LEBANON — A pair of solid performances last week allowed McKendree University senior guard John Steppe to make a little history on Monday for the Bearcat men's basketball program.
Steppe was selected as the Great Lakes Valley Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for games of Nov. 26-Dec. 2. By receiving the honor, Steppe is the first McKendree basketball player to earn a weekly honor from the league. The Bearcats are in their first season as members of the GLVC.
In two games last week, Steppe averaged 19.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest. He shot the ball well in both outings, connecting on 47.8 percent of his shots from the field (11-of-23), including a 40 percent clip from three-point range (4-of-10). In addition, Steppe was 13-of-15 from the free throw line for an 86.7 percent showing. He also added nine assists and a pair of steals in leading McKendree to victories over Lincoln Christian University and Trevecca Nazarene University.
Steppe recorded his second double-double of the season in the Bearcats' 69-53 win over Lincoln Christian. He poured in 22 points and pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds in the contest. Steppe followed that with 17 points, four rebounds and six assists in leading McKendree to an 80-70 come-from-behind win over Trevecca Nazarene.
For the season, Steppe is second on the McKendree team in scoring at 17.3 points per game and leads the Bearcats in rebounding at 7.3 per contest. He is shooting a team-best 44.8 percent from three-point range and also leads the Bearcats with 23 assists. Back on Nov. 14, Steppe became the 47th member of the Bearcats' 1,000-point club, and now sits in 39th place overall on the team's all-time scoring list at 1,067 points.
Thanks in part to Steppe's efforts, McKendree has won its last three games and has pulled its record up to the .500 mark at 3-3. The Bearcats will play host to Principia College on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Starks tops 1,000 points
Todd Stars scored 31 points, helping the Lindenwood-Belleville men's basketball team defeat Hannibal-LaGrange 97-67 recently at Lynx Arena.
Starks' 31 points, tying for second all-time in single-game scoring, also reached the 1,000-point plateau as a Lynx.
The win also marked the first victory against the Trojans in LU-Belleville history.
Over the weekend, the Lynx fell to NAIA's No. 100-ranked Columbia (Mo.) College 79-70, wrapping up play at the William Woods Classic.
The Lynx (9-3) gave up a one-point halftime lead, creating a double-digit deficit in favor of the Cougars (9-0) in the second half. Despite a 23-point performance in the final 10 minutes of the game to cut the lead to five, the Lynx couldn't pull off the win, falling to the undefeated Cougars.