Shannon Russell Named New England D-III Rookie of the Week|
January 9, 2001
AMHERST, Massachusetts - First-year Amherst College women's basketball guard Shannon Russell (Shrewsbury, MA) was named the New England Division III Women's Basketball Rookie of the Week on Tuesday by the New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA), for games dating back to December 11.
|Russell's 14.8 points-per-game|
has helped the Jeffs to
an 8-2 start, matching their
best record through 10 games
The sharp-shooting rookie, Amherst's leading scorer with a 14.8 points-per-game average, has helped the Jeffs match their best-ever record through 10 games (8-2), including a pair of stellar performances in Amherst's last four outings. On December 11, Russell set a new Amherst single-game record with seven three-pointers, breaking the previous record of six held by Janinne Noel '99, en route to a career-high 24-point effort in the Jeffs' 71-44 pasting of the United States Coast Guard Academy.
At the Holiday Inn Naismith Classic, Russell continued to shine, earning a spot on the All-Tournament team after back-to-back 14-point performances. The Jeffs knocked off the Rensselaer Polytechnic Red Hawks in the semifinals before falling in a nailbiting 53-50 final to host Springfield College in the championship.
Russell's best all-around performance of the season, however, came last Saturday, as the newcomer scored 13 of her game-high 21 points in the first half of Amherst's 80-63 win at Framingham State College. Russell added a career-best 10 rebounds in the Amherst win, as the Jeffs exploded for their highest offensive output of the season in the victory.
For the season, Russell has connected on almost twice as many three-pointers as anyone else in the NESCAC, converting 32 of her 78 attempts from downtown (41.0 percent). The rookie has made at least one three-pointer in all but one of the Jeffs' first 10 games, and has hit four or more on five separate occasions. Russell is also second on the team in assists, handing out 3.2 per game, and is averaging 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per outing.
Wellesley College senior Amy Barao (Norwell, MA) and Eastern Connecticut State University junior Kristyn Grassi (Tolland, CT) split NEWBA Player of the Week honors, leading their teams to the number-two and number-three rankings, respectively, in the region.
The Jeffs, ranked ninth in the region in this week's NEWBA poll-their first appearance in the poll in over two years-face a big week ahead of them, beginning with Tuesday night's away date at local rival Smith College. Thursday night, Amherst hosts the Beavers of Babson College, currently the top-ranked team in New England with a 9-1 record, before Saturday night's showdown at arch-rival Williams College, the only team to defeat Babson so far this season.