Dec. 23, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Bernstein
Association now recognizing Div. III players
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA)Chris Cook of Hood College (Frederick, Md.) and Alyson Caiazzo of Manhattanville College (Purchase, N.Y.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending Dec. 21.

Cook led the Blazers (3-5), members of the Commonwealth Conference of the Mid Atlantic Conferences, to a split of their home Rotary of Frederick Holiday Classic on Saturday and Sunday. He produced back-to-back 30-point-plus games, averaging 30.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.5 steals during an 82-77 loss to Frostburg State College (6-4) and a 94-77 win over Piedmont College (4-5). The 5-10 senior guard from Mechanicsville, Va., was 10-20 from the field, 5-11 from outside the arc, and 5-6 from the free-throw line in scoring 30 against Frostburg, then went 6-16 from the field, 3-6 from three-point range and 16-19 from the line in his 31-point outing against Piedmont. Overall, Cook shot 44.4 percent (16-36) from the field, 47.0 percent (8-17) from three-point range and 84 percent (21-25) from the free throw line. His 61 points set the Holiday Classic record, as did his 16 free throws vs. Piedmont.

Caiazzo, a 6-1 senior center from Brooklyn, N.Y., led the Valiants (5-3), a member of the Freedom Conference of the Middle Atlantic Conferences, to a 75-65 win over Farmingdale State College (3-5) on Wednesday by contributing a remarkable triple-double. Playing all 40 minutes, Caiazzo scored 19 points on 7-10 shooting from the field, shot a perfect 5-5 from the foul line, added 10 assists, and grabbed 27 rebounds, 11 of which occurred on the offensive end. She also blocked five shots. Caiazzo’s game totals marked the ninth triple-double in NCAA Division III this season, while the 27 rebounds were just one shy of Manhattanville’s program record and tied the national single-game best mark this season achieved twice by the College of New Rochelle’s Jah-Leah Ellis. Caizzo leads the nation with 17.3 rpg.

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

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 III National Players of the Week
Week ending Dec. 7: Hayden Rooke-Ley, Williams College and Emily Lavin, Eastern University
Week ending Dec. 14: Hunter Hill, Augustana College and Jamie Cuny, North Central College
Week ending Dec. 21: Chris Cook, Hood College and Alyson Caiazzo, Manhattanville College
Week ending Jan. 4: Trevon Butler, Husson College and Jess Rheinheimer, Eastern Mennonite University
Week ending Jan. 11: Lorenzo Williams, Brooklyn College and Hannah Considine, Wheaton College
Week ending Jan. 18: Aaron Walton-Moss, Cabrini College and Hayley Kanner, Tufts University
Week ending Jan. 25: Hakeem Harris, NYU and Alex Moore, Rhode Island College
Week ending Feb. 1: Thayne Recker, Bluffton University and Kara McDuffee, St. Lawrence University
Week ending Feb. 8: DeShawn Hamlet, Southern Vermont College and Meghan Nowak, Eastern University
Week ending Feb. 15: Lucas Hausman, Bowdoin College and Sydney Moss, Thomas More College
Week ending Feb. 22: Jordan Rezendes, UMass Dartmouth and Megan Robertson, Amherst College
Week ending March 1: Gerry Wixted, Dickinson College and Kristen Schultz, Wisconsin Lutheran