Cocroft’s Debut Not Enough as DuPage Tops Pioneers at Home [November 22, 2014]

Adrian Jeffries drops two points
Adrian Jeffries dropped in a season-
high 24 points Saturday evening.

Prairie State sophomore forward Alex Cocroft (Rich Central) delivered a solid all-around effort in his Prairie State College debut Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t enough as NJCAA Region IV counterpart DuPage topped the Pioneers 68-53 in Chicago Heights.

Saturday’s setback drops the Pioneers to 2-5 on the campaign.

The 6-foot-2 Cocroft dropped in seven points and pulled down three rebounds in his first collegiate basketball game in two seasons.

PSC was led by a season-high 24-point effort from sophomore forward Adrian Jeffries (Morgan Park H.S.). He also paced the Pioneers with a squad-high six rebounds.

Sophomore guard Rayshaun Bruce (Thornton H.S.), (11 points, 7 assists) and freshman forward Jason Hines (Evergreen Park H.S.), (11 points, 5 rebounds) also made strong contributions.

A layup from Jeffries and field goal by Hines gave PSC a short-lived 8-5 lead. By intermission, DuPage had built a 31-17 advantage.

PSC came within a point of equaling the Chaparrals’ second-half scoring after a 36-point showing in the second stanza.

PSC shot 21-of-45 from the field to DuPage’s 20-of-50. The Chaparrals knocked down 8-of-18 three-pointers to PSC’s 1-of-12.

The Pioneers will hit the floor next on Tuesday when they travel to Oglesby for a road date with Illinois Valley (7:30 p.m.).



Short-Handed Pioneers Fall to South Suburban at Home [November 18, 2014]

With starting sophomore point guard Rodney Smith sidelined with an upper-body injury, the Prairie State College men’s basketball team knew that it was in for a tough assignment heading into Tuesday night’s tilt against NJCAA Region IV arch rival South Suburban.

Unfortunately, they were right.

South Suburban used a 30-point showing from guard Lavell Boyd to down the Pioneers 91-65 at the PSC Fieldhouse on “Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night”.

The Pioneers got off to a rough start from the opening tip and were never quite able to recover, falling behind 11-2 from the outset.

With the setback, PSC dropped to 2-4 overall.

Despite the loss, the Pioneers did post four players in double figures as sophomore guard Rayshaun Bruce (Thornton H.S.) set the pace with a 17-point effort.

Sophomore forward Adrian Jeffries (Morgan Park H.S.) chipped in 14 points while sharing team-high rebounding honors with freshman forward Jason Hines (Evergreen Park H.S.) with nine caroms.

Sophomore shooting guard Kyle Carpenter (Lincoln-Way Central H.S.) posted his first twin-digit scoring outing of the campaign with an 11-point showing that including a 4-of-5 performance from the free-throw line.

Hines also recorded 11 points.

The Pioneers trailed 55-35 at halftime.

PSC will action again on Saturday when it hosts DuPage in a 3 p.m. tipoff.


Furious Comeback Effort Falls Just Short Against Olive-Harvey [November 13, 2014]

Rodney Smith dribbling basketball
PSC sophomore point guard
Rodney Smith turned in a determined
effort Thursday night.

Down by 14 points with just over 13 minutes remaining in regulation, most teams would be less than enthusiastic in terms of launching a comeback attempt. The proverbial tent would be folded and those players would be ready for a good night’s rest.

The Prairie State College men’s basketball squad doesn’t fall under the category of “most teams’, however.

The Pioneers, on the wrong end of a lopsided score throughout much of their NJCAA Region IV contest against Olive-Harvey, picked themselves up by their collective boot straps and surged back against a tough Panthers team in Chicago Heights Thursday night.

Despite its efforts, however, PSC fell to its counterpart from Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood by an 82-76 final count at the PSC Fieldhouse.

With the setback, the Pioneers fell below the .500 mark for the second time in the young campaign and now own a 2-3 overall record.

PSC sophomore point guard Rodney Smith (Thornwood H.S.) and sophomore forward Adrian Jeffries (Morgan Park H.S.) turned in a pair of enormously-energetic and determined outings.

Jeffries led Prairie State with a 23-point showing, just narrowly missing his first double-double of the slate, following a nine-rebound effort.

Smith was equally impressive, tallying 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor. The 6-foot Smith knocked down several big shots throughout the tilt, particularly in the second half, employing the use of his quick first step to slice his way to the basket.

He also chipped in a 6-of-11 effort from the free-throw line.

Smith made contributions away from the stat sheet as well, encouraging teammates and seemingly willing his squad back into the game.

Sophomore guard Rayshaun Bruce (Thornton H.S.) delivered another solid game as well, dropping in 19 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field. He also pulled down five rebounds, dished out a trio of assists and made off with a pair of steals.

Freshman forward Jason Hines (Evergreen Park H.S.) chipped in an eight-point showing.

Olive-Harvey guard Quentin Ruff led all scorers with a 26-point performance.

The Panthers won the battle of the glass, out-rebounding the Pioneers by a 47-39 margin.

Olive-Harvey employed the help of the three-point shot to control the contest, knocking down 11-of-25 triples to PSC’s 0-for-8 showing.

Prairie State trailed 40-31 at the break and began to slowly chip away at the Panthers’ 57-43 advantage midway through the second period.

PSC used field goals by Smith, Jeffries and Bruce on consecutive possessions to blast into the Panthers’ lead.

Freshman guard Malik Epps (Crete-Monee H.S.) finally tied the tilt with a pair of free throws with 1:57 to play before the Panthers used a pair of jumpers and a free throw to seal up the triumph.

PSC will see action again on Tuesday when it hosts local foe South Suburban on “PSC Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night.”


Pioneers Fall to Joliet on “Veteran’s Night” [November 11, 2014]

Despite a game-high 22-point effort from sophomore forward Adrian Jeffries (Morgan Park H.S.), the Prairie State College men’s basketball team was unable to upend NJCAA Region IV foe Joliet Tuesday evening at the PSC Fieldhouse.

The Pioneers fell to the Wolves 66-49 in a spirited contest.

With the setback, Prairie State’s record evened at 2-2 overall.

Prior to Tuesday night’s tilt, the PSC Athletic Department honored all Prairie State former and current employees who have , or are, currently serving in the U.S. military in honor of Veteran’s Day.

Jeffries delivered a 10-of-22 performance from the field and shared team-high rebounding honors with his brother, sophomore guard Rayshaun Bruce (Thornton H.S.) with seven apiece.

Sophomore point guard Rodney Smith (Thornwood H.S.) turned in a nine-point showing in 40 minutes of action.

Bruce and freshman forward Jason Hines (Evergreen Park H.S.) each tallied six-point outings.

The Pioneers trailed just 29-23 at the break before the Wolves took over the contest in the second 20 minutes, outscoring PSC 37-26.

Joliet established a 20-point advantage at 62-42 with 3:59 to go.

The Pioneers will be in action next on Thursday when they host local rival South Suburban at the PSC Fieldhouse (7 p.m.).


Bruce’s Career-High 24 Highlights 51-Point Second Half as PSC Triumphs [November 6, 2014]

With two solid games already under his belt to start the 2014-15 season, Prairie State College sophomore guard Rayshaun Bruce (Thornton H.S.) was primed and ready to post a big effort Thursday in the Pioneers’ home-opener against Daley at the PSC Fieldhouse.

And that’s exactly what he did.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Bruce gave the home fans plenty to cheer for during a commanding 24-point, 10-rebound showing as PSC dropped visiting Daley 78-72 in front of a near-capacity crowd.

Bruce’s scoring efforts represented a career-high as he shot 6-of-18 from the field and 3-of-4 showing from the free-throw line.

Bruce shared game-high scoring honors with Daley’s Marquette Muhammad.

Bruce wasn’t the only Pioneer to turn in an outstanding effort as PSC posted four players in double figures.

Bruce’s sibling, sophomore forward Adrian Jeffries (Morgan Park H.S.), delivered a 16-point, seven-rebound evening while sophomore point guard Rodney Smith (Thornwood H.S.) contributed a 15-point, nine-assist showing.

Freshman forward Jason Hines (Evergreen Park H.S.) added 12 points and four rebounds.

The Pioneers (2-1) actually trailed 29-27 at the break before erupting for a 51-point second half.

PSC constructed its largest lead of the evening at 65-50 following a Smith layup with 6:05 to play.

The Pioneers will take the court next on Wednesday when they host Joliet on “Veteran’s Night” at the PSC Fieldhouse (7 p.m.).


2014-2015 Men's Basketball Letters of Intent Signees

The following student-athletes have signed NJCAA letters of intent to continue their academic and basketball careers at Prairie State College beginning in the Fall 2014 semester:

  • Wendell Daniels (T.F. South H.S.)
  • Victor Trout (Thornridge H.S.)
  • Brian Robinson (Bolingbrook H.S.)