Indiana's Strickland shows touch against UNC-Greensboro



November 27, 2003|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Marshall Strickland has enjoyed some defining moments in his brief career as a point guard for the Indiana Hoosiers.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore from South Carroll High had one of those memorable moments Saturday, opening the season with 17 points (tying his career high) and six rebounds in a 71-64 victory over UNC-Greensboro.

However, the starting point guard might have turned in his poorest effort as a Hoosier on Monday night in Nashville, Tenn., going 0-for-6 from the field in a scoreless effort in a 73-60 loss to Vanderbilt.

"They pressured me and kept the ball out of my hands," said Strickland. "But I'm looking forward to a good season. I think we have a lot of all-around talent on this team."

Strickland's play attracted attention at South Carroll, averaging 30.5 points, 4.3 assists and 1.9 steals in his final high school season.

He started 13 games as a freshman, averaging 6.1 points and 2.4 rebounds, and tied for second on the team with 69 assists. Among his most notable games:

Against Maryland on Dec. 3, he had a career-high six assists in 29 minutes in an 80-74 overtime victory.

He scored 15 points (12 in the last nine minutes) in a 70-63 win over Virginia on Nov. 27 in the championship game of the Maui Invitational.

He contributed 12 points and five assists in a 91-88 overtime victory over Iowa on March 1.

He led Indiana with 15 points in a 69-51 decision over Ohio State Jan. 21, hitting eight of eight from the free-throw line in the final five minutes.

"Marshall showed he could run a team last season," Indiana coach Mike Davis said. "He faced a lot of veteran players and he learned a lot from them."

Kupec in showdown

Sophomore tight end Chris Kupec (River Hill) and his No. 4 Southern Illinois (10-1) teammates will play No. 3 Delaware (11-1) Saturday at noon in an NCAA Division I-AA first-round playoff showdown in Newark, Del.

Kupec has caught four touchdown passes among his seven catches for 97 yards for the Salukis, who were 10-0 before losing their final game of the regular season to Northern Iowa, 43-40, two weeks ago.

Kupec, who has a 3.41 GPA, was among 23 players named to the Verizon Academic All-District V team.

This will be Southern Illinois' first I-AA playoff game in 20 years.

Crew is Player of Year

Adom Crew's dreams of an NCAA soccer championship were ended Saturday by St. Peter's, 2-0, in an opening-round tournament game, taking some of the joy out of his unanimous selection earlier in the week as Ivy League Player of the Year.

The Brown University senior from River Hill High headlined the Bears' attack this season, leading the league with 10 goals and two assists for 22 points.

Et cetera

Virginia junior point guard LaTonya Blue (St. Frances) came off the bench to start the second half Sunday against Virginia Tech, getting 15 points and four rebounds in a 63-62 loss. It was Blue's first action of the season for the Cavaliers (1-1). The 5-11 point guard had sat out a game and a half for disciplinary reasons.

Mike Styczynski (River Hill) closed his outstanding cross country career at Ithaca College last Saturday, earning Division III All-America honors with a 24th-place finish (25:40.2) in the NCAA D-III championships at Hanover (Ind.) College. The top 35 finishers received All-America status.

Have a Postcard? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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