Feb. 22, 2022
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Bernstein
Association continues to honor Div. III standouts
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INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA)Austin Grunder of SUNY Cortland (Cortland, N.Y.) and Elyce Knudsen of Millikin University (Decatur, Ill.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending February 20.

Grunder, a 6-6 junior forward from Trumansburg, N.Y., helped Cortland (13-11, 10-8) to three wins and a berth in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) playoffs. He posted a double-double of 26 points (11-of-17 FG, 4-of-4 FT) and 13 rebounds, adding five assists, a steal and three blocks in the Red Dragons' 73-66 win over Buffalo State on Tuesday. Playing against the same team on Friday, Grunder finished with 37 points (13-of 20 FG, 6-of-6 FT, 5-of-8 3FG), seven rebounds, four assists, and three blocks in a 103-90 victory. Then, on Saturday, he totaled 34 points (14-of-22 FG, 6-of-6 FT), 10 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in the playoff-clinching 74-66 win over SUNY Geneseo. For the week, Grunder averaged 32.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.6 blocks, and 0.3 steals while shooting 64.4 percent (38-59) from the field, a perfect 100.0 percent (16-of-16) from the foul line and 35.7 percent (5-of-14) from three-point range. For his efforts, Grunder, who became only the second player in program history to reach 1,000 career points in two seasons, was also named the SUNYAC Player of the Week.

Knudsen, a 5-8 sophomore guard from Philo, Ill., displayed dead-eye accuracy in leading Millikin (receiving votes D3hoops.com) to a pair of victories. Against Elmhurst on Wednesday, she scored 21 points (10-of-16 FG, 1-of-3 FT), grabbed five rebounds, added two assists, and recorded a steal and a block in only 22 minutes as the Big Blue (20-5, 14-2) posted an 85-58 victory. Then, against Wheaton on Saturday, she shot the lights out, connecting on 17-of-19 shots from the field (including a program-record-tying 11 straight) en route to a career-high 41 points. She was also perfect from three-point range (5-of-5) and the foul line (2-of-2), while adding three rebounds and two steals in the 83-63 victory. Over the two games, Knudsen averaged 31.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks while shooting 77.1 percent (27-of-35) from the field, 60.0 percent (3-of-5) from the foul line and 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from three-point range. For her efforts, Knudsen was also named the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Player of the Week.

Each Tuesday, the USBWA is selecting men's and women's Division III National Players of the Week. The program has resumed after a one-season hiatus and this is the seventh 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.

2021-22 USBWA Division III National Players of the Week
Week ending Nov. 21: Buzz Anthony, Randolph-Macon College and Abbey Lawrence, Case Western Reserve University
Week ending Nov. 28: Ryan Turell, Yeshiva University and Claudia Cooke, Kenyon College
Week ending Dec. 5: Lyle Tipton, Geneva College and Meg Carroll, Lasell University
Week ending Dec. 12: Ryan Turell, Yeshiva University and Hanna Geistfeld, Bethany Lutheran College
Week ending Dec. 19: Luke Feely, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Cayla Sharkey, Gwynedd Mercy University
Week ending Jan. 2: Jack Davidson, Wabash College and Jenna Taylor, Simpson College
Week ending Jan. 9: Alex Sobel, Middlebury College and Aleah Grundahl, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Week ending Jan. 16: Christian Stewart, Spalding University and Camille Zinaich, Oberlin College
Week ending Jan. 23: Levi Borchert, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Hanna Geistfeld, Bethany Lutheran College
Week ending Jan. 30: Christian Parker, University of Mount Union and Flannery O'Connor, Framingham State University
Week ending Feb. 6: Jackson Danzig, University of Scranton and Bailey Donovan, Husson University
Week ending Feb. 13: Matthew Leritz, Illinois Wesleyan University and Hanna Geistfeld, Bethany Lutheran College
Week ending Feb. 20: Austin Grunder, SUNY Cortland and Elyce Knudsen, Millikin University
Week ending Feb. 27: Jack Davidson, Wabash College and Anaya Simmons, Christopher Newport University