Dec. 3, 2008

By Amy Farnum Novin

SHE SHOOTS, SHE SCORES:  No. 9 Messiah continued its red hot start with a 79-62 victory over the University of Scranton on Dec. 2, shooting a school-record 73.7 percent from the field to improve to 5-0.

The Falcons connected on 28 of 38 shots in the contest, including 16 of 21 in the second half (76.2 percent) to stay perfect.  As a team, Messiah is shooting 50.2 percent for the season, led by Ashley Brooks’ 69.0 percent.

“It was impressive to see,” said 23-year head coach Mike Miller. “Most of our shots came off open looks or one-on-one in the post where we attacked. We moved the basketball really well and obviously shot the ball really, really well.”

The Falcons are idle until Dec. 10 when they face third-ranked Kean University.

CENTER COURT: UW-Eau Claire’s Hannah Mesick propelled the Blugolds to three wins and a five-spot jump to No. 13 in the latest WBCA USA Today/ESPN Division III poll as they remained flawless on the year.

The sophomore center began the week with 13 points in a 66-57 upset of No. 16 St. Norbert College on Nov. 25, and followed it up with a Most Valuable Player performance in the UW-Eau Claire Thanksgiving Showcase with a combined 29 points in victories over UW-Stevens Point and St. Olaf.

Mesick, a native of Chatfield, Minn., made 9 of 12 shots from the field with five rebounds and two blocked shots against the Pioneers in the tournament championship game.  She was also named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week for her efforts.

MAINE EVENT:  For the first time in 10 years, the University of Southern Maine came away with a victory at Bowdoin College as the No. 25 Huskies knocked off the No. 23 Polar Bears, 75-72, on Dec. 2.

The Huskies improved to 5-0 behind the outstanding play of senior forward Stacey Kent’s season-high 24 points.  The native of Northwood, N.H., has paced USM in scoring in each of the last three games, and leads the squad with 17.4 points per game.

MORE CLASSIC PERFORMANCES:  Thomas More College turned in a 3-0 record last week as sophomore center Nicole Dickman shined with 16.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game during the stretch.

The native of Park Hills, Ky., posted a double-double with 22 points (9 of 12 from the field) and 10 rebounds in a victory over Centre College, and added 16 points versus Calvin to lead the Saints to the Julie Costello Memorial Classic title.

Dickman garnered MVP of the Classic, and was selected Presidents’ Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for her performance.  She leads the league with a 69.8 field goal shooting percentage.

NOTABLE:  Brandeis University cracked the WBCA USA Today/ESPN Division III poll at No. 18 after starting 5-0 for the fifth time in the last six years.  The Judges are defeating opponents by an average winning margin of 19.2 points per game … Sophomore Melissa Thomas helped Texas-Tyler get off to a 2-0 start in American Southwest Conference play as she averaged 32 points, becoming only the fifth player in program history to score over 30 points in a game – and she did it in both wins over Texas Lutheran and Schreiner.  The native of Austin, Texas, was named ASC East Division Player of the Week for her efforts.  Texas-Tyler is currently tied with Texas-Dallas for first place in the ASC East Division.