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Deborah Hile, Designer

Riley Popplewell takes care of business on and off the court.

The South Central product was recently named to the College Sports Information Directors Association of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Team.

She’s the first University of South Carolina-Upstate player to earn a spot on the team during its Division I era.

“Riley is an outstanding young woman,” head coach Tammy George told “She is the true definition of a student-athlete. I am honored to have her in my program. She represents everything we are looking for in a student athlete.”

Popplewell, a 5-foot-11 sophomore center, is second on the team in rebounding (5.1 per game), while being third in scoring (7.8).

An elementary education major, Popplewell carries a 4.00 grade-point average. She has started 21 of 27 games and has tied her career high with 17 points twice this season. She had a season-best 13 rebounds against Stetson on Feb. 12.

• Chadron State (Neb.) alum Tricia Lukawski, an East Chicago native, was announced as part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, Class of 2018.

The St. John resident, who teaches physical education at Merrillville High School, is the school’s all-time leading scorer. She broke 12 school records at the D-II school and still holds six of them. She scored 1,869 career points in 100 games and was a three-time First-Team All-RMAC selection as well as a Scholar-Athlete her junior and senior years. She was inducted into Chadron State’s Hall of Fame in 2008.

Lukawski was a Third-Team NCAA D-II All-American during the 1992-93 season and played briefly for the Indiana Stars of the short-lived professional women’s basketball league known as the WBA.

She was inducted into the East Chicago Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

• Owens Community College’s Brenda Pennington (Bishop Noll) had 17 points, six rebounds, a team-high five assists and one steal in her final regular-season home game. The Express (22-4) beat Lakeland 71-51.

Pennington is tied for fifth nationally in NJCAA Division II at 5.7 assists per game.

Women’s swimming

Notre Dame’s Nikki Smith (Munster) was the fourth-highest point scorer for the team at the ACC Championships.

Smith’s effort in the 200-yard butterfly was the fastest in program history, touching the wall in 1:56.38 for a fifth-place finish.

She was also 19th in the 200 individual medley with a personal-best time of 1:59.81. Smith scored in the B Finals of the 100 fly with a ND season-best time of 53.01 seconds for 13th place.

• Stanford’s Hannah Kukurugya (Crown Point) made the B Final, and finished 14th overall in the 500 free (4:44.33) at the Pac-12 Championships. The freshman was also seventh overall in the 400 IM on Saturday to help the Cardinal to back-to-back Pac-12 titles.

Women’s indoor track and field

Indiana State’s Taylor Austin (Griffith) was second overall in the 5K on Saturday at the 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Men’s lacrosse

Indiana Tech, ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division III, opened up the season in a big way, hammering Cleary 33-0.

Brandon Phipps (Crown Point) scored seven goals in his college debut, while Joe Dosen (Crown Point) made two saves in the shutout win.

Men’s indoor track and field

Indiana State’s Scott Schreiber (LaPorte) was third overall with a new personal-best 7.43 meters (24-04.50 feet) in the long jump at Saturday’s MVC Championships. He moved to eighth in Sycamore history with the leap.


Michigan’s Stevan Micic (Hanover Central) is climbing up the NCAA rankings, claiming the No. 2 spot in the latest poll at 133 pounds.

Micic dominated in a 22-7 technical fall against Central Michigan’s Dresden Simon in the No. 4 Wolverines’ 30-9 victory.

Micic (18-2) has given up just two total takedowns over his last 12 matches.

• Wabash’s Darden Schurg (Crown Point) was runner-up at 174 pounds at the Central Regional to advance to the NCAA Division III national championship tournament.

Men’s basketball

DePauw’s Ken Decker (Crown Point) finished the regular season as the North Coast Athletic Conference 3-point percentage leader. The freshman hit 47.5 percent of his treys on the season.

• Northern Illinois sophomore Eugene German (21st Century) had 25 points in a recent loss to Ball State. With that effort, German has scored 579 points this season, which is tied for sixth-most in a single season. His total is also the most by any sophomore in Huskies history. He’s currently averaging 20.7 points per game, which is tops in the Mid-American Conference and 33rd nationally.

• Florida Southwestern College’s Anthony Murphy (Griffith) had a game-high 22 points, while twin brother Tremell (Griffith) followed with 14 as the team beat State College of Florida 108-93 for its 18th straight victory.

The Buccaneers (28-1) are ranked No. 2 in the FCSAA NJCAA Region 8 poll. They will play on March 7 in the quarterfinals of the 2018 FCSAA/NJCAA District VIII Men’s Basketball Championship.

The Times welcomes information about local athletes for inclusion in Region Collegians. Email Brian Waddle at