Sunday, January 02, 2005

Drake Bid Falls Short; Kroeschell Praises Mike Henderson

Mike Mahon's report on today's Drake-Southern Illinois men's basketball game:

CARBONDALE, ILL. - Drake committed costly turnovers down the stretch
to have an upset bid against preseason Missouri Valley Conference
favorite Southern Illinois fall short en route to dropping a 51-45
decision Sunday.

Southern Illinois, winning its 29th straight MVC home game, improved
to 11-2, including a 2-0 mark in the league.Drake fell to 4-6,
including a 1-2 conference mark.

The Bulldogs limited the three-time defending MVC champion Salukis to
their lowest point total in 147 games dating back to a 51-46 home
victory against Northern Iowa Feb. 17, 2000.

Drake managed to outrebound the Salukis, 35-29, while a stifling zone
defense limited Southern Illinois to just 41.8 percent shooting. But
the Bulldogs committed 23 turnovers, including 11 unforced errors
that proved detrimental.

"We defended well and we won the rebounding battle," said Drake coach
Tom Davis. "We just couldn't put enough points on the board. We
talked before the game about putting forth a great effort and letting
the chips fall."

Sophomore forward Klayton Korver led Drake with nine points and a
career-high nine rebounds. Senior forward Pete Eggers and sophomore
center Aliou Keita scored seven points apiece for Drake with Keita
blocking four shots.

Trailing 41-34 with 9 minutes 30 seconds left, the Bulldogs scored
six straight points to cut the deficit to 41-40 following a short
jumper by Josh Powell.

Drake made just two of its final nine shots of the game, while
committing three turnovers.

After a jumper at the top of the key by Joshua Warren gave Southern
Illinois a 43-40 lead, junior guard Chaun Brooks answered with a
jumper to pull the Bulldogs within 43-42. Warren hit another basket
to give the Salukis a 45-42 lead and the Korver was called for travel.

Drake managed to cut the lead to 47-45 following a three-point play
by Keita with 1:39 left but the Bulldogs missed their last five shots
of the game.

Drake's bench outscored Southern Illinois, 16-8

Drake's pressure defense forced Southern Illinois into eight
turnovers in the first half but the Bulldogs couldn't take advantage
en route to a 26-21 intermission deficit.

Southern Illinois guard Darren Brooks scored a game-high 12 points
while forward LaMar Owen added 10.

Drake will return to the Knapp Center to open a three-game, five-day
homestand, playing Creighton Wednesday followed by games with Bradley Saturday and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Jan. 10.


Tom Kroeschell is a Drake graduate who handles the public address responsibilities at the Drake Relays.

Kroeschell, now the sports information director at Iowa State, sent me this e-mail today regarding the late Mike Henderson, the well-known and well-liked sports facts-and-figures man:

"Mike Henderson was one of my greatest mentors. I can't think of anything I know about track and field that he didn't teach me. I just don't have the words to tell you all he did for me. I don't have any words to describe the emptiness I feel after his departure. First Pete Taylor and then Mike. Two great people who went before their time. And, may I say, along with you they were people who treated newcomers to their professions with kindness at the height of their careers."

Henderson died Thursday of complications from emphysema and sleep apnea. He was 63.

He served as the information director with the Girls High School Union since 1973. His razor-sharp memory for names, numbers and faces made him one of the most respected figures on the Iowa sports scene, and he was regarded as one of the top sports statisticians in the country.

"Mike's passing leaves a tremendous void in the Iowa athletic scene," said Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union executive director Troy Dannen. "He showed a tireless dedication and commitment to both girls and boys athletics for over three decades.

"Mike devoted his life, both personal and professional, to interscholastic athletics in Iowa. He worked 12- to 16-hour days which stretched deep into the night to ensure the Iowa Girl had the recognition and attention she deserved. For Mike, the job was never done. He always believed there was always something else he could be doing that would give a new level of attention and interest to the students and schools of this state. He could count every coach and media member in this state as a friend, and those people respected and appreciated his work. The Iowa Girl lost a friend and supporter with Mike's passing."

In addition to his duties at the IGHSAU, Mike served as the chief statistician for the Drake Relays and Drake men and women's basketball for over 30 years. His love for track and field led to his work as chief statistician at seven NCAA outdoor track and field championships, 12 Missouri Valley Conference indoor meets and four Big Eight outdoor meets. He served on the games committee for the first-ever National Collegiate Women's cross-country meet in 1974.

Mike's devotion to Iowa girls' high school athletics led to countless awards and recognition, including the Iowa High School Athletic Association's Media Award, service awards from prestigious organizations such as the Drake Relays, the Iowa High School Swimming and Diving Coaches Association, National Athletic Coaches Association and the Iowa Coaches Association. He was inducted into the Iowa Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Iowa Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2001.

Vol. 4, No. 295
Jan. 2, 2005