Women's Basketball Player/Newcomer of the Week (Jan. 14)
UNI senior guard Jacqui Kalin posted posted back-to-back 20+ point performances, averaging 23.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals, taking home her third MVC Player of the Week award this season. Evansville sophomore forward Mallory Ladd recorded her fifth-straight double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) in the Purple Aces' win over Southern Illinois, 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 the week with two 20-plus point performances against Missouri State and Wichita State. In the Panthers’ win over Missouri State, Kalin finished with 25 points and 7-13 from the field. She notched a season and career high six three-pointers made in the game against the Bears. In the Panthers’ close loss to Wichita State, Kalin recorded 22 points, four steals and seven rebounds.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK
Mallory Ladd, So., F, Evansville
Ladd continued a pair of streaks in Evansville’s 71-65 victory over Southern Illinois by recording 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for her fifth-straight double-double and hitting all five of her free throws to up her streak of consecutive free throws made to 37, which ties her with Casey Garrison for fifth most in Missouri Valley Conference history. Ladd finished 5-for-9 from the floor and filled the stat sheet by tallying a pair of steals, a block and an assist. In her three league games, she is averaging 19.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest, and is a perfect 24-for-24 at the charity stripe.
Noteworthy - In addition to the league's player and newcomer of the week selections, several conference players had notable performances, and they include:
Kelsey Budd (BU) - Budd averaged a team-best 16.5 points along with 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals in a pair of games last week. She opened the week with 18 points, three rebounds, one assist and two steals against Wichita State. In Saturday’s victory against Missouri State, Budd had 15 points, five assists and two steals. With Bradley trailing by two points in the closing moments of the game she assisted Katie Yohn’s game-winning three-pointer from the with 1.9 seconds to play to give the Braves their first conference victory of the year.
Sarah Nelson (CU) - Nelson led Creighton to a 2-0 week in the Valley, averaging 10.5 pts, 8.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 blocks. She opened the weekend by approaching a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to help Creighton best Illinois State, 64-45. Averaging over 35 minutes per game, the Omaha native was on the floor for just 24 minutes in the 69-50 win over Indiana State, collecting 11 points, four boards and three assists. Sarah also reached a personal milestone against the Redbirds, grabbing her 500th career rebound. Sarah was 8-of-15 from the field over the two game (.533), including 2-of-5 (.400) from long distance.
Kyndal Clark (DU) - Clark averaged 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game in the Bulldogs games this past weekend against Indiana State and Illinois State. Against the Sycamores, Clark had a team-high 13 points along with five rebounds to go along with two assists and three steals. She made 7-of-8 from the free throw line. In Sunday’s tight contest against the Redbirds, Clark poured in a game-high 20 points and pulled down eight rebounds along with an assist and a block. For the season the Missouri native is averaging 13.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Khristian Hart (UE) - Hart led Evansville with a career-high 26 points in its win over Southern Illinois, helping the Purple Aces to their best start in Missouri Valley Conference play since the 2006-07 season. The redshirt sophomore guard finished the afternoon 8-for-15 from the field and 8-for-9 from the free throw line, which included a pair of free throws in the final seconds of the game to seal UE’s victory. Hart served as a catalyst for Evansville’s offense in the second half, scoring 18 points over the final 20 minutes. The Evansville native gave the Aces a 63-61 lead with just over three minutes to go by nailing a three-pointer from the right corner as the shot clock expired, and later put UE up for good by breaking a 63-63 tie with a driving layup at the 1:55 mark. Hart also added four rebounds and a pair of assists in the win.
Candace Sykes (ILS) - Sykes netted 19 points, as she led the Illinois State women’s basketball team over Drake Sunday, 71-66. Sykes shot 50 percent from the field (5-of-10) and connected on two shots from beyond the arc. With the two three pointers against Drake, Sykes moved into 10th place on the all-time made three pointers list with 100. In the win, Sykes also connected on seven free throws and had two assists and a block in 30 minutes. At Creighton, Sykes had seven points and three assists. Through four Valley games, Sykes is averaging 15.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, along with 1.8 blocks per game. On the season, the St. Anne, Ill., native is ISU’s second-leading scorer with 14.0 points per game. Sykes also averages 5.6 rebounds per game, the second most on the team. After the weekend, Sykes is 11th on the all-time career list for blocks (51).
Racheal Mahan (INS) - Mahan led the Indiana State on their road swing to Drake and Creighton, averaging 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting 59.1% from the field. Mahan tied her career high with 23 points against Drake on Friday, going 9-for-13 from the field with seven rebounds as the Sycamores snapped a five-game road losing streak to the Bulldogs. The ISU sophomore added eight points and two rebounds against Creighton, connecting on at least four field goals for the fifth straight game.
Whitney Edie (MSU) - Edie led MSU with 27 points in two games to go along with averages of 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.0 assists while shooting 44 percent from the field. Edie scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds Saturday at Bradley, including a go-ahead 3-point play with 17 seconds remaining. She shot 5-for-8 at UNI Thursday for 12 points.
Cartaesha Macklin (SIU) - Macklin led SIU in scoring, rebounding and assists Sunday at Evansville. She scored 21 points, pulled down six rebounds and dished out four assists with just one turnover against the Purple Aces. Macklin also tallied two steals and went 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
Jessica Diamond (WSU) - Diamond led WSU to a pair of gritty road wins at Bradley and UNI to give the Shockers a 3-0 start in the Valley for the second-straight year. She scored 27 points over the two games to move into WSU’s top 10 all-time scoring list with 1,275 points. At Bradley, Diamond tied for the team lead with 14 points while dishing out four assists and collecting two steals. Two days later at UNI she again topped the team in scoring, this time with 13 points, while grabbing six rebounds and handing out five assists. She nailed two free throws in a one-and-one situation with 20 seconds remaining to seal the 60-57 WSU victory.
Fantasia Vine (BU) - Vine averaged 7.0 points on 46 percent shooting and also had 2.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in 13.0 minutes per contest. She had four points, two boards and four steals in 11 minutes against Wichita State Thursday. Vine helped highlight Saturday’s victory against Missouri State, collecting a season-high 10 points to go with two boards, one assist and one steal.
Marissa Janning (CU) - Janning continued to provide a potent punch off the bench for the Jays, leading Creighton with 12.0 points per game in victories over Illinois State and Indiana State. The freshman reached double-figures in both contests, she has accomplished that in 10 of her last 11 games. Janning was 4-of-10 (.400) on the week and also grabbed eight rebounds for the Jays.
Mary Pat Specht (DU) - Specht earned her first career start in the loss to the Redbirds Sunday and finished with 10 points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in a career-high 34 minutes. Specht knocked down 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Against the Sycamores, the junior college transfer scored six points in 29 minutes off the bench. In her first season for the Bulldogs, she is averaging seven points per game and has made 22 three-pointers.
Janae Smith (ILS) - Smith just missed double-double performances over the weekend. In ISU’s 71-66 win at Drake, Smith scored 16 points, shooting 7-of-12 from the field and had eight rebounds. Smith also had two blocks, an assist and steal in 31 minutes. At Creighton, Smith had nine points and nine boards, including six offensive rebounds. After two Valley games she is averaging a double-double, with 17.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Smith is also averaging 2.5 assists. On the season, the Matteson, Ill., native is ISU’s leading scorer (16.1 ppg) and rebounder (9.4 rpg). Smith is shooting 50 percent from the field and leads the Redbirds with 16 blocks.
Tyonna Snow (MSU) - Snow averaged 9.5 points and a team-high 7.0 rebounds last week, including 12 offensive boards in the two games. Snow scored 11 points at Bradley to go with eight rebounds and three steals. Thursday at UNI, Snow had seven points, six rebounds and a steal.