Women's Basketball Player/Newcomer of the Week (Dec. 31)
UNI's Jacqui Kalin was just one rebound and one assist shy of a triple-double, pouring in 25 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in the Panthers win over Saint Louis, taking home her second MVC Player of the Week honor of the season. Southern Illinois freshman forward Azia Washington posted her first-ever double-double with career-bests of 17 points and 17 rebounds in leading the Salukis to a victory over Chicago State, earning her first Newcomer of the Week honor of the season.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jacqui Kalin, Sr., G, UNI
Kalin finished with a team leading 25 points against Saint Louis University and was just two stats away from completing a triple-double. She notched nine rebounds and nine assists along with her 25 points. With her five three-pointers, she became the all-time leader in three-pointers made at UNI with 207. She set a new season-high and tied her career high of three-pointers made in a game with her five against Saint Louis and also tied her career high in assists in a game with nine.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK
Azia Washington, Fr., F, Southern Illinois
Washington had a career-night in SIU’s win Saturday at Chicago State, posting her first double-double with career-bests of 17 points and 17 rebounds to go along with two assists, two steals and a block. Washington scored 10 of SIU’s first 17 points against the Cougars to spark a struggling Saluki offense early in the game.
Noteworthy - In addition to the league's player and newcomer of the week selections, several conference players had notable performances, and they include:
Sarah Nelson (CU) - Nelson led the Jays with 19 points and nine rebounds in Creighton’s 88-81 double overtime loss at Minnesota. The junior played 48 minutes, finishing with three assists, one block and two steals. Sarah was 7-of-14 from the field in the contest.
Brianna Puni (ILS) - Puni set a career-high 17 points and led the Illinois State women’s basketball team in its 65-57 win at Butler (Dec. 30). Puni was 8-of-11 from the field, setting a career high in both categories. Puni pulled down six boards in the game, with five coming on the offensive end, helping the Redbirds make 19 second chance points. She also had a steal in 22 minutes. The St. Charles, Mo., native averages 3.2 points per game, connecting on 43 percent of the shots she takes. Puni also brings down 2.8 rebounds per game, averaging 10.8 minutes per game.
Whitney Edie (MSU) - Edie scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds Sunday in MSU’s victory against Coppin State. Edie scored 15 in the first half and 11 in the second period, shooting 9-for-18 from the field and 7-of-8 from the foul line. The senior played 33 minutes and hauled in five offensive rebounds to go with three steals and a blocked shot.
Cartaesha Macklin (SIU) - Macklin came just three rebounds shy of a triple double, tallying a game-high 19 points with a career-best 10 assists and seven boards in SIU’s win Saturday at Chicago State. Macklin’s 10 assists tied the 10th highest single-game total in SIU history. She became the first Saluki with double-digit assists since the 2010-11 season.
Jessica Diamond (WSU) - Diamond scored double figures for the ninth time in 12 games and led the Shockers with 15 points Sunday afternoon against Wisconsin-Green Bay. The senior connected on 6-of-10 shots and both free throw attempts. She also grabbed three rebounds, dished out two assists and collected a steal in 39 minutes. For the year, Diamond is scoring 13.8 points per game on .436 shooting. She is 11th on the Shockers’ all-time scoring list with 1,226 points.
Marissa Janningn (CU) - Janning returned home to Minnesota for the Jays lone game of the week, scoring 18 points on 7-of-10 from the field. The Creighton point guard had a career-high seven rebounds, four asssits and just two turnovers before fouling out in overtime. Janning played 36 minutes in the loss.
Janae Smith (ILS) - Smith recorded her fourth double-double performance of the season, as she led the Illinois State women’s basketball team with 17 points and 11 rebounds in its 65-57 win at Butler (Dec. 30). Smith was 5-of-12 from the field and connected on seven free throws. She also recorded two assists, two blocks and two steals in 38 minutes of play. The Matteson, Ill., native is the leading scorer for Illinois State, averaging 15.7 points per game with a 50 percent field goal percentage. Smith also leads the team with 9.0 rebounds per game and 12 blocks, averaging 33.2 minutes per game.
Kenzie Williams (MSU) - Williams scored a career-high 21 points, including 16 during an amazing 3:31 stretch in the first half of MSU’s victory over Coppin State Sunday. Williams knocked down her first eight shots of any kind and finished the game 7-for-14 overall, 5-of-9 on 3-pointers and 2-for-2 from the foul line. She added three rebounds, two assists and two steals as well.
Darice Fountaine (WSU) - Fountaine, a senior transfer from Savannah State, came off the bench to score nine points off 3-of-5 shooting from three-point range. She was the second-leading scorer for WSU against Wisconsin-Green Bay and in only 13 minutes accounted for 27% of WSU’s made field goals in the game. Fountaine has found her stroke of late, averaging 9.3 ppg over the last four contests, during which she has made 7-of-14 (50%) three-point tries.