Conference tournaments underway
Notes: Bama rolls to program's longest SEC win streak since 1999
With the NCAA Division III tournament selection less than a week away, conference tournaments are rampant this week and weekend.
Of the 42 conferences receiving automatic bids to the 2011 Tournament, only the University Athletic Association does not hold a postseason tournament.
Three teams enter this final weekend with undefeated records, Thomas More (25-0, 16-0 PAC), No. T4/6 Babson (25-0) and No. 9/11 Denison (25-0). Thomas More, which is currently No. 1 in both the USA Today ESPN Division III and D3Hoops.com Top 25 polls. opened President’s Athletic Conference tournament play on Tuesday night against eighth-seeded Thiel with a 68-47 win. The Saints will have home court advantage throughout the tournament. Babson has a quarterfinal round bye in the NEWMAC Tournament and will play host to the conference semifinals and finals this weekend. Denison plays host to Wooster on Tuesday night.
Need to Know
• Alabama junior Ericka Russell was named the SEC Player of the Week. She scored a game-high and season-best 21 points against Ole Miss, adding four steals in that win for a new career high. She averaged 16.5 points, 4.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in two games last week. They were the second and third consecutive SEC wins for Alabama, marking the program’s longest conference win streak since 1999.
• BYU freshman Kim Parker earned Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honors for games played Feb. 14-20. She led the Cougars to a 70-60 win against TCU to give BYU a firm grip on first place in the MWC. She led the team with 14 points, including a 4-for-4 mark at the free-throw line and 4-for-5 from the floor with the lone miss from 3-point range. She also had two rebounds and a steal in BYU’s only game of the week.
• Oregon State senior El Sara Greer was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week after leading the Beavers to a 20-point comeback win versus Oregon. OSU overcame a 20-point halftime deficit (36-16) led by Greer’s game-high 21 points and 13 rebounds. She was the only player in the game to reach 20 points and double digits in rebounds. She added two blocks in the game to give her 81 on the season, just five away from the school’s single-season record. It was her sixth double-double of the season.
• The University of Chicago is the first team to clinch a bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament, capturing the University Athletic Association championship with a 77-49 win against NYU over the weekend. The UAA is the only Division III conference without a tournament.
• Carroll University junior Janelle Groer became the 13th player in CU history to score 1,000 career points in an 80-46 win at Beloit on Wednesday. She also had 31 points in the Pioneers regular season finale en route to Midwest Conference Player of the Week honors.