Thursday, December 20, 2018

Men's Basketball: Former CS8 standouts lead Prairie Stars as UIS holds off Lindenwood Belleville in a non-conference play

Aundrae Williams and Cole Harper both scored in double figures for the University of Illinois Springfield as they hosted Lindenwood Belleville Wednesday afternoon.

Multiply buckets by Williams and Harper in the second half helped the Prairie stars extend their lead and beat Lindenwood Belleville 76-65.

This story aired on on December 19, 2018.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Men's Basketball: Harper earns GLVC Player of the Week

University of Illinois Springfield guard Cole Harper was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week after posting 19 points and 11 rebounds in the Stars’ 97-67 victory over Purdue Northwest on Saturday.

Harper, a Chatham Glenwood High School graduate, was seven of 11 from the field and 3-for-3 from long distance. He currently averages 7.7 points and eight rebounds per game this season.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 17, 2018.

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Women's Basketball: Brianna Mefford breaks UIS record in blowout victory

The University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball team raced to a 48-14 lead at halftime and clobbered Robert Morris Springfield 104-40 Monday in a home non-conference game.

Brianna Mefford broke a school record for rebounds in a game, grabbing 20 to go along with 10 points.

Val Meissner, Tehya Fortune and Ellie Mitchell each had three 3-pointers for UIS, which converted 13 of 25 3-point attempts.

Mitchell led UIS with 26 points and nine rebounds while Meissner and Fortune finished with 19 and 16 points, respectively.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 17, 2018.

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Men's Basketball: Cole Harper leads UIS to fourth straight win

Cole Harper scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball team to its fourth straight win, 97-67 over Purdue Northwest Saturday in a non-conference game at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

Harper, a Chatham Glenwood High School graduate, was 3-for-3 from 3-point range and finished 7-for-9 from the field.

Four other UIS players finished in double figures as the Prairie Stars shot 54.8 percent from the floor in the first half and built a 53-32 lead going into halftime.

Daniel Soetan added 17 points on 7 of 9 shooting and Gilwan Nelson dropped in 15 for UIS, which improved to 6-3. Lanphier graduate Aundrae Williams chipped in 13 points and Vince Walker hit a pair of 3s and netted 10 for the Prairie Stars.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 15, 2018.

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It’s all coming together at UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield has done big things in 2018.

In the spring, the baseball team went to its first NCAA Division II national tournament, won 29 straight games and finished 47-9 overall to win the Great Lakes Valley Conference with a 23-1 record. Chris Ramirez was named Coach of the Year and Cole Taylor signed with the Los Angeles Angels.

Softball won the GLVC (22-6) and advanced to the super-regionals with a 40-19 record.

In the fall, it was the women’s volleyball team tying for the GLVC title at 15-3 and advancing to the national tournament to finish with a program-best 25-8 record. Trey Salinas earned Coach of the Year honors and powerful Alyssa Hasler made third-team All-American.

It’s winter, and the men’s basketball team has started 6-3. Local players Aundrae Williams, Peyton Allen, Cole Harper and Collin Stallworth appear to have the Stars on the rise.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 16, 2018.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Men's Soccer: Falsone earns scholar all-region honors

The United Soccer Coaches recognized University of Illinois Springfield forward Mario Falsone on its Scholar All-North/Central Region team, which was announced on Monday.

Falsone scored five goals and four assists for the Prairie Stars this past season and was second-team in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 11, 2018.

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Women's Volleyball: UIS’ Taylor Bauer voted First-Team Academic All-American

University of Illinois Springfield outside hitter Taylor Bauer was among seven NCAA Division II players picked for the Google Cloud First-Team Academic All-American team on Tuesday, the first Prairie Star to reach the first-team honor.

Junior softball player Amanda Gosbeth was a third-team academic selection last year.

Bauer led UIS this past season with 356 kills, along with 134 digs and 49 blocks.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 11, 2018.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

UIS holds #TaylorvilleStrong Day before women's basketball game

A week after the Taylorville tornado ripped through the town, the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars wanted to find a way to give back to a community in need.

During their women's basketball game against Lincoln Christian University, they took donations that would go towards the Taylorville Food Pantry and the Mission for Taylorville.

Assistant athletic director Ashlyn Beasley said, "I come from a small town in Illinois. Hearing about the impact and the destruction that happened in Taylorville, it really hit home for me because I do know people in that area. I know that I would want the same in my small town. So I worked with our assistant women's basketball coach, Cameron Clayton, whose dad and family and friends live in Taylorville, and thought that there's something that we need to do. We have a basketball game Saturday afternoon. Let's make it our Taylorville Strong game. Be able to bring the community in, embrace them, raise some funds and be able to give back to Missions for Taylorville as well as the Taylorville food pantry."

This story appeared on WICS Newschannel 20 on December 8, 2018.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Men's Basketball: Allen powers UIS past Maryville in GLVC

Peyton Allen scored a game-high 28 points and had nine rebounds Thursday night to lead the University of Illinois Springfield past Maryville 85-70 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference opener for both teams.

Allen, a Chatham Glenwood High School graduate, was 6-for-13 from 3-point range to lead the Stars to a 11-for-26 night beyond the arc, good for 42 percent.

After trailing 43-38 at halftime, UIS went on a 15-1 run to take command in the game.

Aundrae Williams, a Lanphier graduate, added 19 points for UIS while Gilwan Nelson chipped in 18 points and nine rebounds. Cole Harper, another Glenwood graduate, had a team-high 10 rebounds and four assists for UIS. 

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on November 29, 2018.

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Susan Koch: Reaching Stellar through donor giving

The following is an excerpt from a column by University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch. This column appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 3, 2018.

One of my favorite quotes is strategically posted just below my computer screen where I can read it each day when I get to work. The author, Andrew Heiskell, was chairman of Time Inc. and a renowned philanthropist who raised millions of dollars for the New York Public Library. Heiskell asserted the best strategy for successful fundraising is to first “create a place where people want to be involved.”

UIS is creating just such a place at One University Plaza on the south side of Springfield — a place where people increasingly want to be involved.

The best proof of Heiskell’s assertion may be the progress of the current UIS capital campaign. The largest philanthropic effort in the University’s history, “Reaching Stellar” has already raised over $25.2 million — 63 percent of its $40 million goal.

Priorities for the campaign include: increasing scholarship support, enhancing academic excellence, establishing a new Center for Lincoln Studies, bolstering the “public good” UIS provides through its outreach programs, and enhancing facilities and technology.

According to Dr. Jeff Lorber, UIS Vice Chancellor for Advancement, “the success to date of the Reaching Stellar campaign has being achieved in large part because of the increasing engagement of alumni and community friends in the life of the University.”

Anne and Ray Capestrain are among those valued friends. “We believe in UIS’s mission to provide a quality, cost-effective college education to the community,” says Anne. “Scholarships are an important priority for us because students need more support than ever to realize their academic goals without accumulating debt that negatively impacts their future choices.” “The Student Union was an attractive project, too,” she continues, “because we believe it will draw more students to the university — which will contribute to the diversity of the campus as well as our community.” (The Capestrains, along with other family members, have named a conference room in the Student Union in honor of their parents, Robert and Dorothy Tracy.)

Longtime educator, community leader and philanthropist Mary Loken is another “Reaching Stellar” contributor who believes deeply in the value of UIS in the community. “A vibrant UIS is essential for the growth and enrichment of Springfield, and I applaud each exciting priority in the campaign,” says Loken. “Scholarships are especially important to me and I’m proud the Loken Family Scholarship has provided numerous area individuals with the opportunity to earn their college degrees at UIS and become teachers.”

Mark and Julie Staley are contributing to the “Reaching Stellar” campaign in many important ways, including by providing financial support for scholarships, the Student Union and athletic facilities. Julie also serves on the campaign planning committee. “Investing in UIS means investing in the future of this community,” says Julie. “We’re always honored to support scholarships and bring more ways for students to get the help they need to pay for college.” “The proposed Center for Lincoln Studies is also incredibly important,” she adds. “Lincoln changed the world forever, and it is the duty and honor of UIS to keep his legacy alive – nowhere else would such a center be so important.”

As I conclude this column, I’m reflecting on a new favorite quote now posted next to Heiskell’s. It’s from Dennis Sedlak, an early SSU/UIS alum who created a scholarship at UIS for students (like he once was) who need financial help to accomplish their aspiration to earn a college degree. Speaking at the annual UIS Scholarship Luncheon a few weeks ago, Sedlak expressed the personal satisfaction he’s gained from meeting his scholarship recipients.

“Whenever we give, whatever we give,” he said, “it always comes back.” I’m so grateful to the many UIS supporters who, like donors mentioned in this column, are expressing their confidence in the future of UIS with their generous financial support and who — like Dennis Sedlak — appreciate seeing their gifts “come back.”

Read the entire column online.