MAC East Player of the Week
Hanna Luburgh, Akron, Guard
Junior, Zanesville, Ohio/Tri-Valley HS
Hanna Luburgh played the lead role in Akron's outstanding cast last week as she averaged a double-double in two crucial East Division victories over a three-day span. Luburgh emerged with the first double-double of her career against Bowling Green, leading both teams with 25 points and an unprecedented 15 rebounds. Her breakout second half of 17 points and 10 boards, including a 7-for-8 performance from the free throw line down the stretch, carried Akron to its first win over BGSU since Feb. 10, 2001. Luburgh followed that outing with 15 points and seven boards against Buffalo as the Zips handed UB its first loss to an East division opponent this season. The junior was also a threat on the defensive end, issuing four blocks and a pair of steals in both contests combined.
MAC West Player of the Week
Nathalie Fontaine, Ball State, Guard
Fontaine averaged 17.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in the Cardinals victories Western Michigan (73-50) and Eastern Michigan (56-41) last week during MAC action. At Western Michigan, Fontaine scored a career-best 20 points off of 9-of-11 shooting along with pulling down seven rebounds. On Sunday after Ball State trailed Eastern Michigan at the half, Fontaine helped the Cardinals go on a 28-8 run which started at the 14:08 mark to put the Cardinals up 48-32 with 4:29 remaining. Fontaine led the Cardinals against Eagles with a double-double after scoring 14 points off of 7-of-12 shooting while pulling down 10 rebounds. Both games were on the road helping the Cardinals improve to 7-1 in MAC action which is the best conference start for Ball State since the 2006-07 season.
Chrissy Steffen, Bowling Green, Guard
Senior, Carmel, Ind./Carmel
Senior guard Chrissy Steffen averaged a team-high 19.0 points in last week’s two games, adding 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals. Steffen led the team in steals and tied for the rebounding lead. She had 19 points in each of the Falcons’ two games, including a 19-point, six-rebound performance as the Falcons defeated Central Michigan, previously unbeaten in the MAC, by an 84-59 final on Sunday. Steffen went 7-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-5 from three-point range, vs. the Chippewas, and added four assists and three steals. In BGSU’s game vs. Akron, Steffen had 19 points and three assists, again making seven total field goals (7-of-14) including three three-pointers (3-of-6). On the week, she shot 56% from the field and 54.5% from three-point range (6-of-11), and also was a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. This season, Steffen is averaging a team-leading 11.6 points per game, along with 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists. She paces the team in three-pointers made (33) and free-throw percentage (86%, 43-of-50). BGSU is 14-7 overall and 5-3 in the MAC.
Kristen Sharkey, Buffalo, Forward
Redshirt Sophomore, Manahawkin, NJ
Redshirt Sophomore Kristen Sharkey helped lead the Bulls to a split on the road last weekend with a victory at Miami and a loss at Akron. Sharkey averaged 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals over the course of the week. In the victory over the RedHawks, Sharkey finished with 11 points and defensively she had two blocked shots and a career-high four steals. Against the Zips, Sharkey was one of two Buffalo players to finish with a double-double as she had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sharkey all blocked two shots at Akron. Sharkey is currently averaging 8.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game this season.
Tamzin Barroilhet, Kent State, Guard
Senior, Lycée Alain Fournier
Barroilhet was the high-scorer for the Flashes in each game this week. In her ten point, six rebound performance against Central Michigan, she also had two steals. Half of her rebounds in the game were offensive. As of Monday morning she ranks third in MAC games in offensive rebounds/game and seventh in rebounds/game. Barroilhet helped Kent State overcome a 16 point second-half deficit to grab their first conference and road win at Ohio on Sunday. She finished with game-highs of 18 points, ten rebounds and five assists. She sunk a high-pressure free throw shot with three seconds left to help secure the victory for Kent State.
Courtney Osborn, Miami, Guard
Senior, Hamilton Southeastern
Osborn was Miami’s leading scorer for the week, averaging 19.0 points on 42 percent shooting. She recorded 13 points against Buffalo on Thursday and was a strong distributor with six assists. She was the key factor in the RedHawks’ 65-51 victory over Northern Illinois on Sunday. She finished with 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting. It was her 43rd career 20-plus point effort. In the game she had five free throw makes, which tied her for the Miami career school record with 464. For the week, Osborn also had four rebounds and three steals.
Lexie Baldwin, Ohio, Forward
Freshman, Hattiesburg, Miss./Hattiesburg
Lexie had a strong week for the Bobcats, scoring 21 total points in games against Toledo and Kent State. The freshman shot a very impressive 9-13 during the week, connecting on 69.2 percent of her field goal attempts. Baldwin scored 11 points at Toledo on 5-9 shooting and then followed this up with a 10-point performance against KSU in a game which she shot a perfect 4-4. Lexie kept up her strong rebounding efforts throughout the week, collecting six boards at Toledo and three against Kent State. The freshman also collected a career-high three steals in the game at Toledo.
Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan, Guard
Sophomore, Detroit, Mich./Inkster
Sophomore Crystal Bradford continued to make her case to be named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, averaging 12.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.0 assists per game as the Chippewas split with Kent State and Bowling Green last week. The sophomore scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds in a 91-44 rout of Kent State Thursday, helping the Chippewas earn their seventh-straight win and start 7-0 in the MAC for the first time in program history.
Desyree Thomas, Eastern Michigan, Guard
Junior, Waterford, Mich. / Mott
Junior guard Desyree Thomas lead the Eagles with an average of 10.0 points and 6.5 assists in games against Northern Illinois and Ball State. Thomas tallied 11 assists in the 67-62 victory over Northern Illinois, Jan. 31, which is tied for the 11th most in a single game in the program's 37-year history. To add to the impressive feat, the Waterford, Mich. native had zero turnovers in 33 minutes of work. She followed it up with a 12 point effort against Ball State, Feb. 3.
Jenna Thorp, Northern Illinois, Forward
Sophomore, Hinckley-Big Rock H.S.
Thorp had a solid week for the Huskies by averaging 11.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while shooting 5-for-7 on three-pointers (71.4%) in two games. At Eastern Michigan, she scored seven points and pulled down seven rebounds while handing out a season-high-tying five assists. Versus Miami, she scored a season-high 16 points to
lead NIU and went a career-best 4-for-6 on three-pointers, adding eight rebounds to boot.
Naama Shafir, Toledo, Guard
Senior, Hoshaya, Israel
Senior guard Naama Shafir averaged 10.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, a team-high 9.0 assists and squad-best 3.5 steals in victories against Ohio (Jan. 31) and Western Michigan (Feb. 3). Shafir shot 35.0 percent (7-of-20) from the field and a perfect 100.0 percent (7-of-7) from the charity stripe in a team-high 32.5 minutes per contest. The three-time All-MAC selection began the week with seven points, a game-high nine helpers, a contest-best four thefts and two boards vs. Ohio on Thursday. In the cross-division win against the Bobcats, she passed Dana Drew (659, 1990-95) to become Toledo’s all-time assist leader. Three days later vs. WMU, Shafir finished with 14 points, a game-high nine dimes, six boards and three thefts in 35 minutes.