Richmond's Kevin Steenberge was just another 6-foot-11 center until he walked onto the floor at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., and dropped 30 points on Seton Hall in a 77-71 season-opening victory.
"Luckily, I got rolling in that game and the coach [Jerry Wainwright] was willing to keep me in," said the junior from River Hill High in Clarksville. "I think I played 32 minutes or something in that game. I don't think I had ever played anything near 32 minutes before." His previous high was 24 minutes.
The 30-point spree was easily a career high, surpassing the 12 points he had reached three times as a sophomore.
Amid an assortment of 10-foot turnaround bank shots, baby hooks and 15-foot jumpers was one defining dunk that showed just how much stronger Steenberge, who weighs 245 pounds this season, is compared with last season's 230.
"The one play that made me feel best and made me feel I was a lot stronger than last year, was when I dunked one and got fouled," Steenberge said. "So I got to end one with a dunk, which last year could never have happened - the strength just wasn't there to take it through a defender through the hoop."
It was part of an 11-for-13 performance from the field along with an 8-for-13 effort from the free-throw line.
Free throws have become a strong point for the 2002 first-team All-Metro choice and Howard County Player of the Year.
"I spend a lot of time working on that," said Steenberge, who leads the Spiders in scoring (21.7 points a game), rebounding (6.7), field goal percentage (.694) and minutes (27.7). "I had a problem a lot of big men have: My hands are so big that I was ending up blocking my own shot because I was thinking too much on the line."
Despite receiving six stitches in his lower lip during an 85-58 loss to Virginia on Sunday that dropped the Spiders to 2-1, Steenberge is enjoying his increased role and believes Richmond can return to the NCAA tournament.
"We know we belong because we've been there," he said.
Kines leads title run
Stephanie Kines (Towson) had a match-high 17 kills and a team-leading five blocks, leading Juniata (Pa.) College to a 3-0 victory over defending champion Washington (Mo.) University in the NCAA Division III volleyball championship match Saturday.
Kines, a 5-11 sophomore middle hitter, was chosen a first-team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association after leading her team to a 37-3 record.
Kines topped the new national champs this season with 3.74 kills a game, a .473 kill percentage and a per-game block average of .90. She had a career-high 25 kills in the Commonwealth Conference championship victory that sent the Eagles to the NCAAs.
Junior wide receiver J.J. Outlaw (Mount St. Joseph) was easily the most versatile player on Villanova's team.
Outlaw led the Wildcats (6-5, 3-5 in Atlantic 10) in three offensive categories, was second in one, and third in two important phases of the game.
He was first in receptions with 57 for 686 yards and seven touchdowns, all-purpose yards (1,372) and punt returns (24 for 247 yards).
Outlaw was also high on the team in kickoff returns (16 for 235 yards), rushing (29 for 227 yards and one touchdown), and scoring (eight touchdowns). The 5-8, 185-pound player was a third-team All-A-10 selection, along with Richmond sophomore linebacker Adam Goloboski (Hereford), whose team-leading 116 tackles ranked third in the A-10.
Jones a factor in Hawaii
Freshman linebacker C.J. Allen Jones (Aberdeen) has helped Hawaii's football team to a 6-5 record with 11 tackles, including one sack in the 10 games he has played in. The Rainbow Warriors will be hosting Michigan State on Saturday and need a win to receive a Hawaii Bowl bid. The game will be televised by ESPN2 at 11:30 p.m.
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