The Harper College men's basketball team lost their last three games to close out 2013, but they have a fresh start in 2014 as they travel to Joliet tonight for their conference opener at 7 PM.
The Hawks are 8-6 in the 2013-14 season and will face stern competition in the N4C. They finished with a 6-8 mark in conference play last season.
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Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator) leads Harper in scoring at 16.8 PPG while Kevin Sexton (/Prospect) (12.9 PPG) and Bradley Reibel (/Prospect) (12.0 PPG) also average in double figures. Walsh has eclipsed the 20-point mark five times this season, including a 30-point effort in a win over Olive-Harvey College on Dec. 3.
Here's a look at the records of each N4C team in non-conference play:
Rock Valley 13-2
The Hawks play each conference foe twice in league play. Here's a breakdown of each opponent:
Harper at Joliet, Jan. 8
Joliet at Harper, Feb. 1
After starting the year 7-0, Joliet has lost six of their last seven games, including three one-point losses.
The Wolves feature a balanced scoring attack with six players averaging 10 or more points per game, led by Anthony Carroll and Deiondre Cunningham each scoring 12.7 PPG. Forward Justin Scanlan leads the team in rebounding at 6.7 RPG to go along with 12.4 PPG.
Harper lost both contests against Joliet last year, 78-69 and 83-79. The Wolves won the conference last year with a 13-1 record in N4C play.
Rock Valley at Harper (at Judson University), Jan. 11
Harper at Rock Valley, Feb. 5
The Golden Eagles' only two losses of the season came at the hands of Indian Hills Community College, the nation's top-ranked NJCAA Div. I program, and Malcolm X College. Rock Valley is No. 3 in the NJCAA Div. III national poll.
The Golden Eagles score 84.8 PPG, led by LT Davis at 17.7 PPG and Jared Mayes at 15.1 PPG.
The Hawks and Golden Eagles split the season series last year as Rock Valley won at home 74-67 on Jan. 12 and Harper won at home 83-64 on Feb. 6. This year's home matchup for the Hawks will be played on the campus of Judson University in Elgin, Ill.
Harper at Wright, Jan. 15
Wright at Harper, Feb. 8
The Rams boast wins over McHenry County College and College of Lake County this season. They are led in scoring by freshman Jamon Collins (16.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG) and Adonis Lema (12.8 PPG).
The Hawks and Rams split the season series a year ago. Harper won a 75-72 overtime thriller in Palatine on Jan. 16 while Wright earned a 61-59 win in Chicago on Feb. 9.
Harper at DuPage, Jan. 18
DuPage at Harper, Feb. 12
The Chapparals have won two straight games heading into N4C play, earning victories over Robert Morris JV and College of Lake County.
DuPage swept the regular season series last year and ended the Hawks' season with a 79-69 win in the Region IV Quarterfinals.
Milwaukee at Harper, Jan. 22
Harper at Milwaukee (at Alverno College), Feb. 15
After a 1-8 start, the Stormers are riding a five-game winning streak heading into conference play. Jermaine Brisco (14.3 PPG), Troy Spears (14.0 PPG) and Thomas Hood Jr (13.3 PPG) led the scoring attack for Milwaukee.
The Stormers bested the Hawks 73-71 in Palatine last year, but Harper bounced back with a 91-74 road victory to split the season series.
The Feb. 15 contest at Milwaukee will be played on the campus of Alverno College.
Triton at Harper, Jan. 25
Harper at Triton, Feb. 19
The Trojans are on a three-game losing streak coming into conference play, having lost to three tough opponents in a row in Kishwaukee College, Olive-Harvey College and South Suburban College.
They are led in scoring by Chad McDowell at 16.5 PPG and Paul Beene at 13.8 PPG.
The Trojans finished 12-2 in N4C play last year, but one of their losses came at Harper last year (Feb. 20).
Madison at Harper, Jan. 29
Harper at Madison, Feb. 21
The WolfPack spent part of their winter break in Arizona, playing two games there. They dropped both contests and with a recent loss to Kishwaukee College have now lost five in a row.
Brandon Holz leads Madison in scoring at 14.0 PPG and rebounding at 6.1 RPG.
The Hawks swept the season series from the WolfPack last year.