116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Dondre Osborne is an outstanding basketball player. Mount Mercy's 6-foot-1 senior guard can shoot, rebound, pass and is seemingly tireless on the court, averaging more than 36 minutes per game.
Osborne leads the Mustangs in scoring (14.1), assists (5.1) and steals (2.7). He is a big reason Mount Mercy is ranked No. 10 in NAIA Division II and riding a 15-game winning streak after Wednesday's 65-56 win over Viterbo at La Crosse, Wis.
But even Osborne admits he is not the force that has united a 12-win team from a year ago and propelled it to a 22-3 mark this season.
'We play for Danny DeBacker,” Osborne said after Saturday's 91-83 win over William Penn.
DeBacker was a 6-3 senior forward on the Mount Mercy basketball team. He was killed Sept. 28 when the car he was riding in was hit broadside by an alleged drunken driver in Davenport, near his hometown of Orion, Ill.
DeBacker appeared in 29 games last season, started five, and averaged 3.1 points. He was loved and respected by his teammates, who took his loss hard.
'It was tough for us, but it brought us together,” Osborne said. 'If anybody knew Danny, they knew he played hard and never took any plays off. That's what I try to do for my teammates, to keep them playing with that same level of energy.”
The Mustangs pay their respect to DeBacker with 'DD 20” - his initials and uniform number - on the back of their warm-up tops.
They also pay their respect by playing hard and winning.
'We always had the talent, we always had the guys,” Osborne said. 'Last year, we lost a lot of close games we should have finished off. This year we've been finishing them off.
'(DeBacker's death) just brought us together. We are more family-oriented, team-oriented, no I's. That's why we've been successful.”
The Cornell women took a huge step toward claiming a spot in the Midwest Conference postseason tournament with an 82-72 win Tuesday at Monmouth.
Cornell (13-8, 11-5) moved into third place with two games to play. The top four teams qualify for the conference tournament.
Cornell has won seven of its last eight games, but faces the top two teams to close the season. The Rams host second-place Carroll (14-6, 11-4) Saturday, then finish up on the road at first-pace St. Norbert (18-3, 15-1) Feb. 21.
Senior Rikki Mulloy broke her own school record for 3-pointers in a season against Monmouth with 56. She has tied or broken the school record each of the last three seasons.
Mulloy also moved within eight points of Camille Marie's record for career points. Mulloy has 1,433. Senior Taylor Dicus is 22 points away from the No. 3 spot on the list with 1,167 career points.
The Kirkwood women (19-5, 7-1) fell four spots to No. 7 in this week's NJCAA Division II poll after having their 15-game winning streak snapped in an 84-71 home loss to NIACC on Saturday. NIACC (18-4, 7-1) is No. 5 in the poll.
The Kirkwood men (18-5, 5-2) are No. 11 in this week's poll.
Former Kirkwood men's coach Chris Jans is having a successful first season as head coach at Bowling Green. The Falcons are 16-6 overall and 8-3 and tied for first in the Mid-American Conference's East Division. Jans, who was Gregg Marshall's top assistant at Wichita State before taking over the reins at Bowling Green, guided Kirkwood to the 1997 NJCAA Division II national championship.