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Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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Metro Sports Report

Robinson sparks No. 11 Eagles by Owens

MILWAUKEE - Leah Robinson played her best game of the season Friday night to help the Kirkwood Eagles defeat Owens Community College,  60-40, in the opening round of the Lady Bobcat Classic.

Robinson collected 15 points, four rebounds and four steals for the 11th-ranked Eagles in 20 minutes off the bench. She shot 5-for-7 from the field and was 5-for-6 at the foul line.

Kirkwood (8-4) will face Joliet Junior College (9-3) in the championship game Saturday at 3 p.m.

Kirkwood trailed 17-10 after the first quarter, but the Eagles  outscored Owens 13-1 in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the second period  to move ahead in the ballgame. Kirkwood pounded Owens 23-11 in the  third quarter to firmly take control.

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Eagles dumped by Blackhawks, 75-63

The Kirkwood Eagles shot poorly, committed 19 turnovers, got pounded on the backboards, missed too many free throws and struggled on defense much of the night.

"That's just a recipe for disaster," Coach Bryan Petersen acknowledged Wednesday night.

Southeastern Community College surged to a 22-point lead in the first half and dumped the Eagles, 75-63, in a non-conference game at Johnson Hall.

Kirkwood (10-2) has lost only two games all season and both setbacks have been to the Blackhawks, including an 86-84 verdict Nov. 3 in the second game of the campaign.

The Eagles had won nine straight games before running into a buzz-saw in the first half when SCC soared to a 34-12 advantage with seven minutes left in the stanza.

Petersen said the biggest problem was a lack of mental toughness.

"They came out and kind of took it right to us in a lot of ways," he said. "We couldn't finish around the rim, we couldn't get the ball across halfcourt against their pressure, and defensively we couldn't guard the paint. So a lot of things went wrong in the first five or 10 minutes."

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Mustangs snap 7-game slide

The Mount Mercy women's basketball team snapped a seven-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 72-65 victory over Harris-Stowe State at the Hennessey Recreation Center.

The Mustangs (4-7) had not won a ballgame since Nov. 6, a five-week drought that included a 23-point loss to Harris-Stowe in Missouri, so revenge was sweet.

Brianna Thomas popped in six 3-pointers and led Mount Mercy with 22 points. She hit a triple with 7:01 left to snap a 53-53 tie and give the Mustangs the lead for good and start a 9-0 run.

Harris-Stowe (4-5) pulled within 62-60 and 65-62, but Mount Mercy finished the victory.

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Richards plans double-duty at Kirkwood

Olivia Richards plans to become the fourth member of her family to play volleyball in college, but she’s going to do something her three older sisters never tried.

Richards plans to play volleyball and softball at Kirkwood Community College after she graduates from Xavier High School this spring.

She’ll become the third member of her family to play volleyball for Coach Jill Williams at Kirkwood. Her sister Audrey played at Kirkwood in 2013 and 2014, then Madsy played for the Eagles in 2015 and 2016. Charlotte did not play at Kirkwood and is currently a freshman at Missouri-St. Louis, where she and Madsy are teammates on the volleyball team.

It’s fairly common for talented athletes to play multiple sports in high school, but it’s rare for people to play two sports in college because of the time demands. College volleyball is a fall sport, but the Kirkwood softball team practices in the fall as well. The college softball season begins in late winter and extends into the spring, but the volleyball team practices then as well.

"It's going to be hard," Richards acknowledged, but she's excited about the challenge.

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Kasperbauer triples his fun with Eagles

Connor Kasperbauer is one of the sweetest 3-point shooters in junior college basketball this season and he's been a sweet, sweet addition to the Kirkwood Eagles.

Kasperbauer popped in seven 3-pointers Saturday and scored 23 points as the fourth-ranked Eagles topped Little Priest Tribal College, 82-64, in an ICCAC conference game at Johnson Hall.

Kasperbauer, a 6-foot-4 redshirt freshman from Ankeny, is 39-for-77 on 3-pointers this year for 50.6 percent. That's the highest percentage of any NJCAA Division II player in the country who has made at least 3 1/2 triples per game.

He tossed in eight 3-pointers against Morton College last month and has hit at least two triples in all 11 games.

"I've always been told, 'Shooters shoot,'" he remarked. "Every time I'm open I step up with confidence and I know there's a pretty good chance it's going in.

"A lot of times I don't look," he said. "It just feels good."

Kasperbauer normally sets up in the corner and his teammates do a good job of finding him.

"He's a great shooter, a really high IQ, a really great teammate," said Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen. "There's a lot of great things to say about Connor."

Kasperbauer made 115 3-pointers during his prep career at Ankeny Centennial and set the school record for most triples in one season. He made third team all-state and spent one year at Truman State University, where he was red-shirted last season and moved to Kirkwood.

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