Worcester, Mass. – The second week of the college basketball season in Worcester came to a close on Sunday, and below is this week’s Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Honor Roll, including Players and Rookies of the Week.
Men’s Player of the Week: Bilal Shakir (Jr.) Worcester State (Worcester, Mass.): Averaged 22 points in a 2-1 week for the Lancers. He had a game-high 32 points in the 95-89 victory over Wheaton College on Tuesday night while also adding eight rebounds, three assists, and one steal. He went 11-for-19 from the field, and 7-for-9 from the 3-point line. Shakir then scored a team-high 19 points in the 77-64 win over Suffolk, and posted 14 points and nine rebounds in the 97-79 loss to Amherst College at this weekend’s tournament.
Clyde Niba (Sr.), WPI (Atlanta, GA): Niba averaged 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds as he helped WPI capture the inaugural Ted Coghlin Memorial Tournament this past weekend. The senior forward connected on all nine of his first half shots en route to a season-best 32 points in the Engineers’ 66-62 championship game victory over Staten Island. Niba also contributed nine points and a team-high seven rebounds in limited minutes in the opening contest versus Curry. For the weekend, he shot 59.1% (13-22) from the floor and 66.7% (8-12) from 3-point land.
Men’s Rookie of the Week: Marco Echevarria (Fr.), Nichols (Lynn, Mass.): He was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Week for the second-consecutive week. Echevarria averaged 20.3 points per game as the Bison won two of their three games last week. He began the week by draining five 3-pointers en route to a 22-point night in a win over Thomas (ME) on Tuesday. He then netted 18 points in a loss at Daniel Webster two nights later. On Saturday, Echevarria scored a game-high 22 points to help Nichols move to 3-1 with a road win at Lasell. Echevarria shot 45.7 percent for the week (16-of-35), including 14-of-32 from behind the arc (43.8 pct.).He also tied his career-high with seven rebounds against the Lasers and averaged 3.0 for the week.
Women’s Player of the Week: Tricia Byrne (Soph.), Holy Cross (Dunmore, Pa.): Byrne started in both contests last week and put together her best two games of her career. She averaged 11.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. In the loss at Boston College, she totaled 10 points and a career-high seven rebounds in a personal-best 39 minutes of action. At Quinnipiac on Saturday, she posted career-highs of 12 points and seven assists, while also hauling in six rebounds. She drained a pair of three-pointers in each game too. On the season, Byrne is averaging 7.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, while she leads Holy Cross and ranks seventh in the Patriot League with 3.0 assists per game. Her 1.7-to-1.0 assist-to-turnover ratio stands fourth in the conference.
Women’s Rookie of the Week: Kaitlyn Berkel (Fr.), Worcester State (Waterford, Conn): Averaged 8.7 points in a 1-2 week for the Lancers. She registered a double-double in the 70-36 win over Mount Holyoke on Wednesday (10 points, 15 rebounds). She then had seven points and eight rebounds in the 51-34 loss to McDaniel, and nine points and 12 rebounds against Newbury College at the York College Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament this past weekend. In the loss to Newbury, Berkel had a game-high six blocks.
Allison Stoddard (Jr.), Assumption (East Lyme, Conn.): In a 2-0 week, Stoddard averaged a team-best 17 points per game while adding four assists, 1.5 rebounds and one steal per game. She also shot 50 percent from three, connecting on 8-of-16 attempts. After 18 points and seven assists in a win over No. 9 Stonehill, she posted 21 points that included five three-pointers in a road win at Saint Michael’s.
Kamali Bey (Soph.), Assumption (Springfield, Mass.): In a 1-1 week, Bey averaged a team-high 13.5 points per game to go along with four rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest. He shot 55 percent from the field overall and highlighting his week was a 21-point effort at home vs. Stonehill.
Deja Taitt (Jr.), Anna Maria (Cambia Heights, N.Y.): Taitt led the team in scoring in a 2-1 week, averaging 15.7 points per game on a 54.3 percent shooting effort from the floor. In addition, she dished out 5.3 assists per game as the team’s primary ball handler. She had her best performance in the team’s 83-80 loss to Salem State, in which she finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 assists.
Corey Pryor (GS), Anna Maria (Whitinsville, Mass.): Pryor scored 28 points on a 66.7 percent shooting effort in Anna Maria’s 95-93 overtime victory against Becker on Wednesday. He hit 12-for-18 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from three-point range. Pryor had a crucial play in the early minutes of overtime–with the AMCATS trailing by three, he finished an old-fashioned three-point play to even the score at 85-85.
Josh Bosworth (Soph.), Fitchburg State (Springfield, Mass.): Averaged 12.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest in a 3-0 week for the Falcons. Registered 14 points, 7 boards, 2 assists and two steals in an 84-77 overtime win over Clark on Tuesday, while adding 10 points, five caroms and four steals in a 77-73 win against RIC on Thursday. Bosworth concluded the week, registering 14 points, 13 rebounds, one assist and one steal in a 74-65 triumph over Becker on Saturday.
Ama Biney (Soph.), WPI (Worcester, Mass.): Biney totaled 28 points, 14 rebounds and five steals as the Engineers split a pair of contests last week against Little East conference foes. The sophomore guard tallied 11 points and eight rebounds in a 57-43 triumph over Rhode Island College after netting a team-best 17 points and six boards in an overtime loss at UMass Dartmouth.