Jan. 13, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

DIPLOMATIC VICTORY: Franklin & Marshall cracked the D3hoops.com Top 25 at No. 21 after staying perfect on the season with a 75-68 defeat of Washington (Md.) on Jan. 10.

Sophomore forward James McNally posted 20 points and eight rebounds as one of five players in double figures.  McNally, who averaged 21.0 points and 9.5 rebounds while shooting 76.2 percent from the field, was named Centennial Conference Player of the week for the second time in his career.

The Diplomats travel to McDaniel on Jan. 13 as they look to continue the program’s best start since 2002.  F&M is one of only three unbeaten teams in Division III men’s basketball.  Top-ranked Wheaton (Ill.) is 13-0, while No. 2 St. Thomas (Minn.) is 12-0.

WINNING WILSON:  Bluffton University’s Nick Wilson tallied the game-winning basket in both of the Beavers’ wins last week, earning Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week for his stellar play.

The senior forward converted a three-point play with 2.7 seconds remaining in a 56-54 win over Transylvania on Jan. 7, and followed it up with the winning jump shot to edge Hanover, 58-57, with two seconds left in regulation over the weekend.
Wilson averaged 13 points and 6.5 rebounds for the week as Bluffton won its fourth straight game.  The Beavers are tied for second place with Anderson in HCAC play, one game behind unbeaten Franklin. 

GIANT FEAT: Wabash College head coach Mac Petty became the 10th active Division III men’s basketball coach to reach 500 victories as the Little Giants topped Wooster, 75-58, on Jan. 10.

Petty, who coached three seasons at Sewanee before taking the helm at Wabash in 1976, boasts a 500-395 career record.  He is only the 22nd Division III coach to accomplish the feat.

STILL GOING: St. Thomas (Minn.) continued its best start since 1994-95 with a pair of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victories last week as the Tommies stayed perfect at 12-0.

The Tommies held on to their No. 2 ranking in the D3hoops.com Top 25, which is the highest regular season ranking for a MIAC squad in the 10-year history of the web site’s rankings.

TWICE AS NICE: Wheaton (Ill.) College’s Kent Raymond was selected College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Player of the Week for the second straight week after leading the No. 1 Thunder to a pair of victories in league play.

The senior guard from Cumberland, Ind., averaged 35 points per game with a 55.8 field goal percentage in wins versus Illinois Wesleyan and North Park.  Raymond needs just 13 points to become just the third player in school history to score 2,000 career points.  He also leads the CCIW and ranks sixth in the nation with 25.0 points per game.

NOTABLE:  RIT’s Mark Carson notched his 10th double-double in the last 11 games with 16 points and a game-high 23 rebounds as the Tigers handed Ithaca its first loss of the season with an 87-84 win on Jan. 11.  The native of Voorheesville, N.Y., leads the nation with 16.1 rebounds per game … No. 3 Washington (Mo.) opened University Athletic Association play with a victory for the fourth straight year as the Bears downed the University of Chicago, 74-62, on Jan. 10.  The Bears, who lead the nation with a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio, registered 22 assists in the contest.