Jan. 6, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

FIRST-TIMERS: UT Dallas cracked the D3hoops.com Top 25 for the first time in program history after putting together a 9-2 record and a perfect 6-0 mark in American Southwest Conference action this season.

The Comets have won seven consecutive contests against Division III opponents with their only setback being a loss to Division I Texas State in the last eight games.  Last weekend, UTD became the first ASC East Division squad to defeat McMurry and Hardin-Simmons on the same weekend.

UTD is the only unbeaten team in the ASC standings, and holds a two-game lead in the East Division.

BROWNIE POINTS: Marymount University claimed the MU Holiday Classic title after upsetting then-No. 22 Muhlenberg with a 56-52 victory in the championship game on Jan. 4, pushing the Saints back into the D3hoops.com Top 25 at No. 23 this week.

The Saints were led by Kathleen Brown, who notched a game-high 18 points and 14 rebounds in the victory to earn Most Valuable Player of the tournament.  Brown, a junior forward from Bethesda, Md., averaged 15.6 points and 12.6 rebounds per game over the last three contests, also garnering Capital Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Week honors.  She leads the Saints in both scoring (14.6) and rebounding (8.3).

Marymount has won three straight games, and four of its last five contests.

PRESIDENTIAL POWER:  Washington & Jefferson College notched its second tournament championship of the season as the Presidents claimed the “Hoops for Hope” Classic at Ohio Wesleyan last weekend.

Junior forward Maggie Gibson paced the Presidents with a combined 22 points and 27 rebounds in wins over Northwestern (Ohio) and Ohio Wesleyan, setting a tournament record for most rebounds.  The native of Greensburg, Pa., then returned to the court in 2009 with a game-high 20 points in a 79-49 victory against Westminster in Presidents’ Athletic Conference action.  She was selected PAC Player of the Week for her outstanding play.

Gibson is one of just two players in the league to average a double-double with 12.3 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.

ON THE MOVE: George Fox University matched the program’s best start to a season as the Bruins rallied for a 62-51 come-from-behind victory versus then-No. 23 Whitman College on Jan. 2 in a battle of nationally-ranked Northwest Conference squads.

Junior forward Elise Kuenzi netted a game-high 19 points, connecting on 13-of-13 free throws to set a new school record for single-game free throw percentage.  The native of Silverton, Ore., has been the Bruins’ high scorer in each of the last three games.

The Bruins are 11-0 and will look to tie a program record for consecutive victories in NWC action at Lewis & Clark on Jan. 9. George Fox currently holds a No. 14 ranking after vaulting five spots in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25.

NOTABLE:  After dropping its first game of the season, York (Pa.) College has reeled off 10 straight victories following a 68-45 win over Franklin & Marshall in the championship game of the Hampton Inn Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Jan. 4.  The Spartans now travel to No. 17 Mary Washington on Jan. 7 as they try to snap the Eagles’ 36-game home winning streak … Olivet junior forward Gabrielle Federau shared Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Co-Player of the Week honors after tallying 20 points and 21 rebounds in a 70-50 defeat of Marygrove on Jan. 2.  The native of Okemos, Mich., is only the second player to achieve the feat in the MIAA this season.