Lipnisky paces Huskies’ win

By Mark D. Morrey

Lipnisky, Lipnisky, Lipnisky.

Yes, Mike Lipnisky is back—28 points, six rebounds and three assists. After a back injury sidelined the guard for the whole season last year, he made his return like a man on a mission.

In a total team effort, where it is unfair to single out one

player in NIU’s 86-73 win Tuesday night over the Czechoslovakia Select Team at Chick Evans Field House, it must be done.

Lipnisky scored 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting, was a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe and was 2-of-3 from three-point land. In addition to that, the sophomore played 34 1/2 minutes at both guard positions.

“He is a born basketball player, he does a great job,” said NIU head coach Brian Hammel after the game, “but he has to defend his end of the court.”

Defense was one of the things Hammel was concerned about in last night’s game.

“We did not play smart going down the stretch, we did not play very consistent defense,” he said.

Not lacking in defense were post players Randy Fens and Steve Oldendorf, who combined for three blocked shots and three steals.

“They did a nice job,” Hammel said of his big men. “They do a lot for the defense.”

They were setting vicious picks against the less-aggressive Czech team. The European style of basketball is more of an outside game, so NIU dominated the boards 48-23—led by David Mitchell with 12.

Czechoslovakian head coach Ron Frantisek said his team was not ready to and does not like to play the inside. Their country is pretty much shut out from U.S. basketball, so they had a hard time understanding the American style of play.

The game was close until the Huskies went on a 17-2 run to make the score 31-17 with 11:15 remaining in the first half.

For the rest of the game, the Czechs got no closer than nine and five times NIU held a 21-point lead.

Every NIU starter scored in double digits led by Lipnisky’s 28, followed by Oldendorf and Randy Tucker with 12 each.

Tucker, playing his first game at NIU after transferring from Joliet Junior College, shook off a cold-shooting first half (1-of-7) to come back with a 4-for-8 effort in the second.

Also seeing action for the first time were freshmen Mike Hartke, Scott Peterson and Chad Weeks.