ST. LOUIS -- Jonathan Cox of Drake University and Melissa Porche of Missouri State University have been selected the Prairie Farms Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Week, Commissioner Doug Elgin announced today. Cox and Porche were honored for their performances during the period of March 17-23. Now in its ninth year of existence, The Valley’s Scholar-Athlete program is sponsored by Prairie Farms, Roberts and Hiland Dairies. On a weekly basis, the Conference honors its student-athletes for their athletic performance for a one-week period and academic success in the classroom.
“Prairie Farms and its family of dairies have been the only sponsors of this worthwhile endeavor by the Missouri Valley Conference,” said Commissioner Elgin, who is in his 20th year with The Valley. “We are grateful for Prairie Farms continued recognition of our student-athletes for their athletic performance and their academic success.”
A forward for the 16th-ranked Drake men’s basketball team, Cox, a junior from Barrington, Ill., collected a career-high 29 points and a career-best 16 rebounds, as the Bulldogs lost in overtime to Western Kentucky, 101-99, on Friday, March 21, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Cox, who has a 3.10 cumulative grade-point average in finance, connected on 8-of-12 field goal attempts, including a career-high four three-pointers in six tries, and recorded his 12th double-double of the season. Cox, who blocked two shots, hit a three-point basket with 30 seconds remaining regulation to tie the game at 88-88 and send the game into overtime.
A pitcher for the Missouri State softball team, Porche, a senior from Buena Park, Calif., registered a 3-0 record, allowing 11 hits and fanning 26 batters in 21 innings of work, to help the Bears pick up a non-conference road win at No. 11 Oklahoma on March 19 and take two of three league games from Illinois State last weekend.
The Co-MVC Pitcher of the Week, Porche, who has a 3.17 cumulative grade-point average in psychology, pitched the Bears to a 3-2 decision over Oklahoma, limiting the Sooners to four hits and one earned run. She struck out 14 batters and scattered five hits in a 3-2 triumph over Illinois State on March 21 and completed the weekend against ISU with an 11-strikeout, two-hit shutout (6-0) on March 22.
To qualify for Prairie Farms/Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week laurels, student-athletes must carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00, completed at least one academic year at a Valley institution and must be at least a sophomore in academic standing. In addition to the academic qualifications, student-athletes will be evaluated on their athletic performance for a one-week period.