (35.5 percent) from the field. Still, the Illini went on a 5-0 run to close the half and took a 28-23 lead into the locker room.

Minnesota rallied back in the second stanza, eventually taking a 39-38 lead with 10:09 left in regulation following a layup by Travis Busch.

The Gophers' lead was short lived, though.

A layup by Davis put the Illini up by one with 9:45 remaining and Bruce Weber's squad never looked back.

A jumper by Sampson III pulled Minnesota to within one, 42-41, with 6:21 to go. But the Gophers went without a field goal for the remainder of regulation and Illinois finished the game on a 10-0 run. For the game, Minnesota shot 31.7 percent (19-of-60). The Illini shot 21-of-50 (42 percent).

Minnesota returns to action Wednesday as the Gophers face Wisconsin at Williams Arena.


St Cloud took on Concordia St Paul at the Gangelhoff center. Both of these teams started out playing tight man to man defense. Both teams tried to gain the upper advantage on each other in the early goings. St Cloud State was able to get a good lead over Concordia St Paul but they kept fighting back.

Both teams went hard after the class on both ends of the court. Both teams looked to push the ball up the court on the offensive end. For Concordia Mike Cunningham made some nice plays in the first half. He was not afraid to shoot the ball.

Concordia didn’t get off to the start that they were hoping for. They were playing hard but there shots just weren’t falling. Sammy Ricks for Concordia made some nice moves trying to get to the basket. He was able to get himself into the rhythm early in this game. Even though his team couldn’t find the basket in the early goings he kept shooting.

St Cloud State got out to a quick lead and they tried to maintain it in the first half. They were able to maintain their lead through the second half.

Concordia St Paul was able to get there shot back and they got back into the game. At half time the score was St Cloud State 33 and Concordia St Paul 31. The leading scorer for St Cloud State at half time is Craig Coenen with 15 and for Concordia St Paul Sam Ricks was the leading scorer so far with 10 points.

Both teams came out fired up ready to play in the second half. Neither team gave up. The game when back and forth the whole night and neither team were going to budge. This game would come down to the final minute. St Cloud State would come away with the 69-67. The leading scorers for Concordia St Paul were Mike Cunningham with 17 and Craig Heiman with 16. Also Sammy Ricks had 16 points for Concordia.

For St Cloud State Craid Coenen was there leading scorer with a total of 21 points to lead the Huskies.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


St. Michael Albertville took on Waconia. St Michael Albertville started in a zone defense. For Waconia they started playing strong man to man defense to begin the game. Both teams are doing a lot of passing and cutting and really taking their time on the offensive end. They want to look for the right shot while taking a lot of time on the clock.

Waconia wanted to push the ball up the court in transition. As soon as they got the ball out of the net on the defensive end they were looking to push it up the other way.

Ben Kortuem played very good defense. He got on the floor and dove after loose balls. He played really good tight defense. He guarded many different players. Waconia usually switched players on the defensive end. They wanted to get the best match up they could.

The first half was very close both teams went back and forth in the first half. Each team was able to squash the other team’s runs before they got to out of hand. Shelby Moats played hard and aggressive down in the low block. He went up and tried to grab as many different rebounds, which he was successful most of the time.

Waconia launched their share of three point shots in the first half. Some went in and some missed but they were not afraid to shoot the ball.

Kevin Nelson for St Micheal Albertville scored his 1,000 point with just under 2:00 left to go in the first half.
The first half was a close and competitive half both teams fought hard and went after each other. At half time the score was St. Michael Albertville 19 and Waconia 29.

Kevin Nelson from St. Michael Albertville has really showed up to play in the second half. He has just really got after it in the second half.

St Michael Albertville played hard the whole game they didn’t give in and they made a run late in the second half.

St. Michael Albertville continued to play zone defense in the second half. Waconia went to the zone defense and they seemed to fluster St Michael Albertville. It was a competitive game.

In the end Waconia was able to hang on to the 52-42 victory. The leading scorers for Waconia were Shelby Moats with 19 points and the leading scorers for St. Michael Albertville were Kevin Nelson with 13 and Brock Reinschmidt with 8 points.

I was joined at this game by the Twin Cities Hoops Czar. You can read about his thoughts about the St. Michael Albertville vs Waconia game here.


Minneapolis Washburn and Minneapolis Southwest are one of the Minneapolis City Conference’s biggest rivalries. When these two schools face each other either on the grid-iron or on the hard wood it is always a battle. The latest battle played out on a chilly late February evening at Washburn High School. Washburn was ranked #4 in class AAA the week of the game.

Southwest started playing zone defense. They wanted to try to slow this Washburn team down. Tom Weko thought that it was important for Southwest to communicate on the defensive end.

Washburn will look to push the ball up in transition. Southwest was able to get a 12-7 lead over Washburn in the early goings. Both teams look to go hard after each other in the early goings of the game.

Both teams traded baskets in the first half. Cedric Martin played well in the first half for Washburn he made some nice mores to the basket. He also had some nice defensive stops.

Southwest stayed in there zone for most of the first half. That really didn’t sit well with Washburn. Washburn wanted to push the ball out and run.

Washburn was in a zone defense for most of the first half also. Both teams launched their fair share of three point shots in the first half.

Washburn scored in spurts in the first half. Each team competed in the first half. Neither team gave up playing hard in the first half.

At have time the score was Washburn 35 and Southwest 32.

Washburn was able to go on a run to open the second half. Southwest fought back throughout the second half. Antonio Wigfall played extremely well for Southwest in the second half.

Washburn put the full court press on Southwest in the second half.

One of the highlights for Southwest came midway through the second half, when Dominique Dawson dunked over Washburn’s Ra’Shede Hageman, the crowd exploded in cheers.

Southwest went on a run late in the game to make it interesting. This game got very physical toward the end. Both teams had to control their tempers.

This game was a hard fought game throughout the game but in the end Washburn was able to hang on for the 84-68 victory.


Piper senior Tony Thrasher (Hustisford, Wis.) was named one of the top 10 finalists for the prestigious Jostens Trophy, the members of the Rotary Club of Salem, Va., announced today.

The club is responsible for the initial review of annual nominations and narrowed the pool to 10 men and 10 women finalists.

The Jostens Trophy is a national award created by the Rotary Club of Salem, Va., to honor the most outstanding men’s and women’s Division III basketball players of the year. The award takes into account three vital parts: basketball ability, academic prowess and community service.

"Tony truly epitomizes the values that we as administrators look for in our student-athletes," said Hamline director of athletics Bob Beeman. "His hard work, dedication, loyalty and integrity are unmatched; we are proud to call him one of our own. Tony will be sorely missed upon his graduation."

The trophy models the Rotary motto of “Service above Self” by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of the well-rounded Division III student-athlete. This year’s class marks the 12th year the award has been presented.
Thrasher will graduate seventh all-time in scoring at Hamline with 1,360 career points and ninth all-time in rebounds with 452. This season he averaged 14.2 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game. He is a mathematics and environmental studies in biology major who has maintained a 3.9 cumulative GPA.

"Tony is one of the greatest players in the history of our storied program," added Piper head coach Nelson Whitmore. "He has been the heart and soul of this program since I came in as a coach in August of 2008."
A 35-person national selection committee will complete the selection process by picking the two Jostens Trophy winners from the top 10 finalists.

Final ballots are due no later than March 6 with the winning schools notified on March 9. The awards presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 19 at the Salem Civic Center in conjunction with the Men’s Division III Championship being hosted in Salem, Va., on March 20-21.

For more information on the 2009 Jostens Trophy finalists and to see a list of past winners, go to

Saturday, February 21, 2009


With a 5-3 home win over Gustavus on Senior Night, the Hamline University men’s hockey team clinched their second consecutive MIAC playoff berth on Friday night in front of a full crowd.

The Pipers started off the game by killing of a minor penalty and then getting a skater advantage themselves at 6:01, just seconds after returning to full-strength. Just over a minute later Chris Berenguer (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.) scored the power play goal at 7:23 to put Hamline up 1-0. Dustin Fulton (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and Andrew Birkholz (Sr., Maple Grove, Minn.) were credited with the assists.

Joe Long (Sr., Dayton, Minn.) upped the lead to 2-0 at 12:11 in the first as he took advantage of the two seconds of four-on-four skating left before a Gustavus power play began. Jared Hummel (So., Eagan, Minn.) and Jordan VanGilder (Lino Lakes, Minn.) earned the assists on the score.

The Piper penalty kill unit then killed off a two minute and ten second Gustie 5-on-4 advantage to preserve the 2-0 lead.

The Gusties made it a one-goal game again at 17:47 with a power play goal from Ross Ring-Jarvi (Fy., Anoka, Minn.). David Martinson (Jr., St. Louis Park, Minn.) and Brad Wieck (So., Shoreview, Minn.) were credited with the assists.

After an even, but scoreless, opening ten minutes of play in the second period, a trio of goals moved the Pipers from a 2-1 advantage to a 4-2 lead.

Hummel started the scoring to put the Pipers up by two once again as he scored at 9:38 from Nick Zilka (So., Mound, Minn.).

Gustavus gained a skater advantage soon after, cutting the Piper lead to one with a power play goal at 11:40 from Rory Dynan (Jr., Maple Plain, Minn.). He was assisted by Casey Dynan (Sr., Maple Plain, Minn.) and Spencer Campion (Jr., Plymouth, Minn.).

Fulton didn’t let the Gusties get too comfortable with their one goal deficit, as he put them down by two once again just 25 seconds later at 12:05. Berenguer and Birkholz were credited with the assists. The score remained 4-2 heading into the third period.

Long scored the final goal of the game, and only of the period, on an unassisted goal at 3:25 in the third. The score came just three seconds after the Pipers finished killing a penalty and returned to even strength.

After the game, the team held their Senior Night ceremony on the ice to honor seven graduating Pipers. The seven make up head coach Scott Bell’s first senior class. As a group, the seven led the Pipers to their first MIAC championship in 60 years by capturing the 2007-08 regular season championship and produced a school record number of wins in that same year.

The class consists of Andrew Birkholz (Maple Grove, Minn.), Steve Festler (Little Falls, Minn.), Joe Long (Dayton, Minn.), Jim Erickson (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Dustin Fulton (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Justin Hanna (Little Canada, Minn.), and Matt Buckley (Dayton, Minn.)

The Pipers improve to 14-9-1, 9-6-0 MIAC while the Gusties fall to 14-10-0, 9-6-0 MIAC. The same two teams will play tomorrow, Saturday, February 21, at Gustavus. The opening puck drop on the teams’ final game of the MIAC regular season will be at 7:15 p.m.

Seedings in the 2009 MIAC tournament with be determined by Saturday’s games. The playoffs begin on Thursday, February 26.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Minneapolis Edison took on the Minneapolis Southwest Lakers. Southwest is looking for its first conference win. Southwest started playing in a zone defense. Both teams looked to push the ball up the court in the early going.

Antonio Wigfall has played aggressively on both sides of the ball. He really got after it.

Southwest played zone defense. Edison spread the ball out on the offensive end. Reed Kotz sparked the Lakers in the first half. He really went after the loose balls and played tough on the defensive end.

Both of these teams shot the ball pretty well in the first half. They were not afraid to shoot the ball. Edison players were confident in there three point shooting that they were comfortable shooting the ball. When I was talking to the Edison Coach Brandon Phillips he expressed to me that this is one of the tougher gyms to shoot in, in the Minneapolis City Conference.

Both of these teams were evenly matched coming into this game. This game went up and down the court in the first half.

At half time the score was Southwest 29 and Edison 29.

Both teams continued to go back and forth in the second half. Southwest was able to find Dominique Dawson in the second half. He played very good on the defensive end.

Elliot Matheiu had some nice strong moves as he went up and guarded different Edison players. Southwest ran motion offense. They were trying to get Dominique Dawson open on the low block.

This game came down to the wire. Southwest made a run with under a minute left to go but Edison was able to squeak by with a victory this evening. Edison was able to make a run in the second half. Edison won the game by the final of 68-62.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


The University of Minnesota Gophers took on Ohio State at Williams Arena. Ohio State has a 20-5 11-3 record coming into this game. The Gophers have an 18-7 and 10-4 record coming into the game. Ohio State is currently ranked 17 in the nation according to the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

Both of these teams started out really trying to get the ball up the court. Ohio State picked up in their full court man to man defense pressure to start the game off. They wanted to try to jump on the Gophers early.

The Gophers seemed to find the basket early on. In the early goings of the game it was a close tight game. No one seemed to make a break in the early goings on this one. Both of these teams are looking hard to get there shots up.

Both of these teams have played there fair amount of zone defense in the first half. Even in the zone defense each team has to work hard to get points. Ohio State has been able to get the Gophers so they have had a couple of shot clock violations. They play hard on the defensive end.

Ohio State really played aggressive throughout the first half. Both teams have played very hard in the first half. Each team is not giving up on the court.

Emily Fox has made some nice moves around the basket so far in this game. She just knows how to put the ball down on the floor and just go. She is really smart with it.

Both teams had their share of turn over’s in the first half. No one from either team can seem to hold on to the ball here.

At halftime the score was Minnesota 30 and Ohio State 26. The leading scorers so far for the Gophers are Katie Ohm with 6 points, and Ashley Ellis-Milan 5 points. The leading scorer for the Buckeyes was Brittany Johnson who had 6 points at half time. The Buckeyes shot 34.5% from the field in the first half. The Gophers shot 31.2% from the field in the first half.

The Gophers came out in the second half playing really aggressive and with a lot of emotions on both ends of the court. You could really since that the Gophers wanted to come away with the victory. But they knew that there was a whole half to play.

Ashley Ellis Milan has really done a good job in the low block in this game. She really fought hard. She and Star
Allen really put on some battles when they were matched up on the low block.

The Buckeyes continued to push the ball and come at the Gophers in the second half. Mid-way through the second half The Buckeyes went on a run that the Gophers couldn't handle. At the 12:45 point of the second half the score was The Buckeyes 47 and the Gophers 36.

The Ohio State Buckeyes were able to run what they wanted to on the offensive end. The Gophers got there fire back with about 9:00 left to go in regulation as they went on a run and got the game with in 11 points.

The game got to a frantic pace with just under 7:00 to go. The Gophers went on a run and there were several possessions where both teams were diving on the ground after them. Minnesota was able to get those loose balls and convert them into baskets. The Gophers continued to make their run at the Buckeyes late in the second half.

For Ohio State Samantha Prahalis has really played well. She has really gotten after it and she was one of their vocal leaders on the court.

Ohio State was able to come away with the 73-62 victory over Minnesota. Ohio State was lead in scoring by Samantha Prahalis with 17 points, Star Allen and Jantel Lavender each had 14 points to round out Ohio State scoring.

For Minnesota they were lead in scoring by Emily Fox who had 18 points. Brittany McCoy chipped in 12 points.


Park of Cottage Grove took on St Paul Arlington in a non conference game. Arlington looked to pass the ball round the perimeter in the early goings of this one. They also looked to get the ball inside.

Park started in a zone defense. They did send a guy out to defend the shooter in the early goings. Each team had to battle their way through the zone defenses in the first half. Park started there zone defense at the mid court line. They usually put some of at the top of the half court circle then they would have two guys at the top of the key and then three guys in the middle of the lane. Each guy would be responsible for the guy that would come into his zone.

Arlington did try to pick up a little full court. Both teams went at it and battled in the first half. Park switched to a man to man defense out of a time out around the 9:00 mark in the first half.

Arlington pushed the ball up the court every chance that they could. They wanted to get the Wolf Pack out of there rhythm.

For Arlington Charles Langhorne did a nice job of directing his players where he wanted to go on the court. He had some nice passes and he knew where his players were on the court. He also had some nice jump shots throughout the night.

Both teams kept the score close throughout the first half. Neither team went on a run in the first half. It was a very intense and close first half.

At half time the score was Park 24 and St Paul Arlington 22.

Both of these teams continued to play strong aggressive defense in the second half. Neither team let up on either end of the court.

Ricky Hernandez continued to woo the crowd with his amazing tough hard noise defense. He really put on a show the whole entire game.

Both teams continued to play aggressively and neither team backed down. Park was able to keep the baskets coming in the second half.

Park went cold toward the end of the game and that is when Arlington was able to go on a run in the final minutes of the game. Park was not able to with handle the scoring frenzy and this did come down to the end but Arlington was able to come away with the 51-45 victory.

The leading scorers for Park were Rickey Hernandez with 16 and Andy Voigt with 8 total points. The leading scorers for Arlington were Deandre White with 16 and Travon McKee with 13 points.

I was joined at the game by the Czar from Twin Cities Boys Hoops. You can read about his thoughts about the Arlington against Park here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Minneapolis Roosevelt took on Minneapolis South on South’s home court. There is a lot of interest in this game because of Minneapolis South Guard Tayler Hill is within reach of breaking the all time scoring record for girl’s basketball. She is chasing Katie Ohm of the Minnesota Gophers. Katie Ohm scored 3694 points in her high school career. Coming into the game Taylor Hill has 3669 points.

Both of these teams came out fired up ready to play. South started out strong and they really gave Roosevelt fits to start the game. South has looked much quicker then Roosevelt in the early goings. South has looked to push the ball in the early goings of the first half. South has looked to Tayler Hill early and often in the opening half. She is not afraid to shoot the ball. Tayler is not afraid to pass up a shot if she thinks that her teammate has a better shot.

Roosevelt came to play in the first half. They didn’t back down to this South team. They played strong match up zone defense for a while in the first half. They wanted to try to double team Tayler Hill as much as they could.
Both of these teams also look to push the ball up the court in the open court as much as they could.

South was able to make shots in the first half. Roosevelt did play strong and aggressively in the first half. They put up a battle in the first half.

Roosevelt looked to push the ball up the court. They wanted to get South out of there rhythm. They made a little run at South toward the end of the second half.

Both teams went up and down in the first half. It was a very close first half with both teams going after it. Tayler Hill did miss some shots in the first half but at the half she had 14 points.

Roosevelt had a 1 point lead at half time by the score of 31-30.

Both teams continued to push the ball in the second half. Roosevelt came out and played in a zone defense to open up the second half.

Hill continued to push the ball up in the fast break. She continued to push the ball up the court and then get the ball back and score. She really put on a show for the crowd tonight. With 9:27 left to go in regulation Tayler Hill broke the state scoring record. After Tayler Hill Broke the scoring record on a layup she was surrounded by her teammates at center court for a picture and Mark Sanders presented Tayler Hill with a banner and the game ball.

South was able to come away with the 71-58 victory this evening. You have to give credit to both of these teams they played a very hard fought game this evening. Tayler Hill finished with a total of 32 points. So after tonight’s game Tayler Hill has a total of 3701 total points. Tayler Hill was just truly amazing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Guard Clevin Hannah had 14 points, including making 4-for-5 on three-pointers, and also dished out seven assists to lead Wichita State to a 69-61 win over the University of Northern Iowa at Charles Koch Arena on Saturday night.

UNI was led by junior forward Adam Koch, who had a game-high 17 points, while adding five rebounds, two assists and three steals. Junior center Jordan Eglseder added 13 points for the Panthers, while sophomore guard Kerwin Dunham came off the bench to contribute nine points.

Eglseder scored UNI’s first seven points of the game, on a pair of layups and a three-pointer from the left wing. The score was even at seven, when WSU’s Ramon Clemente scored inside to give the Shockers the lead for good. Clemente’s basket was followed by a three-point barrage by the Shockers, as they drained 4-of-5 from behind the arc over the next seven minutes, part of a 20-6 run that saw them open a 29-13 lead with 8:02 left in the first half.

Wichita State moved in front by as many as 19 points, 35-16, with 4:45 left in the half, after Toure Murry was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all three free throws. UNI answered with a trey from Travis Brown, and baskets from Lucas O’Rear and Johnny Moran, to get within 35-23, but WSU ended on a 7-2 run to go into the locker room with a 42-25 advantage.

Wichita State shot 64 percent from the field in the first half, including making 7-of-10 three-pointers, with Hannah making all four of his treys in the first 20 minutes.

Wichita State was in front by 16, 48-32, when UNI made a run. The Panthers got a pair of baskets from Koch, as well as one from Ali Farokhmanesh, to get within nine, 48-39, with just over 10 minutes to go. A three-pointer from Dunham got UNI to its closest point of the second half, 54-47, with 5:06 left, but WSU’s David Kyles answered the next trip down with a three-pointer of his own.

Dunham made two more three-pointers in the game’s final moments to help keep the Panthers close, with his last one getting UNI within five, 66-61, with 44 seconds left. But J.T. Durley was fouled and made both free throws with 30 seconds remaining, and UNI could get no closer.

For the game, Wichita State shot 47 percent from the floor, while UNI shot 37 percent. The Shockers were 8-for-18 from three-point range, while the Panthers were 6-for-21. UNI converted 17-of-28 at the free throw line to WSU’s 11-for-17 effort at the charity stripe.

With the victory, Wichita State improved to 13-13 overall, 7-8 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while UNI fell to 18-8, 12-3 in the Valley. The Panthers return home on Wednesday (Feb. 18), when they play host to intrastate rival Drake. Tipoff from the McLeod Center is set for 7:05 pm.


Tony Thrasher (Sr., Hustisford,Wis.) helped make Senior Night at Hutton Arena memorable for five graduating Pipers, as Hamline University defeated Saint John’s, 82-64.

After an even opening 12 minutes of play, Thrasher gave the Pipers lead at 20-17 with eight minutes to go until halftime. The Pipers wouldn’t back down heading into the locker room, as Thrasher tallied 13 of his 15first-half points in the final eight minutes before halftime.

The Pipers prevented any individual Johnnie from scoring more than five points in the first twenty minutes, as they led by eight, 33-25, at halftime.

The Pipers held onto the multiple point lead for the first seven minutes of the second half until the Johnnies closed to within one point at42-41. The Pipers regained their momentum, climbing back to a 50-43 lead on an Eric Clute (So., Hawley, Minn.) trey with just over ten minutes to play.

Sam Blank (So., Rollingstone, Minn.) responded with a three on the other end of the court half a minute later to cut the lead to four at 50-46,but Carl Hipp (So., Little Canada, Minn.) responded with a quick rebound-layup combination to bring the lead back to six at 52-48.

The Pipers maintained a strong lead for the remainder of the game, as Clute tallied 20 of his team-high 26 points in the second half.

Thrasher finished with 19 points, while Hipp had a double-double with 17points and 15 rebounds.

Chris Schwartz was the only Johnnie in double-digits, scoring 16.

The game was the last at Hutton Arena for Thrasher, Brandon Hayes (Sr.,Bloomington, Minn.) Nick Hutchinson (Atwater, Minn.), Kory Kelzer (Mayer, Minn.) and Tanner Anderson (Eden Prairie, Minn.).

The Pipers are now 9-14, 8-11 MIAC with the conference win while the Johnnies are 13-10, 11-7 MIAC. Hamline will travel to the University of North Dakota on Monday, February 16, for a 7:00 p.m. game. The Pipers’final game of the season will be at St. Thomas on Saturday, February 21, at 3:00 p.m.

Friday, February 13, 2009


The Hamline University men’s hockey team dropped a one-goal decision at home on Friday night, as Saint John’s won, 3-2, in Saint Paul.

Saint John’s scored the lone goal of the first period at 8:06 as Grant Ellena (Fy., Coon Rapids, Minn.) slid the puck in the net off of passes from Mike Wallgren (So., Oakdale, Minn.) and Jeff Lesmeister (Fy., Anoka, Minn.).

The Pipers tied the game up at 10:10 in the second on Dustin Fulton (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) lifted the pick into the net. Jared Hummel (So., Eagan, Minn.) and Steve Festler (Sr., Little Falls, Minn.) were credited with the assists.

The Johnnies then took the lead again at 16:44 when Brent Brodersen (So., Shakopee, Minn.) scored from Clayton Rehm (Sr., Park Rapids, Minn.) and Jake Hipp (Sr., Bismarck, N.D.). They carried that 2-1 lead into the second intermission.

Jason Johannes (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) gave Saint John’s a 3-1 lead at 5:03 in the third. Chris Murray (Jr., Chanhassen, Minn.) and Brodersen were credited with the assists.

Andrew Birkholz (Sr., Maple Grove, Minn.) made it a one-goal game when he put the puck in the net for the Pipers at 15:34 in the third. Fulton and Chris Berenguer (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.) earned the assists.

However, despite pulling their goalie with 44 seconds remaining in the game, the Pipers couldn’t tie it up.

The conference loss puts Hamline’s record at 12-9-1, 7-6-0 MIAC, while Saint John’s is 9-12-1, 6-6-1 MIAC. The same two teams will face off tomorrow, Saturday, February 14, at 2:00 p.m. at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.


The Minneapolis Southwest Lakers were in Polar country as they took on Minneapolis North. Southwest started playing in a zone defense and they picked up three quarters court. Their goal was to try to slow North down from the beginning of the game. North tried to score in transition but was unsuccessful.

Both teams started playing zone on the defensive end. They wanted to try to slow the game down from the beginning. North was looking towards Malik El-Amin to get them into their offense and was able to get the Polar's into their grove.

Neither team seemed to find there groove early in this game. Southwest looked to score some easy buckets in transition. They were successful in doing that for a period of time in the first half.

Both teams played a tight first half. Each team went after each other throughout the first half. Southwest looked to push the ball up the court as soon as the ball left the rim.

Spencer Puckett had a few nice moves at critical times for North in the first half. He had a one drop step dunk that got the fans into the game.

At half time the score was North 29 and Southwest 22.

Southwest started the second half in a zone defense. They did a good job shifting in the zone to get North off balance.

Southwest was not afraid to shoot the ball either in the second half as they came out shooting. They kept on looking for open shots.

This game was kept close throughout the second half as each team kept fighting at each other. Both teams played zone for much of the second half.

In a game that went back and forth from the start. Dominique Dawson played hard and strong around the basket he was able to find his shot. He finished with 27 points.

The game came down to the wire. Both teams fought extremely well. Ariel Deloney hit the winning shot at the buzzer to give Minneapolis North the 58-56 victory.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


The University of Minnesota Women’s basketball is hosting the Purdue Boilermakers. Both of these teams started out playing very aggressively. They were really going after each other on both ends of the court.

Purdue passed the ball around on the offensive end and they really let the clock wind down before they looked to shoot.

Both teams were matching baskets in the middle of the first half. Neither team was able to go on a run in the first half of the first half of the game.

The Gophers used a tough full court press to try to get Purdue out of their game plan. Purdue was able to keep fighting in the first half. Neither team was going to give up their chance in this one here.

Purdue looked to push the ball up the court after they got the rebound they really tried to get the ball out of the basket and got into their offensive set off of the break. Minnesota was able to figure out what Prude was going to run and they did a good job of stopping them from making shots in the first half. If a player was open for Purdue she would usually shoot it. FahKara Malone was like Purdue’s leader on the court. She would shout out plays and use hand singles to single where she wanted her players to go on the court.

At half time the score was Minnesota 24 and Purdue 27.

In the first half Minnesota shot 47.8% from the field and Purdue shot 41.4 % from the field. Purdue was led in scoring by Jodi Howell with 8 points. The Gophers were lead in scoring in the first half by Emily Fox and Brittney McCoy with 7 points each.

There were a lot of fouls called on both sides of the ball early in the second half that had both teams frustrated at times. They kept playing hard and through the calls.

Purdue was able to kind of get a lead in the early goings of the second half. They had a 35-30 lead with 13:45 left to go in the second half.

Lakisha Freeman had a few nice moves in the second half to help propel the Boilermakers. She had a couple of nice spin moves.

It was a good battle the whole game both teams fought hard but the Gophers were not able to overcome the pesky Purdue Boilermakers. Both teams fought extremely hard the whole game.

The final of the game was Purdue 55 and Minnesota 40.

The leading scorers for Purdue were Lakisha Freeman and Fahkara Malone who each had 12 points. Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton had 11 points for the Boliermakers.

In a hard fought effort the Gophers were lead in scoring by Ashley Ellis-Milan and Brittney McCoy each had 10 points and Emily Fox had 9 points.

Purdue shot 42.6% from the field and the Gophers shot 32.7% from the field.


Junior center Jordan Eglseder scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the University of Northern Iowa to an 81-55 win over Southern Illinois tonight at the McLeod Center.

The 7-1, 290-pound Eglseder hit on 8-of-12 shots from the field, and scored his 17 points in just 15 minutes of playing time. Once again, UNI had a balanced scoring effort, as Kwadzo Ahelegbe had 13 points, Lucas O’Rear 11, and Travis Brown 10. Adam Koch, Ali Farokhmanesh and Adam Rodenberg each chipped in with eight points. A total of nine different Panthers scored in the game. Southern Illinois was led by Tony Boyle who had 20 points.

UNI broke the game open early. Leading 9-6, The Panthers scored seven straight points, including getting layups from Rodenberg and Eglseder. That was the start of a 21-8 run by the Panthers, which ended with another basket from Eglseder. That gave UNI a 30-14 lead with 6:46 left before halftime.

The Panthers kept their lead at double-figures the rest of the way to the locker room, holding a 38-23 lead at intermission. Ahelegbe and Eglseder were the first-half catalysts for UNI, as the duo combined to score 22 points, hitting 7-of-10 shots from the field and all eight of their free throws. UNI held SIU to less than 40 percent shooting (0-for-5 on three-pointers) and forced eight Saluki turnovers in the first half.

The Panthers kept up the defensive and offensive pressure in the second half, not allowing Southern Illinois to get closer than 13 points at any point after intermission. The final score (81-55) marked UNI’s largest lead of the game, and the 26-point win tied for the Panthers’ largest margin of victory ever over SIU.

For the game, UNI shot 54 percent from the field, while holding Southern Illinois to 36 percent shooting. UNI also won the rebounding battle, 36-30, and made 20-of-24 free throws to just 10-for-12 by Southern Illinois.

With the victory, UNI improved to 18-7 overall, 12-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while Southern Illinois fell to 11-14 overall, 6-8 in the Valley. The Panthers hit the road this Saturday (Feb. 14), when they travel to face Wichita State. Tip-off from Charles Koch Arena is set for 7:05 pm.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Paul Carter scored 19 of his career-high 22 points in the second half to propel Minnesota to a 62-54 win over Indiana Tuesday night at Williams Arena.

Carter, who hit six of his final seven shots after starting the game 1-of-6 from the field, also added six rebounds, two steals and a block in 22 minutes of action. Freshman point guard
Devoe Joseph added nine points and four rebounds, while freshman big man Ralph Sampson III poured in eight points and seven rebounds to help the Gophers improve to 19-5 overall and 7-5 in the Big Ten.

Verdell Jones III paced Indiana with 18 points and Nick Williams added 13 for the Hoosiers, who are now 6-17 overall and 1-10 in the Big Ten.

Trailing Tom Crean’s squad 34-33 with just under 13 minutes remaining in regulation, the Gophers’ offense finally erupted – going on an 11-0 run – to take control of the game and avoid a major scare in front of a sellout crowd of 14,625.

Despite playing without leading scorer Devan Dumes – who was indefinitely suspended by Crean for throwing an intentional elbow at a Michigan State player on Saturday - Indiana made things more-than-interesting for the Maroon and Gold all night long.

In a first half infested with turnovers (Indiana had 15 miscues to Minnesota’s 11), the Gophers – who held Indiana without a field goal for the first 5:09 of regulation - couldn’t pull away from the Hoosiers.

Minnesota, which built an 11-point first half lead, held Indiana to just 6-of-15 from the field (35.6 percent) in the first half. But with the Gophers equally as poor – they went 10-of-26 from the field (38.6 percent) - Minnesota was up just seven, 27-20, heading into the locker room following a buzzer-beating layup by Jones.

Two minutes into the second stanza a three by Jones cut Minnesota’s lead to 29-25; showing the Hoosiers came to The Barn not just to be competitive – but to win.

Tubby Smith brought in four players – Devoe Joseph, Blake Hoffarber, Devron Bostick and Jon Williams – to attempt and change the game’s momentum. The Hoosiers, though, had other plans: They were set on continuing their three point barrage.

After going 1-of-7 from downtown in the first half, Indiana opened the second half by making 4-of-6 from behind the arc. And after Matt Roth hit back-to-back three’s to silence Williams Arena, Indiana had its first lead of the game, 34-33, with 12:50 remaining.

Indiana’s lead, however, was short lived.

The Gophers responded from the Hoosiers’ surge with one of their own – going on an 11-0 run, capped by a
Jamal Abu-Shamala three – that put Minnesota ahead 44-34 with 10:12 to go.

From there, the Gophers’ lead ballooned to 14 with just under six minutes to go when a dunk by Carter put Minnesota ahead 52-38. The Gophers, who recorded eight regular season conference wins last year, held on down the stretch to pick up their seventh Big Ten victory of the season.

Minnesota went 22 of 55 from the field (40 percent). The Hoosiers, meanwhile, went 16-of-37 from the floor (43.2 percent).

The Gophers return to action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to State College to take on Penn State.

The 26 turnovers by Indiana Tuesday night are the most by a Minnesota opponent this season. Previously, the Gophers forced 20 turnovers on three occasions (Georgia State, Colorado State and South Dakota State).

The number of Golden Gopher standout Trent Tucker (No. 32) was retired at halftime Tuesday night.

Team Notes:
• Tubby Smith is now 39-19 as the head coach at Minnesota, and 426-164 for his career.
• Smith is 11-4 against Indiana.
• Smith is 32-24 all-time against teams that belong to the Big Ten Conference.
• Tonight’s crowd was a sellout at 14,625. It was the fifth time this year that there was a sellout at Williams Arena.
• Minnesota swept the series with Indiana for the first time since 1990 when the Golden Gophers defeated the Hoosiers 108-89 on Jan. 28 and 75-70 on Mar. 1.
• Minnesota’s 19-5 record is its best start in its first 24 games since the 1981-82 season also started with the same mark.
• Minnesota forced Indiana into tying a season-high 26 turnovers. That matched the 26 turnovers the Hoosiers committed against Wake Forest on Dec. 3.
• The Golden Gophers limited Indiana to 20 points in the first half. In its last two games at Williams Arena, Minnesota has held its opponents to a combined 36 points. The Golden Gophers limited Illinois to 16 points in the first half on Jan. 29.
• The Golden Gophers had 14 steals on the night which was a season-high. Minnesota’s previous season-high was 13 against High Point on Dec. 28, 2008.
• Minnesota held Indiana to a season-low 37 field goal attempts.
• Minnesota had 18 offensive rebounds on the night. The total was just one short of the season-high, which the Golden Gophers had against Concordia-St. Paul (Nov. 14) and Colorado State (Nov. 22).
• Minnesota had 40 of its 62 points on the night come from its bench.
• Golden Gophers newcomers scored 47 of the 62 points that Minnesota had on the night.
• Minnesota had nine different players score tonight, while Indiana had five different players score in the game.

Individual Player Notes:

• Paul Carter had career-highs in points (22), field goals made (7), free-throws made (7) and minutes played (29).
• Carter is the sixth different Golden Gopher to score 20 or more points in a game this year. He joins Lawrence Westbrook, Blake Hoffarber, Colton Iverson, Jamal Abu-Shamala and Damian Johnson on that list.
• Nolen dished out five assists and committed only one turnover against Indiana. Nolen has 28 career games with one turnover or less and Minnesota is 23-5 in those games.
• Nolen also had four steals in the game marking the sixth time this year he has registered four or more steals in a game.
• Ralph Sampson collected a career-high five offensive rebounds.
• Devoe Joseph’s nine points on the night were his second most in Big Ten play this season.
• Colton Iverson had two blocks this season. It marked the ninth time this year that he has accumulated multiple blocks in a game.


Heritage Christian hosted Mayer Lutheran in a boy’s basketball contest. This was a mid season non- conference game.

Both teams looked to push the ball up the court from the outset and looked to get into their offensives early.

Heritage played zone defense to open the game up. They jammed the cutters when Mayer Lutheran tried to try to bring them through the middle of the lane. Mayer Lutheran was able to pick off some passes because their guys had their hands up. They also converted in transition.

Mayer Lutheran also countered with a zone defense in the first half. They did a good job of shifting in the zone and did a nice job of rotating to cover the shooters. The teams were left to shoot three point shots because of the stifling defenses.

Both teams were evenly matched as the first half ended with Mayer Lutheran leading 29-27.

The team’s came out of the half fired up. They went at each other and they continued to play hard in the second half. They kept pushing the ball on offense and playing aggressive defense.

Heritage Christian played very strong defense and were successful in causing numerous turnovers as Mayer Lutheran advanced the ball into their offensive zone.

On offense and defense, Mayer Lutheran’s Jesse Senst had to battle two or three defenders in the low block where he excelled.

Each team had an answer for each other’s shooting in the second half and the game came down to the end of regulation with the scored tied at 64.

In the extra session Mayer was the stronger team and came away with a 73-67 victory.

I was joined at this game by the Czar of Twin Cities Boys Hoops. You can read about his thoughts about the game here.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


The University of Northern Iowa’s 11-game winning streak came to and end on Sunday afternoon, as Creighton posted a 77-71 win over the Panthers in front of a season-high crowd of 6,234 at the McLeod Center.

UNI junior forward Adam Koch led all players with 23 points and a season-high tying 12 rebounds, including five offensive boards. Koch was a perfect 13-for-13 at the free throw line in the game, and has now made 25 consecutive foul shots. Koch was joined in double figures by sophomore guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe who had 16 points and four assists, while junior guard Ali Farokhmanesh added 10 points. Creighton was led by forward Justin Carter, who had 17 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Creighton opened a 10-7 lead to start the game, but UNI tied it on a three-pointer from Travis Brown. The Bluejays went back in front 15-12, but a pair of free throws from Adam Rodenberg and a layup from Jordan Eglseder gave UNI the lead, 16-15.

Creighton opened a four-point edge, 20-16, after a layup from Carter midway through the first half. But UNI scored six straight, culminated by a layup from Ahelegbe, to regain the advantage, 22-20. The lead changed hands three more times, before Creighton used a 5-0 run to open a 31-26 advantage with 3:18 left before halftime. UNI ended the half by getting a short jumper and two free throws from Koch to get the Panthers within 31-30 at intermission.

Koch scored five straight points to in the opening minute of the second half to give UNI its largest lead of the game, 35-31. Carter and Booker Woodfox made consecutive three-pointers to push Creighton back in front, 37-35, at Creighton would not trail again. Those two treys were the start of a 15-4 Bluejay run that ended with CU holding a 46-39 lead with 15:30 left.

The Panthers got four straight foul shots from Ahelegbe to get within 48-45 with 13:03 on the clock, but the Bluejays answered with eight straight points to move in front, 56-45, at 8:45.

UNI made a run, getting within 62-57 after Farokhmanesh drained a three with just over five minutes left in the game. UNI was still within five when Creighton’s Josh Dotzler made a key three-pointer to extend Creighton’s lead back to 66-58 with just under three minutes remaining. The Panthers didn’t get closer than six points the rest of the way, as Creighton made 9-of-12 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win.

The Panthers shot a season-low 29 percent from the field, including 5-for-26 from three-point range (19.2 percent). It was just the third time all year UNI was held below 40 percent shooting. Creighton connected on 47 percent of its shots for the game and was 6-for-17 from behind the arc. Both teams got to the foul line often, as the Panthers were 30-for-32 as a team, while the Bluejays were 23-for-33. UNI held a commanding lead in rebounding, grabbing 49 rebounds (including 20 offensive) to just 29 by CU.

With the victory, Creighton improved to 19-6 overall, 9-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while UNI fell to 17-7 overall, 11-2 in the Valley. The Panthers play host to Southern Illinois this Wednesday (Feb. 11), with tipoff time from the McLeod Center set for 7:05 pm.


I got a note from the Basketball Blogger about Jordair Jett. He wanted me to share his link with all basketball fans. Here’s Jett’s conversation from the Basketball Blogger web site.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Despite 19 second-half points from Blake Hoffarber, Minnesota fell to Ohio State 64-58 Saturday night at Value City Arena in Columbus, OH.

Hoffarber hit six three-pointers - and scored 16 straight points - in the second stanza to keep the 19th-ranked Gophers within striking distance until the final minute of regulation.
Damian Johnson scored 12 points and added 10 rebounds and three blocks in defeat. Colton Iverson finished with eight points and five rebounds on the night.

Evan Turner went 10-of-12 from the free throw line and finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Buckeyes. Four other players scored in double figures for Ohio State, which improves to 17-5 overall and 7-4 in the Big Ten.

Down 10 with under nine minutes remaining in regulation following back-to-back three’s by the Buckeyes, Hoffarber who finished the contest 6-of-10 from behind the arc connected on five three-pointers down the stretch to pull Minnesota to within three, 55-52, with 3:46 left in regulation.

But that would be as close as
Tubby Smith’s squad would come as Minnesota, which shot 39.6 percent (21-of-53) for the game, couldn’t convert down the stretch. Still down three with just over a minute left to go, Turner made 7-of-8 free throws in the final moments of regulation to seal things for the Buckeyes, who have now won five consecutive games.

Even in defeat, there were encouraging signs for the Maroon and Gold.

After an embarrassing loss at Michigan State on Wednesday, the Gophers looked like a refocused team from the get go Saturday night.

Despite only shooting 40 percent in the first half, a gritty Minnesota team jumped out to a 13-7 lead. Ohio State gained control of the game midway through the first stanza thanks to a 20-8 run, but the Gophers rallied back at the end of the half and were in the game at halftime, down 29-26 heading into the locker room.

A three-point play by Iverson moments into the second half tied the game at 29-29, but a 17-7 run by the Buckeyes capped by back-to-back three’s by Jeremie Simmons and Jon Diebler put Thad Matta’s squad ahead 46-36 with 8:51 to go.

Hoffarber did his best to lead the Gophers back – scoring 16 points in a five minutes stretch but it wasn’t enough, as Ohio State escaped with a victory to even the season series at 1-1.

Minnesota returns to action on Tuesday night when the Gophers welcome Indiana to Williams Arena.


In a non conference game De La Salle traveled to Benilde-St. Margaret’s for a boy’s basketball contest.

In the early going, both teams made numerous passes and took a lot of time off the clock. Both teams were deliberate in trying to find their offense. They both showed patients in there shot selection.

Throughout the first half it was a three point shooting contest which kept the game close. The teams also played aggressive defense.

De La Salle took a 21-16 lead into the half time break.

The Islanders played both man to man and zone defense. This tilt was a defensive battle the entire game.

Neither team could make a basket in the second half. The first field goal came at the 10:30 mark by DeLaSalle’s Dannie Young.

In this slowdown battle, De La Salle was able to keep the lead because of their overwhelming defense and as the final buzzer went off, the Islanders prevailed 44-29.

De La Salle was led in scoring by Jalen Jaspers with 16 points and A.J. Barker with 14. The Red Knights were led by Darren Glover with 13 points. Leading scorer Peter Crawford was out with an ankle injury.

I was joined at this game by the Twin Cities Hoops Czar, you can read about his thoughts on this game here.

Friday, February 6, 2009


The List of the 2009 Mr. Basketball candidates has been announced. According to Minnesota Sports Online the list of candidates include a range of players. Considering the dominance of the Hopkins boys’ basketball team, it’s no surprise to see four Royals among the list of 15 seniors in the running for this annual award. The Hopkins players are Royce White, Mike Broghammer, Trent Lockett and Raymond Cowles.

Henry Sibley has two on the list: Mike Bruesewitz and Chris Halvorsen. Here are the rest of the candidates…
Josh Figini, Chisago Lakes
Rodney Williams Jr., Cooper
Sam Dower, Osseo
Tydan Storrusten, Pelican Rapids
Mike Felt, Redwood Valley
Mike Muscala, Roseville
Jordair Jett, St. Bernard’s
Nate Wolters, St. Cloud Tech
Marc Sonnen, Tartan

Five finalists for Mr. Basketball will be named prior to the state tournament and the winner will be announced soon after the tournament concludes. In the past a banquet was held to honor the winner and other finalists but it has been discontinued.


Jalen Jaspers scored 30 points to lead DeLaSalle over St. Croix Lutheran 70-47, while Jonah Travis and A.J. Barker chipped in 11 & 10 points respectively in the Islanders win. After leading 30-19 at the half the Islanders did not let up and out scored their opponent 40 to 28 in the last stanza.

The overmatched Crusaders we led in scoring by senior Chris Breuer with 18 points Aaron Hulsebus with 12.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Unable to recover from a disastrous first half, the Minnesota men’s basketball team fell to 14th-ranked Michigan State 76-47 Wednesday night at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, MI.

The 19th-ranked Gophers, who went without a field goal for the first six minutes of regulation, trailed by 26 at halftime and by as many as 35 in the second half before succumbing to the Spartans.

Devoe Joseph paced Minnesota with 11 points while Blake Hoffarber and Paul Carter added seven points each. Durrell Summers scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the first half to lead the Spartans (18-4 overall, 8-2 Big Ten) to victory. Chris Allen added 13 points and Kalin Lucas chipped in with 10 points and four assists.

Wednesday night’s game was touted as a first-place showdown. With Minnesota fresh off an impressive home victory over Illinois and the Spartans coming off two consecutive home losses to Northwestern and Penn State, the Maroon and Gold had an opportunity to sit atop the conference standings with a win.

Those hopes, however, quickly vanished in an atrocious shooting first half.

The Gophers (18-4, 6-4) went 4-of-23 from the field (17.4 percent) in their lowest-scoring first half of the season. Meanwhile, Tom Izzo’s squad – despite being without the services of Raymar Morgan (12.3 ppg) - shot 53.3 percent over the first 20 minutes of play (16-of-30) on their way to a 42-16 lead heading into the locker room.

Minnesota trailed 13-1 five and a half minutes into the game but an 8-2 spurt by the Gophers cut Michigan State’s lead to 15-9 midway through the first stanza. That, however, would be as close as Minnesota would come. The Spartans proceeded to go on a 17-0 run capped by a thunderous dunk by Summers to take a 30-9 lead with 5:52 left in the half.

Michigan State’s 26-point halftime lead reached 30 moments into the second half and the Spartans led by 35, 54-19, following a layup by Travis Walton with 14 minutes left in regulation.

The Gophers return to action Saturday night when they travel to Columbus, Ohio to challenge Ohio State.

This is what Michigan State Head Coach
Tom Izzo had to say after the game.

"It's a little different than last time I was here. I told Tubby after the game, I thought that was the best half of basketball that we played this year. We came out defensively and I think
Travis Walton set the tempo. Kalin (Lucas) played very good defense and got the running game going and we did that early on. Even though Kalin didn't shoot it very well, I thought he got the ball to some guys, especially Durrell. Our inside guys did a very good job early. Our defense caused our offense and our offense was our running game and I thought that was the difference. It felt great to play 40 minutes of basketball instead of 20 or 15 and that was the battle cry in the huddles. We beat a very good team that didn't play as well tonight. That is not the way they usually play and they have played well lately. It was our night tonight and that is the way it is in our league. It is still a very good Minnesota team and we did a pretty good job on their key guys like Nolan, Westbrook and Johnson. I thought that was the big difference in the game. You watch our energy level against Northwestern and maybe it didn't seem to be there and maybe theirs wasn't there tonight. We are going to take the win but we understand that wasn't the real Minnesota team. As we take the win, we realize that we have a lot of work ahead of us but this was a good start and a good stepping stone.

On keeping the lead and increasing it...

"One of the things I've talked about in the first three time-outs was if we were going to be mature enough to learn from our mistakes of the past. I didn't want to bring them up but I think that is part of the growing process especially with our young guys. Are we going to learn from what we did against Northwestern and Penn State where we had some leads and didn't' take care of them? I thought we checked well and didn't give up a basket and that was huge for us. That was the battle cry at halftime, let's see if we can play a complete game. What I really like was that even though Kalin (Lucas) didn't shoot it that well and a one time he gave up a shot and I asked him why and I think he had a feel that it wasn't quite there and that showed maturity on his part. All of our bigs played well too. When you look at the numbers we put in there and the number of guys considering Goran wasn't 100 percent, we got a chance to give him a rest which I think is very important so I think it was a total team effort and maybe we learned a little bit at least for one night.

Goran Suton...

He did a good job. He and Delvon, he was doing some good things too. He had some big-time rebounds early. So did Goran. They both only played 19 minutes. Goran responded pretty well in practice. He had an injury and he battled through it and that speaks volumes for him. I thought we were nervous before the game. The locker room was kind of quiet and I said its ok to be a little unsure of themselves but tried to tell them reasons we should be sure of ourselves because we've been there before and done it before. I pointed out that G has to play and he has to play well and sure enough, he did.

On what the "real" Michigan State team is...

I think I know what it is if we have all the parts and practice together. I think it is a team that can defend very well. I think it is still one of our better shooting teams even though we haven't always shot consistently. I think it's a great rebounding team and a great running team. We were a little confused a couple times with Raymar (Morgan) out and guys in different lanes. That is the part that has been frustrating a little bit is different pieces that have been out. So I don't think we have seen the (real) Michigan State team yet. Tonight we played very well, so let's not take anything away from us. Let's not act like Minnesota played their best either. I think we are a team that can run, defend and rebound and those are good things to build on and the consistency as you know hasn't been there for different reasons, ones I don't like as much and that is what we need to correct."

This is what Tubby Smith had to say after the game.

Opening Statement.

Hats off to Michigan State, they certainly proved why they are one of the best teams, if not the best team, in this league so far. They were focused and ready to play and we never seemed to get on track. I felt like we were intimidated from the start. We were missing shots inside and I thought a lack of physicality and a lack of aggressiveness cost us early on in the game; and throughout the game. Their best guy on the court,
Durrell Summers, hit two threes right off the bat, we did kind of gathered ourselves, but we never seemed to be put together. I thought we would do a better job defensively and I thought we would rebound better, two areas that we needed to do if we ever wanted to have any chance of competing with them. And then when you had the type of shooting night that we had, it makes for a long, long evening.

On what he tells his team after a loss like this.

Well the thing I was concerned about was our effort. That's when you look at it and say, `they just out-worked us.' They were getting every loose ball, every rebound and they were just quicker to the ball than we were. We couldn't get our hands on it and we couldn't retrieve it. I just told them that I thought we got out-worked.

On the lack of offense inside...From the beginning, I thought they really were very physical with Ralph (Sampson) and Colton (Iverson). Again they are learning, but that's one of the things that the Michigan State teams' physical interior post players will do. They're going to body you and bump you. When you don't capitalize when you get it inside, that means they can really stay out on your shooters. I thought they really dictated the tempo - obviously fast-break, and that was one of the main things we had to stop, and we couldn't stop that either.


Despite draining 14 shots from outside the arc, the Hamline University women’s basketball team fell to Bethel at home, 86-70.

The first half saw an exchange of three-point shots, ending with the visiting Royals holding a 37-29 lead at halftime. Gabriella Gustafson (Sr., St. Louis Park, Minn.) led Hamline with eight first-half points, while Autumn Beasley (Fy., Medina, Minn.) had 13.

Bethel maintained control of the scoreboard in the second half, drawing their lead out to 18. A flurry of threes from the Pipers cut the score to eight at 76-68 with two and a half to play, but they couldn't get any closer.

The Pipers were led by Jackie Kelly’s 18 points, including 6-for-10 shooting from outside the arc. Jessica Heinen (Sr., Spicer, Minn.) added 14, which takes her to 10 points shy of 1,000 career points. Rochelle Sather (Jr., Andover, Minn.) added 10.

Bethel’s scoring was led by Beasley’s 16 points, while Taylor Sheley (Fy., Backus, Minn.) had 19 and Annegret Nautsch (Sr., Seattle, Wash.) had a double-double with 16 points and 12 boards.

With the conference loss, Hamline falls to 13-7, 10-7 MIAC. The Royals improve to 11-9, 10-7 MIAC. Hamline will travel to Gustavus on Sunday, February 7, for a 1:00 p.m. game.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team picked up its school-record 11th straight win tonight at Bradley, and the Panthers did it in amazing fashion.

Freshman guard Johnny Moran drained a three-pointer from the left wing with five seconds left to lift UNI to a thrilling 61-58 come-from-behind victory. The Panthers trailed by eight points with less than four minutes to go, and six with a minute and a half left, but a flurry of treys from Moran and Ali Farokhmanesh brought the Panthers back to stun the 9,556 in attendance at Carver Arena.

Jordan Eglseder and Adam Koch led the Panthers in scoring with 12 points apiece, while Farokhmanesh had 11. Moran had nine points, six assists and three steals, while Kwadzo Ahelegbe had six points and a game-high seven assists. In all, the Panthers had 18 assists on 21 made baskets in the game.

Koch and Eglseder each had four early points and Moran drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to give UNI a 11-4 lead to start the game. Forward Adam Rodenberg later made consecutive layups to build the Panthers lead to 15-8 with 10 minutes to go in the first half.

UNI got a three-pointer from Travis Brown to build its largest lead of the game, 18-10, with 6:39 remaining before halftime. Bradley then went on a 7-0 run to get within 18-17, but the Panthers didn’t give up the lead. UNI scored 10 of the next 13 points, getting three more inside baskets from Eglseder, to move back in front 28-20. UNI went into the locker room with a 30-25 advantage, with Eglseder scoring all 12 of his points and grabbing six boards in the opening half.

Bradley scored the first two baskets of the second half to tie the score at 30-all. UNI got four free throws from Koch, a jumper from Farokhmanesh, and a layup from Ahelegbe, to move back in front, 38-34, with 13:59 left in the game.

The Braves then went n a 10-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from guard Eddren McCain, to regain the lead, 44-38, with 9:12 on the clock. UNI got within two, 46-44, after a pair of Ahelegbe free throws, but Bradley then scored six straight to extend its lead to 52-44 with 4:20 left.

Bradley still held an eight-point lead, 54-46, with 3:30 left, when the Panthers heated up from downtown. Farokhmanesh got things started with a three-pointer from the right corner, and after UNI forced a Bradley miss, Farokhmanesh buried another three to get UNI within 54-52, with 2:40 left.

Bradley regained momentum by getting a layup from Dodie Dunson on the next trip down. Farokhamnesh missed a three-pointer, and BU’s Sam Maniscalco was then fouled and made both free throws to build the Braves’ lead back to six, 58-52, with 1:36 remaining.

On the next trip down, Moran drained a three-pointer from the left corner to get UNI within three, 58-55. The Braves then turned the ball over, and Farokhmanesh got free to hit another from downtown, getting UNI even at 58-all with 47 seconds left.

The next time down the floor, and with the shot clock running down, Maniscalco drove the lane for Bradley. But his layup with 17 seconds left missed, and Koch secured the rebound for the Panthers. UNI head coach Ben Jacobson elected not to take a timeout, calling a play from the sideline. Farokhmanesh drove off a ball screen at the top of the key with eight seconds left, Moran curled back behind him, and Farokhmanesh found Moran behind the arc. The 6-2 freshman then buried his three-pointer with five seconds left to put UNI in front, 61-58. Bradley’s McCain got off a three-pointer with one second left, but it misfired, and the Panthers earned the win.

UNI shot 53 percent from the field for the game, including 7-for-15 on three-pointers, while holding Bradley to 39 percent shooting, and 2-for-13 from behind the arc. The Panthers came into the game tied with the school’s 1963-64 team for the longest winning streak in school history at 10, but now stands alone in Panther annals with its 11-game winning streak.

With the win, UNI improved to 17-6 overall, 11-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while Bradley fell to 13-10 overall, 7-5 in the Valley. The Panthers’ next game is this Sunday (Feb. 8), when they play host to Creighton. Tip off from the McLeod Center is set for 1:05 pm.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Hopkins comes to Robbinsdale Cooper for a non-conference battle of unbeaten teams. Hopkins is ranked number 1 and Robbinsdale Cooper is ranked number 3 in the latest Star Tribune poll. This game is an announced sell out. This game features two of the state’s top boys basketball players in Rodney Maurice Williams from Cooper and Royce Alexander White from Hopkins. Both will attend the University of Minnesota next season.

Both of these teams got out to a quick start. Both of these teams play with a lot of emotion they have to keep the intensity up to come away with the victory. Cooper had a hard time finding the basket in the early goings, as they came out a little flat to open the game up. They used their first time out at the 13:30 mark down 8-2.

With 11:45 in the half, Cooper went on a run and they gave Hopkins a little scare. But Hopkins was not scared as they also kept on grinding it out. Joe Bright was able to hit a couple of mid range jumpers to keep Cooper close in the middle of the first half.

With 5:40 left in the first half Rodney Maurice Williams picked up his 2nd personal foul. He was then taken out of the game. He doesn’t want to be in foul trouble at the end of this game. Cooper continued to play hard and kept after the Royals. With 2:30 left to go in the first half Rodney Williams reentered the game. He picked up his third foul with 1:36 in the half and spent the rest of the half on the bench.

In the first half both teams fought hard and they played with a lot of emotion and energy. Hopkins had a 48-40 lead at the half time break.

The second half got out to a quick start as both teams looked to push the ball up the court. Hopkins began to pull away in the first four minutes of the second half. They were able to get a 56-44 lead with just under 14:00 to go in the second half.

Cooper stuck with zone on the defensive end. They have used both man and zone here very effectively tonight. Cooper was able to battle back and they went on a run mid way through the second half. Cooper was gone cold mid way through the second half. They have not been able to capitalize on the shots that they have been putting up. Hopkins was able to put the hammer down.

Hopkins was able to hold on for the victory in the game. They were able to wear down the Cooper Hawks in this game. Royce Alexander White played well tonight he showed his ability and I thought that he did prove why he will be playing for the University of Minnesota next season. I also thought that Rodney Maurice Williams played well in this game despite getting into foul trouble.

The final of the game was Hopkins 100 and Cooper 78.

Cooper coach Dave Johnson was clearly disappointed after this game. He knows that he has a good team but what hurt them in this game was their size. They also got hurt in their 2-3 zone when Rodney was in foul trouble he was on the weak side to help prevent them scoring.

Ken Novak thought that they played sloppy defense at times and then really turned it on in some points of the game. They need to play the solid defense the whole game to be successful. He thought that Royce Alexander White played well in this environment tonight. Both teams came out a little jumpy and after every one settled they were better off.

Royce Alexander White said that he likes playing in this type of environment. Most of the games at Hopkins are packed out so the noise and the big crowd don’t affect him that much.

The Twin Cities Hoops Czar was also here tonight . Read his story about this game here.

Monday, February 2, 2009


The University of Northern Iowa (16-6, 10-1 Missouri Valley Conference) heads to Peoria, Ill., to face Bradley (13-9, 7-4 MVC) on Tuesday night. UNI, which has won 10 straight games overall and six straight on the road, defeated Bradley, 66-61, on Jan. 21 at the McLeod Center.


UNI has won 10 straight games, which is tied for the longest winning streak in school history. The 1963-64 Panthers, which at the time were a Division II team known as the State College of Iowa, won 10 straight games to open its season. That team, under the direction of head coach Norm Stewart, eventually finished 23-4 and advanced to the College Division Final Four. In addition, UNI’s 10-game winning streak is also tied for the fifth-longest active winning streak in the NCAA.

UNI won its sixth Missouri Valley Conference road game of the season (against no losses) at Indiana State Jan. 31. That is the most road conference wins by the Panthers ever. UNI’s previous high was five road victories in the 2005-06 season.

UNI held Indiana State to 38 percent shooting in its 61-57 win at the Hulman Center Jan. 31. That marked the eighth time in the Panthers’ last 12 games they have held their opponent to less than 40 percent shooting.

The Panthers made a season-low one three-pointer at Indiana State Jan. 31 (1-for-9), but still was able to earn the victory over the Sycamores. UNI’s previous low was three three-pointers against Marquette Nov. 28. The Panthers have made eight or more three-pointers in nine games this season.

Forward Lucas O’Rear has been a huge factor off the bench for UNI this season, but especially recently. Over his last six games, he is averaging 8.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game, while shooting an amazing 72 percent from the field.

Two weeks ago when UNI and Bradley met at the McLeod Center, the Panthers rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to defeat the Braves, 66-61. UNI was led by Ali Farokhmanesh, who scored 17 points, while Kwadzo Ahelegbe had 13 points, and Adam Koch and Johnny Moran each added 11. Lucas O’Rear came off the bench to score six points and grab a career-best 11 rebounds.