West Division Player of the Week
Marke Freeman, Northern Illinois, Sr., G, Springfield, Ill. (Lanphier)
Freeman averaged 29.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.0 steals per game in two victories. She shot 53.8 percent from the field and 90.5 percent from the free throw line for the week. and flirted with a triple-double against Ball State, scoring 30 points, with a career-high nine steals and eight rebounds. She went 10-of-14 from the field and 10-of-11 from the free throw line against the Cardinals, helping the Huskies to a 73-62 victory. She scored 28 points and added seven rebounds, an assist and a steal against Miami (Ohio)and scored 19 second half points, including five points in the last three minutes to help the Huskies pull out a 71-64 win.
East Division Player of the Week
Lauren Prochaska, Bowling Green, Sr., G/F, Plain City, Ohio (Jonathan Alder)
Led Bowling Green in scoring as the Falcons swept a pair of games last week where she averaged 23.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as BGSU defeated Buffalo and Central Michigan. She shot over 45 percent from three-point land on the week, going 5-of-11 from behind the arc, and was perfect from the free-throw line, making all 19 of her tosses. She scored 30 points in the Falcons' 72-61 at Buffalo where it was her second 30-point game of the season and the fifth of her career. She had 17 of those points in the first half, including 10 in the final seven-plus minutes, as BG went on a 21-4 to end the half and take the lead for good. She then, scored 16 points in the Falcons' win over Central Michigan at Anderson Arena and had 11 of those points in the first half as BGSU built a 21-point lead. She now has a total of 2,081 career points, good for second in school history. She is just 41 points shy of tying the BGSU career record. On ths year, is averaging 20.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, leading the team in both categories and has made a team-leading 50 three-point field goals this season.
Additonal Nominees for Player of the Week
Rachel Tecca, Akron, So., F, Tallmadge, Ohio (Hoban)
Akron sophomore Rachel Tecca recorded her fourth consecutive double-double at home against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 22, leading all players with 19 points and equaling her career-high with 18 rebounds. For the week, she averaged 16.5 points and 14.5 boards to pace the Zips. She has scored in double figures in all but two contests this season and is now up to nine double-doubles for the year and 12 for her young career.
Ty'Ronda Benning, Ball State, Sr., G, Muncie, Ind./Southside
For the second straight week in MAC play Benning led Ball State in scoring averaging 20.0 points per game which included 7-of-14 shooting from behind the arc. Benning led the Cardinals with 22 points on the road at Northern Illinois then had another outstanding performance in a overtime victory over MAC leader Kent State with 18 points. Benning hit two three pointers while going 2-for-2 from the charity stripe to give the Cardinals the 66-60 advantage over Kent State in overtime.
Kourtney Brown, Buffalo, Sr., F, Solon, OH/Solon
Brown averaged 16.0 points and 14.0 rebounds for the week while also adding 4.0 blocks per contest. She picked up the 40th and 41st double-doubles of her career. Brown tied the UB school record for career rebounds with her 13 against Toledo. Following her 18 points against the Rockets, Brown is just six points away from the all-time scoring record. Against Bowling Green Brown had six blocked shots, while also adding 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Kaihla Szunko, Central Michigan, Sr., F, Saginaw, Mich./Heritage
Kaihla Szunko averaged 20.5 points and 10.5 boards last week, adding five steals and a block while going 15-for-21 from the field (71.4 percent). She finished with 14 points, 12 boards and three steals in a win over Toledo while going 6-for-9 from the floor and followed up the effort with a career-high tying 27 points, nine rebounds and two steals against Bowling Green on a 9-for-12 effort from the floor. She is the first player to score 20 or more points against Bowling Green this season, and the first in 22 contests overall.
Tavelyn James, Eastern Michigan, Jr., G, Detroit, Mich. / Mumford
Junior Tavelyn James keyed the Eagles to a perfect 2-0 week with road victories at Western Michigan, Jan. 19, and Akron, Jan. 22. James averaged 20.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.0 assists per game, while going 9-for-9 from the charity stripe in 28.0 minutes of work. At Western Michigan, James led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-22 shooting. She followed it up by going 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the last 40 seconds to finish with 17 points and seal the Eagles victory over the Zips. Additionally, with seven three-pointer attempted at Akron, Jan. 22, junior Tavelyn James became the EMU career leader in three-point field goals attempted. James has tossed up 580 three-pointers, making 177 of those shots.
Taisja Jones, Kent State, Sr., F, Dallas, Texas (Grayson Co. C.C.)
Jones was Kent State's leading scorer during a 1-1 week, averaging 19.0 ppg in a pair of MAC contests. Against Akron, Jones was the game's top scorer with 17 points while adding four rebounds in Kent State's 14th consecutive home win. Then, in an overtime loss at Ball State, Jones led all scorers with 21 points while registering seven rebounds to go with a team-best four steals. Jones shot 50 percent from the field for the week.
Maggie Boyer, Miami, Jr., G, Lebanon, Ind. (Lebanon)
Maggie was top player for the RedHawks this week, averaging 15.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and four assists per game. Against Ohio, she took over point guard duties when Courtney Osborn went out with an injury. She handled herself well, finishing with 12 points, four rebounds and six assists. She was the team's leading scorer against Northern Illinois, finishing with 18 points, while also contributing three rebounds and two assists.
Shavon Robinson, Ohio, Fr., G, Canton, Ohio (Canton South HS)
Robinson enjoyed a solid all-around week while leading Ohio to a pair of wins. The freshman averaged 11.5 pts., 7.0 rebs., 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game while shooting a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. She especially shined in the Bobcats' game against Western Michigan, scoring a game- and career-high 17 pts., seven rebounds, three assists and three steals while going a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line, including 4-for-4 in the final 40 seconds to seal the win for Ohio. In Ohio's win over Miami, she finished with six points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Naama Shafir, Toledo, Jr., G, Hoshaya, Israel (Ulpanit Tiberias)
Junior Naama Shafir averaged a team-high 20.0 points, a squad-best 4.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in two games last week. Shafir shot 48.4 percent (15-of-31) from the field, including a sizzling 62.5 percent (5-of-8) from three-point range, and 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from the charity stripe in 29.0 minutes per contest. She opened the week with a game-high 28 points at Central Michigan on Wednesday. Three days later vs. Buffalo, Shafir totaled a team-high 12 points, a game-high seven assists, four boards and two thefts. She has now scored in double figures on 15 occasions this season.