Dec. 9, 2008

By Amy Farnum Novin

NO SLACKING OFF: Top-ranked Northern Kentucky averted an upset at the hands of the University Indianapolis, and followed it up with a victory at NCAA Division I SIU Edwardsville last week as the Norse remained perfect on the season with a 4-0 record.

The defending NCAA champion was down nine points to UIndy, but senior guard Jessie Slack’s 17 points and nine rebounds propelled the Norse to a 56-54 victory on Dec. 4.

The native of Mt. Perry, Ohio, notched a double-double in her next contest, compiling a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds in a 61-48 win over the Cougars two days later, and garnered Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week for her outstanding play.

Slack paces the GLVC with 20.5 points per game along with a .625 three-point field goal percentage.

TALKING TECH: Michigan Tech opened the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule as the only North Division squad without a loss as the Huskies downed Wayne State and Northwood last week.

Junior forward Danae Danen averaged 17.5 points and six rebounds in the two road victories, while shooting 69.6 percent from the field.  The native of Green Bay, Wis., collected 35 points in two contests despite playing just 59 minutes.  Danen was selected GLIAC North Division Player of the Week for her efforts.

LEADING THE WAY: Newberry College extended its winning streak to four games with a pair of wins, including a key victory over then-No. 16 Wingate to open South Atlantic Conference action last week.

Sophomore guard Helen McKinney opened the week with her third straight double-double in a 75-54 win over Augusta State with 25 points and 14 rebounds, both of which were career highs.  The native of Owensboro, Ky., then tallied 18 points and eight rebounds in a 95-90 stunner against Wingate.  It was Newberry’s first win over Wingate since the 2003-04 season. 

McKinney, who was named SAC Player of the Week, leads the league with 17.0 points per game, and ranks sixth in the conference with 8.3 rebounds per game.

THREE’S THE CHARM:  Armstrong Atlantic State’s Lacey Willis became the first Peach Belt Conference women’s basketball player since 1993 to collect three consecutive weekly awards in a season after she guided the Lady Pirates to a pair of league victories last week.

The senior from Dublin, Ga., scored 26 points with nine rebounds in a come-from-behind victory at UNC Pembroke on Dec. 2 and followed it up with 20 points and 10 rebounds in a 63-55 upset of then-No. 7 USC Aiken on Dec. 6.  Willis tops the PBC with 21 points per game, and ranks fifth in rebounding with 8.4 per game. 

The Lady Pirates have the week off, but resume play on Dec. 19 against No. 25 Wingate in the 2008 Chatham Orthopedics Holiday Classic.

STARTING STRONG: University of Minnesota, Crookston started Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action with a 2-0 record for the first time since the 2004-05 season after defeating Minnesota Duluth and Bemidji State last week.

Sophomore forward Bri Zabel was a catalyst in the stellar beginning, averaging a double-double for the week.  The native of Northfield, Minn., opened the week with 17 points and 11 rebounds against the Bulldogs, and then tallied a career-high 30 points with 10 rebounds in the Golden Eagles’ win over BSU. 

Zabel earned NSIC Player of the Week honors for her performance.  She has led the team in scoring for three consecutive games and ranks fourth in the NSIC with 17.3 points per game.