Dec. 10, 2008

By Amy Farnum Novin

ON THE PROWL:  Kean University’s women’s basketball team claimed the No. 1 ranking in the latest USA Today/ESPN Division III Top 25 after improving its record to 6-0 while the previous  No. 1 and No. 2 teams, UW-Whitewater and Oglethorpe, suffered their first losses of the season last week.

The No. 1 ranking is the first time a Kean athletic team has claimed the top spot in any poll since the 1993 men’s soccer team accomplished the feat.

The Cougars turned back Richard Stockton and Rutgers-Newark in New Jersey Athletic Conference action to remain unbeaten.  They will immediately be tested against nationally-ranked foes as Kean hosts No. 7 Messiah on Dec. 10, and travels to No. 14 Mary Washington on Dec. 13.

GOOD AS ‘GOLDS: UW-Eau Claire’s Heidi Arciszewski was named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week as the Blugolds picked up two more victories and jumped three spots to No. 10 in the latest USA Today/ESPN Division III Top 25.

The senior guard tallied 15 points and eight rebounds in a 67-52 win over Division II Minnesota-Duluth, and followed it up with a career-high 31 points and seven rebounds as the Blugolds downed UW-Stout, 73-68, in the WIAC season-opener.

Arciszewski’s 31 points against the Blue Devils is the highest single-game total in the WIAC this season.  She also tied a school record for most free throws made as she connected on 16-of-16 in the contest.  The native of Thorp, Wis., leads the team with 18.9 points and six rebounds per game.

GOTTA HAVE HOPE:  Second-ranked Hope College continued its dominance in the regular season as the Flying Dutch stretched its winning streak to 28 games with a win over Alma on Dec. 6 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play.

The regular season winning streak has spanned three years, and Hope has defeated 20 straight conference opponents.

Hope leads the MIAA in scoring offense (75.8 ppg), scoring defense (57.4 ppg) and scoring margin (18.4 ppg).  Carrie Snikkers and Courtney Knox as the Flying Dutch’s top two leading scorers with 13.0 and 11.0 points per game, respectively.  They have each notched double-digits in five straight games.

NOTABLE:  After upsetting then-No. 2 Oglethorpe last week, Emory has worked its way into the national rankings for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.  The Eagles are No. 23 in the Top 25.  Emory did suffer its first loss of the season to Maryville on Dec. 6 following the huge victory despite getting 15 points and eight rebounds from senior Lora Turner.  During her sixth double-figure scoring performance of the season, Turner became only the seventh player in school history to reach 1,000 career points … After earning weekly awards from the ECAC Division III Metro and University Athletic Association for her outstanding play last week, Jessica McEntee returned to the court with 23 points and 11 rebounds in a convincing 81-49 victory over Drew University on Dec. 9.  The senior forward from Flushing, N.Y., paces the UAA with 20.8 points and 15.7 rebounds per game.  The Violets are now 8-0 on the year, and ranked No. 13 in the latest USA Today/ESPN Division III Top 25.