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Article updated: 11/6/2012 11:45 PM

It all adds up in Kishwaukee's favor

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By Jonathan Cregier

With many people monitoring election returns Tuesday, the phrase of the day seemed to be "too close to call."

That was not the case at the Sports and Wellness Center in Palatine, however, as Kishwaukee had everything going its way.

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The Harper men's basketball team suffered a 91-73 to Kishwaukee College in falling to 0-2. Both losses came against nonconference foes.

"We have had two games that we have allowed 90-plus points," Hawks coach Tony Amarino said. "Our goal is 65 and under."

How well Harper competes is of more importance to its coach, especially in the early going against many NJCAA Division II schools, which, unlike Harper, have players on scholarship. The next few games could be critical for the Hawks according to Amarino, who is calling his team's response "a great test of character."

It certainly wasn't all bad news for the Hawks against Kishwaukee (1-0). Freshman foward Michael Rose scored a team-high 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field.

"As long as we are not playing well as a team, that's not going to win us a game," he said about his performance.

"We were hopeing to come out fast," said Kishwaukee coach Rob Buss.

That's exactly what the Kougars did, as extended pressure defense forced the Hawks to play faster than they wanted and seemed to get them out of their preferred offense.

The combination of Taylor Zimmerman and Raheem Lemons (15 points) guided the Kougars on a 14-0 run, giving Kishwaukee a 28-14 lead with 10:19 remaning in the half.

"I thought our guys did a nice job of shaking out the jitters," Buss said.

Zimmerman finished with a game-high 17 points.

The Hawks had a 5-2 scoring spurt of their own but still trailed 53-39 at the half.

Amarino assessed the first half this way: "If we play well, we are in the ball game."

The Hawks next two games will be on the road, including Saturday's 1 p.m. nonconference contest at Elgin Community College.

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