Cobden’s Appleknockers find success despite a condemned home court

COBDEN — Last summer, the historic home gym of the immortal Cobden Amazing Appleknockers was condemned and locked up waiting to be demolished and replaced by a modern state of the art facility.

Here’s a link to the story at the Southern Illinoisan.

Sesser-Valier defeats Christopher to claim tourney title

SESSER — A strong second-half defensive effort enabled the Sesser-Valier Red Devils to rally from a five-point halftime deficit and defeat the Christopher Bearcats, 37-31, in the championship game of the 40th Annual Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament.

Here’s a link to the story at the Southern Illinoisan.

Column: A hot stove league without a hot stove? Give baseball what it deserves during the lockout — and ignore the rumors.

The problem with having a hot stove league without the hot stove is it doesn’t deter baseball fans from pretending the stove still exists.

Here’s a link to the column at the Chicago Tribune.

Saluki Men’s Basketball hosts Loyola at 4 PM on Sunday

CARBONDALE, Ill. — In a key, early-season Missouri Valley Conference matchup, Southern Illinois hosts Loyola on Sunday at 4 p.m. in a nationally televised game on ESPN2.

The Salukis (8-5, 1-0) have won seven-straight games at the Banterra Center dating back to last season and were picked to finish fifth in the MVC’s preseason poll.

At No. 15 in the most recent NET rankings, the defending champion Ramblers (9-2, 1-0) will be the highest ranked team to visit SIU since Wichita State on Feb. 17, 2015.

Know Before You Go
Everyone on campus is required to wear face masks in shared indoor spaces. Please do your part to protect the health and safety of the Saluki community.
If you are experiencing COVID symptoms, stay home (except to get tested) so you don’t spread the virus to others if you are positive.

Opening Tip
The Ramblers won all three meetings versus SIU last season, including two games in Chicago and one at the conference tournament.
Lance Jones had a career-high 30 points at Loyola last season, but missed the MVC tournament game with a sprained ankle.
Sunday’s game has been moved up one hour to 4 p.m. to accommodate an ESPN2 national telecast.

Marcus Domask
Leads the conference and ranks 22nd in the nation in minutes played (36.00).
Is second in the league in assists (4.4) and has 28 assists in the last five games.
Enters the game with 794 career points, 274 rebounds, 167 assists.
Made 33-straight free throws during a nine-game stretch (11/22-12/28) — the second-longest streak in school history.
Missed the final 16 games last season with a foot injury.

Lance Jones
Is shooting 69.4% on 2-point field goals this year (43-for-62).
Missed the Evansville and Maryville games with a foot injury.
Stands at 794 career points, 211 rebounds and 171 assists.

The Salukis
Allow 58.9 points per game, which leads the MVC and ranks 20th nationally.
Lead the MVC in 3-point field goal percentage defense (31.5)
Are 19-1 in their last 20 games when out-rebounding an opponent. They have won or tied the rebounding battle in 10 of 13 games this season.
Are 19-5 in the Bryan Mullins era with 15+ assists and 21-7 when they have more assists than their opponent.
Are 21-4 under Mullins when they win the points in the paint battle (5-1 this year).
Did not allow any fast-break points in two games this season (at Evansville, Southern Miss)

G Ben Coupet has scored double figures in seven-straight games.
Coupet first 6 games: 7.5 ppg
Coupet last 7 games: 15.9 ppg

SIU has won 14-straight home non-conference games, dating back to the 2019-20 season.
SIU has won 31-straight games when scoring 75+ points. SIU’s last loss when scoring 75+ was 1/18/17 (L, 88-84 at Drake).
Since the start of the 2015-16 season, SIU is 53-3 (.946) when scoring 75 points or more.

Roster Update
Trent Brown (back) made his season debut versus Grambling State on Dec. 28 and had six points in 18 minutes. He averaged 6.9 points last season and shot .389 from 3-point.
Dalton Banks (illness) and Troy D’Amico (COVID protocol) did not play vs. Grambling State.

Season Milestones
The win over Colorado was the program’s first win over a Power 5 program since 2008.
The win vs. Southern Miss marked two milestones — fewest points allowed since Jan. 29, 2008 (SIU beat Evansville that day, 59-39. Bryan Mullins was a junior guard on that SIU team and had 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists.) and largest margin of victory versus a Division I opponent in Mullins era.
SIU has overcome seven double-digit deficits to win under Mullins, including wins vs. Colorado and Alcorn State this season.

Dorothy Gaters, Illinois’ winningest high school basketball coach, steps down after 45 years. ‘She coached them. She didn’t coddle them.’

Dorothy Gaters said she cannot remember anything about the first game she coached for Marshall Metropolitan High School’s girls basketball team in 1975.

Here’s a link to the story at the Chicago Tribune.

Is there such a thing as too much rest for Adam Wainwright between now and the Cardinals’ wild-card game?

Here are the highlights from sports columnist Ben Frederickson’s weekly chat with St. Louis sports fans

Here’s a link to the story at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Streak stops, preparation for postseason begins

As the season-saving gust gave out beneath their wings and an end came to the second-longest winning streak the National League had seen in 105 years, the Cardinals could shift their focus from what no team had done in decades to what they must do in a week.

Here’s a link to the story at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

‘I’m absolutely coming back’: At home with Cardinals, Arenado says he won’t opt out after season

Drenched in the clincher’s spoils of champagne and beer, some of it poured over him by rookies, Nolan Arenado had the chance late Tuesday night on the field at Busch Stadium to introduce his wife, Laura, to some Cardinals teammates, such as Dylan Carlson.

Here’s a link to the story at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

What are the costs if the Bears bail on Chicago for Arlington Heights?

News of the Bears inking a $197.2 million agreement to buy a giant parcel of land in Arlington Heights shook Chicago awake early Wednesday like a frigid gust off the lakefront during a January game at Soldier Field.

Here’s a link to the story at the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Cubs release Jake Arrieta — an abrupt ending to their reunion with the former Cy Young winner: ‘It was the right thing’

Nearly six months after the Chicago Cubs signed right-hander Jake Arrieta, a pairing both sides envisioned as a fruitful reunion, he briefly paused while weighing a postgame question.

Here’s a link to the story at the Chicago Tribune.

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