Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Women’s Basketball: Know Your Foe - Part II

We have reached Horizon League play for the Detroit women’s basketball team. The Titans went 4-8 in the non-conference portion of their schedule, with wins over Ball State, IPFW, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan. Detroit lost some close games early on, but the red, white and blue have persevered and improved, heading into the conference slate on a three-game winning streak as well as winning four of its last six. With just HL games left on the docket, let’s see how the rest of the league is doing.

Butler (4-7) – The Bulldogs were picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League Preseason Poll and split their first two games before going on a six-game losing streak. Butler has recovered though and will open HL play in Calihan Hall having won three in a row. Freshman Haley Howard leads the team in scoring at 12.5 points per game, while senior Terra Burns is second on the team in scoring at 11.2 ppg., but she has played in only five games due to injury. Butler is averaging 58.0 points per game, while allowing 59.6. The Bulldogs also played four common opponents with the Titans losing on the road at IPFW (68-60), at Bowling Green (71-61) and at Indiana State (49-46), while defeating Ball State at home, 55-43.

Cleveland State (4-6) – Cleveland State was picked to finish second in the preseason poll, but the Vikings have been hovering at the .500 mark in non-conference play. CSU started the year with a win over Tennessee State, but then lost two straight before downing Western Michigan in overtime. Another two-game losing streak followed before they defeated Ohio and, most recently, Cleveland State split a pair of games at the Magnolia Classic, beating Murray State in overtime before falling to host Mississippi. CSU has four players in double figures in scoring, led by senior Destinee Blue’s 14.2 ppg., seventh in the Horizon League. Junior Shalonda Winton is tallying 12.3 ppg., while senior Takima Keane and junior Honesty King are averaging 12.1 and 10.7, respectively.

Green Bay (10-0) – Green Bay made the Sweet 16 last season and despite losing two senior starters, the Phoenix have picked up right where it left off. Green Bay went undefeated in non-conference play with wins over Illinois, No. 25 Georgia Tech, Marquette and Wisconsin. Green Bay is currently ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press Poll and 14 in the Coaches Poll, and that is after being named the preseason favorite to win the league. Senior Julie Wojta leads the team in scoring (20.7, second in the HL) and rebounding (10.1, tops in the HL), while junior Lydia Bauer is tallying 14.0 ppg. As a team, the Phoenix is averaging 75.7 points and giving up just 57.4.

Loyola (5-6) – Loyola has a three-game winning and losing streak so far and is one game under .500 in non-conference play. The Ramblers started the year with wins over Chicago State, Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois. LU has played well in some tough setbacks losing to Eastern Michigan by eight, 63-55, at No. 22/21 DePaul, 70-65, and at Northwestern, 72-67. Four players are in double figures in scoring for the Ramblers, with three in the top 13 in the Horizon League. Junior Monica Albano tops the team and is sixth in the conference in scoring at 14.3 ppg., while junior Patrice King is ninth in the league at 14.1 ppg. Freshman Simone Law is third on the team and 13th in the league at 12.3 ppg., while placing second on the team in rebounding at 6.5 per night. Loyola – who was picked to place eighth in the Horizon League Preseason Poll - is third in the conference in offense posting 65.3 points per game.

Milwaukee (4-6) – The Panthers went 4-6 in their first 10 non-conference games, with a pair of three-game losing streaks and two-game winning streaks. Milwaukee has faced two common opponents with Detroit losing to Michigan State at home, 70-57, and at Western Michigan, 69-63. The Panthers have also faced two top-ranked teams falling to No. 1 Baylor, 72-41, and No. 24/23 Oklahoma, 72-50. Sophomore Courtney Lindfors leads the team in scoring at 13.7 per night, while junior Sami Tucker is tallying 11.4 ppg., and a team-best 7.8 rebounds per game. Milwaukee was tabbed to finish sixth in the league’s preseason poll.

UIC (7-4) – Under first-year coach Regina Miller, UIC – picked to finish fifth in the HL Preseason Poll - started the year with three-straight wins and is currently on a three-game winning streak as it enters league play. UIC has the Horizon League’s leading scorer in Jasmine Bailey, who is averaging 21.2 points per game to go with a conference-best 4.5 assists and 10.0 rebounds per contest, second in the HL. Another senior, Shamiea Green just returned from an injury and is tallying 11.0 ppg., while a third senior Kiara Strickland is posting 11.8 ppg. The Flames are averaging 61.4 points and allowing 56.9 points per game.

Valparaiso (4-7) – The Crusaders opened the year by losing five straight, but have turned it around winning four of their last six games. VU has won two in a row entering Horizon League play, with a match-up at Detroit to close out the year in a New Year’s Eve showdown. Valparaiso has faced two common opponents with UDM recording wins over IPFW (64-43) and Ball State (67-53). The Crusaders have faced some major injury issues so far as only three players have appeared in all 11 games. Senior Betsy Adams – a preseason second team All-League selection - and sophomore Maegan Callaway have played in just one game, while sophomore Stefanie Lang has not appeared in any game. Sophomore Tabitha Gerardot tops the team in scoring at 11.9 ppg., while senior Ashley Varner is tallying 11.4 ppg., and a team-best 9.5 rebounds per game.

Wright State (7-5) – The Raiders were tabbed to finish third in the Horizon League’s Preseason Poll and have a nice combination of experience and youth leading them so far. Freshman Kim Demmings leads the team and all Horizon League freshmen in scoring at 15.3 points per game, while senior Molly Fox is averaging 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds, third in the conference. Wright State began the year with three-straight wins and has won two of its last three as HL play opens up this week. WSU is second in the league in scoring at 68.9 points, with five games posting 70 or more points.

Youngstown State (6-4) – Youngstown State was picked to finish last in the Horizon League’s Preseason Poll, but the Penguins have played well already matching last year’s win total. Dating back to last season, YSU has won 9 of its last 17 games and 8 of its last 13, but prior to that, the Penguins had won just 7 of its last 85 games. Detroit and Youngstown State have three common non-conference opponents as the Penguins downed IPFW and Western Michigan, while falling to Bowling Green. Junior Brandi Brown – a first team preseason selection and a candidate for HL Player of the Year – leads the team in scoring (15.4) and rebounding (9.6), while freshman Heidi Schlegel is second on the team averaging 11.4 points per game.

For the complete schedule, click here

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fencers Walk Away With Hardware in Season Opener at Wayne State

Junior Clint Mikek Won a Bronze Medal at Wayne State

Dec. 7, 2011
By Clint Mikek

It was a welcomed feeling to be back on the fencing strip this past weekend at the Istvan Danosi Open hosted by Wayne State. Having picked up a number of new fencers this year after intramurals, it has been a long journey to get them up to speed for this first open competition of the year. This hard work showed as bouts were won against fencers that have been practicing for years. 

I was particularly impressed working with our new epeeists. It is always a challenge to learn a new sport and in terms of being able to adapt to changes in technique mid bout, I was very impressed. They were able to listen to coaching and respond appropriately. 

Our returning fencers and experienced walk-ons had an even better day. Five medals were taken home by UDM Students; Three in sabre, by Kurt (Hilton), Nick (Tobianski), and Eva (Berndt); One in foil by Mike (Purdy-Sachs), and I received one in epee. It was rather exciting to see our team do so well early on in the season. Our next competition, the UDM Invitational will be held in Calihan Hall on January 15th. I strongly encourage everyone to come out and cheer the Titans to victory!