Joi Scott nets first career MAC West women's basketball Player of the Week honor



March 4, 2004


CLEVELAND, OH---Off the basketball court, Northern Illinois University sophomore Joi Scott (Reynoldsburg, OH) might be the Mid-American Conference's most soft-spoken player, preferring to rely on her actions on the floor. After the six-foot center's performance in Tuesday's (March 2) victory spoke volumes, MAC commissioner Rick Chryst responded by naming Scott as the league's West Division Player of the Week on Thursday (March 4).

Scott scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Huskies past Ball State on Tuesday (March 2). That 82-62 triumph was enough to give NIU a first-round home date in the first round of the MAC tournament, creating a re-match between eighth-seeded Northern Illinois and the ninth-seeded Cardinals. Scott was nine-of-13 from the field and added two assists plus two blocked shots in 33 minutes.

Over her last four games, the six-foot sophomore is averaging 19.7 points per game on 58.5 percent (31-of-53) shooting from the field. She is third in the conference with her season mark of 53.8 percent, having scored in double figures in six consecutive contests and nine of ten overall. That ten-game run includes rates of 15.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

The MAC Freshman of the Year last season, Scott currently leads the Huskies at 11.4 points per game this winter, while her 6.1 rebounds-per-game norm is second on the team charts. Those numbers stand at 12.6 and 7.4, respectively, in conference play, as her late-season surge also includes a career-high 26-point, 16-rebound performance at Bowling Green St. on Feb. 18.

"This is certainly a well-deserved honor for Joi. Since the start of the conference season, Joi has been very focused, working extremely hard in practice," Northern Illinois coach Carol Hammerle said. "She has scored a lot of points and has been very aggressive on the boards.

"Joi and Jennifer Youngblood (Rock Island) have been playing so well together," the Huskie sideline boss said of her frontcourt tandem. "They really complement each other, and the perimeter players have such trust in her ability, getting her the ball inside."

Kent State University forward Lindsay Shearer and Ohio University forward Erin Isbell shared East Division honors. Shearer gained her fourth award of the season after posting 20 points and 15 rebounds in the Golden Flashes' victory over regular-season champion Miami (OH), while Isbell's first career honor recognized her 21-point, 10-rebound effort in the Bobcats' victory over Buffalo.

Tip-off for Saturday's opening-round contest is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. at the Convocation Center. The winner of that contest advances into the quarterfinals, which take place Wednesday (March 10) at Cleveland's Gund Arena.

-30- --- Copy by Robert Hester



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