MAC Announces Women's Basketball Players of the Week

Updated 2/25/2013


MAC East Player of the Week
Courtney Osborn, Miami, Guard
Senior, Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern
It was a historical week for Osborn. She became Miami’s all-time leading scorer against Buffalo on Wednesday, and followed it up by becoming the 12th player in MAC history to crack 2,000 points against Bowling Green on Saturday. She averaged an incredible 26.0 points per game this week. Osborn started by scoring 19 points in the victory over the Bulls, including 16 in the second half. She was 5-for-8 from the field, and 2-for-3 from behind the arc. Osborn also had three assists and two steals in the victory. She stepped it up even further in the win over the Falcons. She finished with a season-high 33 points. Osborn was 12-for-17 from the field and 7-for-9 from three-point range. The seven 3-point makes tied a career-high. She also finished with seven assists and a block. For the week, Osborn was 17-for-25 from the field (68 percent) and 9-for-12 from three-point range (75 percent).
MAC West Player of the Week
Naama Shafir, Toledo, Guard
Senior, Hoshaya, Israel/Ulpanit Tiberias H.S.
Senior Naama Shafir averaged a team-high 27.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, team-tying best 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals in victories against MAC West Division members Northern Illinois (Feb. 20) and Central Michigan (Feb. 24) this past week. Shafir shot a sparkling 53.1 percent (17-of-32) from the field, including an even more impressive 60.0 percent (6-of-10) from three-point range, and 87.5 percent (14-of-16) from the charity stripe in 32.0 minutes per contest. She opened the week with 25 points, three caroms and four thefts against the Huskies on Wednesday at home. Four days later against the Chippewas on the road, Shafir contributed a season-high 29 points, five boards, three helpers and one rejection in a battle for sole possession of first place in the MAC West Division standings. She has now scored at least 20 points on four occasions this season and 21 times in her illustrious UT career.
Other Nominees:
Kacie Cassell, Akron, Guard
Junior, Vandalia, Ohio/Vandalia Butler HS
Kacie Cassell played 78 out of a possible 80 minutes last week, garnering a 2.3 assist/turnover ratio en route to leading Akron to its first sweep of Kent State in school history. Against the Flashes, Cassell was one assist shy of her first double-double with 11 points and nine dimes, including a pair of 3-pointers. Cassell began the week as the national leader in assists per game, and is averaging 8.8 assists per contest in the month of February. 
Jillian Halfhill, Bowling Green, Guard
Junior, Canfield, Ohio/Canfield
Junior point guard Jillian Halfhill averaged 15.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the Falcons’ two games last week.  She led the team in both scoring and assists, and was third in rebounding.  Halfhill shot 47.4% on the week, making 9 of her 19 shot attempts, and she went 4-of-10 (40.0%) from three-point range. Halfhill had seven points, four rebounds, seven assists and just one turnover in 33 minutes in BG’s 74-61 win over Akron on Wednesday night.  Then, she had a career-high 23 points along with seven rebounds in the Falcons’ loss at Miami Saturday afternoon.  Halfhill, who led BG in both scoring and rebounding in the game, nearly had three more points, but it was ruled that her halfcourt shot at the end of the first half did not count.  Halfhill made 7-of-14 shots vs. the RedHawks, including four three-pointers. On the season, Halfhill is averaging 9.0 points, good for third on the team.  She also averages 4.9 rebounds (also third on the team), and leads the Falcons in assists, with 3.3.  BGSU is 17-9 overall and 8-5 in the MAC.
Mackenzie Loesing, Buffalo, Guard
Freshman, Norwood, OH
Freshman Mackenzie Loesing had another strong week for Buffalo as she was the only player to score in double figures in each of UB's games this past week.  A MAC Freshman of the Year candidate, Loesing scored 12 points in just 16 minutes against Ohio as she was plagued by foul trouble.  The Norwood, OH native was still solid defensively as UB allowed a season-low 35 points.  Earlier this week, Loesing put up 12 points against Miami, doing most of her damage from the free throw line, where she was 7-for-9.    In the two games, Loesing went 9-of-12 from the charity stripe.  She continues to lead the Bulls in scoring in conference games only at 13.2 per game.
Erin Bailes, Ohio, Guard
Junior, Huntington, W.Va./Huntington
Erin had a very strong week for the Bobcats, averaging 17.5 points per game in a win at Kent State and a loss to Buffalo. The junior, just two points away from 500 in her career heading into Wednesday’s game at Kent State, scored a game and career-high 24 to lead the Bobcats to their first Mid-American Conference win of the season. She followed this up with an 11-point performance against Buffalo on Saturday. Against Kent State, Bailes shot 7-13 (53.8 percent) from the field and an impressive 5-8 (62.5 percent) from three-point distance. She also collected four rebounds and went 5-6 from the free-throw stripe. In the game against Buffalo, Bailes connected on four field goals—one of which was from distance—and went 2-2 from the free-throw line while grabbing four boards and dishing out three assists. Bailes has scored in double figures in three straight games and exceed her season averages in points, rebounds, and assists this week.
Nathalie Fontaine, Ball State, Guard 
Freshman, Sweden
Fontaine started the week off strong in the Cardinals 56-34 win over Eastern Michigan Wednesday, Feb. 20 at Worthen Arena.  She led Ball State in scoring over EMU with a 16 point performance while also earning her fourth double-double of the season pulling down a career-best 12 rebounds.  Fontaine then ended the week scoring 15 points and five rebounds in the Cardinals 64-54 victory against Northern Illinois.  For the week Fontaine averaged 15.5 points per game and 8.5 rebounds with one block and two assists.  Fontaine has scored a total of 336 points for the season, marking one of the best performances by a true freshman in Ball State women's basketball history since Tamara Bowie in 1999-2000.  Bowie is Ball State's all-time leading scorer and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in February.  Fontaine has also scored in double figures 19 times this season helping the Cardinals to a 10-3 conference mark.
Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan, Guard
Sophomore, Detroit, Mich./Inkster
Central Michigan sophomore Crystal Bradford led the Chippewas through adversity to the tune of 21 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday at Western Michigan to help the Maroon and Gold earn a season-series sweep of the rival Broncos. Bradford scored eight of the Chippewas' first 10 points, assisting on the lone basket not coming from her hot hand, and turned up in the second half after CMU lost sophomore guard Jessica Green. Bradford scored another six-straight in the second half during a 7-0 run that allowed the Chippewas to take control of the game for good.
Desyree Thomas, Eastern Michigan, Guard
Junior, Waterford, Mich. / Mott
Junior Desyree Thomas helped the Eagles to a 1-1 week by averaging 9.5 points, 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals per contest. The Waterford, Mich. native shot 7-of-28 from the floor and 5-of-6 at the free throw line. Her best performance was against the Broncos as she made 5-o-f-6 free throws late to help the Eagles rally past the Broncos. She finished with a career-best 15 points to go along with nine dimes. Her previous-best point total was a 14-point effort at Akron, Feb. 6.
Miracle Woods, Western Michigan, Forward
Freshman, Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers
Freshman Miracle Woods averaged 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for Western Michigan this past week, both of which were team highs. Against Central Michigan, Woods dropped in a career-high 19 points, adding eight rebounds. At Eastern Michigan, she totaled seven points, five rebounds and one assist. Over the two games, Woods shot 58.8 percent from the floor, making 10 of 17 field goal attempts.