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Rick Nixon | | February 25, 2015

Starting Five

Promise Amukamara, Guard, 5-8, Sr., Arizona State
Amukamara averaged 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game while connecting on 61 percent of her field goal attempts (14-for-23) in a pair of Arizona State road wins against UCLA, 68-56 and USC, 76-73 in two overtimes. 

Nine of her 11 points in the game against UCLA came in the second half, which helped the Sun Devils overcome a seven-point halftime deficit.  Against USC, Amukamara logged 48 of 50 possible minutes (a career high) and scored a game-high 20 points to go along with seven rebounds. 

Sixteen of her 20 points came in the second half including eight of Arizona State’s 12 points in the two overtime periods (4-of-4 FGs).  Combining the second halves of both games and the two overtimes in the USC game, Amukamara played 43 of a possible 50 minutes and scored 27 points while knocking down 65 percent of her field goal attempts (11-for-17). 

The Sun Devils, 24-4 and 13-3, are currently in second place in the Pac-12 Conference, two games back of Oregon State.  Arizona State will next host Utah on Friday.

Ashley Beverly-Kelley, Guard, 5-6, Jr., Troy
Beverly-Kelley helped Troy to its fourth and fifth consecutive wins as she averaged 34.5 points per game on the week.  The junior opened the week with a 46-point performance in Troy’s win against Georgia Southern, the most points scored in NCAA Division I this season. 

Against the Eagles, Beverly-Kelley shot 16-of-3, including 5-of-8 from deep and 9-of-9 from the free throw line.  She then led Troy to a win against Sun Belt leader UALR, snapping the Trojans’ six-game winning streak. 

Beverly-Kelley scored 23 points in that game on 9-of-20 shooting, including 3-of-5 from deep.  She has now scored 20-plus points in seven of her last eight games.  She leads the Sun Belt Conference in scoring in league games, averaging 20.5 points per game.  Beverly-Kelley is second in the league, averaging 18.0 points per game.  Troy returns to play Thursday at Texas State.

Kiyanna Black, Guard, 5-5, Jr., Ohio
Black led Ohio to a decisive 71-55 victory at Akron, scoring 31 points, a season high, while adding three rebounds.  Black went 10-of-24 from the field and 4-of-12 from beyond the arc. 

Black was also a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line and added an assist, a block and two steals during her 32 minutes on the court.

The victory helped Ohio improve to 21-4 (12-2 MAC).  On Feb. 18 against Eastern Michigan, Black had 12 points and two rebounds in a 73-61 loss.  She went 5-of-13 from the field and 2-of-9 from three point range and added two assists and a steal.  Ohio will next host Buffalo on Wednesday.

Breanna Stewart, Forward, 6-4, Jr., UConn
A two-time Women’s Final Four Most Outstanding Player, Stewart continues to lead the Huskies in a pursuit of a third consecutive national championship.  Stewart averaged 23.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game in a 3-0 week for UConn, as the Huskies defeated Houston, Tulsa and Tulane. 

She accumulated those averages in only 27.0 minutes per contest.  The junior started the week with a 26-point, five-rebound, four-assist effort in UConn’s 85-26 win against Houston.  Her 26 points came on 11-16 shooting in 26-minutes of action against the Cougars. 

She followed that up with a season-high 28 points in a 92-46 win at Tulsa, with 23 of her points coming during the first half, on 13-18 shooting, to go along with nine rebounds and six blocks.  She concluded the week with 16 points and 10 rebounds as UConn doubled up on Tulane, 94-47.  UConn will host Memphis on Saturday.

Amanda Zahui B., Center, 6-5, So., Minnesota
In a season of amazing individual performances, Minnesota sophomore center Zahui B. continues to stand out.  This past week, Zahui averaged  33.0 points, 28.0 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game in victories against Iowa and Michigan. 

Zahui B. shot .542 (26-48) from the field, .923 (12-13) from the free throw line and knocked down each of her two three-point field goal attempts.  She opened the week with a record-breaking performance against nationally ranked Iowa, scoring a career-high 39 points and pulling down a Big Ten and program-record 29 rebounds, while adding four blocks and two steals. 

With her 32nd point of the game, Zahui B. became just the 22nd Gopher in program history to join the 1,000-point club and she joined Lindsay Whalen, Laura Coenen and Rachel Banham as the only Gophers to reach the milestone as sophomores. 

Zahui B. nearly replicated her performance Saturday in Minnesota's double-overtime victory against Michigan with 27 points, 27 rebounds and five blocks in 50 minutes of work. 

She had 12 offensive rebounds in the game, while shooting .588 (10-17) from the floor.  She concluded the week with 12 points and six rebounds in a 74-50 loss to Nebraska on Tuesday. 

With her second block against Michigan, Zahui B. broke her own program single-season blocks record of 105 that she set as a rookie last season and now has 113 blocks for the year.  Minnesota closes out the regular season on Sunday at Iowa.

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