Jan. 16, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Bernstein
Association continues to honor Div. III standouts
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) Ryan Bruns of Ohio Northern University (Ada, Ohio) and Casey Poe of Whitman College (Walla Walla, Wash.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending January 14.

Bruns, a 6-8 junior center from Chicasaw, Ohio, averaged a double-double of 32.0 points and 11.5 rebounds per game last week as the Polar Bears (11-4, 6-2) won both of their Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) matchups. On Wednesday, against then-No. 25 (D3hoops.com) Baldwin-Wallace, Bruns scored 23 points (10-of-22 FG, 3-of-4 FT) and added six rebounds, an assist and a block in Ohio Northern's 80-73 victory. Then, in a 108-87 win over Muskingum on Saturday, he posted career highs of 41 points (18-of-22 FG, 5-of-7 FT) and 17 rebounds, while also blocking four shots and recording an assist. For the week, Bruns shot 63.6 percent (28-of-44) from the field and 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from the foul line. Currently ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division III with 146 made field goals this season, Bruns was also named the OAC Player of the Week.

Poe, a 5-8 senior guard from Hilo, Hawaii, posted terrific all-round numbers in leading No. 6 Whitman (D3hoops.com) to a pair of Northwest Conference (NWC) victories last week. In the Blues' (14-1, 6-0) two wins, she averaged 25.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 4.5 steals, and 3.5 blocks. In a 101-68 victory over Whitworth on Tuesday, Poe scored 21 points (9-of-13 FG, 2-of-3 FT, 1-of-1 3FG) and added five rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and three blocks. Then, in a 77-71 win over George Fox (receiving votes D3hoops.com) on Friday, she scored 29 points (8-of-13 FG, 13-of-14 FT), including four free throws in the final 10 seconds to secure the victory. Poe also contributed four rebounds, five assists, five steals, and four blocks in that contest. For the week, she shot 65.4 percent (17-of-26) from the field, 88.2 percent (15-of-17) from the foul line and a perfect 1-of-1 from three-point range. For her efforts, Poe was also named the NWC 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