Dec. 9, 2008

By Amy Farnum Novin

BETTER AND BETTER:  Southwest Baptist University's Matthew Rogers continued to raise his level of play as the fifth-ranked Bearcats remained unbeaten on the season with two victories last week.

The junior center improved on his career single-game scoring total for the third straight game with 35 points in a 98-70 victory over then-No. 22 Central Missouri as the two squads opened Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association action on Dec. 2.  Rogers also grabbed eight rebounds and blocked seven shots in the win.

Rogers, a native of Doniphan, Mo., followed it up with 21 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in 21 minutes of the Bearcats' convincing win over Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) on Dec. 6.  He made five three-pointers in the game for his fourth straight contest with at least four shots made from beyond the arc.  Rogers, who leadings the conference with 23.6 points per game and a 60.0 percent three-point field percentage, was named MIAA Player of the Week for his contributions.

BACK-TO-BACK: St. Cloud State is off to a 2-0 start in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference competition thanks to the stellar play of sophomore forward Andrew Bernstetter.

The native of St. Joseph, Minn., scored double figures in back-to-back games for the second time in his career, averaging 18.0 points along with 8.5 rebounds on the week.  Bernstetter began the week with his second double-double, scoring 18 points and posting 10 rebounds in an overtime win versus then-No.  16 Winona State.

Bernstetter then tallied another 18 points and registered seven rebounds and four assists in the Huskies' victory over Upper Iowa.  For his effort, he was named NSIC Player of the Week.
The Huskies will return home for the first time in almost a month as they host MSU Moorhead on Dec. 12.

RED HOT:  The University of Arkansas at Monticello has opened the season with an eight-game winning streak after topping West Florida, 65-61, in the Montevallo Classic last weekend.  It is the first time since the 2004-05 season that UAM has won eight straight games.

Senior Raymond Wright of New York, N.Y., netted a game-high 17 points as he continued to lead the Weevils in scoring with 19.4 points per game.  He also ranks fourth in the Gulf South Conference.

TOP THIS: West Liberty's Ben Howlett averaged 30.5 points per game as the Hilltoppers opened the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule with two lopsided victories last weekend.

The senior guard from Marietta, Ohio, scored 29 points in a 107-73 win over Fairmont State and followed it up with season-best 32 points in a 104-88 defeat of Shepherd.  West Liberty improved to 6-0 following the weekend.

Howlett, who was named WVIAC Player of the Week, ranks second in the league with 25.2 points per game and tops the conference with a .725 field goal percentage.

NOTABLE:  Senior center Shane Lawal posted the first triple-double in Wayne State history with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in a victory over Michigan Tech on Dec. 4.  He added 19 points in a one-point loss to Northern Michigan two days later, earning Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Division Player of the Week honors.  Lawal paces the GLIAC with a .691 field goal percentage and 5.4 blocked shots per game ... Brandon Thomas became the first UNC Pembroke player since 2000 to be selected Peach Belt Player of the Week after averaging 16.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game in a 1-1 week for the Braves. He has recorded four straight double-double performances.