Women's Basketball Player/Newcomer of the Week (Jan. 2)
Monday, January 2, 2012

Wichita State's Chynna Turner led the Shockers to a perfect 2-0 start to MVC play, turning in two double-doubles in road victories at UNI and Bradley, while Illinois State's Jamie Russell also directed the Redbirds to two league-opening weekend wins over visiting Evansville and Southern Illinois.  For their outstanding efforts, Turner and Russell have been named the Missouri Valley Conference Player and Newcomer of the Week, respectively.  
Chynna Turner, Jr., F, Wichita State
Turner led WSU to its first 2-0 start in the MVC since 1998-99 with back-to-back double-doubles at UNI and Bradley.  The junior shot a nifty .923 from the field (12-for-13 field goals) and connected on 8-of-11 from the foul line.  Turner began the weekend with 13 points and 12 rebounds on Thursday to lift the Shockers to a 67-40 victory at UNI (WSU’s first win in Cedar Falls since 1998).  She followed with a perfect shooting day from the field (7-for-7 FG) Saturday in a 71-58 victory at Bradley.  Turner collected 19 points and 12 more rebounds against the Braves.  The Houston, Texas native has collected all four of her career double-doubles this season and registered them all in road games.  For the year Turner averages 8.5 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting .524 from the field. 

Jamie Russell, Jr., G, Illinois State
Russell has played a huge part for the Redbirds on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Through two Valley games, Russell is the team’s second-leading scorer with 16 points per game, the second-leading rebounder with nine rebounds per game and leads the team in steals with 3.5 per game. In ISU’s win against SIU, 75-51, Russell just missed a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds in 32 minutes of play. The junior guard also tied a career-high in steals with four and blocks with two. Like the Southern Illinois game, Russell just missed a double-double in Illinois State’s win over Evansville, 62-49, with 13 points and nine rebounds, including five offensive boards. In the win over the Purple Aces, Russell was perfect (2-of-2) from behind the arc and took away three steals. 

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 19.5 points and 12.5 rebounds, while shooting 61.5 percent from the field in a pair of games as she turned in back-to-back doubles last week.  The first BU player with four consecutive double-doubles since 1994-95, Kassing opened the week with 19 points and 12 rebounds against Missouri State.  She hit 8-of-11 shots in the game and collected 15 points, seven boards and two assists to help spark BU’s rally attempt against the Bears.  Against Wichita State, Kassing 20 points on 8-for-15 from the field and also hauled down a game-high 13 rebounds.  In the second half, she had 13 points and seven boards.  Bradley’s leading scorer and rebounder on the year at 13.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, her seven double-doubles this season are the most by a Bradley player since 2009-10. 

Sarah Nelson (CU) - Nelson led the Bluejays with 18 points, 4 assists and 3 blocked shots as Creighton opened the MVC season against Drake on Saturday.  Nelson tied her career-highs for assists and blocked shots, while helping hold Drake’s leading scorer Rachael Hackbarth 10 points below her season scoring average.  Nelson went 8-for-13 from the field, which included 1-of-2 from three-point range.  She also added a steal in 32 minutes of action in CU’s only game last week.

Samantha Heck (UE) - Heck led Evansville with her eighth and ninth straight double figure games in the opening weekend of Valley play. The junior piloted the Aces’ offense with 16 points and six rebounds at Indiana State and logged 11 points at Illinois State as four Aces reached double-digits in that game. Averaging 13.5 points and 5.0 rebounds on the week, Heck shot 56.3 percent (9-16) from the field and also recorded a team-high four blocks along with three steals and two assists. On the season, Heck averages 12.8 points and 6.2 rebounds, and is one of two UE players who has started all 13 games this season.

Katie Broadway (ILS) - Broadway was an offensive threat in Illinois State’s conference opening weekend, recording her 11th and 12th double-digit scoring performances through 13 games. Through two MVC games, Broadway leads the Redbirds in scoring with 17.0 points per game and is tied for third in the Valley. On the defensive side of the ball, she averages two steals per game. Against Evansville, Broadway was the spark the Redbirds needed to win their second-straight Valley game, 62-49. The senior scored 24 points, just missing her career-high by two points. Broadway also grabbed seven rebounds and recorded two steals in the victory. In ISU’s 75-51 win over Southern Illinois, Broadway scored 10 points and five rebounds in 35 minutes of play. She was 2-of-3 from behind the three-point line.

Anna Munn (INS) - Munn posted career highs for points and assists as the Sycamores opened conference play with victories over Evansville and Southern Illinois. On Friday, Munn scored a career-high 20 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the field, knocking down four treys and going a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in ISU’s 73-54 win over UE. The sophomore guard turned in an all-around performance in Sunday’s 72-66 victory over SIU, dishing out a career-high six assists while pulling down eight rebounds and scoring five points on just two shot attempts from the field.

Casey Garrison (MSU) - Garrison averaged 15 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 blocks in games at Bradley and UNI last week. She totaled 12 points, including 6-for-6 at the foul line in Thursday’s win at Bradley, and nearly turned in a triple-double Saturday at UNI. Against he Panthers, Garrison and 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists on 7-for-14 shooting with a career-high four blocks

Katelin Oney (UNI) - Oney averaged 10 points in the Panthers’ first two MVC games, including a 16-point performance to help UNI to a 62-54 win over preseason MVC favorite Missouri State. Against Missouri State, Oney went 3-of-5 from three-point range and also recorded a career-high nine rebounds and three assists. Her 3-of-3 start from beyond the arc carried the Panthers to a perfect 6-of-6 mark on three-pointers in the first half.

Cartaesha Macklin (SIU) - Macklin averaged 13.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game through SIU’s first two conference games. Macklin scored a team-high 18 points with seven rebounds and three assists Friday at Illinois State before chipping in nine points with five rebounds, seven assists and two steals at Indiana State. Macklin remains fourth in the MVC in scoring to lead all Valley newcomers.

Kyndal Clark (DU) - Clark led Drake to a 47-44 road victory at Creighton to power the Bulldogs to a 1-0 start in Missouri Valley Conference play. The freshman scored a team-best 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-6 from three-point range. Clark made good on two free throws inside of 21 seconds, including one with six seconds remaining, to stop the Creighton rally and give the Bulldogs a victory. Clark added five rebounds, a season high, to help Drake extend a 40-28 advantage on the glass.

Brooke Brown (UNI) - Brown played 15 and 11 minutes, respectively, against Wichita State and Missouri State, making an impact on the defensive end of the floor. Against the Shockers, Brown recorded two points, one rebound, one assist and one block. In a win over the Bears, she posted three points and another steal.

Alexus Patterson (SIU) - Patterson averaged 7.5 points and 13.5 rebounds last week in SIU’s first two conference games. The freshman center is the Valley’s early rebounding leader in MVC games after posting double-digit rebound totals in both games. Patterson tallied a career-high 14 boards Friday at Illinois State before coming up with SIU’s first double-double of the season Sunday with 13 points and 12 rebounds at Indiana State. The efforts helped Patterson surpass teammate Cartaesha Macklin as the rebounding leader among MVC newcomers with a season average of 6.5 per game.

Alex Harden (WSU) - Harden contributed two solid performances off the bench to help WSU begin Valley play with a 2-0 record for the first time since 1998-99.  Harden turned in a 7-point, 4-rebound performance in Thursday’s 67-40 win at UNI (the Shockers’ first win in Cedar Falls since 1998) and added a 6-point, 3-rebound effort in a 71-58 victory at Bradley.  Harden connected on 5-of-8 field goals and all three of her foul shots in the two Shocker wins.  For the year Harden is scoring 5.4 points and grabbing 3.6 rebounds while shooting .490 from the field.