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Rade Kukobat, Anthony Murphy

In this March 5, 2015, photo, Lighthouse senior Rade Kukobat shoots against Griffith senior Josh Terzarial and junior Anthony Murphy in the Gavit Sectional at the Hammond Civic Center.

Three local players have contributed to Drake men’s basketball’s best start in years. The Bulldogs are 18-7, with 18 victories matching the 2011-12 season for most wins over the past decade.

Drake’s latest win was an 83-77 victory against Northern Iowa on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. Freshman guard and Merrillville graduate D.J. Wilkins put up 18 points and tied his career-high with five assists in his 40 minutes on the floor. He was 6 for 11 shooting, 4 for 4 from the free-throw line and snagged four rebounds.

Junior forward and Griffith grad Tremell Murphy played 29 minutes as a starter in the game against UNI, tying his season-high with 15 points. He also went 4 for 4 from the free-throw line. Drake as a team made 17 of 18 free throws.

Murphy's averaging 9.7 points per game this season.

His brother, Anthony Murphy, shot 3 for 6 from the floor for nine points, went 2 for 2 from the free throw line and grabbed seven rebounds.

Lombardini, UMKC softball split opening day

Lia Lombardini, a junior utility player for the Missouri-Kansas City softball team, scored a pair of runs in a 9-0 season-opening win over Detroit as the Kangaroos opened the season Friday at the Total Control Sports Invitational in Rosemont, Illinois.

The starting shortstop and Chesterton graduate went 1 for 3 with a strikeout and was hit by a pitch. She scored her first run in the fifth inning after getting on base with a single. In the seventh, she scored on a throwing error.

The Roos followed that up with a 1-0 loss to Loyola of Chicago later that day. Lombardini again started at shortstop but went 0 for 3 as the Roos only had two hits as a team. She reached base in the first inning on an error but was left aboard.

Crown Point grad pulls his weight for Wabash College

Sophomore Daylan Schurg earned fourth- and fifth-place finishes this month for the Wabash College wrestling program.

The Division III Wabash program took second out of 15 teams at the John Summa Wrestling Invitational on Feb. 2 at Baldwin Wallace (Ohio). Schurg took fourth place in the 165-pound weight class. He lost to teammate and eventual champion Kyle Hatch in the semifinal (fall 1:18).

Wabash won the Mid-States Invitational at Alma (Michigan) College on Saturday. Schurg, who is from Crown Point, took fifth place in the 165-pound class.

Artim helps set pool record

Sophomore Kelsi Artim was part of a record-setting relay during an intersquad meet with the Wisconsin men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams.

Artim, a Crown Point graduate, swam on the Red Team that defeated the White Team 146-82 on Feb. 2. She swam a leg of the 200-medley relay that finished in a pool-record time of 1 minute, 38.04 second. She was teammates with Beata Nelson (Red Team captain), Jess Unicomb and Emmy Sehmann.

The squads used the event as preparation for the Big Ten Championships coming up at the end of the month.

Lighthouse grad sets season-highs on the court

Rade Kukobat achieved some personal-bests the past few games with the Eastern Illinois men’s basketball team.

The Lighthouse and Don Bosco Prep graduate registered a season-high three blocks to go with five points, two rebounds and one steal in 23 minutes as a starter in a 86-75 loss at Murray State on Thursday.

A 6-9 junior forward, Kukobat made the most of his 13 minutes off the bench in a 94-86 loss at Austin Peay on Saturday. Kukobat went 4 for 8 shooting for eight points and added a season-high three assists.

His jumper with 2:58 left in the game helped get his team cut the deficit to two points.

The Times welcomes information about local athletes for inclusion in Region Collegians. E-mail Heather Rule at