Jan. 13, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: John Kean
Association now recognizing Div. II players
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Gerald Beverly of Daemen College (Amherst, N.Y.) and Natalie Piaggesi of Mercyhurst University (Erie, Pa.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division II National Players of the Week for the week ending Jan. 11.

Beverly, a 6-7 senior forward from Rochester, N.Y., led Daemen College to a 3-0 record last week. Beverly registered double-doubles in all three games, averaging 25.3 points, 16.7 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks for the week as Daemen (10-3, 5-0 East Coast Conference) beat Washington Adventist in a non-conference road game and collected home conference victories over Dowling and Bridgeport.

Beverly now has nine double-doubles this season (37 career) and he scored his 1,400th career point in Saturday's 91-88 overtime win over Bridgeport. He recorded 27 points and a career-high 21 rebounds against Dowling, which he followed with a season-high 36 points and 15 rebounds against Bridgeport, which extended Daemen's home win streak to 42 and conference win streak to 21. Both streaks are the longest active streaks in Division II, and Beverly extended his personal double-figure scoring streak to 43 consecutive games.

Piaggesi, a 6-1 sophomore forward from Bethel Park, Pa., was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division Athlete of the Week after averaging 20.5 points, 16.5 rebounds and 6.0 blocks per game in the Laker’s two games last weekend.

Piaggesi tallied her first career triple-double in a 74-36 home win over Mansfield last Wednesday, recording 19 points, a career-high 17 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. She was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field and 5-of-5 at the free-throw line. On Saturday, she added a double-double in an 80-68 win over Slippery Rock by posting a game-high 22 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. Piaggesi was 6-of-11 from the floor and 10-of-10 at the free throw line. Mercyhurst improved to 5-11 overall, including 3-8 in the PSAC.

Each Tuesday, the USBWA is selecting men's and women's Division II National Players of the Week. This is the first season that the USBWA will recognize national players of the week from Division II.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

2014-15 USBWA Division II National Players of the Week
• Week ending Dec. 7: Derrick White, Colorado-Colorado Springs and Sarah Nelson, Dominican
• Week ending Dec. 14: Tyler Kelly, Florida Southern and Abby Kirchoff, Colorado-Colorado Springs
• Week ending Jan. 4: Eric Anderson, New Haven and Shareta Brown, Wayne State
• Week ending Jan. 11: Gerald Beverly, Daemen College and Natalie Piaggesi, Mercyhurst
• Week ending Jan. 18: Joe Lawson, Indianapolis and Morgan Pullins, St. Mary's (Texas)
• Week ending Jan. 25: Alex Herrera, Fort Lewis College and Taylor Beverly, West Georgia
• Week ending Feb. 1: Derrick White, Colorado-Colorado Springs and Nettie Blake, Gannon University
• Week ending Feb. 8: Darian Hooker, NYIT and Shareta Brown, Wayne State
• Week ending Feb. 15: Garret Kerr, University of the Sciences and Schontiquah White, West Texas A&M
• Week ending Feb. 22: Nick Harney, Fairmont State and Amy Philamlee, Union (Tenn.)