Jan. 20, 2009


By Amy Farnum Novin

TOWING THE ‘LINE: After starting the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule with a 2-4 mark, Hamline University has notched five straight league victories, including two last week, to move into fourth place in the standings.

Senior forward Jessica Heinen and sophomore center Mary Wilkowski shared MIAC Player of the Week honors for their efforts in Hamline’s wins over St. Catherine and first-place Saint Benedict.  Heinen averaged 18 points per game, including a team-high 19 points against Saint Benedict.  Wilkowski added 20.5 points per game for the week, and sealed the victory against Saint Benedict with two free throws in the waning seconds. 

Heinen and Wilkowski have combined for 30.2 points and 12.2 rebounds per game during the Pipers’ five-game winning streak.  Hamline has won six of its last seven games.

HELPING HANDS:  Oglethorpe University senior Katie Kulavic set the school all-time assist mark as she helped the Petrels cruise to a 94-55 win over Millsaps on Jan. 18. 

Kulavic finished the game with 10 points and seven assists as she collected her 401st career assist in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference victory.

The No. 5 Petrels have won 11 straight games and are perfect in SCAC play with a 6-0 mark.  Oglethorpe looks to match the program’s longest winning streak when it takes on Southwestern on Jan. 23.

COLONIAL ERA:  Western Connecticut State head coach Kim Rybczyk picked up her 200th win at the helm of the Colonials’ program as the squad downed Southern Maine, 61-44, in Little East Conference play on Jan. 17.

The milestone was made extra special by the fact it was WestConn’s first win versus USM since 2000.  Rybczyk, who was named LEC Coach of the Year last season, is currently in her seventh season as the head coach for her alma mater.

The Colonials have won 11 straight games and own sole possession of first place in the LEC standings.

GET ‘WITH IT: Senior forward Val Beckwith sparked Bates College to a trio of wins, including two New England Small College Athletic Conference victories last week, as the Bobcats started league play with a 2-0 mark.

The native of Woburn, Mass., contributed 21.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game to earn NESCAC Player of the Week for the second time this year. Beckwith made the game-winning shot in a 73-71 win over Colby and scored a season-high 26 points in the win against Middlebury.

Beckwith, who was also named the Maine Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week, ranks second in the NESCAC with an 18.3 scoring average.

BEING CONSISTENT: Loras College’s Lindsay Bava garnered Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for her outstanding play last week, and then continued her hot streak with a game-high 26 points shooting in the Duhawks’ win over Central College on Jan. 19.

The junior guard from Downers Grove, Ill., tallied a career-best 30 points in a victory versus Cornell College on Jan. 14, and added 17 points as the Duhawks edged Buena Vista, 77-75, on Jan. 17.  Bava shot 64 percent from the field for the week, and improved her average with a 9-for-11 outing against Central last night.

Bava paces the IIAC with 20.1 points per game, and ranks 10th in the conference with a .490 field goal percentage.

Loras has reeled off three straight victories and sits in second place behind No. 9 Simpson in the IIAC standings.

NOTABLE:  No. 19 Mary Washington handed No. 18 Marymount University its first loss in Capital Athletic Conference action in an 83-76 defeat on Jan. 19.  The two squads are now tied for second place in the league standings behind unbeaten York (Pa.) … The College of New Jersey head coach Dawn Henderson notched her 300th win at the school as the Lions turned back Rutgers-Newark, 64-56, on Jan. 17.  Henderson is the New Jersey Athletic Conference’s active leader in coaching victories.