Division III Notebook: Patrick hits 1,000 mark
From Amy Farnum, NCAA.com basketball blogger
POINT MADE: Kean University senior forward Tiffany Patrick became the 18th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point career mark as the Cougars improved their season record to 6-0 last weekend.
The native of Piscataway, N.J., started the week with a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds in the Cougars’ 72-56 win over TCNJ, and then followed it up with 17 points in 17 minutes against NJCU as she achieved the 1,000-point club. Patrick was named New Jersey Athletic Conference Player of the Week for her accomplishments. Patrick, who collected seven steals last week, ranks second in the league with 3.5 per game.
Kean, ranked No. 4 nationally, has won 15 consecutive NJAC regular season games. The Cougars step out of league play for a contest with DeSales on Dec. 8.
MULES ON THE MOVE: Muhlenberg continued to rise in the national rankings, and jumped to No. 17 in the latest USA Today/ESPN Division III Top 25, after remaining perfect with a pair of Centennial Conference victories.
The Mules, who are the only unbeaten team in the Mid-Atlantic Region, have been sparked by Alexandra Berlin during their stellar start. The senior captain switched positions in the preseason, moving from wing to point guard, due to an injury to reigning Centennial Conference Player of the Year Kelly McKeon, but has shined in the position. Berlin is scoring 8.8 points per game, and ranks second in the league in both assists per game (4.67) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.40).
“It’s definitely been a challenge playing point guard, but it’s been something that I’ve embraced,” Berlin said. “It’s a lot of pressure bringing the ball up the court every time and it’s made me realize that point guard is the toughest position on the court.
The Mules cruised to an 87-43 win over Bryn Mawr to move to 7-0 before taking an extended break during final exams. They will return to action at Montclair State on Dec. 18.
WARRIOR WINNING WAYS: Eastern Connecticut State cracked the USA Today/ESPN Division III Top 25 at No. 23 this week after bolting out to a 7-0 start. The Warriors are one of seven New England schools in the most recent national rankings. It is Eastern’s first national ranking since the 2008-09 squad was ranked No. 17 before finishing 25-4 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
The Warriors entered the week outscoring foes by a 26.3-point margin, and outrebounding opponents by a 16.7 margin, and then posted a dominating 74-49 win over Westfield State on Dec. 7 to remain unbeaten.
ON THE FRITZ: Lebanon Valley College made its’ debut in the USA Today/ESPN Division III Top 25 at No. 22 this week after opening Commonwealth Conference play with a pair of victories.
Sophomore center Renee Fritz keyed the Dutchmen by combining for 24 points and 18 rebounds in the two games, including a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds in the league opener against Elizabethtown. Fritz garnered Commonwealth Conference Player of the Week honors for her efforts.
The Dutchmen look to keep their record flawless at Marywood on Dec. 9.
JUMP SHOTS: The top 10 teams in the latest USA Today/ESPN Division III Top 25 remained exactly the same with No. 1 Amherst leading the way … Buena Vista head coach Janet Berry notched her 300th career win with her squad’s 60-46 defeat of Cornell College in Iowa Conference play on Dec. 4. Berry has compiled a 300-182 mark in 19 years at BVU, and has won at least 17 games in the seven of the last eight years … Saint Vincent College (Pa.) has opened the season with a 6-0 mark, allowing the Bearcats to climb to No. 16 in the latest national rankings. The Bearcats have won 13 consecutive games dating back to last season, and they look to extend the streak at Juniata College on Dec. 8.