Jan. 23, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Bernstein
Association continues to honor Div. III standouts
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) Jake Ross of Springfield College (Springfield, Mass.) and Mikayla Hodge of Lyndon State College (Lyndonville, Vermont) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending January 21.

Ross, a 6-4 sophomore guard from Northampton, Mass., averaged a double-double of 30 points and 12 rebounds per game last week as Springfield (11-6, 5-1) won both of its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchups. On Wednesday, against then-No. 9 (D3hoops.com) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Ross scored 26 points (9-of-18 FG, 7-of-10 FT, 1-of-2 3FG) and added 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals in the Prides' 68-65 victory. His consecutive layups followed a 63-63 tie and his free throw with one second remaining provided the final margin. Then, in a 79-74 win over Coast Guard on Saturday, he added another double-double with 34 points (9-of-21 FG, 14-of-15 FT, 2-of-8 3FG) and 13 rebounds while also contributing two assists and a block. With only eight seconds left in the contest, Ross recorded his block and then converted two free throws to clinch the victory. For his efforts, Ross was also named the NEWMAC Player of the Week.

Hodge, a 6-1 senior center from Newbury, Vermont, averaged 31.1 points and 19 rebounds in Lyndon State's back-to-back North Atlantic Conference (NAC) games last week. On Friday, the Hornets (10-6, 6-3) fell to Maine Maritime 62-52 despite Hodge's double-double of 23 points (7-of-13 FG, 6-6 FT, 3-of-5 3FG) and 11 rebounds. She also tallied three assists and a steal in the contest. Then, in an 89-83 double-overtime win against Husson, Hodge posted career-highs of 40 points (11-of-22 FG, 11-of-12 FT, 7-of-14 3FG) and 27 rebounds (the second-highest total in NCAA Division III this season) while playing all 50 minutes and adding two assists, one steal and one block. Her three-pointer with 1:51 left in the second overtime broke an 81-81 tie, while her four free throws in the last 15 seconds clinched the victory. For the week, Hodge shot 51.4 percent (18-of-35) from the field, 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from three-point range and a near-perfect 94.4 percent (17-of-18) from the charity stripe. Hodge, who has posted a double-double in every game this season, was also named the NAC Player of the Week.

Each Tuesday, the USBWA is selecting men's and women's Division III National Players of the Week. This is the fourth 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.

2017-18 USBWA Division III National Players of the Week
Week ending Nov. 19: Keith Brown, Endicott College and Kelly Williams, Randolph-Macon College
Week ending Nov. 26: Brayden Olson, Benedictine and Dani Reinwald, Medaille
Week ending Dec. 3: Hamed Shamseldin, The College at Brockport and Bryce Frank, Austin College
Week ending Dec. 10: Justin Webster, Adrian College and Georgia Bourikas, Suffolk University
Week ending Dec. 17: Lavrone Green, New Jersey City and Kendrea Williams, FDU-Florham
Week ending Dec. 31: Marcus Dempsey, Muskingum University and Kelly Williams, Randolph-Macon College
Week ending Jan. 7: Sam Light, Lebanon Valley College and Alecia Rohrer, Messiah College
Week ending Jan. 14: Ryan Bruns, Ohio Northern University and Casey Poe, Whitman College
Week ending Jan. 21: Jake Ross, Springfield College and Mikayla Hodge, Lyndon State College
Week ending Jan. 28: Marcus Dempsey, Muskingum College and Andrea Iavarone, St. Joseph's College-Long Island
Week ending Feb. 4: Josh Freund, Roanoke College and Kelsey Burton, Lake Forest College
Week ending Feb. 11: Myles Copeland, Trine University and Kelly Williams, Randolph-Macon College
Week ending Feb. 18: Mike Rapoza, Anna Maria College and Madison Temple, Thomas More College
Week ending Feb. 25: Caleb Johnson, Berry College and Kelly Williams, Randolph-Macon College