INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) Gabriel Leifer of Yeshiva University (New York, N.Y.) and Kelly Williams of Randolph-Macon College (Ashland, Va.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending March 1.
Leifer, a 6-5 senior forward from Lawrence, N.Y., averaged a double-double and recorded one triple-double as No. 13 (D3hoops.com) Yeshiva (27-1) swept three games, increased its winning streak to a national-best 27, won the Skyline Conference Tournament, and earned an NCAA Tournament automatic bid. Leifer began the week on Tuesday with a 17-point, 13-rebound, seven-assist, two-block performance in the Maccabees' 75-57 win over the United States Merchant Marine Academy. He followed that up with 17 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks in a 74-69 victory over Farmingdale State on Thursday. Then, in the Championship Final against SUNY Purchase on Sunday, Leifer recorded the triple-double with 16 points, a career-high 24 rebounds and 12 assists, while adding a block and a steal. For the week, he averaged 16.6 points, 15.3 rebounds, eight assists, 1.6 blocks, and one steal per game while shooting 43.2 percent (19-of-44) from the field, 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from the line and 36.3 percent (4-of-11) from three-point range. For his efforts, Leifer was also named the Skyline Tournaments Most Outstanding Player.
Williams, a 6-3 senior center from Garysburg, N.C., posted three double-doubles as No. 4-seed Randolph-Macon (18-9) won three games, captured the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament Championship and earned an NCAA Tournament automatic bid. Williams opened her week with 17 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks in the Yellow Jackets' 75-48 win over No. 5 seed Shenandoah. In Saturday's 72-68 victory over top-seed Emory & Henry, she totaled 24 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, and five blocks. Then, in Sunday's 68-50 Championship Game win against No. 7-seed Guilford, Williams finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and four blocks. For the week, she averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and 3.7 steals per game while shooting 69 percent (20-of-29) from the field, 80 percent (20-of-25) from the foul line and 75 percent (3-of-4) from behind the arc. Williams, who is tied for third in NCAA Division III with 20 double-doubles this season, was also named the ODAC Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Each Tuesday, the USBWA has selected men's and women's Division III National Players of the Week. This week's honors are the final selections for this season, marking six seasons that the USBWA has recognized 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 Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.
2019-20 USBWA Division III National Players of the Week
Week ending Nov. 10: Nate Schimonitz, Nebraska Wesleyan University and Tessa Zamolyi, Misericordia University
· Week ending Nov. 17: Jake Ross, Springfield College and Leah Porath, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
· Week ending Nov. 24: Matthew Mancuso, University of Scranton and Katelyn Pickunka, Smith College
· Week ending Dec. 1: Hunter Martineau, Hilbert College and Sydney Kopp, DePauw University
· Week ending Dec. 8: Jared Wagner, York College and Amina Wiley, Mitchell College
· Week ending Dec. 15: Eric Demers, Gordon College and Alexis Jones, Augustana College
· Week ending Jan. 5: Tyler Frederick, La Roche University and Katie Garrish, Southern Virginia University
· Week ending Jan. 12: Chris LaBelle, Centenary University and Olivia Nagy, John Carroll University
· Week ending Jan. 19: Sam Jefferson, Colby College and Dejah Terrell, Albright College
· Week ending Jan. 26: Nate West, LeTourneau University and Taite Anderson, Bethel University
· Week ending Feb. 2: Brian Cameron, Wesley College and Abbey Lawrence, Case Western Reserve University
· Week ending Feb. 9: Jake Ross, Springfield College and Katie McShea, Marymount University
· Week ending Feb. 16: Isaiah Brown, SUNY Potsdam and Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda, Emmanuel College
· Week ending Feb. 23: Nate West, LeTourneau University and Shyla Osmond, Albertus Magnus College
· Week ending March 1: Gabriel Leifer, Yeshiva University and Kelly Williams, Randolph-Macon College