On Campus: Ta’Kenya Nixon shooting for 3rd straight OVC honor
By John Mutka Post-Tribune senior correspondent December 31, 2012 11:31PM
Eastern Illinois’ Ta’Kenya Nixon is gunning for Ohio Valley Conference defensive player of the year honors for the third straight season.
The former Michigan City standout and Post-Tribune Player of the Year leads the Panthers in steals (2.8 average) and assists (5.5) and ranks among their top five career-wise in both categories. While averaging 13.8 points Nixon has boosted her career total to 1,599 points.
The senior guard opened OVC play with 21 points and four steals in a 76-67 victory over Tennessee State. She was named to the preseason all-conference team. Last year Nixon led Eastern Illinois in five categories, including a .524 field goal percentage.
Northern Illinois’ Amanda Corral (Hobart) will be striving for double figures for the eighth straight game when the Huskies visit Valparaiso for a Saturday afternoon matinee. The sophomore guard has bounced back from an early ankle injury to average 12.9 points.
Seemingly tireless, Corral played all but five minutes last weekend in two games at the Cavalier Classic. Her 40-minute stint against Xavier helps explain why she leads the Huskies in minutes despite missing big chunks of two games with the gimpy ankle.
Corral was named the Mid-American Conference player of the week on Dec. 18.
Hammond Morton alumnus Paul Patterson, in his 33rd year as Taylor’s basketball coach, recently posted his 700th victory at the Crossroads League school. His Trojans beat Wittenberg to win the Zimmerman Classic and improved their record to 10-5.
Nate Kasper (Wheeler) was named to the all-tournament team. The 6-8 senior is Taylor’s leading rebounder (5.5 average) and is scoring at a 14.1 pace.
Tom Peller (Chesterton) is one of the league’s best free throw shooters (86.2 percent) and tops Taylor in assists (3.2 average). The senior guard is averaging 13.8 points.
Starting guard Joe Crisman (Munster) contributed three assists and three rebounds to Loyola’s first victory over DePaul since 1989. The Demons had won 11 in a row in the neighborhood rivalry. Crisman is averaging 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds.
The rejuvenated Ramblers bring a 9-3 record into their Horizon League opener Wednesday at Valparaiso.
St. Xavier’s Brad Karp (Valparaiso) was named Chicagoland Collegiate Conference player of the week for the second time by notching successive 21-point, 13-rebound performances. He is averaging 23.6 points and 9.1 rebounds for the Cougars, who won eight in a row to boost their record to 12-4.
Sean Crary (Crown Point) has appeared in all but three games. He is chipping in 2.2 points off the bench, has dished out 13 assists and is credited with nine steals.
Purdue’s Tom Churchard (Valparaiso) picked up one victory in the 50th annual Midlands meet at Evanston. The redshirt senior carries a 15-5 record at 157 pounds. He leads the Boilermakers in reversals with nine. His teammates include Kyle Ayersman (Dyer/Lake Central) and Frank Porras (Hobart).
Indiana’s Eric Roach (Crown Point) collected seven of his first 13 victories in duals. He competes at 141 pounds.