Nov. 24, 2009

By Amy Farnum

It took two overtimes, but Wayne State University pulled off a big first-week surprise as the Warriors knocked off No. 2 Bellarmine University, 84-74, over the weekend.

Junior guard Bryan Smothers netted a career-high 26 points, including 16 points in the second half as he sparked the Warriors to come back from a 17-point deficit.  The native of Pontiac, Mich., was named Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Player of the Week for the first time in his career.

Smothers averaged 18 points and 4.0 assists during a 1-1 week, while shooting 62.5 percent from the field.  

The Warriors look to continue their winning ways as they open home play against Marygrove College on Nov. 24.

Drury University freshman Alex Hall tipped off his career in stellar fashion as he led the Panthers to a 2-0 mark, including an upset of No. 3 Southwest Baptist last week.

The guard from Springfield, Mo., opened the season with a game-high 33 points and tied a school record with eight three pointers in Drury’s 99-86 win over Southwest Baptist.  Hall returned to the court to contribute eight more three-point field goals and 29 points in Drury’s 108-81 victory against Central Christian.

For the week, Hall averaged 31 points while shooting 64.5 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from beyond the arc.  He was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week for his performance.  Hall then added 21 points, including six three-pointers, in a 94-72 win over the NAIA’s Mid-American Christian on Nov. 23.

STUNNER:  The University of Indianapolis stunned defending NCAA Division II champion University of Findlay with a 71-63 upset of the Oilers on Nov. 21.

In the process, the Greyhounds ended the No. 4 Oilers’ 38-game winning streak, handing them their first loss since the 2007-2008 season.  Findlay was 36-0 last season.

UIndy held Findlay to 35 percent shooting in the contest, while Darius Adams contributed 19 points and 10 rebounds as one of four players to score in double-digits.

West Chester senior forward Ralph Hegamin led the Golden Rams get off to a 3-0 start as he averaged a double-double last week, helping fill the void felt by senior guard Kenneth St. George, who is still recovering from a concussion suffered during the exhibition season.

Hegamin averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds in three games, including 25 points and nine boards in the Golden Rams’ five-overtime, 80-77 win at Wilmington.  He played 61 of 65 minutes in the marathon game.  Earlier in the week, Hegamin helped the Golden Rams hold on for a 69-68 victory at Lincoln University, tallying 23 points and 15 rebounds, and was named Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Player of the Week for his efforts.  He shot 48.3 percent from the floor during the stretch.

Metro State’s Donte Nicholas played a major role in the No. 12 Roadrunners’ 2-0 start last week, including a career-high 25 points versus South Dakota Mines on Nov. 21.  The junior guard from Washington, D.C., followed it up with 17 points in a victory over Johnson & Wales the next day.  For the week, Nicholas shot 60 percent from the field and 75 percent from behind the three-point line.  He was named Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Week for his outstanding play.