Local Sports

Miller Media Group's All-Sports Station THEWINNER965.COM Streaming Entire Big Ten Mens Tournament

The Miller Media Group's all-sports radio station, "THE WINNER 96-5" streamed on-line at THEWINNER965-DOT-COM, will broadcast the entire Big Ten Mens Basketball Tournament live from Indianapolis this week.


Compass Media Networks is providing the coverage to "THE WINNER."

The Big Ten currently has 6 teams ranked in the Top 25, and is the conference with the most depth in College Basketball.


Follow your favorite Big Ten team thru the Big Ten Tournament, which airs this Wednesday, March 10th thru this Sunday, March 14th, on "THE WINNER 96-5" streamed on-line at THEWINNER965-DOT-COM.


Illini Shut Out Ohio State to Take Series Finale

Freshman LHP Cole Kirschsieper picked up right where he left off last season, throwing five scoreless innings in an 8-0 shutout in the series finale at Fluor Field. The Illini rebounded after dropping the first three games of the series to the Buckeyes.


Kirschsieper (5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 SO) has not lost a game in his college career. Last season, he went 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA. Freshman Joseph Glassey, sophomore Ryan Kutt and freshman Payton Hutchings came out of the bullpen to complete the combined three-hit shutout. Ohio State (3-1) was shutout for the first time in a conference game since April 20, 2018 vs. Indiana (4-0).


Illinois (1-3) produced their highest scoring game of the season with eight runs. 


Freshman Justin Janas went 3-for-3 with an RBI, walk and two runs scored. Janas' RBI came on a single in the third inning, which also marked his first career hit. Sophomore Ryan Hampe contributed a 2-for-4 day at the plate with a double and two RBIs. Junior Taylor Jackson added a pair of hits as well.


Right out of the gate in the first inning, leadoff hitter Taylor Jackson hit a ground-rule double. Illinois scored three in the first, courtesy of a Branden Comia RBI single, a Cam McDonald RBI groundout and a Ryan Hampe RBI single. It was the second consecutive game the Illini put up runs in the first inning.


The Illini added two runs in the fifth from a Janas RBI single and a Hampe RBI double to extend the lead to 5-0. Illinois would add three more insurance runs in the eighth inning, including freshman Cal Hejza recording his first career hit with an RBI double down the right field field line.


Illinois will travel to Minneapolis next week to take on the Golden Gophers at U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings. The weekend series will be four games, with a doubleheader played on Saturday. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. CT on Friday, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. CT on Saturday, and 6 p.m. CT on Sunday.


UT-Martin Rolls EIU

As heard on WHOW Sunday afternoon, John Bachus threw two of his three touchdown passes to tight end Rodney Williams, John Ford returned an interception 50 yards for a score, and UT Martin never trailed in its 28-15 win over Eastern Illinois on Sunday.


Bachus was 24-of-36 passing for 259 yards with an interception and Williams finished with eight receptions for 95 yards. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound redshirt senior went into the game with career totals of 41 catches for 473 yards and no touchdowns.


Bachus connected with Williams for a 21-yard touchdown to open the scoring late in the first quarter and then hit Donnell Williams for a 16-yard TD with 9:07 left in the second. Two plays from scrimmage later, Ford’s pick-6 gave the Skyhawks (1-1, 1-1 Ohio Valley Conference) a 21-0 lead.


Harry Woodbery had 279 yards passing and two touchdowns for Eastern Illinois (0-2, 0-2).


UTM had 12 tackles for loss and limited the Panthers to 59 yards rushing on 25 attempts.


The game was originally scheduled for Feb. 21 but was postponed due to winter weather in the area.

EIU takes on Tennessee State next Sunday afternoon.


Illinois State Drops Series Finale At Southeast Missouri

Fresh off a 13-run offensive output, the Illinois State baseball team's bats fell flat at SEMO as the team dropped the series finale, 8-1, on Sunday at Capaha Field. 


Fifth-year senior Joe Butler was 2-for-4 with a home run, double, RBI, and run scored for Illinois State (3-6 overall). The run was his 100th career run scored, becoming the 44th Redbird to score 100 career runs. 


Fifth-year senior Jordan Libman was also 2-for-4, recording his third-straight two-hit game and extending his season-opening hitting streak to nine games. 


SEMO (5-6 overall) got seven of its 10 hits out of the 7-8-9 batters in the lineup. 


The Redbirds dropped three of four after dropping the first two games of the four-game set before taking the second of a Saturday doubleheader.


ISU hosts Western Illinois Tuesday evening at 6 pm. 


Illinois Locks Up No. 2-Seed in Big Ten Tournament

The bracket is set for the 2021 Big Ten Tournament. The 24th annual event will be held March 10-14 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.


The Fighting Illini (20-6, 16-4) are the No. 2 seed, earning a double-bye to the quarterfinal round for the second consecutive season. Illinois will open play on Friday (March 12) at 5:30 p.m. CT on BTN, facing the winner of No. 7 seed Rutgers vs. No. 10 seed Indiana. 


Illinois' 16 Big Ten wins are its most in school history. The Illini won 11 of their last 12 games, highlighted by three straight on the road against ranked teams over the final eight days of the regular season.


Lightning Double Up Blackhawks

Yanni Gourde had two goals and two assists, and the Lightning used their power play to rally for a 6-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.


Gourde had one of Tampa Bay's three power-play goals during its four-goal second period. Pat Maroon added his 100th career goal in the third, giving the Lightning a season-high four goals with the man advantage.


Ondrej Palat and Victor Hedman also scored power-play goals in the second. Alex Killorn scored for the third straight game, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 stops.


Mattias Janmark had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks. Philipp Kurashev and Pius Suter also scored, and Kevin Lankinen made 33 saves.


Coming off a 4-3 shootout win Friday night, the Blackhawks controlled much of the first period. Kurashev got his sixth of the season on a nice backhand in front, and Janmark finished a pretty passing sequence for a power-play goal at 15:34.


The Blackhawks open a six-game trip at Dallas on Tuesday night.


Kyle Larson Conquers Vegas, Takes Penzoil 400

On Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kyle Larson raced to his first NASCAR victory since he was reinstated from a nearly yearlong suspension. He ran just the first four races last season and was hired by Hendrick Motorsports when NASCAR said the suspension would lift at the start of this year.


Larson wasn’t sure he’d ever race again in NASCAR, and if he could, he didn’t know who would even hire him.


It was Rick Hendrick who took the chance on a driver many believed was radioactive for sponsors. Larson’s use of a racial slur while participating in an online race last April cost him his job, his reputation and his ability to attract the corporations that fund a race team.


Hendrick said he’d pay for the car himself because he was that confident that Larson, reformed after months of self-work, could be redeemed.


Larson then celebrated his first career win on an intermediate track with smoke-filled burnouts, including one on the backstretch for friends watching from a motorhome on the hillside above the track. 


Larson’s move to Hendrick was expected to be electric.


Larson is considered one of the top talents in NASCAR but won just six times in six seasons with Chip Ganassi Racing. Paired with mighty Hendrick, everyone suspected Larson would at last reach his full potential.


The victory gave Hendrick back-to-back victories. William Byron won last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway, so Hendrick has two of its four drivers locked into the playoffs just one month into the new season.


Larson’s last victory was Oct. 6, 2019, at Dover.


His seventh career win made him the third driver so far who was not part of the 16-driver playoff field last season to grab one of the spots. The season opened with three consecutive surprise winners in Michael McDowell, Christopher Bell and then Byron.


Larson isn’t exactly a surprise and Las Vegas was supposed to be the track in which the large teams finally took control. The 1.5-mile intermediate is the bread-and-butter of the NASCAR schedule and the top organizations have the depth and resources to dominate the circuits.


The top-nine finishers Sunday all represented NASCAR’s elite teams, with Erik Jones for single-car Richard Petty Motorsports the only surprise with a 10th-place finish.


Brad Keselowski of Team Penske was second in a Ford and followed by hometown driver Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin in Toyotas for Joe Gibbs Racing.


Ryan Blaney was fifth for Penske and then Martin Truex Jr. and Bell put all four JGR cars in the top seven. Byron was eighth and defending race winner Joey Logano was ninth for Penske.


NASCAR heads 300 miles south to Phoenix Raceway, where Chase Elliott won in November for his first Cup championship. The Phoenix race last March, won by Joey Logano, was NASCAR’s fourth event of the season and last before the pandemic.


Dechambeau Puts on Power Display en Route to Win at Bay Hill

Bryson DeChambeau played the final 17 holes without a bogey, entertaining thousands with another monstrous drive over the water and delivering one last par with a 5-foot putt on the final hole for a one-shot victory over Lee Westwood Sunday to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.


DeChambeau closed with a 71, matching the low score of the final round in which no one broke 70 on Sunday at Bay Hill for the first time since 1980.


Westwood, who turns 48 next month, was up to the task.


Never mind that DeChambeau’s rocket over the water on the 565-yard sixth hole was 168 yards beyond Westwood. Their second shots were only 6 feet apart and both made birdie.


Westwood fought to the end. He fell out of a share of the lead with a three-putt bogey from 40 feet on the 14th. Just as critical was failing to make birdie on the par-5 16th with a wedge for his second shot from the fairway, and DeChambeau having to scramble for par.


The two were never separated by more than one shot over the final 15 holes. DeChambeau finished at 11-under 277.


The long ball came in handy for DeChambeau, as much with the putter as the driver. He holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the fourth hole to regain a share of the lead. More critical was the 50-foot par putt he made on No. 11 to stay one ahead.


Westwood tied him with a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-5 12th, only to give it back with a three-putt on the 14th. The tournament turned on the par-5 16th, where it was Westwood who had the advantage.


DeChambeau’s drive went up against the lip of a bunker and he had to lay up short of the water. Westwood had 158 yards and hit a poor wedge that came up short of the green. He chipped nicely, except that it rolled out 6 feet by the hole on the lightning-quick greens and he missed the birdie for a chance to tie.


DeChambeau took the one-shot lead to the 18th and hit his most important drive of the day — in the fairway. Westwood’s tee shot settled in a divot, and he did well to get it on the green and two-putt from 65 feet. DeChambeau’s birdie putt slid by some 5 feet and he shook his arms in celebration when the par putt dropped.


Westwood closed with a 73, not a bad score considering the average of 75.49 was the highest for a final round since 1980.


Corey Conners stayed in the mix until the very end. The Canadian holed a 15-foot eagle putt on the 16th to get within one shot, only to find a bunker on the par-3 17th and miss a 6-foot par putt. With a bogey on the final hole, he shot 74 to finish alone in third.


Jordan Spieth was part of a four-man race on the front nine and briefly tied for the lead with a birdie on the par-5 sixth. That turned out to be his last birdie of the day. He took bogey on three of his last four holes for a 75, dropping him into a three-way tie for fourth with Andrew Putnam (71) and Ricky Werenski (73).


For Spieth, it was his third top-five finish in his last four events.


DeChambeau rose to No. 6 in the world with his ninth victory worldwide, and he became the first player this season with multiple victories, to go along with his U.S. Open title in September. It matched the longest it took for a multiple winner on the PGA Tour since 1969. Nick Price won his second title in the 21st week of the season in 1994.


Rory McIlroy, who started four shots out of the lead, was never in the mix. He came undone on the par-5 sixth, where he hit two tee shots into the water and then hit the fairway, green and made the putt to salvage double bogey. He shot 76.


The Tour heads to The Stadium Course for this week's PLAYERS Championship in Palm Valley, Florida. Brooks Koepka announced yesterday he has withdrawn.


WHOW To Air White Sox Baseball This Season

White Sox Baseball will be heard in the 2021 regular season and during the playoffs, on WHOW THE BIG 1520 across Central Illinois, 92-point-3 FM in Dewitt County, and soon coming to 106-point-5 FM in McLean County.


Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller made the announcement today.  Miller said that with the many changes the White Sox organization has made, including some key trades, they are expected to do well this season and WHOW is excited about bringing the White Sox to Central Illinois listeners.


White Sox broadcasts begin April First on WHOW AM and FM.


No. 3 N. Iowa wins defensive slugfest against Illinois St.

Tyler Hoosman ran for 63 yards and his 13-yard touchdown run with 3:24 left helped seal No. 3-ranked Northern Iowa’s 20-10 win over 15th-ranked Illinois State on Saturday.


The Panthers’ (2-1, 2-1 Missouri Valley Football Conference) four-play, 24-yard drive was set up when Jared Brinkman recovered a fumble forced by teammate Spencer Cuvelier on a sack of Illinois State quarterback Bryce Jefferson.


In what was a defensive scrum throughout, both defensive units tended get the better of each others offenses than the other way around.


Under pressure throughout, Jefferson finished 13-for-27 passing for 69 yards and ran for 60 yards on 14 carries. Northern Iowa quarterback Will McElvain was only slightly better off at 14 for 33 for 148 yards and running for score as well though he threw a pick-6.


McElvain’s 11-yard TD run on the opening drive ended a brief 35-yard scoring drive set up by Quan Hampton’s 65-yard return of the opening kickoff. Matthew Cook’s 43-yard field goal made it 10-0 a little more than halfway through the first period.


Following Aidan Bresnahan’s 49-yard field goal to put the Redbirds (0-2, 0-2) on the board, Kenton Wilhoit intercepted McElvain and returned it 29-yards for a touchdown to even the score. Cook’s 44-yard field goal to start the fourth quarter put Northern Iowa in the lead for the remainder.


Dosunmu's return powers No. 4 Illinois over No. 7 Ohio State

Ayo Dosunmu played the part with a 19-point performance, and the No. 4 Illini rallied late to beat reeling No. 7 Ohio State 73-68.


Andre Curbelo matched Dosunmu’s 19, and Illinois (20-6, 16-4) got its second straight road win over a top 10 team after routing No. 2 Michigan on Tuesday. The Illini have won 11 of 12 and enter next week’s Big Ten Tournament with a double-bye.


When it looked like Ohio State might start to pull away late, the Buckeyes’ shooting went cold. Illinois’ Da’Monte Williams hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 68 with 1:31 left.


Dosunmu’s layup and three foul shots in the last 44 seconds provided the margin of victory as Ohio State failed to make another basket in the game. The Buckeyes missed their last 10 shots and didn’t score in the final 3:48.


E.J. Liddell led the Buckeyes (18-8, 12-8) with 19 points, and Duane Washington Jr. and Justice Sueing each had 15 for Ohio State, which finished the regular season with four straight losses, three against Top 10 teams.


Illinois led by 10 during the first half but a late put-back by Liddell cut the advantage to 41-37 at the break. The teams traded punches in the second half with Ohio State up by four when Illinois mounted the final rally.


Clinton Falls to St. Thomas More

The Clinton Maroons fell to Champaign St. Thomas More by a score of 42-65 on Saturday afternoon in non-conference boys basketball action.


Lady Maroons Top St. T

The Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the St. Teresa Lady Bulldogs by a score of 66-32 on Saturday afternoon. Clinton was led by Mallory Cyrulik with 22 points and Kaitlyn Rauch with 19.


The Lady Maroons are 11-2 on the season and 5-2 in the Central Illinois Conference.


Late Surge Sends Monticello Past Biskmarck-Henning

Monticello finished a dominant fourth quarter with an 8-0 run in the last 3 minutes of regulation as several players had career games in a 62-50 win over Bismarck-Henning in non-conference boy’s basketball action from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School Saturday afternoon. 


Ben Cresap went over his career-high in points with two free throws at 2:58 remaining in regulation and added another basket a minute later to push him to 26 points.


The score was tied at 48 after the three quarters when the Blue Devils nearly doubled their first-half offensive output with a 23-18 quarter after trailing 30-25 at the intermission.


But Monticello dominated the fourth quarter, holding Bismarck-Henning to just one basket on 13 attempts and the Sages finished strong holding the 14-2 edge. The Blue Devils went five-for-six from distance in the third quarter. 


Joey Sprinkle recorded his first career double-double with a career-high 13 points and 11 rebounds. 


Jake Edmondson was shut out from the scorer’s column but grabbed a season-best 11 rebounds.


Cresap not only scored a career-high 26 points but he dished out seven assists to zero turnovers and as a team, the Sages dished out 18 assists to only nine turnovers.


Monticello also dominated the glass 37-22 with 13 offensive rebounds and scored 13 second-chance points.


The Sages scored 34 points in the paint.


After making five three-pointers in the third quarter, the Blue Devils came up empty on nine attempts in the final frame.


Trevor Fox added 12 points and Andrew Rudolph chipped in with eight points for Monticello.


The Sages improve to 8-3 overall while the Blue Devils fall to 11-3.


Monticello concludes the pandemic altered basketball season on Tuesday night hosting St. Joseph-Ogden for senior night. Hear all the action starting at 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.



Buzzer-Beating Three Lifts Prairie Central Past Monticello

Trey Buzzell hit a three-pointer from the top of the key as time expired to lift Prairie Central to a 48-46 win over Monticello in Illini Prairie Conference boys basketball action from Fairbury Friday night.


Ben Cresap gave Monticello a 46-45 lead with 7 seconds left hitting a five-foot floater barreling over Bazzell in the process.


Prairie Central inbounded the ball and Monticello had the ball well defended on the sideline before Bazzell got it, dribbled to the top of the key and hit a step-back three over Tristan Foran who played good defense on the Hawks star in the second half.


Monticello played a very solid first quarter, holding Bazzell scoreless and trailed just 10-9 but Bazzell caught fire in the second scoring 14 of his game-high 27 points. The Hawks defense picked up as well holding the Sages to just six second-quarter points, outsourcing them 17-6 and took a 27-15 advantage to the break.


The Sages rebounded in the third, slowly chipping away at the Prairie Central lead fueled by fiery play from Cresap along with Foran and the Monticello defense holding Bazzell to just one field goal in the third and Monticello finally broke through in the fourth quarter taking a 35-34 lead on a Trevor Fox layup who got free in transition on a brilliant feed from Cresap. 


Cresap scored 11 of his team-high 22 points in the third quarter. Joey Sprinkle scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds.


In addition to Bazzell’s game-high 27 points, he also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. 


Monticello held the rebounding edge 26-24. 


The Sages committed 14 turnovers which led to 12 Hawks points. Monticello forced 12 turnovers and turned them into 11 points. 


Prairie Central outscored Monticello in the paint 24-22. 


The Sages used nine offensive rebounds to create eight second-chance points while the Hawks turned seven offensive boards into seven second-chance points. 


Each team shot 44-percent from the floor and each team shot 5-for-15 from distance. 


The Hawks may have had a more comfortable victory if it hadn’t been for a 3-for-9 finish from the foul line. 


Prairie Central improves to 9-3 overall while Monticello drops to 7-3 overall and 5-3 in the Illini Prairie Conference.


The Sages return to the hardwood this afternoon hosting Bismarck-Henning at the Sievers Center. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.



Illinois Closes Out Regular Season Saturday at Ohio State

Fourth-ranked Illinois can extend its winning streak to four games and hand No. 7 Ohio State its fourth straight loss Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.


The Illini (19-6, 15-4 Big Ten) are coming off one the most impressive victories in college basketball this season, 76-53 at No. 2 Michigan on Tuesday despite not having injured national player of the year candidate Ayo Dosunmu.


Yet, in the landmine that is the Big Ten, another challenge is ahead against the struggling Buckeyes (18-7, 12-7), who were ranked as high as fourth before losing to Michigan, Michigan State and No. 5 Iowa.


Ohio State defeated the Illini 87-81 on Jan. 16 behind 26 points by Illinois native E.J. Liddell.


The Buckeyes haven't played since a 73-57 home loss to Iowa on Sunday, and Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said a break from games was needed.


It is unclear if Dosunmu, who averages 21.0 points and 6.3 rebounds, will be available for the Illini. He sustained a broken nose and other facial injuries against Michigan State on Feb. 23, and Underwood said Tuesday he is still in concussion protocol.


In Dosunmu's absence against the Wolverines, Trent Frazier had 22 points; Andre Curbelo added 17 points and six rebounds and Kofi Cockburn had 12 points and seven rebounds.


Southern Illinois Gets By Bradley in Missouri Valley Conference Tournament

Ben Harvey had a season-high 24 points as ninth-seeded Southern Illinois got past eighth-seeded Bradley 73-63 in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tourney on Thursday.


The Salukis face top-seeded and 20th-ranked Loyola Chicago in the first quarterfinal game on Friday.


Trent Brown had 13 points for Southern Illinois (12-13). Kyler Filewich added 12 points. Steven Verplancken Jr. had 10 points.


Rienk Mast scored a career-high 24 points and had 10 rebounds for the Braves (12-16). Sean East II added 16 points. Ville Tahvanainen had six rebounds.


Northern Iowa Gets By Illinois State in Missouri Valley Conference Tournament

Austin Phyfe matched his season high with 21 points as Northern Iowa narrowly defeated Illinois State 65-60 in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tourney on Thursday night.


Tenth-seeded Illinois State face No. 2 seed Drake in the quarterfinals on Friday.


Tywhon Pickford had 11 points and nine rebounds for Northern Iowa (10-15). Nate Heise added six rebounds. James Betz had three blocks.


Trae Berhow, whose 13 points per game entering the contest was second on the Panthers, shot only 20 percent for the game (2 of 10).


Dusan Mahorcic had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Redbirds (7-18). He also committed seven turnovers. Antonio Reeves added 10 points. DJ Horne had 10 points and seven rebounds.


Illinois Baseball Opens New Season Today

The Illinois baseball team begins its 2021 season Friday with a trip to Greenville, S.C.with a four-game series Friday-Sunday against Ohio State at Fluor Field. Saturday's action will be a doubleheader, with the first contest being a 7-inning game.


Illinois is returning to the field for the first time since March 8, 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic ended the 2020 season early. The Illini were 8-5 through their first 13 games last season.


This year, the team will have 24 players back from last season's roster and welcome 11 newcomers. Much of the offensive production is back with 86% of last season's hits and 83% of the team's runs scored returning.


Sophomore righty Andrew Hoffmann will get the ball for the Illini on Friday. Hoffmann transferred from John A. Logan Community College following last season. He went 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA in five starts in 2020. Illinois will send junior Riley Gowens to the mound in game one on Saturday and sophomore Ty Rybarczyk in game two. The weekend finale will have freshman left-hander Cole Kirschsieper on the hill.


Illinois State Looking for Bounce Back Win At Northern Iowa Saturday

Illinois State will look to bounce back from a disappointing season opener last week at home against South Dakota, when the No. 15 ranked Redbirds (0-1) travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to take on No. 3 ranked Northern Iowa (1-1) Saturday afternoon at the UNI Dome in Missouri Valley Conference college football action.


Sophomore quarterback Bryce Jefferson, in his home starting debut against South Dakota, set career highs for completions (15), passing yards (280), rushing yards (65) and touchdown passes (1) against the Coyotes, and had three completions of over 50 yards in the contest. However, he also accounted for four interceptions and two fumbles in the contest, which featured big moments in the first half and tough outcomes in the second half.


Dom Williams scored two touchdowns, and the UNI defense held Youngstown State to just 135 yards of offense as the Panthers improved to 1-1 on the season with a 21-0 win over the Penguins last Saturday at Stambaugh Stadium. 


Walk-on offensive lineman Chase Arends was named the MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week after stepping into the starting lineup for the Panthers in the win over Youngstown State. Three Panther starters for week one were unavailable for week two because of COVID protocols and contact tracing, which gave Arends the start at center. He and the rest of the offensive line helped the Panthers pickup 191 yards rushing and he did not give up a sack.


ISU has won four of the last seven games against the Panthers, but have not won at the UNI Dome since a 33-21 victory in 2012. The Panthers won the last meeting between the two teams 27-10 last season at Hancock Stadium and have won the last two meetings overall.


Illinois State Baseball Travels to Southeast Missouri

After dropping three-straight contests at No. 17 Oklahoma State, the Illinois State baseball team travels to face SEMO for a four-game series over March 5-7.


The Redbirds--despite out-hitting No. 17 Oklahoma State in game one and each team recording seven hits in games two and three--were swept by the Cowboys with scorelines of 3-2, 8-2, and 6-0.


Fifth-year senior Colton Johnson threw 6.1 innings with four hits, one earned run, four strikeouts, and two walks. Fourth-year junior Jack Butler was 4-for-9 on the weekend.


Johnson gets the ball in game one at 3 pm today. Sean Sinisko will get the nod for game two of the series on Saturday at noon then Jordan Lussier will throw in the second of the Saturday doubleheader. Cameron Mabee will toe the rubber for the series finale set for Sunday.


SEMO is off to a 2-5 start in 2021, most recently being swept by now top-ranked Arkansas.


SEMO is expected to start Dylan Dodd on Friday, who fanned 10 batters at No. 2 Arkansas. Andrew Keck has been the most productive offensive player for SEMO in 2021 thus far, batting .321 with four RBI, two HR, and five stolen bases.


Eastern Illinois, UT-Martin Make Up Postponed Season Opener Sunday

Eastern Illinois and UT Martin are both looking for their first win of the season as the two teams meet on Sunday in a game rescheduled from the opening weekend (Feb. 21) due to winter weather.  EIU lost to No. 21 Southeast Missouri in the opener while UT Martin lost at Murray State.


Running back Kendi Young broke loose for a 72-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter against Southeast Missouri.


Sophomore corner JJ Ross picked up where he left off last season in defending passes as he finished with five solo tackles, two pass break-ups and a fumble recovery.  Ross ranks fourth in the NCAA in passes defended.  Last season he earned Freshman All-American honors leading the team with four interceptions including two in the final game of the season at Austin Peay.


Game time Sunday is 1 pm and can be heard on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 


Nuggets Hold Off Pacers

Michael Porter, Jr. had 24 points and 11 rebounds Thursday night, outshining Nikola Jokic, in leading the Denver Nuggets past Indiana 113-103.


Porter has five double-doubles in the last six games, a stark contrast from an 0 for 8 performance Feb. 16, the first of eight road games in a 10-game stretch.


But with Porter rolling and Jokic playing at his usual All-Star level, the Nuggets are rolling. They've won four straight road games for the first time since 2011-12.


And everyone has a part. While Jokic had 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, Jamal Murray finished with 23 points, his 12th straight with 22 or more.


The Pacers need to find some fixes, too, after losing for the fifth time in six games and their fifth straight at home.


Indiana was led by Myles Turner's 22 points and a season-high-tying 12 rebounds. Domantas Sabonis had his fourth triple-double of the season with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.


Denver took control early in the second quarter then pulled out to a 66-54 lead early in the third. But after the Pacers tied the score at 68, Denver outscored Indiana 14-6 over the final 5 1/2 minutes of the third and sealed the victory with a 12-0 spurt midway through the fourth.


One day after T.J. McConnell recorded the second triple-double of his career, he finished with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists. Doug McDermott had 20 points and Justin Holiday had 16.


The Pacers open the second half March 12 at the Los Angeles Lakers.


Lightning Zap Blackhawks

Victor Hedman jumped on the ice and got the puck from Alex Killorn. He heard Tampa Bay's bench yell ''Shoot,'' so he flung the puck toward the net.


Killorn got a piece of Hedman's shot and the puck crossed the goal line right before the overtime horn, lifting the Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.


Steven Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli also scored for Tampa Bay in its sixth consecutive victory, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves in another stellar performance for the Stanley Cup champions.


Chicago forward Alex DeBrincat had a shot go off the post in OT, and Tampa Bay defenseman Mikhail Sergachev shot one off the crossbar.


DeBrincat and Ryan Carpenter scored for the Blackhawks, who had won three of four. Lankinen finished with 31 saves.


Chicago jumped in front in the second in perhaps its best period of the season. Vasilevskiy held off the Blackhawks for a while, turning away good looks by Pius Suter and DeBrincat, but some hustle by Brandon Hagel set up the first goal of the game.


With Chicago forward Phillipp Kurashev in the penalty box, Hagel chased down a loose puck in the Tampa Bay end and took a shot from the left circle that went off Vasilevskiy and popped into the air.


Lightning forward Pat Maroon then mishandled the puck in front and Hagel passed it over to Carpenter, who beat Vasilevskiy high on the stick side at 7:24.


The two teams meet again tonight.


Prairie Central Steamrolls Monticello in High School Girl's Basketball Action

Chloe Sisco scored 16 first-quarter points and 21 of her game-high 23 points in the first half propelling Prairie Central to a 69-49 win over Monticello Thursday night in Illini Prairie Conference girl’s basketball action from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.


Sisco set the tone early as the Lady Hawks used suffocating defense and transition to get ahead early and stay ahead. Mariya Sisco added 11 points and Madison Kinkade and Natalie Graf each chipped in with 10 points. 


Monticello was led by Rennie Fultz’s 19 points. 


It was senior night at Monticello and the Lady Sage’s lone senior, Hailey Moore score 12 points, all in the second half, in her final game at Monticello High School.


Lizzie Stiverson finished with 10 points for Monticello.



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