Whiteside, Late Arrival Walter Thompson Lead NIU Cardinal Alums
to 101-99 Victory
was ESPN Classic for this one? Northern Illinois Universitys
Sixth Annual Mens Basketball Alumni Game was an exciting,
fun, and thrill-packed exhibition of skill for 40 minutes.
For the record,
the Cardinal alums prevailed, 101-99, Saturday (February 4) morning
at the Convocation Center on a fallaway three-point jump shot by
guard Walter Thompson (Chicago / Kenwood) with 5.7 seconds left
the guy who had the last word---Thompson---did not appear in the
Alumni Game program roster since he was the last Huskie alumni to
RSVP late Friday night. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound guard responded
with 11 points, three rebounds, one assist, and one steal for coach
Bill Finucanes Cardinal squad.
the annual Northern Illinois Alumni Game featured it all: Ten twin-digit
scorers, two old-timers with point-rebound double-doubles,
24 three-pointers (12 by each club), 200 combined points (for the
second year in a row), two dunks, and several gritty comebacks.
truly a great Alumni Game, said Black Alumni Team forward
Tori Hughes (Merrillville, IN) who collected one of those impressive
double-doubles with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Were
still highly competitive guys. It was fun.
and current Huskie assistant coach Donald Whiteside (Chicago / Leo)
earned the spotlight as the Alumni Game Most Valuable Performer.
The 5-foot-10, 150-pound NIU Athletics Hall of Famer and All-Century
performer led all the alums with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting
from the floor (7-of-11 from behind the three-point arch) and 1-of-2
at the foul line, four assists, two steals, and two rebounds. Whitesides
seven treys tied his own Alumni game record (seven in 2002).
to win, said Cardinal team guard Andre Williams (Crete / Crete-Monee)
who posted the other double double with 21 points and
12 rebounds, plus four steals and three assists. Everybody
on the floor wanted to win. It was a fun, competitive game. It was
great to be part of it.
Mike Korceks Black unit sprinted to early 10-2 and 15-5 leads
behind swingman Brad Waller (Lombard / Glenbard East) and guard
Jay Bates (Chicago / Robeson). Bates three-pointer put the
Black alums ahead, 15-5, at the 15:59 mark. Naturally, the Cardinals
battled back, going on a 21-11 run in the next 5:57, and tying the
proceedings at 26 on Williams first stuff shot.
Black regrouped and mounted two nine-point advantages (41-32 and
44-35). Then the Cardinal alumni finished the first half with a
15-4 flury over the final 4:49. A Rey Jones lay-up at the buzzer
put NIU Cardinal ahead at half, 50-48. Black guard Argo Al
Sewasciuk (Argo / Summit) topped all first-half scorers with 17
points and didnt miss a shot (6-of-6 from the field and 5-of-5
from behind the arc) and Whiteside countered with 16 points.
dominated the early stages of the second stanza, eventually building
a pair of 15-point leads (74-59 and 76-61) before the Black teams
late comeback. Leading by an 11-point margin at 91-80, the winners
got outscored 19-8, in the last 6:28. Guard Randy Tucker (Joliet
/ Central) spearheaded the late Black charge with six points, including
five by Bates, two by Hughes, and two by Waller. An old-fashioned
three-point play on a driving lay-up and free throw by Bates pushed
the Black squad back into the lead at 96-95 with 2:27 left.
the advantage to 97-95 with a foul shot before Williams deadlocked
the game on a lay-up. Black went ahead again, 99-97, on a lay-in
by Bates with 1:47 remaining. Swingman Mike Hidden (Rockford / Loves
Park Harlem) tallied his 13th and final point on a free throw and
pulled the Cardinal team within one, 99-98, before Thompson did
Jones contributed 16 points to the Cardinal cause. Bates (game-record
34 points in 2004 and 29 in 2005) continued his prolific scoring
in NIU Alumni Games with 26 markers on 11-of-18 shots from the floor
(2-of-4 from treyland) and 2-of-3 from the line. Tucker (20), Sewasiuk
(17), and Waller (15) reached twin-digits for the Black quintet.
hardwood alums---approximately 50 in number---were recognized at
halftime of the NIU-Western Michigan game in the afternoon---highlighted
by appearances from two Northern Illinois National Basketball Association
veterans, Hall of Famers and All-Century picks Paul Doctor
D Dawkins (Utah Jazz in 1979-81) and Bobby Wood (Sheboygan
Redskins in 1949-50).
(101): Jones 7-12 0-0 16, Thrower 2-5 0-0 4, A. Williams
10-15 1-2 21, Whitewside 10-16 1-2 28, Armato 2-3 0-0 5, Hidden
13, Thompson 5-14 0-0 11, Padden 0-0 0-0 0, Arrington 1-2 0-0 2.
Totals: 42-77 5-8 101.
NIU BLACK (99): Rucker 8-18 2-2 20, Whiteford 3-8 0-0 6,
0-0 15, Hughes 7-16 1-2 15, chramm 0-0 0-0 0, Sewasciuk 6-9 0-0
Bates 11-18 2-3 26, Anderson 0-2 0-1 0. Totals: 41-84 5-8 99.
NIU Cardinal: 50 - 51 --- 101
NIU Black: 48 - 51 --- 99
3-Pt. FGS: Cardinal (12-37): Tucker 2-10, Whiteford 0-1, Waller
Hughes 0-3, Sewasicuk 5-8, Bates 2-4, Anderson 0-1. Black (12-28):
Jones 2-5, Thrower 0-2, Williams 0-1, Whitewside 7-11, Armato 1-1,
Hidden 0-2, Thompson 1-4, Arrington 1-2. Rebounds: Cardinal (37):
Williams 12, Jones 4, Armato 4. Black (41): Hughes 12, Rucker 7,
6. Assists: Cardinal (17): Whiteside 4, Williams 3, Armato 3. Black
(13): Sewasciuk 3, Tucker 3. Steals: Cardinal (12): Whiteside 4,
Armato 3. Black (9): bates 4, Tucker 3. Fouls: Cardinal (7), Black
(6). Fouled out: none. Dunks: Cardinal (2): Williams 2, Black (0).