Archive for March, 2012

Bleacher Report Article

Posted in Uncategorized on 03/26/2012 by Marceeta22

On a team with no superstar presence, an emergence in scoring by second year SG Evan Turner will make the Philadelphia 76ers an ever more dangerous team. Averaging 8.2 PPG in 23.8 minutes off of the bench, Turner’s shooting has been inconsistent as of late. In the Sixers 20 victories, Turner’s shooting percentage is 48.9 percent but only 36.9 in 14 losses. What has been consistent is his ability to rebound as he is averaging 5.6 RPG. One of Turner’s strengths as an Ohio State Buckeye was his ability to push the ball aggressively in transition. If he can get back to being an aggressive player on offensive, that would stretch the floor for other players such as sixth man of the year candidate Lou Williams who leads the team in scoring off the bench averaging 15.7 PPG and Spencer Hawes who is having a breakout season when he is healthy. The Sixers are 12-2 in the games that Hawes has played in. With surprising productivity from rookies PF Lavoy Allen and C Nikola Vucevic averaging 17.5 and 17 MPG respectively, Turner’s numbers have been on the decline. In his last 10 games, he is averaging 19.7 MPG, 4.7 PPG and 5 RPG. The unquestioned leader of the team Andrea Iguodala, who was elected to his first All-Star appearance this season, could benefit from more help. Starting PG Jrue Holiday is averaging 4.5 APG. If he wants to become a better floor general, he needs more options as Turner would be great with his ability to drive and connect on the mid-range jumper.

The Sixers are 12-2 in games in which he has played this season. Without Hawes, they are 8-12. Just 23 years old, the 7-foot Hawes was averaging 10.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game before the injury. In 14 games this season, he recorded six double-doubles, one shy of his total in 81 games last season

As All-Star weekend ends, and the trade deadline nearing, the Sixers’ only concern should be to get players healthy and to continue to build the chemistry with the youngsters they have. A trade could possibly interfere with the chemistry and disrupt the success.  With a short pre-season and a seemingly longer season because of the lockout, guys will get tired but you just have to wait and see if guys like Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young will catch fire late.

Advertisements

Sarah Pastorek ready to become leader for Crimson Hawks in 2011-12

Posted in Uncategorized on 03/26/2012 by Marceeta22

With the departures of seniors Lacy Claar and Eryn Withers, junior forward Sarah Pastorek is now the face of the IUP women’s basketball team.

Pastorek has many talents on the court, but off the court, she has some hidden talents. Those hidden talents include playing the clarinet and tap dance, which helps her nimbleness on the basketball court.

“If I wasn’t a basketball player, I would play volleyball,” Pastorek said.  “In high school I played volleyball and also ran track.”

Pastorek is known for her team-first nature. When asked of her most memorable moment in an IUP uniform so far she immediately pointed to the team making big comebacks.

“We used to be down a lot at the beginning of games and we would come back, sometimes with seconds left in the game,” she said. “It’s the thrill of a comeback.”

Each season, Pastorek’s statistics have increased. During her freshman season, she averaged 10 points and five rebounds per game and eanred PSAC West Freshman of the Year honors. Last season as a sophomore, she led the team in scoring and rebounding with 12 and seven respectively and was named second team All-PSAC West.

Pastorek attributes her progression to all of the hard work during the off season.

“During the off season, I primarily worked on my speed, shooting and my mind set,” she said. “Head coach Jeff Dow stresses that it’s about mental toughness. I worked out six days a week and pushed myself so that I could come back ready this season and help the newcomers,” said Pastorek about how she’s been able to get better each season.

Q&A: Liz Kane

Posted in Uncategorized on 03/26/2012 by Marceeta22

Q: How would you describe yourself off the court?

 

A: “A carefree, fun-loving person that loves being social and making people laugh.”

 

Q: Who are some of your favorite music artists?

 

A: Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller

 

Q: What’s one of your favorite songs to listen to?

 

A: Kid Cudi, “Cudi Zone”

 

Q: What are you talented at besides playing basketball?

 

A: “Many people do not know this, but I was an actress from elementary school through high school. I also have been playing the guitar for nearly eight years now.”

 

Q: What is your favorite basketball moment?

 

A: “My best basketball moment last season was when Eryn Withers hit a buzzer beater again District of Columbia to give us the 55-53 victory. Everyone was hype and cleared the bench in celebration. It was crazy!”

 

Q: How did you prepare for thie 2011-12 season?

 

A: “In the offseason, I mostly worked on my speed and quickness, and getter stronger. I did a lot of basketball drills while also working on my shooting.”

 

Q: What are your goals personally and for the team for the rest of the season?

 

A: “This season, I want to improve overall as a team. We all know our roles and if we play them effectively, I think we can be a have a successful season. [I want us] to become the PSAC champs and do well in the NCAA tournament!”

Senior Vianca Tejada provides leadership, spark off bench for Crimson Hawks

Posted in Uncategorized on 03/26/2012 by Marceeta22

Senior forward Vianca Tejada has led the Crimson Hawks to a blazing 6-0 record.

Along the way, the Hawks have gone on the road for wins over PSAC East opponents Cheney and Shippensburg. Recently, Tejada and the Hawks hosted other PSAC East rivals Bloomsburg and Mansfield.

Tejada is second only to Sarah Pastorek in scoring for the Hawks averaging 11.3 points per game in 18.8 minutes per game off the bench.

“Offensively, my game is there but [IUP Head Coach Jeff Dow] says I need to work on my defense to become more of an impact player,” Tejada said.

Averaging 83.2 points per game, the Hawks’ average margin of victory is 25 points.

Wanting to dictate the tempo of the game, the young Hawks have come out of the gate fast.

The speed and quickness the Hawks possess has allowed them to fly to the ball, averaging 12 steals per game while out rebounding teams by five per game.

“We know being undefeated is a great thing, but we also understand that winning will not come automatically,” Tejada said.

“We are focused and take it one game at a time, and, as long as we continue to play with this same intensity, we will be able to compete in every game and hopefully come out with the victory.”

The Hawks were victorious in an 84-79 nail biter against Bloomsburg — a team that was ranked No. 1 in the PSAC East preseason polls.

“Coach definitely did an amazing job emphasizing how explosive this team was and that we could not let up, we had to be efficient on every possession,” Tejada said. “At the end, we came up with a big defensive stop and knocked down some free throws to seal the deal.”

Today and Saturday, the Hawks will go on the road to play PSAC East opponents East Stroudsburg and Kutztown but without the PSAC West Freshman of the Week Marita Mathe who will sit due to injury.

“Everyone has a role on this team and Mathe will be a big loss. This is a part of the game, if one player goes down, we all step our game up as a team to accommodate the loss,” Tejada said.

Good teams can be measured by how they handle adversity in such situations and whether or not they have the ability to rebound.

The Hawks know the loss that they face, but the show must go on.

Marita Mathe has a bright future

Posted in Uncategorized on 03/26/2012 by Marceeta22

Marita Mathe has a motto. It is simple on the surface, but to her it goes much deeper.

“Hard work and perseverance pays off,” she said.

The freshman has used this motto to be one of the rising stars for the IUP women’s basketball team this season.

Due to her relentless efforts to become a better player, Mathe has been a significant presence on the court for the Crimson Hawks, helping them win 17 games so far this season.

The Indiana native is the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging nine points per game. She has hit 43 percent of her shots from the field, 46 percent from beyond the arc and has already tied a single-game school record for threes hit in a game with seven against Lock Haven Jan. 25.

Mathe has made the transition from high school to college look easy. But in reality, it took more hard work.

“Early on, I learned there was a big difference between high school and college play,” Mathe said. “Listening to what [IUP Head Coach Jeff Dow] had to say has definitely helped me transition better. I quickly learned that it’s a battle of the best of the best. I could no longer lob passes, and that I had to put some zip on the ball. I also could not leave my feet to make a pass and that it would not be as easy to dribble through people anymore.”

Mathe took heed to her Dow’s advice and it helped her earn PSAC West Freshman of the Week honors in December for her two stellar outings against Washington Adventist and Bloomsburg.

Against Washington Adventist on Nov. 29, Mathe was nearly unstoppable as she hit all five of her field goal attempts, including three from beyond the arc on her way to scoring 15 points and grabbing five steals in only 18 minutes of action in a 91-46 thrashing of the Lady Shock.

Against PSAC East opponent Bloomsburg Huskies Dec. 3, Mathe knocked down five 3-pointers and clutch free throws en route to scoring 19 points off the bench. IUP defeated Bloomsbrug 84-79 in a thriller.

“It was a great feeling to be recognized with that award,” Mathe said.

Mathe’s biggest night came when she tied Lacy Claar’s record for 3-pointers made in a game. Mathe said that she was completely unaware of the feat, as she solely concerned about helping the Crimson Hawks win.

“If I’m open and making baskets then I will continue to shoot it,” she said.

Not only an offensive threat, Mathe strengthens the defense when she’s on the court.

Mathe is third on the team in steals, has led the team in steals in five games this season and has had at least two in nine.

Mathe gives the coaching staff credit for what she believes is an amazing job they do with scouting reports of the opponents.

“Because the coaches make sure we are prepared for our opponents I am able to anticipate where the ball will be and quickly get there to make a play for my team,” she said.

Accustomed to coming off the bench, Mathe got her first career start in a crucial PSAC West matchup at the Gannon Knights on Feb. 1. In 32 minutes of action, Mathe produced eight points, hitting three of her nine attempts from the field, two assists and only two turnovers, but the Hawks lost in embarrassing fashion, 71-40.

Still showing some signs of youth and inexperience in big games, Mathe admittedly said that the  “nerves kind of got the best of me.”

Siblings show talents on hard wood, gridiron

Posted in Uncategorized on 03/26/2012 by Marceeta22

Proud of each other’s accomplishments, competitive siblings, redshirt freshman All-PSAC West kicker for IUP’s football team Brett Ullman, and women’s basketball  senior guard Arika Ullman, have played significant roles in IUP athletics.

In his first season, Brett was second in the PSAC, connecting on 90 percent of his attempted field goals. Last season, Arika led the team in three-point field goal shooting, a blistering 45 percent.

Although the younger sibling, Brett takes credit for teaching Arika everything she knows about basketball and athletics. 

“People come up to me all the time and say my brother is the best kicker ever,” Arika said. “It’s pretty cool to have a younger brother that is so successful.”

While the odds were stacked against the Hawks to be successful this season due to the many new faces, Arika has helped lead IUP to 18 victories thus far. “I think we are a lot better from my previous years,” she said.

Not wanting to attend a  college where he could potentially be just another student, Brett chose IUP for several reasons.  “I wanted to go to a school that I could be comfortable at, that wasn’t too big, and it didn’t hurt that my older sister was here,” he said. “Arika showed me the way around campus and I really liked it here. I knew I wanted to be a Crimson Hawk.”

After having missed two seasons of football, Brett was confident that his hard work would immediately pay off. He was correct. Connecting on 10-11 field goals, he was a perfect 8-8 from beyond 40 yards, and was selected to the Don Hansen All-Star Region One Squad with third team honors.

“Caring,” “competitive,” “fun-loving,” “happy” and “thoughtful” “best friends,” were some words the talented duo used to describe their relationship.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better more supportive brother” Arika said.

Star in the making for women’s basketball

Posted in Uncategorized on 03/26/2012 by Marceeta22

Versatile guard Amy Fairman has emerged as IUP’s game changer.

The IUP women’s basketball has surprisingly won almost 20 games and are in contention for its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2009.

The reason its surprising is because IUP added a number of new players to the roster, including five freshman who were going to be asked to play prominent roles from the get-go.

Indiana natives Marita Mathe and Leslie Stapleton have done their part with their lethal outside shooting, but Creekside native and Marion Center High School graduate Amy Fairman has done so with versatility.

Fairman has shown the ability to be the ultimate threat for IUP.

Despite averaging only 6.3 points per game, Fairman remains a fixture on the court because of her plethora of other abilities. She leads the Crimson Hawks in assists, is second in steals with 44, and has nine games where has recorded at least five rebounds.

“I focus more on getting my teammates involved,” Fairman said, “So if I am having a bad shooting night, I know I can still be a factor in other areas of the game.”

Fairman, who considers herself an unselfish player, has had to step up her scoring as of late and stood up to the challenge.

During the last four games, Fairman has averaged 10.2 points per game.

The reason for Fairman scoring more lately IUP Head Coach Jeff Dow challenging her to be more aggressive on offense.

“I’ve been looking to score more,” Fairman said. “I look to drive to the basket and if the defense doesn’t stop me, then I’ll continue to drive the ball hoping to make a positive play for my team.”

Fairman is also known for her lockdown defense as well. She is constantly in passing lanes and disrupting opposing offenses. She is currently second on the team with 44 steals.

Fairman’s first season has been a success so far. She has been able to play in front family and friends at every home game, she’s been able to play with former high school opponents and friends Mathe and Stapleton and she has had helped the Hawks stay in the running for another PSAC title.