Utah Valley’s Jordan Brady and Chicago State’s David Holston have been named Division I Independent co-Players of the Week for their performances in last week’s action. The award is Holston’s sixth and Brady’s first.
In his final career collegiate game, Jordan Brady led Utah Valley with 19 points and 17 rebounds as the Wolverines clinched a winning season, their 25th straight.
Brady hit 7-of-8 shots from the field, all five of his free throws, and added three assists in the game. His 17 rebounds were a career high and just one board shy of the school record.
Utah Valley’s Robyn Fairbanks has been named the Division I Independent Women’s Basketball Player of the Year for the second straight season, Savannah State’s Ivy Smith was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year, and NJIT’s Jessica Gerald earned Newcomer of the Year in a vote by head coaches and sports information/media relations directors at nine Division I independent schools.
Wolverine head coach Cathy Nixon was named the Coach of the Year for the first time while Sandy Marvin earned first team honors alongside Fairbanks, and Julie McMurray was named to the second team.
Fairbanks, who was the unanimous choice for the player of the year, leads all independents in points (24.0 ppg), rebounds (10.0 rpg), field goal percentage (.579) and blocks (1.3) while leading the Wolverines to a school-record 16 wins.
She ranks fourth nationally in scoring, 16th in rebounding, and 13th in field goal percentage. She has 12 double-doubles on the year, including 17 points and a Cameron Indoor Stadium record 20 rebounds in a game at No. 14 Duke. She has also scored 30 points or more five times, including 39 in a win over Seton Hall.
Fairbanks, a five-time Player of the Week winner this season, received 140 out of a possible 140 votes for inclusion on the All-Independent First Team. She has now been on named first team All-Independent in each of her first three seasons at Utah Valley.
The hockey season ended with a 7-3 win over BYU, but the need for interns and volunteers isn’t over. With the growing program headed to the offseason, the staff is busy preparing for next year, and there is plenty to do. There are plenty of opportunities to get school credit as an intern, work-study or volunteer while helping build Utah Valley hockey into one of the best programs in the state. If interested go to room SC 213b March 25 at 4 p.m. For more information, you can contact Lisa Beaudry at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the hockey team’s Web site, www.uvschockey.com
Dan Christensen tossed a complete game, five-hitter in Utah Valley’s 4-1 win over BYU as the neighboring schools met at the River City Classic in Sacramento on Friday.
Christensen struck out two and didn’t allow a walk in pitching his first career complete game win. He threw one complete game in 2007, but it was a loss at Gonzaga.
The game was scoreless until the fifth when Ryan Jones led off with a double and Kai Hatch drove him in two batters later.
After Christensen retired the top of the sixth in order on three straight flyouts, Utah Valley (2-8-1) pushed three runs across in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-0 lead.
With one out in the sixth, Jake Rickenbach walked before Scott Croshaw doubled him home for the second run of the game.
AJ Palmer then walked and Jones grounded out to short, moving Croshaw to third and Palmer to second. Jace Brinkerhoff then came up with huge two-out single to center, plating the final two Wolverine runs.
BYU (5-7) scored its only run of the game in the seventh after Kent Walton doubled to lead off and later scored on a Bryce Ayoso single.
Christensen wrapped up the game by pitching perfect eighth and ninth innings to get the win and end Utah Valley’s three-game losing streak.
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake started off its exhibition slate in Rosario, Argentina, this afternoon with a pair of draws in split squad contests against Primera División Argentina side Newell’s Old Boys. The day began with RSL’s reserve squad dueling to a 0-0 draw against their counterparts from Newell’s in a 60-minute scrimmage, followed by a 70-minute match between the squads’ first teams that ended in a 1-1 draw.
The opener between the reserve sides was largely a stalemate, Real Salt Lake showing some early attacking legs but rarely turning those opportunities into shots. The second half featured the RSL debut of Colombian DF Jamison Olave, who replaced an injured Brennan Tennelle on the backline at the halftime break.
The first-team match saw more fluid soccer, but it took until the second half for the teams to move the scoreboard. Newell’s would get the game’s first goal in the 58th minute from the penalty spot, set up by a questionable call in the penalty area against GK Nick Rimando. The RSL netminder charged off his line to thwart a 1-v-1 against an NOB attacker and dove to the right to grab the ball off the player’s foot, but some embellishment helped the home side earn a spot kick that was converted to give Newell’s the 1-0 lead with a dozen minutes to play.
But the RSL attack would hit paydirt just one minute from time, when MF Javier Morales celebrated his homecoming with a 16-yard effort off a well-constructed build-up. The scoring exchange was created when FW Kenny Deuchar gathered a ball with his back to goal in the left side of the penalty area before dishing centrally for MF Andy Williams. The Jamaican playmaker sent a square ball into the right side of the area for a charging Morales, and the Argentine lashed his first-touch strike into the left side of the goal to even up the proceedings in the game’s final moments.
The Utah Blaze announced the signing of kicker Steve Azar (5-9, 195, Northern Illinois) today. Terms of the contract were not disclosed due to team policy.
"We are excited to have been able to find a veteran kicker like Steve," said Blaze head coach/general manager Danny White. "He will be a good fit into our system, and his experience will add a lot to our special teams unit."
Azar began his kicking career in the af2 with the Memphis Xplorers. In 2006, he signed with the Chicago Rush and then returned to the af2. He signed with the Las Vegas Gladiators in 2007 where he was 82-for-92 on PAT’s and 9-for-18 on field goal attempts. Fans may remember Azar for kicking the winning field goal in the Gladiators’ 54-53 victory over the Blaze at EnergySolutions arena on May 18, 2007.