Dec. 10, 2008

By Amy Farnum Novin

BEST BEGINNING:  For the first time in program history, Ithaca College has cracked the Top 25, landing at No. 22 in the most recent poll.

The Bombers are off to their best start in 67 years after compiling a 6-0 record and wins at Rochester’s Resler Tournament and Allegheny’s National City Tournament.  The 1941-42 squad is the only team in school history to begin a season 7-0. 

Ithaca leads the Empire 8 Conference in scoring with 90.2 points per game, sparked by senior guard Sean Burton, who paces the league with 21.8 points per game.  Senior center Jeff Bostic contributes 11.8 rebounds per game, which ranks second in the conference.

The Bombers will put their perfect record on the line as they visit Oneonta State on Dec. 10.

TOP OF THEIR GAME: Carnegie Mellon University has reeled off its second best start in school history with a 7-0 record after a pair of victories last week.  Three years ago, the Tartans began the year with a 10-0 mark.

The Tartans topped Juniata, 75-56, to earn their 19th straight non-conference win, and followed up with a victory over Rochester to open University Athletic Association play.  The two wins vaulted the Tartans six spots to No. 13 in the latest Top 25.

Carnegie Mellon senior Ryan Einway sparked the Tartans with 18 points in the win versus Rochester as he became the 17th player in school history to reach 1,000 points.  He currently has 1,006 for his career, and is averaging 18.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

The Tartans return to action on Dec. 17 when they host La Roche College.

THUNDER ROLLS: Senior guard Kent Raymond garnered College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Co-Player of the Week honors after leading Wheaton (Ill.) to a trio of victories at the Thunder remained unbeaten on the season at 6-0.

The native of Cumberland, Ind., averaged 27.3 points while shooting 54.1 percent from the field, including a tournament-record 34 points in a 91-79 win over Hope in the CCIW/MIAA Classic on Dec. 6.  Raymond is second in the CCIW with 23.8 points per game.

The Thunder moved up to No. 2 in the latest national poll, and will immediately test their ranking at Webster University on Dec. 10.

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST:  Eighth-ranked Amherst College faced one of its toughest tests of the season as the Lord Jeffs edged Emmanuel, 63-61, in a non-conference match-up on Dec. 9 to stay flawless at 7-0. 

Senior swingman Brian Baskauskas once again played a key role in the Lord Jeffs’ success as he poured in 18 points. The native of Palo Alto, Calif., is the reigning New England Small College Athletic Conference Player of the Week, and was also named to the Team of the Week. 

Following his performance against Emmanuel, Baskauskas now has 879 career points, and needs just 121 to become the 23rd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. 

NOTABLE:  Rutgers-Newark head coach Joe Loughran picked up his 100th career victory with an 82-80 win over Ramapo on Dec. 3.  His 100 wins are the most in the Division III history of the program … University of St. Thomas junior guard Joe Scott averaged 23.0 points per game last week as the Tommies downed Concordia and St. Olaf in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action.  The No. 4 Tommies have now won 37 straight conference games at home.  Scott, a native of St. Anthony, Minn., was named MIAC Player of the Week for his outstanding play.