The biggest game of Chrishawn Orange’s college basketball career is one he doesn’t care to replay.
“I haven’t watched it at all,” Orange said of his Augustana College team’s 79-78 national championship game loss to Babson in March. “Maybe when I’m older I will. It’s nothing I want to think about now. It’s in the past. It’s time to move forward.”
Orange, a Jacobs grad, is doing his best to keep the NCAA Division III Vikings (8-1) on a positive path.
The junior guard leads Augie, the nation’s No. 3 team in this week’s D3Hoops.com Top 25 poll, in scoring at 16.6 points a game.
He is connecting on nearly 46 percent of his 3-point shots, leads the team with eight steals and is averaging a career-high 4.9 rebounds.
Though he won’t watch last season’s title game anytime soon, the memorable run the Vikings went on last season is still having an impact.
“It gave us confidence and a hunger to get back there,” he said. “We have confidence we can get there.”
The Vikings lost nine games last season, including three in a row to end the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin regular season in February. This year’s team isn’t likely to have those same stumbles.
“Last year, we were trying to make our mark,” Orange said. “We were all in new roles and trying to figure out how it worked. Now, we know who we are and the core guys are back.”
What the Vikings are so far is a defensive powerhouse in the CCIW.
They rank first in scoring defense, allowing 66.1 points a game, and lead the league in field goal percentage defense at 39.2.
“We’ve found our identity on the defensive end,” he said. “We pride ourselves on our defense traveling when we go on the road, and I pride myself on guarding the best guy out there.”
Johns paces Reivers: Johnsburg grad Jazza Johns is the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer this season for Iowa Western Community College’s women’s basketball team.
Johns, a sophomore forward, is averaging 10.8 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Reivers (10-4). She had a season-high 19 points Nov. 25 in a win against St. Cloud Technical & Community College. On Dec. 8, Johns posted a season-best 15 rebounds in a victory against Northwest Kansas Technical College.
Central standout: Taylor Golt, a freshman goalkeeper for D-III Central College’s women’s soccer team, was named the program’s Newcomer of the Year last month after posting a 12-2-3 record as the team’s starter.
Golt, a Prairie Ridge grad, earned honorable mention All-Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors by posting a 0.70 goals-against average while starting 18 games this season. She had six shutouts for the Dutch (14-2-3), who finished tied for second in the IIAC.
Briscoe takes over: Junior quarterback Michael Briscoe (McHenry West) took over as the starting quarterback for D-III University of Dubuque last month for the team’s final two games of the season.
He was 14-for-26 for 228 yards and three TDs in a 35-21 victory against 2016 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion Coe College. Briscoe completed 50 percent of his passes and threw for four touchdowns while the Spartans (6-4) went 1-1 in the two games.
Pischke piles up points: Lewis University sophomore men’s basketball guard Adam Pischke (Marian Central) scored a season-high 14 points Tuesday in the team’s loss to Ferris State.
Pischke, who also added five assists, is averaging 9.7 points and 2.0 rebounds for the D-II Flyers (4-7). Pischke’s performance against Ferris State was one point shy of his career high of 15 points last season against Bellarmine.
Augie soccer winner: Jacobs grad Karissa Gottardo was named the Most Improved Player this season by the D-III Augustana College women’s soccer program.
Gottardo, a freshman midfielder for the Vikings (8-8-1), had two assists this season while playing in 14 games. She started four times for Augustana.
• Barry Bottino writes a weekly column about local college athletes for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at BarryOnCampus@hotmail.com and follow @BarryOnCampus on Twitter.