Thursday, December 7, 2017

People in the News: Regina Bolin

University of Illinois Springfield student Regina Bolin, of Kansas City, was recognized as a Student Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois during the annual Student Laureate Convocation November 11 in Springfield.

The ceremony honors excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities by seniors from each of the state’s universities.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 4, 2017.

Read the entire article online.

Women's Basketball: UIS women ranked in regional poll

The University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball team is ranked in the Division II Sports Information Directors of America Midwest regional poll for the first time in program history.

The Prairie Stars share the No. 9 ranking with Wayne State (Michigan).

UIS is 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. It is 3-0 against Midwest Region competition. Of the 10 regionally ranked teams, UIS is the only teams that was not ranked last week. 

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 5, 2017.

Read the entire article online.

UIS Basketball: Despite UIS’ hot start, Walker seeks fast start

University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball coach Bill Walker shook things up last Saturday after seven straight games with the same starting lineup.

It didn’t matter that the Prairie Stars had posted five consecutive victories and nearly upset Southern Illinois University.

Bill Walker brought junior guard Vince Walker and junior center Zach Steinberg off the bench in an 82-78 win over Missouri S&T in its opening Great Lakes Valley Conference game.

Steinberg had made seven starts, while Vince Walker had started in eight games. Sophomore guard Lijah Donnelly and sophomore Brandon Van Sant started in their places.

Bill Walker was concerned about slow starts so he switched up the lineup.

“We were winning games, but we just weren’t getting off to the starts we want,” he said.

Both UIS basketball programs are off to solid starts.

The women’s team is 6-1, ranked first in the NCAA Division II with 8.3 blocked shots per game and this week it earned its first regional ranking in program history. It is tied for ninth in the Midwest Region poll.

“We’ve talked to the team about we’re winning games, but we can still improve and there are things we can get better at throughout the season,” UIS women’s coach Mark Kost said.

UIS is accepting donations during December home basketball games for the St. John’s Children’s Hospital Toy/Gift Drive. Players will deliver the items and visit with the kids on Dec. 19.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 6, 2017.

Read the entire article online.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Men's Basketball: UIS player Vince Walker comes up big at dad’s alma mater

University of Illinois Springfield junior guard Vince Walker had a big game Saturday on the court where his father, UIS men’s coach Bill Walker, played college basketball and where people still call his dad “Billy”.

Vince hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 38 seconds left, then sank two key free throws in the Prairie Stars’ 82-78 victory over Missouri S&T in Rolla, Missouri.

He finished with six 3s and a season-high 20 points in the Great Lakes Valley Conference opener.

It was the sixth straight win for the 6-2 Stars.

“We got a little tentative late and we were in desperate need for someone to step up, and Vince certainly did,” Bill Walker said.

When they’re in Rolla, Vince gets to hear all about his dad’s playing days.

“Once in a while, he’ll say ’They’re way more talented than when you played,” Bill Walker said. “He’ll also give me a hard time about how short our shorts were back then.”

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 3, 2017.

Read the entire article online.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

UIS men, women both hot entering GLVC play

The University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball team leads NCAA Division II in blocked shots per game.

That’s a sign the players are giving effort. It is also something for UIS to hang its hat on heading into today’s Great Lakes Valley Conference opener against Missouri S&T at 1 p.m. in Rolla, Missouri.

UIS is averaging 8.3 blocks per game, one block more than second-place Southwest Minnesota State.

Senior forward Destiny Ramsey is the GLVC’s top shot blocker with 2.67 per game.

The league’s No. 2 blocker is UIS sophomore center Katelyn Rosner. She’s averaging 2.33 blocks per game.

On the flip side, UIS leads the GLVC in scoring offense at 84 points per game.

Senior guard Shelbi Patterson is averaging a team-high 15.1 points and ranks second in the conference with a .584 field goal percentage.

“I’d like to have a rotation of 9 or 10 players. I don’t know if we’ve found that yet," said UIS coach Mark Kost. "We’ve been able to play in games where we’ve had foul trouble with our starters and win, so that gives me encouragement. That shows we have depth.”

When it comes to the UIS men’s basketball team, coach Bill Walker says he’s getting closer to having a clear rotation.

“Competition in practice is healthy,” he said.

UIS is riding a five-game win streak. The last time they won five straight games was the 2008-09 season when UIS still competed at the NAIA level.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 1, 2017.

Read the entire article online.