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Friday, February 02, 2007

MU men's hoops vs. SFNY advance for Saturday Press

By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER


WEST LONG BRANCH - Those were the bad old days. And they weren't all that long ago.

""I don't want to use the word pay back,'' said point guard Mike Shipman of the
Monmouth University men's basketball team.

But that's what it may be for Monmouth in reference to tonight's Northeast
Conference game vs. St. Francis, N.Y.

It was almost two weeks ago the Hawks (9-12, 4-5) lost at St. Francis, N.Y. (5-18,
3-8), the fourth defeat on a disastrous four-game road trip from which they are still
trying to shake off the effects.

They begin action tonight occupying the eighth and final playoff seed for the NEC
Tournament through they are now closer to third place Quinnipiac and Mount St. Mary's in
the loss column (both are 7-4 NEC) than they are to ninth place Long Island (3-7 NEC).

""We just finished watching the film now (of the St. Francis game),'' said Shipman
prior to the start of Friday's practice at Boylan Gym.

In that game Monmouth yielded a late 12-0 run by the Terriers that blew the game
open.
""We definitely should have won that game,'' said Shipman. ""But we had mental
mistakes and breakdowns.''

The contest was the first for Shipman after a seven-game suspension for academic
reasons and he played just 17 non-impact minutes.

But over the last two games the sophomore, who started 10 of the first 11 games of
the season, has come off the bench and played well as Monmouth defeated St. Francis, Pa.
and Robert Morris.

He has averaged 28 minutes, 7.5 points, and has nine assists and three turnovers in
the victories, often in a three-guard alignment.

""Coach (Dave Calloway) and I have talked about guys learning their roles,'' said
Shipman.

""Right now my role is to come off the bench as the sixth-seventh man, me and (John)
Bunch). And provide some defense and energy when we get on the court and play smart and
(for Shipman) run the offense.

""I don't think anything has changed from the way the game is going,'' he said. ""I
think the only change is from me to hearing the announcement that I'm starting, to
coming off the bench. So not being a starter is just a label.''

Calloway said he's not about to tinker with recent success.

""This team has changed so much through the year,'' said Calloway whose Hawks have
dealt with assorted injuries and suspensions.

""Right now what we're doing has been working,'' he said. ""Hopefully it'll keep
working.

""I'm not an expert here. So if it's not broke, I'm not going to fix it.''

The game mark's the start of the second half of Monmouth's 18-game league schedule.
""We have to bring it every game now,'' said Shipman. ""Every game we must win, we
must play with that amount of effort. Because that's the only way we're going to win.

""I feel like I'm 100 percent, ready to take over that leadership role again, and
lead us into the NEC Tournament.''


e-mail tonygsports@aol.com

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's Go Hawks!!!!& Ship we appreciate the effort..Glad you are back!

10:55 AM, February 03, 2007  

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