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Basketball Wed Nov 18 2009

Hoop It Up!

northwestern.jpgFor the average Chicagoan, things are starting to turn cold, grey and miserable. For the college hoops heads among us, things are just starting to heat up.

College basketball revs its engine this week as the season gets underway and Chicago has no shortage of teams to keep an eye on. Sure, the flags of Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana may obliterate the local landscape, but hometown fans have a few teams they may want to keep an eye on. So, to get you caught up...

Northwestern
Chicago's Big Ten connection kicks off a four-game homestand tonight with a game against 11th-ranked Butler in Evanston. The Wildcats are coming off a 77-55 win over Northern Illinois, impressive considering their two senior stars, forwards Kevin Coble and Jeff Ryan, are out for the season with injuries. NU leads the series with Butler 16-7.

The Northwestern women also won their first game of the season 73-64 over Toledo. They now play eight games in a row at home (starting with SIU Evansville on Friday), including the Doubletree White Tournament Nov. 27 and 28.

DePaul
Not much is expected out of the Blue Demons (1-0), who are picked to finish last in the Big East in a significant number of polls, which makes their season opening 59-53 victory over Columbia Tuesday night all the more important. Unlike much of last season, DePaul managed to beat back a threat in the late minutes of the game for the win. They now jet to the U.S. Virgin Islands (!) for something called the Paradise Jam Tournament Nov. 20-23. Possible opponents include Boston College, Purdue and Tennessee.

The Lady Blue Demons (2-0) saw senior guard Deirdre Naighton reach a milestone as she scored her 1,000th point in the team's 77-65 win over North Dakota State this past Sunday at McGrath Arena. They return to action this Friday when they host the Maggie Dixon Classic at McGrath Arena, facing Cornell in the first round.

Loyola
The Ramblers had five players score in double figures (led by Geoff McCammon with 22) as they downed Canisius at the Gentile Center Tuesday night. Loyola (1-1) hits the road to face Holy Cross Friday night before returning to host Western Michigan on Nov. 23 and St. Ambrose on Nov. 28.

The Lady Ramblers hope to get their first 2-0 start in eight years when they travel to Western Michigan on Thursday. Their first win didn't come easy as Loyola blew a 19 point lead with six minutes against St. Xavier this past Sunday, but managed to hang on for 69-64 win.

UIC
The Flames got a big boost from juco transfer K.C. Robbins in their season opening 72-59 win over UIS Saturday night. Robbins, a 6-11, 270-pound center, had 12 points and 13 rebounds in the victory. Head coach Jimmy Collins now takes his team to Central Michigan for a game tonight.

The women's team (0-2) wasn't as lucky as they lost their second game of the young season 79-64 to Bradley. The Lady Flames showed determination as they fell behind 11-0 to start the game but managed to outscore Bradley 33-31 in the second half, albeit too much too late. They hope to erase that winless record at the Subway Basketball Classic in Minneapolis, which tips off this Friday.

Chicago State
The Cougars (1-1) take on Trinity International tonight, the first game of a three-game homestand that includes games against St. Xavier and Eastern Illinois. CSU dropped a 72-50 contest to Iowa State Sunday.

The CSU (0-1) women are also in action tonight, albeit in Des Moines, Iowa where they take on Drake. They were crushed by Bowling Green 76-41 this past Friday, although they do have an 83-75 exhibition win over St. Francis to brag about.They travel to Baltimore for two games (North Carolina A&T and Towson/Winthrop) before coming back to host a four-game homestand beginning Nov. 25.

 
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