Hobbie leads McKendree to ninth-straight win

 To most people, it was simply the day after Thanksgiving.

To McKendree University men’s basketball fans, it is the last time they lost a basketball game.

On Nov. 29, the Bearcats started a winning streak, which, with a win over Columbia College on Jan. 20, has been extended to nine games.

In the last two weeks, Vandalia grad Eric Hobbie has scored in double figures in each contest. as the McKendree Bearcats have posted four wins, against no defeats in American Midwest Conference action.

Hobbie saved his best for last in the two week period, scoring 23 points as McKendree toppled Columbia College, 68-65.

Hobbie hit 8 of 17 field goals and 1 of 2 free throws in the contest.

The former Vandalia star struck six times from three-point land, which tied his career high for treys in a single contest. He also had eight rebounds and four blocked shots in the contest.

McKendree also defeated William Woods University (74-69), Missouri Baptist University (80-72) and Harris-Stowe State University (76-62). With the wins, McKendree improved to 16-4 overall and 4-0 in the American Midwest Conference.

In the triumph over WWU, Hobbie hit 2 of 4 from beyond the arc and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line to finish with 16 points, four rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists. He finished with 13 points against Harris-Stowe State and 10 against Missouri Baptist. He was perfect from the charity stripe in both cases. In the win over HSSU, Hobbie hit 4 of 7 from the field and 5 of 5 from the stripe. He also had seven rebounds and two steals. In the victory over MBU, he finished with four field goals and two charity tosses. He posted a double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and two assists.

Greenville College has lost four of its five games played in the last two weeks.

Vandalia grad Meredith Banal, and Greenville senior, was in double figures in three of those games, while South Central grad Susan Githinji, also a Greenville player, scored in double figures twice in the five games. Banal scored in double figures in the victory, a 66-20 win over Lincoln Christian College. Banal finished with 12 points by hitting 6 of 11 from the field. Banal also had three rebounds and two assists in the GC Lady Panther win.

Susan Githinji finished with six points, six steals and three rebounds in 17 minutes of play. Fellow South Central grad Ann Githinji, a Greenville freshman, played nine minutes and got three rebounds in the win.

Banal posted her best performance of the week against MacMurray College. In the 69-60 loss, Banal finished with 16 points and four rebounds. She nailed 7 of 17 field goals and 1 of 2 free throws. She hit one trey in the contest. Githinji posted her best effort of the two-week period against Westminster College.

In the 67-61 loss, Susan Githinji scored 12 points by hitting 5 of 9 field goals and 2 of 3 free throws. She also had eight rebounds, three steals and two assists. Greenville is 5-9 overall and 2-5 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Blackburn College got 11 points from Vandalia grad Blake Doehring, but it was not enough to get beyond MacMurray College. The Highlanders scored 90 points to cruise past the BC Beavers 90-73. Doehring hit 5-of-15 field goal attempts. He drained one trey. Doehring also had four rebounds and four assists in the contest. Blackburn is 2-12 overall and 0-6 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Vanderbilt University’s Josie Earnest  posted a 210 average recently during the Arizona State University Invitational, which was held in Cabot, Ark. The Vandalia grad, who was one of two Vandy bowlers named to the all-tournament team, helped Vanderbilt finish third as a team.

Former Vandalia wrestler Adam Bowling was one of three Rend Lake College grapplers who won a match against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, a NCAA Division I team. Bowling, who wrestles at 157 pounds, defeated his SIUE counterpart by a 9-3 score. As a team, Rend Lake lost a 21-15 battle to the SIUE Cougars.

In two weeks, we will have the introduction article for the spring sports. If you know of a spring athlete who is a grad of one of the high schools normally covered by The Leader- Union and competing in a spring sport, please e-mail me ([email protected]). I will need the name of the athlete, the former high school, the college/university they are attending and the sport they are playing. I will contact all the high schools as well. Please make sure to put "The Leader-Union" in the subject line of each and every e-mail.

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