Women's Basketball Player/Newcomer of the Week (Nov. 21)
Monday, November 21, 2011

Drake's Rachael Hackbarth and Kyndal Clark sweep the Valley's weekly women's basketball honors, as the Bulldogs topped UW-Milwaukee, 63-51, and fell in the final minutes to Iowa State, 64-71.  Hackbarth put together back-to-back double-doubles, while also completing 59-percent of her shots, while Clark tallied 27 points and eight assists while shooting 52-percent from the floor.

Rachael Hackbarth, Sr., C, Drake
Hackbarth put together back-to-back double-doubles last week to lead Drake against Iowa State and Milwaukee. The senior opened the week with 15 points and 14 rebounds against Iowa State and followed with a 20-point, 11-rebound performance against Milwaukee. Hackbarth made 59.1-percent of her attempts (13-of-22) to lead Drake with 35 total points and 25 total rebounds last week.

Kyndal Clark, Fr., G, Drake
Clark emerged as Drake’s top outside shooter in two games last week. The freshman opened the week with a career-high 15 points, including 12 in the second half, on 5-of-9 shooting against Iowa State. She made 3-of-6 from three-point range in her first collegiate home contest. Clark followed her Iowa State effort with a 12-point, five-assist performance that led the Bulldogs to their first win of the season against Milwaukee. All told, Clark scored 27 points and led Drake with eight total assists while shooting 52.6-percent from the floor last week.

Noteworthy - In addition to the league's player and newcomer of the week selections, several conference players had notable performances, and they include: 

Leah Kassing (BU) - Kassing averaged 12.8 points on 53.7 percent shooting and pulled down 6.0 rebounds per game as she helped Bradley to a 2-2 record and second-place finish at the Winthtop Classic.  She opened with week with 15 points and six boards in a one-point loss against Eastern Illinois.  Kassing, who was 7-for-12 from the field against the Panthers, also had a career-best three steals in 19 minutes against EIU.  In BU’s first road game of the year, Kassing made 5-of-8 shots to finish with 10 points, four rebounds and a block in a 71-61 win.  She highlighted Saturday’s matchup with 2011 NCAA Tournament participant Stetson with a career-high 18 points and 10 rebounds for her second career double-double.  Kassing dished out a career-best three assists and also had a block in the setback against the Hatters.  Battling injuries, Kassing played just 10 minutes in a convincing 68-43 win against Niagara, scoring six straight points early on in a decisive 26-5 second-half run.  Kassing finished with eight points, four rebounds and a block against the Purple Eagles.

Carli Tritz (CU) - Tritz scored a career-high 23 points at Kansas last week, setting her career-high with more than 20 points against a Big 12 team for the second time in her career.  The sophomore led all players with 23 points and made a career-high 9-of-18 shots from the field, including 2-of-4 from three-point range.  The Bluejay guard also added three rebounds, a steal and an assist in Creighton’s only game last week.  Her former career-high of 21 came against Nebraska last year.

Taylor Ware (UE) - Coming off the bench, junior Taylor Ware led Evansville last week, averaging 13.0 points and 6.5 rebounds, while shooting 46.7 percent (7-15) from the floor and 92.3 percent (12-13) from the free throw line. Ware crashed the boards all weekend, recording 11 of her 13 rebounds on the offensive end. Against the Bearcats, the Cincinnati native finished with nine points, seven boards, and two steals in front of her hometown fans. At Bowling Green, Ware led the Aces offensively with a career-high 17 points, shooting 4-for-6 from the floor and had a perfect 9-for-9 performance at the free throw line. Ware also added six rebounds, five of them offensively.

Katie Broadway (ILS) - Broadway led all scorers with 20 points Thursday night (11/17) at Welsh-Ryan Arena, but her efforts weren’t enough, as the Illinois State women’s basketball team fell to Northwestern, 69-62, in its first loss of the season. She made 4-of-9 shots from behind the arc and was perfect from behind the free throw line in 36 minutes of play. The senior guard nearly reached her career-best in points (22).  Broadway has recorded double-digit scoring efforts in the first two games of the 2011-12 season and is the leading scorer for ISU, averaging 15 points per game.

Shannon Thomas (INS) - Thomas recorded her 19th career double double on Friday in the Sycamores loss to Chattanooga in the consolation round of the Preseason WNIT. Thomas had 12 points and 11 rebounds and played all 40 minutes in the contest. She also recorded two blocks and two assists in the game against Chattanooga. Thomas is averaging 11.3 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game so far this season.

Casey Garrison (MSU) - Garrison led all players with 26 points in Friday’s game at Kansas State, adding eight rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Lady Bears. The senior shot 50 percent from the field and drained all nine of her free throws. Garrison scored 15 points and had six boards in the second half alone, bringing the Lady Bears back from a 14-point halftime deficit to the two-point final margin. She either scored or assisted on 57 percent of Missouri State’s points while passing the 1,800-point career scoring mark and recording her 400th career assist.

Katelin Oney (UNI) - Oney averaged 18.0 points per game in leading UNI to a win at Chicago State and a four-point loss at home to Iowa. Oney drained eight three-pointers in the two-game stretch and was a perfect 6-of-6 at the free throw line. Oney chipped in with a team-high 16 points in an 88-54 win at Chicago State. Against Iowa, Oney also buried a team-high 20 points.

Brooke LeMar (SIU) - LeMar had what coach Missy Tiber called the best game of her career to lead SIU to a 76-54 win over Chicago State Sunday, ending SIU’s MVC-record 22-game losing streak. LeMar led the Salukis in scoring with a career-best 15 points and was the team’s co-leader with six rebounds against the Cougars, in addition to tallying five assists and two steals. Earlier in the week, LeMar tallied four points, five rebounds and three assists in a loss to Loyola-Chicago. LeMar ranks second in the MVC with an average of 4.7 assists per game.

Jessica Diamond (WSU) - Diamond averaged 12.3 ppg over three games, shooting 50% (16-of-32) from the floor.  She knocked down 5-of-15 three-pointers while averaging 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.  The junior added seven steals and averaged 30.7 minutes per game.

Catie O'Leary (BU) - O’Leary averaged 7.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 steals last week, helping Bradley to a 2-2 record and second-place finish at the Winthtop Classic.  O’Leary collected nine points, five boards, two assists and two steals in a one-point setback to Eastern Illinois to start the week.  She finished with 13 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks to help highlight a 71-61 win at Winthrop in the first road game of the season.  O’Leary made 7-of-8 free throw attempts in Sunday’s convincing 68-43 win against Niagara, tallying seven points, two assists and one steal in 24 minutes of action. 

Maddie Oliver (ILS) - Oliver was 3-of-5 from the field in Illinois State’s seven-point loss, 69-62, against Northwestern Thursday (11/17), scoring six points. Oliver also brought down a career-best six rebounds and recorded a block and a steal in 26 minutes of play. Through the first two games of the Redbirds’ season, the Roland, Iowa, native is shooting 77 percent from the field (10-of-13) and has collected 11 rebounds, leading ISU in both categories. She is also averaging 10 points per game, the third leading scorer for Illinois State.

Natasha Zurek (INS) - Zurek had career highs in both points and rebounds with six each. Zurek was a perfect 2-2 from the foul line and added two steals for the Sycamores. On the season Zurek is averaging 3.7 points and rebounds per game and has started the past two games for ISU.

Brittni Donaldson (UNI) - Donaldson scored 13 points off the bench in an 88-54 win at Chicago State. Donaldson made 5-of-12 shots from the field and tied for team-high honors with six rebounds in the road win.

Cartaesha Macklin (SIU) - Macklin averaged 11.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game for the Salukis last week to go with three total assists and two steals. Macklin was SIU’s second-leading scorer in both of its games during a 1-1 week for the Salukis. She scored nine points and was the team’s co-leader with nine rebounds in a loss to Loyola Friday. Making her first start for Southern, Macklin tallied a career-high 13 points in SIU’s 22-point win over Chicago State Sunday. Her season average of 5.0 rebounds per game ranks second among MVC freshmen and her 9.3 points per game is tied for third among MVC freshmen.

Krystle Henderson (WSU) - Henderson averaged 5.3 points per game while dishing out five assists and committing just one turnover.  She hit 4-of-11 from three-point range and added three steals.