Jan. 22, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Bernstein
Association continues to honor Div. III standouts
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) Hakeem Animashaun of Salem State University (Salem, Mass.) and Kierra McCarthy of Westfield State University (Westfield, Mass.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending January 20.

Animashaun, a 6-7 junior forward from Dedham, Mass., averaged 40.5 points and posted double-doubles in both of Westfield State's (10-8, 4-1) victories last week. In a 98-81 win over Bridgewater State on Wednesday, he scored 35 points (14-of-20 FG, 7-of-10 FT), collected 11 rebounds and added two blocks. Then, in the Vikings' 103-101 overtime victory against Westfield State on Saturday, Animashaun scored a career-high 46 points (17-of-23 FG, 12-of-16 FT), the eighth-highest total in NCAA Division III this season. He added 13 rebounds, two steals and three blocks, the final one with only a second remaining to preserve the victory. For the week, Animashaun averaged 40.5 ppg, 12 rpg, 2.5 bpg, and 1.0 spg while shooting 72 percent (31-of-43) from the field and 73 percent (19-of-26) from the foul line. For his efforts, Animashaun was also named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Player of the Week.

McCarthy, a 5-7 senior guard from Ludlow, Mass., helped lead Westfield State (10-7, 4-0) to a pair of victories and a spot at the top of the conference standings. She hit the winning layup with 2.2 seconds remaining in the Owls' 80-78 win over Framingham State on Wednesday. In only 22 minutes, McCarthy scored 26 points (including the 1,000th of her career), and added five rebounds, an assist and steal. Then, in Friday's 93-69 victory over Salem State, she totaled 28 points, seven rebounds and seven steals, again playing only 22 minutes. For the week, McCarthy averaged 27 points, six rebounds, four steals, and 0.5 assists per game. She shot 58.3 percent (21-of-36) from the field, 44.4 percent (4-of-9) from the foul line and 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from three-point range. For her efforts, McCarthy was also named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Player of the Week.

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.

2018-19 USBWA Division III National Players of the Week
Week ending Nov. 18: Keith Brown, Endicott College and Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda, Emmanuel College
Week ending Nov. 25: Demitrius Underwood, University of Texas at Dallas and Allison Chernow, Emory University
Week ending Dec. 2: Kevin Dennis, Morrisville State College and Hannah Norlin, University of Wisconsin-Superior
Week ending Dec. 9: Sean Smith, Jr., Manhattanville College and Madison Temple, Thomas More University
Week ending Dec. 16: Auston Francis, Wheaton College (Ill.) and Madison Temple, Thomas More University
Week ending Jan. 6: Will Carius, Monmouth College (Ill.) and Maddie Hasson, Bowdoin College
Week ending Jan. 13: Elijah Hirsh, Berry College and Katie Garrish, Southern Virginia University
Week ending Jan. 20: Hakeem Animashaun, Salem State University; Kierra McCarthy, Westfield State University
Week ending Jan. 27: Sam Jefferson, Colby College; Caitlin Corbett, Hartwick College
Week ending Feb. 3: Andrew Romero III, Johnson & Wales University; Rebecca Prociak, King's College
Week ending Feb. 10: Aston Francis, Wheaton College (Ill.); Rachael Windhausen, Oswego State University
Week ending Feb. 17: Kevin Dennis, Morrisville State College; Rah Rah Thompson, Albertus Magnus College
Week ending Feb. 24: Luke Smith, Sewanee; Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda, Emmanuel College