WORCESTER, Mass. – With another week of college basketball in the books, it is time to unveil this week’s Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) honor roll, including our players and rookies of the week.
Men’s Player of the Week: Bilal Shakir (Jr.) Worcester State (Worcester, Mass.): Shakir averaged 29.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 1.5 assists in a 2-0 week for the Lancers. Shakir swished a three-pointer from two steps inside half court as time expired, vaulting Worcester State past Westfield State, 89-88, in MASCAC action last Wednesday evening. Not only did he win the game for the Lancers, but he also scored a career-high 34 points against the Owls. He went 12-for-21 (57.1%) from the field, 5-for-12 (41.6%) from beyond the arc, and a perfect 5-for-5 (100%) from the free throw line. In Worcester State’s 104-96 overtime win over MCLA on Saturday, Shakir netted 25 points and went 9-for-10 from the free throw line to help edge the Lancers over the Trailblazers.
Men’s Rookie of the Week: Alex Santos (Fr.) Worcester State (Lawrence, Mass.): Santos averaged 26.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in a 2-0 week for Worcester State. Santos scored 23 points in the 89-88 victory over Westfield State, draining a huge 3-pointer with 21 seconds remaining to keep the Lancers tied up with Westfield. Santos then scored a team-high 30 points in a 104-94 overtime win against MCLA, connecting at the free throw line going 15-for-21 (71.4%).
Women’s Player of the Week: Molly Hourigan (Sr.) Holy Cross (Memphis, N.Y.): Hourigan had a great week both offensively and defensively for Holy Cross, as she averaged a double-double with 14.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game … in the victory over American on Tuesday, Hourigan totaled 11 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and a trio of steals in just under 40 minutes of action … at Navy on Saturday, she scored a career-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go with 10 boards, two steals and a pair of blocks.
Women’s Rookie of the Week: Ogechi Ezemma (Fr.) Clark (Hope Valley, R.I.): In what might be considered her best stretch of games in her early career, Ezemma averaged 15.5 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field. In a 65-52 loss to Wheaton, Ezemma totaled a career-high 16 points, nine rebounds and three steals shooting a career-best 10-for-12 from the charity stripe. Then in the Scarlet and White’s 71-55 win over Wellesley on Saturday, Ezemma was at it again, finishing with 15 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Malachi Alexander (Jr.) Holy Cross (Bowie, Md.): Totaled a career-high 26 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots in the victory over Navy. Alexander converted a three-point play with 2:33 left in overtime against Navy to give the Crusaders the lead for good. He then made seven of eight free throws in the final minute to secure the win. Alexander also had 11 points, four rebounds and three steals against Loyola.
Karl Charles (Fr.) Holy Cross (Piscataway, N.J.): Charles led the team with 17 points and eight rebounds in the Loyola game. He also added four points, three rebounds and a career-high seven assists in the victory over Navy.
Declan Soukup (Jr.) Assumption (Melbourne, Australia): In two games last week, Soukup led the team with 15 points per game as he shot 47.4 percent from the field, was 6-for-10 from three-point land and shot 85.7 percent from the free throw line. He also added three rebounds, three steals and two assists per game.
Jo Impellizeri (Jr.) Assumption (Seaford, N.Y.): In two games, Impellizeri nearly averaged a double-double with 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest to go along with two blocks, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. She was 11-for-14 at the free throw line and shot 46.7 percent from the field.
Ciara McKissick (Fr.) Becker (Charlton, Mass.): McKissick was named the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Rookie of the Week. She led the Hawks to a 1-2 week after averaging 17.3 points and ten rebounds per game. McKissick started her week with a 20 points and nine rebounds against Daniel Webster. She then gathered 13 boards and scored nine points in a loss to Wheelock. McKissick closed out the week with 23 points and eight rebounds in a 58-48 win over Newbury on Saturday.
Sam O’Gara (Soph.) Clark (Worcester, Mass.): O’Gara averaged 14.5 points, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals as the Cougars went 1-1 during the week. In a 65-52 loss to Wheaton, O’Gara posted 11 points, four assists and four steals and then in the win over Wellesley she posted 18 points and a season-best eight assists.
Kaitlyn Berkel (Fr.) Worcester State (Waterford, Conn.): Berkel averaged 17.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in a 0-2 week for the Lancers. She registered a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds in the 97-77 setback to Westfield State, and then scored 14 points and collected six rebounds in the 61-58 loss to MCLA on Saturday. Overall, Berkel shot 50 percent from the field and 81.3 percent from the free throw line.
Ian Converse (Jr.) WPI (Woodstock, Conn.): Converse had 14 of his career-high 21 points in the first half leading #13 WPI to a 78-58 win over Coast Guard in a NEWMAC game Wednesday evening. The junior was 8 for 9 from the field and 5 of 6 from the foul line to lead the way as the Engineers helped head coach Chris Bartley became the Engineers all-time wins leader as he picked up the 291st win of his career passing the mark of 290 held by Ken Kaufman.
Priscilla Dunphy (Jr.) WPI (Barrington, R.I.): Dunphy tossed in a career-high 18 points as WPI equaled the best winning streak in school history with a 54-35 over MIT on Saturday evening. The junior canned 8-of-11 shots from the field, grabbed six rebounds and shared game-high honors with four assists as the Engineers equaled the 1982-83 squad for consecutive victories with 16. Earlier in the week, Dunphy totaled seven points and eight rebounds in a road win at Mount Holyoke.