Red-Hot Cardinal Unit Wins Northern Illinois Men's Basketball Alumni Game By 125-95 Margin


Northern Illinois University Office of Sports Information February 27, 2005

Red-Hot Cardinal Unit Wins Northern Illinois Men's Basketball Alumni Game By 125-95 Margin

DeKALB, IL --- Ten double-digit scorers. A combined 220 points, 28 three-point bombs, and six slam-dunks.

Those are the red-hot offensive clinic-like numbers put up in the Fifth Annual Northern Illinois University Men’s Basketball Alumni Game Sunday morning (February 27) at the Convocation Center.

People expecting an over-the-hill alum scrimmage instead saw a vintage American Basketball Association classic. Fast breaks. Alley oop dunks. Behind the back passes. It was Showtime Huskies.

Officially, the NIU Cardinal team led from start to finish en route to a record-setting 125-95 triumph over the Black alumni. Coach Bill Finucane’s squad jumped to an 11-3 lead in the game’s first 2:10 and eventually would build 33-point advantages twice (95-62 and 97-64) in the second half. The Cardinal group recorded a .587 shooting percentage from the floor (54-of-92) and a .485 mark from three-point range (16-of-33).

“This wasn’t about winning or losing,” said Black pivotman Ron “Rollo” Lindfors (1980-83) who tallied six points. “It was a great time. It was a fun, uptempo game and it was great to see some of my former teammates and all the other guys who played here.” Cardinal guard Chuck Schramm (1980-81) agreed with his ex-Huskie teammate: “It’s fun every year. It’s always a great game. There’s a lot of good players out here.”

Guard Jay Bates (2001-03) topped all the Northern Illinois scorers for the second year in a row with 29 points. The six-foot, 187-pounder from Chicago Robeson High School hit 13-of-21 shots from the floor, 2-of-4 from behind the three-point arc, and 1-of-1 at the free throw line. Bates, who tallied an Alumni Game-record 34 points last winter, added eight rebounds, seven assists, and five steals in 24 minutes.

Two other Cardinal performers registered point-rebound “double doubles” as forward Marcus Smallwood (2000-04) contributed 20 points on 9-of-11 from the field and 2-of-2 on three-pointers, plus pulled down 14 rebounds, and guard Andre Williams (1997-98) added 14 points on 7-of-9 from the floor and 10 boards. Smallwood was back in the states after playing professional ball in Finland.

Hall of Fame guard Donald Whiteside (1987-91) tallied 20 points on 8-of-10 shots from the field and 4-of-5 behind the three-point line. Swingman Al Sewasciuk (2000-04) added 17 points and hit his first two three-point attempts and guard Walter Thompson (2000-04) collected four treys and 16 markers overall. The game was played with two 20-minute running halves.

The NIU Black Alumni cut the deficit to nine (46-37) on a dunk shot by center Mike Morrison (1999-2003), but the Cardinal went on a 14-8 run in the first half’s final 5:20 for a 60-45 advantage at intermission. In the initial 10:08 of the second stanza, the Cardinal unit outscored the Black, 37-19, and zoomed into a commanding 95-62 lead.

Coach Mike Korcek’s Black quintet received a team-high 22-point performance by guard Rodney Davis (1984-88). The 6-foot-3 Davis canned 8-of-12 shots from the field---including 6-of-10 from behind the arch---in only 17 minutes. Guard Rey Jones (1996-2000) produced 20 points, forward Burton Anderson (1997-99) scored 16 points, and guard Ephraim Eaddy (1998-2000) posted 14 points and nine boards.

Smallwood---the previous recipient of the annual Northern Illinois Slam-Dunk Award---executed three crowd-pleasing dunks in the alum contest. Morrison added two and Andre Williams also notched a slam.

Northern Illinois Black team guard Jerry Williams (1983-87) scored four points, notched two assists, and one steal, and was the alum who came the furthest. Williams still lives in his Alliance, OH, hometown.

The 125 points established an Alumni Game record. In 2002, the Cardinal squad---behind Whiteside’s 25 points---defeated the Black alums by a 97-86 margin at NIU’s Chick Evans Field House. Obviously, the 95 points by the Black team represented a record score for the losing team.

Approximately 50 alumni players, coaches, and staffers were honored at the halftime of the Northern Illinois-Ball State contest.




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