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Area college athletes excelling recently

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Emily Pugh finished third in the 5,000 meters at the Eastern Illinois Invite last weekend.

Times Sports Editor

The collegiate basketball season hits the stretch run in February for former county athletes.

IUPUI sophomore Julie Whitted has had some dominating efforts of late to help the Jaguars win four-of-five games.

The 6'5 center has developed into a dominant force when she's on the court and the results have translated into victories for IUPUI.

The successful swing began with a 59-54 win over North Dakota State on Jan. 14 when Whitted dropped 16 points on the opposition and added eight rebounds and seven blocks in 33 minutes.

Whitted followed that by leading IUPUI to a 59-45 victory over Centenary and posted 10 rebounds with six points and two blocks. Two days later she had a 12-rebound game with eight points in a 68-49 win against Oral Roberts.

Against IPFW, the Jaguars lost a 68-50 contest, but Whitted had a great game with 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in just 27 minutes.

Her squad came back and got back in the win column with another big game by Whitted who had 19 points, seven rebounds and rejected seven Oakland shots in a 64-61 decision.

The win was important in the Summit Conference as IUPUI improved to 5-4 overall and sent Oakland back to a 6-3 mark.

For the season she's averaging just-under 25 minutes per game while starting all 21 games.

Whitted is hitting 46 percent of her shots and scoring 11.7 ppg. and 7.4 rpg. to go with a team-high 62 blocks.

Heath Chamberlain's Marian College Knights haven't had nearly as much success in conference play, losing all 10 match-ups.

Bethel College was the most recent team to sink Marian, posting an 80-60 win despite six points and four rebounds in 17 minutes of action by Chamberlain.

Against Huntington on Jan. 26, Chamberlain scored 11 points and contributed five rebounds in a loss.

In a loss to Goshen on Jan. 23, Chamberlain put together a 17-point, three-rebound game in 27 minutes.

To Marian's credit however is that their schedule has not been easy. The Knights' last four opponents had a combined record of 66-22.

Lincoln Land College has played well recently with Northview graduate Matt Stuckey helping the cause.

The former Knight helped defeat Spoon River 72-53 on Jan. 19, with Stuckey having a modest night with two points and three assists.

The Loggers came back to run away from Shawnee Community College with a 55-point second half on the way to a 93-74 victory.

Stuckey had another two-point night to go with three rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes of action.

At Lincoln Christian College, Josiah Brock helped his team roll to a 93-76 victory over Eureka College this week to improve to 5-10 overall.

Brock came off the bench to score six points with three assists and four rebounds in his 17 minutes of action.

Lincoln Christian lost to MacMurray on Jan. 23, by a 76-64 count, with Brock tossing in eight points and grabbing seven rebounds in just 21 minutes of court time. He also added a couple of blocks.

On Jan. 19, the Preachers fell short of 10-3 Fontbonne, 78-65, as Brock contributed four points and four rebounds.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods got off a brief losing skid by drilling visiting Robert Morris on Jan. 29, 76-61.

Northview graduate Lexee Hayes had one of her best nights as a collegiate player.

Hayes went for 18 points and added seven assists and eight rebounds in the victory. The Pomeroys freshman also had a steal while playing all 40 minutes.

The win came on the heels of a loss to Stephens College in which Hayes had six assists and two steals for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

In the track and field world, Northview is well represented at both Indiana State and Vincennes.

The Sycamore women's track team won the Eastern Illinois Invitational last weekend.

Junior Emily Pugh place third in the 5,000 meters with a time of 19:03 and is making great strides according to coach John Gartland.

"Emily is one of the most improved runners on the team," said Gartland. "She finished third this past weekend in the 5,000 meters at Eastern Illinois. She had a very solid season in cross-country this past fall, where she ran in our top-five for most of the meets. She is very much a leader by example who works very hard every day."

Pugh's former teammate with the Knights, Nikki Royer, has bounced back from an injury last season and is once more having great success in the pole vault for the Sycamores.

Royer placed sixth last weekend in Illinois, clearing 10-6 for ISU. Her teammate, and former Terre Haute North standout, Kylie Hutson, was the winner with a height of 12-5 .

"Nikki has come back well from surgery on her shoulder last year," said Gartland. "She red-shirted both indoor and outdoor track last year. We have four potential all-conference vaulters this year. Kylie Hutson is our returning NCAA qualifier, and we have two outstanding freshmen. Nikki finished third in the outdoor MVC Meet in 2006, her last conference meet," mentioned Gartland about his team's depth.

"I am very happy that she has come back as strongly as she has," commented Gartland

Next season, two former Knights will be joined by Ashley Davis, who is a freshman this season.

Davis is focusing on her academics this year at ISU before joining the Sycamore throwers next year.

"She is making good academic progress. We look forward to her being on the team next year," said Gartland.

Both James Grounds and Neil Vanatti are members of the Vincennes University Trailblazers, but did not compete with the team at Eastern Illinois.

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