Mass. College Hoops: WACBA Honor Roll (Week 14)
WORCESTER, Mass. – With the regular season – and conference tournament play wrapped up for most teams – we bring you our final Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Honor Roll, including our players and rookies of the week.
Men’s Player of the Week: Jaleel Bell, Fitchburg State (Jr., G, Dorchester, Mass.) — Averaged 15.5 points, eight rebounds, 3.5 steals and 1.5 assists while shooting 52 percent (12-23) from the field while earning Tournament MVP honors in leading the Falcons to the MASCAC Tournament Championship. Tallied 15 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists in the 96-65 semifinal win over Westfield State then netted 16 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and an assist in the 82-78 championship game win over Salem State.
Gustave Koumare (Sr.) Nichols (Harlem, N.Y.): Koumare averaged 34.5 points per game and shot 66 percent from the floor (25-of-38) in two Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) playoff games last week. He dropped in a career-high 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting to go with nine rebounds and six assists in the quarterfinals against Western New England on Tuesday. Two nights later, Koumare poured in a career-high 38 points on 14-of-21 shooting in a two-point loss to Endicott in the semifinals. He helped Nichols rally from a 19-point second half deficit to take the lead late in the second half, in the process becoming the 27th student-athlete in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau for his career. He finished the week 8-of-13 from three-point land (62 percent) and averaged 7.5 rebounds per game and 4.0 assists per game. He played 73 of a possible 80 minutes in those two games and graduates as the program’s all-time leader in steals.
Men’s Rookie of the Week: Alex Santos (Fr.) Worcester State (Lawrence, Mass.): Santos scored a team-high 23 points in the overtime loss to Westfield State in the MASCAC quarterfinals on Tuesday evening. He grabbed seven rebounds and assisted six buckets in the setback.
Women’s Player of the Week: Priscilla Dunphy (Jr.) WPI (Barrington, R.I.): Dunphy was selected the NEWMAC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as WPI earned its first conference tournament title since 1996 by winning three contests last week. The junior shared team-high honors with 16 points in the Engineers pulsating 60-59 triumph over host Babson in the championship game. Dunphy, who averaged 13.3 points and six rebounds to go along with five assists and three steals, paced all players with 17 points in a 54-47 quarterfinal victory against Smith.
Women’s Rookie of the Week: Britt Herring (Fr.) Worcester State (W. Brookfield, Mass.): Herring paced Worcester State in the MASCAC quarterfinal game against Bridgewater State with game-high totals of 22 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. The double-double marked her 11th of the season. She shot an overall 60 percent from the field, and 80 percent from the free-throw line.
Bilal Shakir (Jr.) Worcester State (Worcester, Mass.): Shakir collected 17 points, six rebounds, five assists and a steal in the 91-90 overtime loss to Westfield State Tuesday evening in a MASCAC quarterfinal game.
Ian Converse (Jr.) WPI (Woodstock, Conn.): Converse tallied 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds to narrowly miss his fifth double-double of the season in WPI’s NEWMAC Tournament semifinal loss to MIT at Babson.