MAC East Player of the Week
Alexis Rogers, Bowling Green, Forward
Senior, West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West) (Duke Univ.)
Bowling Green senior forward Alexis Rogers had a double-double as the Falcons opened the MAC schedule with a 62-50 win over Buffalo. Rogers had a game-high 22 points and a game- and career-high 17 rebounds in the victory. She amassed those lofty totals in just 29 minutes. Rogers’ rebounding total was the highest by a BGSU player in nearly five years. In fact, no Falcon has had more than 17 boards in a game since 1996. She nearly had a double-double in each half, with 12 points and nine rebounds in the first half, and 10 points and eight boards in the second half. She made eight of her 15 shots from the floor and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. No fewer than 10 of her rebounds came at the offensive end of the court. She scored 10 of BGSU’s first 19 points as the Falcons withstood an early UB surge to take the lead for good midway through the first half. The double-double was her fourth of the season and the 19th of her career. On the season, Rogers is averaging a team-best 13.2 points per game, and is second on the team with 8.4 rebounds per game. She leads the MAC in field-goal percentage, at 55.4%. The Falcons are 11-2 overall and 1-0 in the MAC heading into a Thursday (Jan. 9) game at Kent State.
MAC West Player of the Week
Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan, Guard
Junior, Detroit, Mich.
Central Michigan junior Crystal Bradford recorded a pair of double-doubles in the Chippewas’ two contests, including a huge 24 points and 13 rebounds in CMU’s Mid-American Conference opening 84-71 win over Toledo Saturday afternoon. After scoring just two points in the first half in which CMU trailed by a pair, Bradford scored 22 points and hit 9-of-12 second-half shots to lead CMU to a double-digit victory. She also pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds and dished out five assists to lead the Chippewas to their second-straight win over the Rockets. Bradford also scored 24 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked five shots earlier in the week as the Chippewas’ closed conference play. The junior has posted a double-double in six of her last seven game and seven times this season and has scored at least 20 points in seven different times.
Rachel Tecca, Akron, Forward
Senior, Tallmadge, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban High School
Rachel Tecca captured the 30th double-double of her career to lead Akron to victory in a 87-78 decision over Ball State on Saturday. Tecca put in a game-high 20 points and was one of five Zips to score in double figures, while adding 11 rebounds. The senior also picked off three steals for the fifth time this season. When the Cardinals threatened to make a comeback in the final minutes of the game, Tecca scored five of UA's last seven points to preserve the win. The victory was Akron's 12th-straight on its home floor.
Brittany Carter, Ball State, Guard
Junior, St. Louis, Mo./Incarnate Word Academy
Carter led the Cardinals in scoring with 19 points at Akron in Ball State's Mid-American Conference opener. Carter went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line and made three from behind the arc. Akron still led by as many as 22 (76-54) with 9:03 left to play. Ball State then went on a 20-6 run which was sparked by four straight free throws from Carter. Two more free throws from Carter brought the Cardinals within eight (82-74) with 2:23 remaining.
Cha Sweeney, Eastern Michigan, Guard
Freshman, Toledo, Ohio / Rogers
Freshman Cha Sweeney propelled the Eagles to a 2-0 week and a 1-0 start to Mid-American Conference play. Sweeney averaged 20.0 points, 5.5 rebounds 3.0 assists 2.5 steals and 2.0 despite here short 5-foot-2 stature. Overall, she was 14-of-26 from the floor, including 5-of-10 from distance, to go along with a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Versus Lawrence Tech, the Toledo, Ohio native chipped in 21 points and 6 boards. She then followed it up with 19 points, 5 assists and 3 steals against the Golden Flashes.
Hannah Robertson, Miami, Guard
Senior, New Albany, Ohio/New Albany
Hannah Robertson nearly had a double-double in the MAC opener against Western Michigan on Saturday in Miami’s only game last week. She finished with 18 points and nine rebounds. She drained a team-high three shots from behind the arc. Robertson also had four assists and two steals in 33 minutes of action to contribute to her all-around good game. It was the eighth time in 12 games this season that she has led (or tied for the lead) the RedHawks in scoring.
Danny Pulliam, Northern Illinois, Guard
Junior, Indianapolis, Ind./Pike
Danny Pulliam was the the heart and soul of the Northern Illinois lineup last week that included the victory over Ohio in the Mid-American Conference opener, the Huskies first such win since Janaury 7, 2009 at Central Michigan (75-70). Against the Bobcats, Pulliam controlled the floor as she scored a career-high 17 points and dished four assists with zero turnovers. While she was 5-for-9 from the field, Pulliam was also 7-of-8 from the free throw line and also nabbed seven seven rebounds to help the Huskies to their best defensive performance of the season. NIU only allowed OU to shoot 25 percent from the field and held Ohio to 51 points, a season-low for the Huskies. Against UIC, Pulliam scored 11 points, grabbed three rebounds and accumulated three steals while adding another four assists. The redshirt junior also blocked one shot in her 39 minute effort on New Year's Eve.
Mariah Byard, Ohio, Guard
Junior, Mannington, W. Va./North Marion
Byard closed 2013 with a big performance and began the new year with another strong outing. The junior guard averaged 17.0 points, shot 63.2% (12-19) from the field and 58.8% (10-17) from behind the arc over two games last week for Ohio University (5-7, 0-1 MAC). Byard was a big part of a record-setting three-point shooting display against UMBC last Monday (Dec. 30) in the third-place game of the James Madison University Invitational, tallying 17 points in an 84-36 rout for Ohio. She finished 6-for-10 from the field -- including 5-for-9 from three-point range -- helping the Bobcats set a new school and conference record with 19 treys. Byard followed that display up by scoring a game-high 17 points in Ohio's 74-51 loss at Northern Illinois in the 2014 MAC opener. She went 6-for-9 from the field -- including 5-for-8 from three-point land. The contest marked the second straight game Byard has reached double figures and sixth time this season. She also connected on five three-point attempts for the second straight game. Through 12 games, Byard ranks second on the team in points per game (10.4) and leads the team three-point field goals made per game (2.6), which also ranks second in the conference.
Inma Zanoguera, Toledo, Forward
Junior, Llucmajor, Spain
Junior Inma Zanoguera averaged a team-high 20.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and a squad-best 2.0 steals in two games last week. Zanoguera shot an efficient 50.0 percent (16-of-32) from the field and 77.8 percent (7-of-9) from the charity stripe in 36.5 minutes in the two contests. The 2013-14 Preseason All-MAC West Division Team honoree opened the week with a team-tying best 19 points, 10 boards, three dimes, squad-high three thefts and one blocked shot at Evansville on Monday, Dec. 30. She then totaled a team-high 21 points, nine caroms and five helpers to score at least 20 points for a fourth time this year. Zanoguera has now led the Rockets in scoring on nine occasions and rebounding seven times so this season.
Michelle O'Brien, Western Michigan, Forward
Junior, Buffalo Grove, Ill. (Stevenson)
Junior forward Michelle O'Brien led Western Michigan to an 88-78 road victory at Miami in the Broncos' Mid-American Conference opener Saturday. O'Brien shot a blazing 69.2 percent from the field, making 9 of 13 attempts, including 2 of 3 from behind the arc. She finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, both of which were game highs, while adding two steals, one block and one assist, in an all-around effort. She had no turnovers in the game. The 22 points went down as a career high, and the double-double was the sixth of her career. The MAC opening win was just WMU's second in the last eight years and the victory over Miami snapped a two-game losing streak against the RedHawks.