Sunday, January 21, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Balanced No. 8 KCC women dump Loras JV

Kim Muhl has another strong basketball team at Kirkwood Community College this season.

The Lady Eagles are ranked eighth in the nation, boast a 14-3 record and are averaging 73.4 points per game, but there's something a little odd about this year's club.

Tay Wilson is the only player on the team who has a scoring average in double figures, and she was averaging 9.94 points before raising it to exactly 10.0 Thursday night in an 89-63 victory over the Loras junior varsity at Johnson Hall.

Awal Ajak is averaging 9.6 points, Leah Robinson 8.7, Megan Axcell 8.2, Olivia Usher 7.5 and Arika Wooldridge 6.5. All of them are capable of scoring a lot more on any given night - and most of them have - but Muhl likes to rotate a dozen players and share the wealth.

That was the story again Wednesday.

All 14 Eagles got into the game and 12 of them saw at least 10 minutes of court time. Twelve players got into the scoring column, but nobody had a monster game.

Axcell led the way with 13 points. Wilson and Ajak netted 11 apiece, but nobody else reached double figures.


Kirkwood men hold off Dubuque JV

The search continues for the Kirkwood men's basketball team.

The search for a productive starting lineup. The search for an effective rotation. The search for success.

The Eagles held off the University of Dubuque junior varsity, 71-63, Thursday night at Johnson Hall, but Coach Bryan Petersen is still searching for the right answers with the conference race on the horizon.

"Obviously this wasn't a great overall effort from our group," said Petersen. "We won, but it's on me. We just didn't have the group ready to go tonight. Not a great effort."

Kirkwood has pounded a lot of JV teams over the years, but this was a competitive game from start to finish. The Eagles led by only one point at halftime, 34-33, and were never able to put the Spartans away despite opening a 13-point lead.

Just when it looked like the game was in the bag at 67-54, Dubuque scored nine straight points to make it 67-63.


Eagles slay No.5 Illinois Central for title

PEORIA, Ill. - The Kirkwood Eagles got their revenge against Illinois  Central in the championship game of the Illinois Central holiday  tournament on Saturday.

The eighth-ranked Eagles rallied to defeat the fifth-ranked Cougars,  52-44, with a strong performance in the fourth quarter. Kirkwood  trailed 37-33 entering the final stanza, but the visitors outscored  the home team 19-7 in the last 10 minutes for the victory.

Illinois Central trimmed Kirkwood, 59-58, in the final round of the  Kirkwood tournament on Nov. 11, so the two premier junior college  basketball teams are knotted at 1-1 for the season.

Kirkwood finished with a perfect 37-0 record last season when Coach  Kim Muhl's club won the national championship. The Eagles are now 13-3  this year, making them 50-3 the last two years.

Tay Wilson led Kirkwood Saturday with 14 points, seven rebounds, three  assists and two steals. Awal Ajak scored 13 points and Arika  Wooldridge contributed 11 points off the bench.


No. 8 KCC women top No. 10 Owens

PEORIA, Ill. - Tay Wilson popped in 20 points Friday afternoon to help  the eighth-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team defeat 10th-ranked  Owens, 77-63, in the semifinals of the Illinois Central holiday  tournament.

Kirkwood (12-3) plays for the championship Saturday.

Olivia Usher scored 17 points and collected seven assists against  Owens. Megan Axcell contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds for a  double-double. Awal Ajak added 13 points.

Kirkwood made twelve 3-pointers in the ballgame. Axcell hit four  triples, while Wilson and Ajak had three apiece.


Robinson leads No. 8 Eagles by Sauk Valley

PEORIA, Ill. - Freshman Leah Robinson poured in 23 points Thursday afternoon as the eighth-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team drubbed Sauk Valley, 98-39, in the opening round of the Illinois Central Holiday Tournament.

Robinson, a 6-foot-1 forward from Evanston, Ill., canned 10 of 13 shots from the field and scored her career-best for the Eagles.

Tay Wilson contributed 15 points, five assists and three steals for Kirkwood. Tinee'sha Coleman scored 14 points. Arika Wooldridge had 11 points and seven rebounds. Christmas Puok grabbed 10 rebounds.

Kirkwood (11-3) advanced to the semifinals of the tournament Friday at 2 p.m.


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