News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 11, 2013

College Report: Mahurins playing major role for Indiana Wesleyan

Joey Bennett
Tribune-Star correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — R.J. Mahurin, a senior at Indiana Wesleyan, was selected as the Crossroads League’s Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the period of Nov. 24-30.

The fifth-year senior from Rockville led Indiana Wesleyan, then ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division II, to an 88-82 win over No. 9 Bethel last month in the Crossroads League opener.

Mahurin scored 33 points on 12-for-18 shooting from the field, including 7 of 10 from 3 point range. He also recorded seven rebounds and two assists while knocking down both free throws in the contest.

The Wildcats were upset at home 72-63 last week by the University of St. Francis, despite leading by as many as 21 points.

Mahurin had 13 points and 10 rebounds in that game, while younger brother Lane added nine points and nine rebounds.

Saint Francis scored the final 14 points of the first half to break the game open for good.

With the loss, Indiana Wesleyan fell to 9-2 overall and 2-1 in the Crossroads League.

R.J. Mahurin averages 16.9 points and 9.0 rebounds in 24 minutes per game, both leading the team, while Lane Mahurin averages 18.9 minutes while posting 7.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.



In other holiday time college news:

• A.J. Hughes of Virginia Tech was named as the second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference punter in balloting conducted by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

Hughes — a sophomore from Terre Haute North — is second in the ACC and ninth nationally with a 44.5-yard punting average and has 20 kicks of 50 yards or longer to go with 19 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

He and the 8-4 Hokies will meet UCLA in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31.

Several other Valley college footballers remain in action as the bowls approach and the lower division tournaments reach their conclusions.

Scott Weatherford of Terre Haute North and Taylor Duncan of Marshall can be seen Friday night on ESPN2 as Eastern Illinois hosts Towson State in the semifinals of the FCS national championships. Game time is 7 p.m.

Undefeated and top-ranked Mount Union (Ohio) will host North Central (Ill.) on Saturday in the semifinals of the Division III national championships.

Ball State will be making its second straight bowl appearance, as the 10-2 Cardinals meet Arkansas State in the Godaddy Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 5. Calvin Blank of Terre Haute North is a freshman tight end sitting out this season as a redshirt.

• Terre Haute South grad Haley Seibert scored 14 points recently as Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne recorded its first win ever over a nationally ranked Division I team with an 81-76 victory at No. 21 Michigan State.

Seibert hit her second 3-pointer of the game at 17:07 to give IPFW an early 10-5 advantage, but the Spartans came back to take a 40-35 halftime lead.

Seibert hit a pair of free throws to help push the IPFW lead to nine with under a minute to play.

• Terre Haute South grad Addison Bray participated in the USA Swimming Winter Nationals last week at Knoxville, Tenn.

The Louisville sophomore picked up the B final win in 53.32 in the 100 breaststroke.

The women’s competition was dominated, not surprisingly, by University of California freshman Missy Franklin — the 2012 Olympic champion picked up a pair of individual titles as well as a relay victory.

• Julian Shamsaie of Terre Haute North was a member of the University of Indianapolis men’s soccer team which qualified for the Division II NCAA championships this year. The Greyhounds finished the season ranked No. 21 in the nation, but they were eliminated from the NCAA tourney by Lewis. The score was tied 0-0 at the end of regulation and Lewis won 4-3 in penalty kicks.

Shamsaie started 14 matches for the 15-3-3 Greyhounds, missing some contests early in the season with a broken nose and others later in the year due to a stress fracture in his foot.

A sophomore outside backer, Shamsaie had two assists and two points with one attempted shot. He is a pre-physical therapy major.

• Two Wabash Valley athletes signed national letters-of-intent last month to play collegiately for Southern Indiana.

Shelbi Morris, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter from Northview, will be joining the Screaming Eagles next fall.

She earned All-Western Indiana Conference honors her final three seasons with the Knights.

A member of four conference championship teams at NHS, Morris was stellar during her senior season as she finished fourth in the IHSAA Class 3A with 380 kills. Her effort helped NHS to a 34-4 record and the squad’s first regional title since 1984. NHS won a record 113 matches during Morris’s four seasons.

On the club level, Morris helped the Circle City Volleyball Club to a 50th-place showing out of 153 at nationals in 2013.

“We are so excited to add an outside hitter of Shelbi’s caliber to our roster,” Mercer said. “She’s a six-rotation player whose maturity and leadership will help her compete for time on the court immediately.”

Marshall (Ill.) basketball standout Kaydie Grooms, a 5-11 guard/forward, also will suit up for USI next year.

Grooms earned first-team IBCA All-State honors after averaging 20.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest as a junior. She’s averaged 25 ppg to open her senior season.

A multi-sport star in basketball and volleyball at MHS, Grooms has been named to several all-tournament teams and has earned all-conference honors in basketball and volleyball. She holds the MHS single-season scoring record (559) and is currently third on the Lions’ all-time scoring list.



Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at jbblkc@gmail.com.