Wednesday, November 30, 2016

UIS basketball teams begin GLVC tests Thursday

The University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball team could very well have a 4-0 overall record. But the Prairie Stars are 3-1 due to a 72-70 loss to Hillsdale College on Nov. 12.

UIS will face an unbeaten and nationally ranked team when it opens Great Lakes Valley Conference play Thursday at The Recreation and Athletic Center against No. 5 Bellarmine at 5:30 p.m.

Another tough task is ahead when the Stars host Southern Indiana in a GLVC game Saturday at 1 p.m.

The UIS men, meanwhile, play No. 7 Bellarmine at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 4-0 Southern Indiana at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The UIS women won eight contests last year. So far, the Stars have three wins in four contests this season with victories against Lake Superior State, Robert Morris University and Missouri Southern State.

Contributions from new players have helped fuel the program’s improvement. “We’ve got some returners that are helping us, but we brought in seven new players that we needed contributions from for us to be better,” UIS coach Mark Kost said.

In men's basketball, UIS is 3-2 overall. The Stars' wins have come against Illinois College, Robert Morris University and Blackburn, but the first GLVC game has already arrived. After facing Bellarmine Thursday, they meet Southern Indiana -- which earned votes in the most recent NCAA Division II national poll -- on Saturday. “We play now, then we don’t play them again for a “We play now, then we don’t play them again for a couple months,” UIS men's coach Bill Walker said of Bellarmine and Southern Indiana. “Both teams are going to be different when we play again.” Walker hopes that is especially true in the case of the Stars, who do not have a win against a NCAA Division II team in this young season.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on November 29, 2016.

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