March 2, 2021
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Reinsch
Association continues to honor Div. II standouts
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INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA)Joel Murray of West Texas A&M University (Canyon, Texas) and Rachel Berry of Fresno Pacific University (Fresno, Calif.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division II National Players of the Week for the week ending Feb. 28.

The junior guard exploded for back-to-back 30-point games in a two-game series split with No. 6-ranked Lubbock Christian, scoring 32 points in an 82-78 win on Feb. 25 before pouring in 37 points in a 103-85 defeat to the Chaparrals on Feb. 27. Murray shot 57 percent (26-for-46) from the field during the week, hitting 3-of-7 three-pointers and 14-of-19 free throws. He also averaged 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals per game.

In Thursday’s 82-78 win in Lubbock, Murray went 11-of-21 from the floor and 9-of-13 from the charity stripe – including three in the final seconds – to give him 32 points on the night, tying a career-high. He came back and scored a career-high 37 points on Saturday, the ninth-most in a single game in program history. He made a career-best 15 shots on 25 attempts as the Buffs earned the No. 2 seed in this week's Lone Star Conference Championships.

Murray, a 6-foot, 185-point junior guard, is the Lone Star Conference scoring leader, averaging 24.0 point per game, had a previous career-high of 32 points, which he reached twice as a sophomore in the 2019-20 season, and his season-high for 2020-21 prior to last week’s performances was 28 points. He now has 4 30-point games in his career.

Murray is the second player from the Lone Star Conference (and third selection from the LSC) to earn USBWA Division II National Player of the Week this season.

Berry, a redshirt junior guard, was named the Pac West Conference NorCal Player of the Week for the fourth time this season after guiding the Sundbirds to a 3-0 week by averaging 17.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game.

The Clovis, Calif., native's most notable game of the week was posting her first career triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 90-58 win at Dominican University of California.

Berry began the week with 19 points, 10 boards and eight assists against the Academy of Art University and also added 20 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in FPU’s second game at Dominican.

On the week, Berry also shot 48.8 percent from the field and made 10-of-11 free throws.

Each Tuesday, the USBWA has selectied men's and women's Division II National Players of the Week. This is the seventh season that the USBWA has recognized national players of the week from Division II. This week's selections are the final honors for the 2020-21 season.

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.

2020-21 USBWA Division II National Players of the Week
Week ending Jan. 10: Chandler Jacobs, Dallas Baptist University and Sydney Kin, University of Findlay
Week ending Jan. 17: Chandler Jacobs, Dallas Baptist University and Breanna Diestelkamp, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Week ending Jan. 24: Parker Fox, Northern State University and Mayci Sales, Walsh University
Week ending Jan. 31: Cam Martin, Missouri Southern State University and Lilly Ritz, Wheeling University
Week ending Feb. 7: Patrick Cartier, Hillsdale College and Zyaire Ewing, Delta State University
Week ending Feb. 14: Isaiah Reddish, Barton College and Brooklyn Pannell, University of Charleston
Week ending Feb. 21: TJ Crockett, Lindenwood University and Breanna Locke, Emmanuel College (Ga.)
Week ending Feb. 28: Joel Murray, West Texas A&M University and Rachel Berry, Fresno Pacific University