Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Prairie Stars need defense to step up

The University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars lost to Indianapolis 69-65 Sunday but held the highest-scoring Great Lakes Valley Conference men’s basketball team well under its average.

Indianapolis entered the contest averaging 92.1 points per game. The defeat was the closest of the season for the Stars, who led by two points with 3½ minutes left in the second half.

The Stars will need a similar defensive effort tonight against the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles, the No. 12 team in the NABC/NCAA Division II national poll. The GLVC game at The Recreation and Athletic Center starts at 7:30.

Southern Indiana has an overall record of 10-1 and a conference mark of 2-1. The lone loss was a 69-60 setback on Dec. 4 to GLVC member Bellarmine, the top-ranked team in the nation. UIS is 4-6 and 0-3.

The Eagles are averaging 81.2 ppg and allowing 68.3. Their top three scorers are senior guard C.J. Trotter (16.2 ppg), senior center Mohamed Ntumba (13.4 ppg) and junior forward Isaac McClure (10.5 ppg). Trotter ranks 11th in scoring in the GLVC. Ntumba is the GLVC’s second-leading rebounder at 8.5 rebounds per game. McClure averages 6.3 rpg.

Southeast High School graduate and Southern Indiana sophomore guard Lawrence Thomas has not played in a game this season. He is recovering from knee surgery and the plan is to redshirt him. Thomas averaged 12.1 minutes, 2.7 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game as a freshman.


WHO: University of Illinois Prairie Stars (4-6 overall, 0-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference) vs. No. 12 Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles (10-1, 2-1)

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: The Recreation and Athletic Center, UIS campus

LAST SEASON’S RESULT: Southern Indiana 110, UIS 68

NOTABLE: Fans can listen to a broadcast of the game by logging on to http://www.820theedge.com. . . . The Stars’ leading scorer and rebounder is junior forward Michael Fakuade, who’s averaging 14.8 ppg and 10.5 rpg.

The game was featured in a January 4, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article