Jan. 20, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: John Kean
Association now recognizing Div. II players
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Joe Lawson of the University of Indianapolis and Morgan Pullins of St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Texas) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division II National Players of the Week for the week ending Jan. 18.

Lawson, 6-7 senior forward/center from Indianapolis helped the University of Indianapolis stand as one of just two undefeated Division II teams with two wins over GLVC East Division rivals last week. Lawson averaged 23.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks for the week as Indianapolis (15-0, 7-0 GLVC) claimed a 66-62 win at home over No. 4 Bellarmine before notching an 84-67 victory over Southern Indiana.

Lawson shot 67 percent (16-of-24) from the field and also averaged two blocks per game, starting with a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double in Indianapolis' win over Bellarmine. He scored 12 of his team-high 15 points in the second half as the Greyhounds improved to 3-0 against ranked opponents this year. In the win over Southern Indiana, Lawson was one rebound away from another double-double, this time registering 31 points with nine rebounds as he shot 12-of-14 overall from the field. He hit all 10 of his two-point field goal attempts. His scoring effort was the second 30-point game of his career, just a point off his career-high of 32 points set last year.

Lawson now ranks third in the GLVC in scoring average (19.7) and eighth in rebounding (7.3), and he also sits seventh in blocks per game (1.3) and ninth in field goal percentage (.580).

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.

Pullins, a 6-0 senior forward from Franklin, Mich., was named the Heartland Conference Player of the Week for the fifth time this season after averaging 24 points and 16 rebounds per game last week while totaling five blocks and four steals to keep the Rattlers undefeated at home.

In a 72-68 win over Texas-Permian Basin last Thursday, Pullins scored 28 points in just 24 minutes, with 22 of those points coming in the second half. She also grabbed 17 rebounds and recorded two blocked shots and two steals. Then in Saturday's 63-44 victory over St. Edwards, Pullins notched her 13th double-double of the season with 20 points and 15 rebounds, while also contributing three blocked shots, two steals and two assists.

The Rattlers improved to 11-5 overall and 5-3 in league play with the two wins.

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.)