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CHAMPAIGN – Vic Koenning had an extra week to study Fresno State's formations and tendencies, and the Illini defensive coordinator found a 78 percent to 80 percent likelihood of what to expect.
But incredibly slippery field conditions threw his game plan into the dumper when the Bulldogs flip-flopped to an all-out aerial game upon discovering their receivers had an advantage against skating UI defensive backs.
ST. JOSEPH – Chase Patton was having an off night.
The St. Joseph-Ogden sophomore guard already had suffered through a 1-for-6 performance in the first half, and his most recent shot – a three-pointer from the left corner – had just clanked off the standard behind the basket.
Salt Fork 77, Oakwood 56. HEATHER BAKER poured in 36 points and MEGAN McCORD added 23 to lead the Storm's second-half onslaught. Leading 34-29 at the half, Salt Fork scored 43 second-half points to pull away. MAKENZIE BAKER scored 18 to lead the Comets, while CIARA PIERCE added 16 and ANGELA ELLIOTT 15.
FARMER CITY – It's easy to size up the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley girls' basketball team. The starters all stand 5-foot-7 or 5-8.
"They're interchangeable," coach Nick Elder said. "The reality is they're five guards. No one in the starting five played in the post last year."
CHICAGO — Illinois recruit Ali Stark was named Gatorade Iowa Volleyball Player of the Year.
The senior outside hitter led Mount Vernon High School to a 41-0 record and the Class 3A state title this season. The 6-foot-1 Stark recorded 324 kills, 232 digs, 66 service aces and 62 blocks for the Mustangs.
TEMPE, Ariz. – Missouri didn't reach its goal of getting into a BCS bowl and was headed to the desert to face a 7-5 team that lost its final three games of the season.
Sensing potential apathy for a bowl against a ho-hum opponent played halfway across the country, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel pleaded with Tigers fans to buy tickets to the Insight Bowl.
Eye on the (future) Illini
Troy Gentle's weekly update on the four players headed Bruce Weber's way and the five players headed Jolette Law's way:
CHAMPAIGN - Huntsville (Ala.) Lee senior Devin Langford announced his verbal commitment to Illinois today.