Lander and Clayton St. meet Thursday
Notes: Strong becomes second DIII coach to reach 750 wins
Amy Hughes, NCAA.com
The nation’s top two Division II teams face off in a key Peach Belt Conference match-up on Thursday night. Top-ranked Lander (23-0, 13-0 Peach Belt) travels to second-ranked Clayton State (22-0, 11-0 Peach Belt). The pair of Peach Belt rivals are the final two undefeated teams in Division II. This will be the only regular season meeting between the two teams, as Lander leads the East Division while Clayton State leads the West.
In a Monday night home win against Armstrong Atlantic, Lander posted a 113-81 victory. Junior Jasmine Judge hit six 3-pointers in the first half and was among six double-figure scorers for the Lady Bearcats with a team-high 18. The 113 points was a season-high for Lander. Nationally, Lander leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.32 (through games of Feb. 6). Individually, the Bearcats boast players in the NCAA’s top-10 in four statistical categories. Junior Shannon McKeever leads the country with a 61.7 field goal percentage and ranks third in blocked shots per game with 3.8. Judge ranks second in 3-point field goals per game with 3.9 while junior Nardia Robbins is 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.26.
Clayton State, the defending Peach Belt tournament champions, posted a win in its most recent game, an 87-61 victory against Georgia College. The Lakers had three players scoring in double-figures and scored 14 unanswered points off the opening tip. Two Lakers, Teshymia Tillman and Tanisha Woodard, are averaging over 10 points per game with 14.4 and 12.6 points, respectively. On the national scene, Clayton State sophomore Drameka Griggs ranks eighth in the country (through games of Feb. 6) with 3.4 steals per game.
The 1-vs-2 match-up is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. tip at the Athletics and Fitness Center on the campus of Clayton State.
Need to Know
• The WBCA Pink Zone opens its 10-day schedule this Friday, February 11. The event runs through February 20, and will take place on college campuses all over the country. The WBCA’s charity of choice is the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, which is a 501 c(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women’s cancers. It honors Kay Yow, the former North Carolina State University head women’s basketball coach who was a past president of the WBCA. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and passed away on Jan. 24, 2009, following her third bout with the disease.
• Alverno lost a close game to visiting Concordia University last Wednesday, 38-35, but both teams had their eye on a higher purpose. Both teams wore special Muscular Distrophy Association (MDA) t-shirts during warm-ups and the event raised nearly $450 for the cause. Reagan Imhoff, the five-year-old daughter of Alverno assistant coach Jenny Imhoff, is the Wisconsin MDA Ambassador. Reagan was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) shortly after her first birthday. Jenny Imhoff and Concordia head coach Stacey Brunner-Jones played together on an AAU team when both were in high school.
• University of Scranton head coach Mike Strong recorded the 750th win of his coaching career on Friday with a 91-38 win versus Goucher College. Strong joins former St. John Fisher head coach Phil Kahler (757-171, 1975-2008) as the only coaches in NCAA Division III women’s basketball history with 750 victories.
• Tusculum senior Jasmine Gunn scored 27 points, including the 2,000th of her career, in an 87-57 win at Brevard. Gunn is the second Pioneer and fifth player in South Atlantic Conference history to top 2,000 career points.
• Vanderbilt freshman Stephanie Holzer earned SEC Player of the Week honors after averaging 23 points, 6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in wins against LSU and Florida, both 20-plus point games for the freshman.
• Sophomore guard Kayla Taormina led Bethany to a pair of wins last week, averaging 18 points and 9.5 rebounds while shooting 54 percent (14-of-26) from the floor. She posted her third double-double of the year in a win against Thiel, then had a team-high 20 points in Saturday’s win at Grove City.
• Rachel Macon of Illinois College scored a career-high 32 points in a loss to Beloit on Friday and a game-high 18 points in a win against Lawrence on Saturday. She is now fourth overall on the Illinois College all-time scoring list with 1,163 career points.
• Southern Utah’s Abby Plucker was named the Summit League January Athlete of the Month on Monday. Plucker averaged 20.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in January, highlighted by a career-high 34 points at Western Illinois on Jan. 15.
• Washington State freshman Sage Romberg was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 16.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in wins against Oregon and Oregon State. She had 17 points in a 67-64 win versus Oregon State and followed with 15 points in the Cougars 96-90 victory against Oregon.
• Scotti Moats of Bethel College earned Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week after leading Bethel to a 3-0 week including an upset win against MIAC champ Saint Benedict. Moats averaged 17.0 points and 7.3 rebounds on the week, including 21 points, seven rebounds, five blocked shots and two assists against Saint Benedict.