Friday, January 8, 2010

Belmont’s Young Gun Making his Shots Count
Ian Clark’s assimilation into college basketball has been anything but wait-and-see. It’s been more like ‘Wait until you see this guy.’

The freshman guard scored a team-high 21 points for Belmont in its season-opening victory against Portland State. In early December he topped 20 points in back-to-back games — both Bruins’ victories — and most recently he poured in a career-high 31 Monday in an 85-71 triumph over Stetson.

He’ll attempt to continue that offensive roll Thursday when Belmont hosts USC Upstate at the Curb Events Center. Tip-off time is 4:15 p.m. (the women start at 2 p.m.) instead of the originally scheduled 7:15 p.m.

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Campbell’s Krainiak adjusts to different role in college
A year ago, Ricky Krainiak was leading the Camden Bruins to the 1A regional semifinals in basketball. Now he's a Division I player at Campbell University, where the Camels' 7-4 start is the best since the 1993-94 season.

But the transition from high school to college hasn't been that easy.

After some early successes, Krainiak, a 6-foot guard, has tapered off. Heading into Saturday's game at USC Upstate, he had scored a total of 25 points in 10 appearances and was shooting 38 percent from the floor.

Krianiak made a minor splash with the Camels early on. In just his second college game, he scored five points in six minutes in a 74-68 win over East Carolina. Three games later, Krainiak logged 13 minutes in a 59-58 win over North Florida in the Atlantic Sun opener. He followed that with career highs of nine points and 19 minutes in a victory over Southern Virginia.

"I think offensively, any time that we have him out there, he stretches the defense a little bit with his ability to shoot," Campbell coach Robbie Laing said. "Early on in the season he hit some shots and had some success coming off the bench as a spark plug."

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ETSU Courtside television show to debut Sunday, Jan. 10
The Buccaneer Sports Network, in cooperation with WJHL 11 Connects, will debut a brand new television coaches show Sunday, Jan. 10 at 11: 30 a.m. on the local CBS network affiliate. The show will air weekly throughout the final two months of the 2009-10 season.

ETSU Courtside will be a weekly show highlighted by interviews with both ETSU men’s head coach Murry Bartow and women’s head coach Karen Kemp, along with game highlights and player profiles. The show will air 30 minutes prior to the national basketball coverage on CBS.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to bring ETSU basketball into homes throughout the area thanks to WJHL,” said “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos, the ETSU Assistant Director for Media Relations/Broadcast Operations. “This show will have a more traditional feel for a coach’s show, which is much different than our weekly Inside Buc Sports show, which focuses on all our sports at ETSU. We think this is a special opportunity to inform the public about Buccaneer basketball for the next two months.”

Balance Keys FGCU Women
That has had a lot to do with the hot run by the FGCU women's basketball team.

The Eagles ran their winning streak to six games with a 58-47 win over North Florida in an Atlantic Sun Conference game Thursday night at Alico Arena.

It was the second game in a row that FGCU held a team to 47 points. The last time the Eagles played the Ospreys, FGCU won 57-48.

Junior guard Shannon Murphy scored 17 points and senior guard Brittany Brown had 10 for FGCU. While this was the first time in seven games that the Eagles didn't have at least three players in double figures, Courtney Chihil would've kept the streak going had she hit her second free throw in the final seconds.

Senior forward Adrianne McNally also had nine points.

"Any day, any person can step up," Chihil said. "Which is good because it's hard to guard us. They can try to take away one person, but the others will step up."

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Tough Transition Comes to an End for Kennesaw
Tony Ingle knew leading the Kennesaw State basketball program on its trek to Division I would be an uphill climb.
What he didn’t know was that he’d be climbing Mount Everest.

Ingle’s team is finally a full-fledge member of Division I after the long four-year transition period, one that tested his patience on more than one occasion.

“It was tougher than pulling a hair out of your mother-in-law’s biscuit,” Ingle said Wednesday.

Then his tone got serious as he let out a heavy sigh.

“It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be,” said Ingle, whose team plays host to East Tennessee State today. “I really had no idea. Just the whole transition. The demands, the paperwork, the preparation, the commitment level ... It goes to another level.”

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Players Remember the Buzz of the Crowd in 1990 Game

Whenever Lipscomb and Belmont meet the game is billed as the “Battle of the Boulevard”. But the first game played under that label wasn’t held on Belmont Boulevard where both schools are located approximately two miles apart.

On Feb. 17, 1990 the two teams played off of West End Avenue at Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym. Monday night at Lipscomb’s Allen Arena the two rivals will meet for the125th time. But despite the many memorable games between the two schools whenever fans get together they still talk about the magic of that February night, a 124-105 win for the Bisons.

“It is fun to have people come up to you and say their high school coach brought them to the game when they were 18 years old,” said Lipscomb’s Darren Henrie. “Or that someone watched the game as a 10-year-old because his Dad brought him.

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Mercer athletics department gets a new beginning
Jim Cole thought back to his senior year in high school.

He was a talented pitcher at Curtis Baptist in Augusta on a bad team. He was 0-14 and struck out 21 batters in one game, a 9-1 loss.

“That was all I needed to hear,” Cole said. “I’d never seen the campus.”

It’s a markedly different and larger campus that will be Cole’s work home 20 years later as Mercer’s new athletics director.

The move, which goes into effect July 1, was made official Wednesday afternoon at a news conference in the Presidents Dining Room inside the University Center in front of nearly 100 staff, faculty, trustees, state legislators, A-Sun officials and friends of the school.

That memory of Myers’ offer led to a bit of emotion for the 38-year-old Cole.

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