Jan. 5, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Bernstein
Association continues to honor Div. III standouts
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) Tom Palleschi of Tufts University (Mendon, Mass.) and Jordan Holmes of Denison University (Granville, Ohio) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending January 3.

Palleschi, a 6-8 junior center from Haverhill, Mass., averaged 19.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 7.5 blocks, and 3.0 assists per game to lead the No. 22 (D3Hoops.com) Jumbos to a 2-0 week. Competing at the Cal Lutheran Thrivent Financial Tournament, he recorded a triple-double of 20 points (8-of-11 FG, 2-of-3 3FG, 2-of-2 FT), 14 rebounds and 11 blocks (tops in NCAA Division III this season), while also adding four assists as Tufts posted a 107-95 win over No. 25 Whitman (9-1) on Tuesday.

Palleschi then recorded 10 second-half points, including four in the final 54 seconds of the game, to help Tufts overcome a five-point halftime deficit in an 85-78 title game victory over Cal Lutheran (4-3) on Wednesday. He finished the game with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds, while adding four blocks and two assists. Named Tournament MVP, Palleschi shot 51.7% (15-of-29) from the floor and was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line while committing just two turnovers in 60 minutes played.

Currently, Palleschi ranks second among all Division III players in blocked shots per game (3.90), is third in total blocks (39) and is one of just six players to record a triple-double this season. The Jumbos, who play in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), are now 8-2 this season.

Holmes, a 6-1 junior forward from Pittsburgh, Pa., averaged 17.3 points, 16.3 rebounds and 8.7 blocks per game, helping the Big Red post a 3-0 record. She opened the week with her fifth-career triple-double in a 97-81 win over North Central College (5-5) on Monday at Otterbein's Smokey Ballenger Classic. Holmes finished the contest with 19 points, 21 rebounds and a North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC)-record 14 blocks, also tops in NCAA Division III this season. The 21 boards marked her fifth game with 20 or more rebounds this season.

The following day against host Otterbein (6-6), Holmes became the fifth player in NCAC history to record 1,000-career rebounds. She finished the game with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds while adding five blocks in the 69-58 victory. Then, in a 67-48 win at the College of Wooster (5-7, 1-2 NCAC) on Sunday, Holmes posted another double-double with a 17-point, 16-rebound effort. She also blocked seven shots, which moved her into seventh place on the Division III career list (396).

Holmes currently leads the nation in blocked shots (87) and rebounding (17.9 rpg), is second in blocks per game (6.7), double-doubles (10) and triple-doubles (two), and ranks fourth in field-goal percentage (69.5). Denison is now 10-3 overall and 3-1 in the NCAC.

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.

2015-16 USBWA Division III National Players of the Week
Week ending Dec. 6: Jordan Rezendes, UMass Dartmouth and Lisa Murphy, Carnegie Mellon
Week ending Dec. 13: Connor Green, Amherst and TiChina Mitchell, La Roche
Week ending Dec. 20: David Linane, John Carroll and Alexix Roman, Scranton
Week ending Jan. 3: Tom Palleschi, Tufts and Jordan Holmes, Denison
Week ending Jan. 10: Tyheim Monroe, Cabrini and Michela North, Tufts
Week ending Jan. 17: Jamie Nikitas, Lawrence University and Katelyn Spahar, John Carroll
Week ending Jan. 24: Lucas Johnson, Benedictine and Jillian Gilman, Daniel Webster
Week ending Jan. 31: Jordan Rezendes, UMass Dartmouth and Kelsey Tietje, Defiance
Week ending Feb. 7: Ty Sabin, Ripon and Holly Denfeld, Milwaukee School of Engineering
Week ending Feb. 14: Josh Berard, University of the Ozarks and Sydney Moss, Thomas More
Week ending Feb. 21: Luke Lattner, DePauw and Lisa Murphy, Carngie Mellon
Week ending Feb. 28: David Meurer, Denison and Caroline Naumann, Lynchburg