INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – Omari Deveaux of Virginia Wesleyan University (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Sydney Wagner of Trine University (Angola, Ind.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending December 18.
Both honorees played in only one game during the week, but both resulted in victories against the top-ranked teams in the nation.
Deveaux, a 6-2 sophomore guard from Henrico, Va., led Virginia Wesleyan to a 77-76 home victory over then-No. 1 (D3hoops.com) Christopher Newport University on Saturday. In 35 minutes, he totaled a career-high 27 points (9-of-12 FG, 7-of-8 FT, 2-of-3 3FG) to go with six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Virginia Wesleyan trailed 52-32 with 16:26 left in the game and 71-61 with 5:04 remaining. Deveaux scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half, including 12 in the final 5:04. He supplied the assist on the game-tying dunk with 1:10 remaining. Then, with the Marlins trailing by one with 4.8 seconds left, Deveaux went coast-to-coast to score the game-winning layup at the buzzer. For his efforts, Deveaux was also selected the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Player of the Week.
Wagner, a 5-6 sophomore guard from Warsaw, Ind., led No. 10 Trine (D3hoops.com) to a 76-64 road victory over then-No. 1 Hope College on Saturday. In 28 minutes, she totaled a career-high 29 points (11-of-17 FG, 4-of-4 FT, 3-of-4 3FG), and added four rebounds, a career-best six assists, a steal, and a block. Trine led 31-28 at halftime, but pulled away with Wagner scoring 11 of Trine’s points in the third quarter as the Thunder outscored the Flying Dutch 31-17. She also added four assists in the period and was involved in 21 of the team's 31 points, orchestrating an offense that recorded scores on the first eight offensive possessions of the second half. For her efforts, Wagner was also selected the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Athlete of the Week.
Each Tuesday, the USBWA is selecting men's and women's Division III National Players of the Week. This is the eighth 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 Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.