Dec. 2, 2008

By Amy Farnum Novin

BRIGHT SPOT:  Second-ranked Washburn University continued its perfect start with three victories last week, including two wins over nationally-ranked opponents, behind the stellar play of senior guard Janice Bright.

The native of Los Angeles, Calif., averaged 16.3 points and 5.7 rebounds over the three games beginning with 12 points in an 84-62 win over then-No. 4 Drury.  Bright added 20 points against Sterling (Kan.) in the opening game of the Capitol Plaza/AM 580 WIBW Radio Classic on Nov. 28, and capped off the week with 17 second-half points in a 72-62 overtime victory against then-No. 8 Indiana (Pa.).  Bright garnered Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week for her contributions.

The No. 2 Lady Blues have been ranked in 97 consecutive WBCA USA Today/ESPN Division II polls.  Northern Kentucky is currently the top team in the nation.

LEADING THE CHARGE:  Hillsdale College’s Katie Cezat continues to rack up the awards, earning her sixth career Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Division Player of the Week honor, and second in the last three weeks, as the Chargers improved to 4-0 on the year.

The senior forward averaged 29 points and 16.5 rebounds in wins over Southern Indiana and the University of Indianapolis.  Cezat, an All-American last season, shot 69 percent from the field over the two games, and blocked a career-high four shots against USI.

Cezat, a native of Plymouth, Mich., leads the GLIAC in scoring (28.0 ppg) and rebounding (15.0 rpg), and has guided the Chargers to a winning margin of at least 14 points per game.

The Chargers moved up five spots to No. 10 in the latest national rankings, and will host No. 13 Lake Superior State to open the league schedule on Dec. 4.  LSSU is also unbeaten.

SUPER START: Texas Women’s University is off to its best start (4-0) since the 1989-90 season after winning a double-overtime battle against St. Edward’s last week, sparked by the outstanding play of senior forward Renee Renz.

The native of Flower Mound, Texas, netted a career-high 34 points while posting a game-high 14 rebounds in the win over the Pioneers on Nov. 25.  Renz was named Lone Star Conference North Division Player of the Week for her performance.  She ranks third in the conference in scoring with 18.5 points per game, and leads the league with 13.8 rebounds per game.

CENTER OF ATTENTION: Alaska Anchorage’s Rebecca Kielpinski claimed her third straight Great Alaska Shootout Most Outstanding Player award as she led the Seawolves to their third consecutive tournament title last week.

The senior center from Mandan, N.D., combined for 24 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots in victories over Cal State Northridge and Syracuse.  Kielpinski was also named Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week for her efforts.
With 963 career rebounds, Kielpinski needs only 37 more grabs to become just the second player in league history to reach the 1,000-rebound mark.

NOTABLE:  Cal State Stanislaus forward Katie Busi notched a pair of double-doubles as the Warriors won the Stanislaus Thanksgiving Classic to improve to 4-0 on the year – their best start since 2000-01.  The sophomore from Valley Springs, Calif., averaged 13 points and 17.5 rebounds, including a career-high 21 rebounds in an 80-76 overtime win against the Academy of Art on Nov. 28.  Busi was selected Wilson California Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week for her contributions … Upper Iowa’s Andrea Downs scored a career-best 41 points in a 112-108 overtime victory against Bemidji State last week.  It was the second-highest point total in program history, earning the junior point guard Northern Sun Co-Player of the Week honors.  The Peacocks also eclipsed the program record for points in a game versus BSU.