Women's Basketball Player/Newcomer of the Week (Dec. 10)
Bradley's Shronda Butts poured in a career-high 34 points in the Braves' double-overtime game at UW-Milwaukee, matching the highest scoring output in Valley action this season, earning her first MVC Player of the Week honor of the season. Creighton freshman guard Marissa Janning led the Jays to wins over a No. 25 Nebraska and Houston, averaging 17 points and 4.5 rebounds in the two contests. Janning takes home her second consecutive Newcomer of the Week honor.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Shronda Butts, So., G, Bradley
Butts scored a career-high 34 points and also matched a career-best five assists in the highest scoring game in Missouri Valley Conference history. With Bradley trailing by as many as 12 points in the first half and early in the second period, Butts scored 15 second-half points to help Bradley force an overtime period in a 112-116 setback at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In the overtime periods, she scored 13 of Bradley’s 25 points and also assisted four of Bradley’s five other hoops in the extra periods. The 34 points scored matched the highest scoring game in the MVC this season and is tied for the third highest point total in school history. Butts scored the most points by a BU player since Shelli Braud had 34 points against Illinois State on Feb. 24, 1988.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK
Marissa Janning, Fr., G, Creighton
Janning notched 19 points for a second consecutive game to lead the Jays past No. 25 Nebraska on Dec. 5, tying a career-high set the previous game. Janning helped the Jays defeat the Huskers for the first-time in seven seasons and pushed Creighton to its first victory over a ranked opponent since 2008. Marissa followed that with 15 points and a career-high seven rebounds in the Jays’ 75-54 win at Houston. Janning led Creighton with 34 points in the two game a, notched six assists and nine rebounds. She was 12-of-22 from the field (.545), 8-of-13 (.615) from three-point land and the point guard committed just one turnover in a combined 49 minutes of play.
Noteworthy - In addition to the league's player and newcomer of the week selections, several conference players had notable performances, and they include:
McKenzie Fujan (CU) - Fujan delivered back-to-back career-high for the Jays this week, posting 13 points in the 66-57 win over No. 25 Nebraska and 20 points in Creighton’s 75-54 win over Houston. Fujan entered the Nebraska game 0-for-5 from long distance, but drained 3-of-5 against the Huskers and 4-of-5 versus the Cougars. She hit first two from beyond the arc, helped the Jays jump out to an 18-11 lead. Against the Cougars McKenzie led the Jays back from an eight-point halftime deficit in the second half against Houston, scoring 17 of her 20 points in the second period. On the week Fujan was 10-of-16 (.625) from the field and 7-of-10 (.700) from beyond the arc. She also was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Fujan’s efforts against Houston helped the Bluejays score 50 points in a half for the first time since 12-20-2010.
Morgan Reid (DU) - Reid celebrated her 21st birthday with one of her best all-around performances of the season against North Dakota State last Thursday. She scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting, grabbed nine rebounds, swiped three steals and dished out an assist in 34 minutes to help Drake get the win. In the next game against North Dakota she battled foul trouble but still finished with six points and seven rebounds in just 18 minutes. The junior from Kansas City, Mo. is second on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game and grabs a team-leading 8.4 rebounds per game.
Samantha Heck (UE) - Heck became the 18th player in Evansville women’s basketball history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark by scoring the Purple Aces’ first basket in their loss to Eastern Illinois on Tuesday. The senior center went on to finished the game with 15 points and added five rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. In Sunday’s loss to Saint Louis, Heck scored nine of her 13 points in the second half and helped Evansville rally from 15 points down to eventually tie the game late in the contest. The Auxvasse, Mo., native also added seven rebounds, a pair of assists and a block. For the week, she averaged 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and shot 44.0 percent from the field, including a 44.4 percent clip from behind the arc.
Jamie Russell (ILS) - Russell led all scorers in Illinois States 18-point win, 64-46, over in-state rival Northwestern on Friday. Russell poured in 24 points, shooting 9-of-18 from the field and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. It was the third time this season Russell has scored 20 or more points in a game and the eighth of her career. It was also Russell’s third double-double of the season, as she brought down 10 boards, including seven offensive rebounds. The Rock Falls, Ill., native added five assists and three steals in 34 minutes of play. After an uncharacteristic performance by Russell against Michigan on Wednesday, the senior regrouped and got back to her old self. Russell is connecting on 39 percent of her shots and leads the Redbirds with 16.3 points per game. She has made 96 percent of her free throws, missing just one (26-of-27) and is second on the team in rebounds with 6.8 per game. Russell also leads ISU in assists (32) and steals (23).
Anna Munn (INS) - Munn led Indiana State to a pair of wins last week, averaging 19.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game as the Sycamores defeated Northern Illinois and UIC inside Hulman Center. Munn went 10-for-10 at the free-throw line on Tuesday against NIU, totaling 15 points for the game. The junior from Indianapolis went on to post a career high on Friday, dropping 23 points with five three-pointers and eight rebounds as the Sycamores downed the Flames. Munn has scored in double-figures in all eight games to start the season, becoming the first Sycamore to do so since Melanie Boeglin in 2005-06.
Christiana Shorter (MSU) - Shorter finished with team highs of 12 points and eight rebounds at Missouri Thursday. Shorter shot 5-of-11 from the floor in 24 minutes while adding her 90th career blocked shot in the game. Shorter has now made at least five field goals in all but one game this season.
Jacqui Kalin (UNI) - Kalin led the UNI Panthers in scoring in both of their games this past week, finishing with 34 points. She was perfect from the line in both games and is currently ranked first in the NCAA in free throw percentage, shooting 97.4 percent. She has now made 23 consecutive free throws. She scored 13 points against Chicago State on the way to leading the team to a victory, finishing 5 of 7 shooting and with a team high three assists. Against South Dakota State, Kalin finished with 21 points and two steals. The game against SDSU was the fourth game this season where she has scored three or more three-pointers in a game and is the eighth game this season she has scored in double figures.
Dyana Pierre (SIU) - Pierre averaged 10.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals for the Salukis last week and helped Southern pick up its first win over the season. Pierre had six points, 12 rebounds and three assists in SIU’s 58-57 win over Southeast Missouri State Wednesday before posting her third double-double of the season with 14 points, 16 rebounds, two assist and three steals in a four-point loss to Marshall Saturday. Pierre is tied for 19th nationally with an average of 11.0 rebounds per game.
Jessica Diamond (WSU) - Diamond led the Shockers with 13 points and three steals against Kansas State then tied for the team lead with nine points in a balanced scoring victory over Northern Colorado. The senior guard now owns 1,186 career points to rank 12th at WSU.
Jenny Smith (BU) - Smith collected eight points, eight rebounds and one blocked shot in a 112-116 double overtime setback at Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the highest scoring game in Missouri Valley Conference history. Smith, who made her second career start, made 4-of-5 free throw attempts in 25 minutes of play.
Mary Pat Specht (DU) - Specht provided a scoring spark off the bench for the Bulldogs in their overtime loss to North Dakota on Saturday. The junior guard from Shawnee, Kan. finished with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including a perfect 4-of-4 from behind the arc all in just 18 minutes against NDU. Specht is averaging 6.4 points per game and is shooting 45 percent from the field in her first season for the Bulldogs.
Janae Smith (ILS) - Smith led the Redbirds against Michigan with 11 points and seven rebounds. Smith was 5-of-9 from the field in the loss and dished out an assist in 34 minutes. In Illinois State’s 64-46 win over Northwestern, the Matteson, Ill., native scored six points, making all of her free throw attempts (4-of-4). She also brought down eight boards, as well a block and a steal. Smith is the second-leading scorer for Illinois State, averaging 14.9 points per game with a 49 percent field goal percentage through eight games. Smith leads the team with 7.9 rebounds per game and nine blocks, averaging 31.5 points per game.
Marina Laramie (INS) - Laramie continues to pace the Indiana State bench, totaling 14 points and eight rebounds against Northern Illinois and UIC. After posting three points against NIU, Laramie played a season-high 27 minutes on Friday against UIC, tallying her second double-figure scoring effort with 11 points while pulling down a season-best eight rebounds. For the season, the newcomer from O’Fallon, Mo., in fourth on the team by averaging 6.4 points while ranking third at 3.6 rebounds per game.
Mikala McGhee (MSU) - McGhee made the most of her 17 minutes played at Missouri, scoring a career-high 10 points and grabbing two rebounds. McGhee scored five points in each half while also setting career highs with four field goals and eight attempts.
Jen Keitel (UNI) - Keitel was an integral part of the Panthers’ win over Chicago State. She finished the game with 10 points, eight rebounds and a career high four assists. The game against Chicago State is the sixth game this season she has notched five or more rebounds in a game. Against South Dakota State, she finished with eight points, four rebounds and a career high two blocks. She is currently second on the team in points and rebounds behind two seniors and she is currently first on the team in offensive rebounds.
Alie Decker (WSU) - Decker made her Shocker debut on Friday and pumped in eight points off the bench to spark a 51-35 victory over Northern Colorado. The freshman from Edmond, Okla. knocked down two three-point baskets and also led the team in rebounding with six, all in 20 minutes of work.