UVU’s Ben Aird named Great West Conference Player of the Week

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Utah Valley’s Ben Aird has been chosen Great West Conference Player of the Week after leading the Wolverines to two conference wins Feb. 17 and 19. The award was announced Feb. 21 by the league office.

Aird averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in wins over South Dakota and North Dakota.

“Ben is very deserving of the honor, as he continues to improve his level of consistency,” said Wolverine head coach Dick Hunsaker.

The center scored 18 points and pulled down nine rebounds in a 94-79 win over defending GWC champion South Dakota on Feb. 17 and then posted 19 points and eight boards in a 67-64 victory over North Dakota. Aird also had the game-winning dunk with 17.3 seconds remaining against the Fighting Sioux.

In addition, Aird shot 68.2 percent from the field in the two games while also registering four assists, three blocks and three steals.

UVU will play its final regular season contest on March 3 at NJIT before returning home to host the Great West Conference Tournament on March 9-12.

Lady Wolverine Amanda Perez named the PCSC Player of the Week

PORTLAND – Utah Valley University junior Amanda Perez has been named the Pacific Coast Softball Conference Mountain Division Player of the Week after a stellar performance on the diamond Feb. 18-20. The conference office announced the winners Feb. 22.

In five games at the Texas Tech Invitational in Lubbock, Texas last weekend, Perez led UVU offensively as she hit .333 (5-for-15) with two home runs, two doubles, two runs scored and 13 RBI. She also put up an impressive .867 slugging percentage.

The La Mirada, Calif. native hit the two homers, a grand slam and a three run shot, and set a school and PCSC single-game record with 8 RBI vs. Bryant in a wild 16-15 game on Feb. 18. She also went 2-for-3 with two doubles and four RBI in the Wolverines first win of the year against Bryant the following day.

For the season, Perez is hitting .364 with three homers and 16 RBI. She is tied for the PCSC lead in HRs and leads the conference in RBI.

The conference honor is the first baseman’s first of the season and her first PCSC weekly award of her career.

Joining Perez as the PCSC Mountain Division Pitcher of the Week was Portland State’s Nichole Latham. In the coastal division, Loyola Marymount’s Amy Charpentier and Dana Waldusky were recognized as the player and pitcher of the week, respectively.

In first honor of season, UVU’s Kyle Beecher named GWC Pitcher of the Week

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Utah Valley’s Kyle Beecher has been honored as the Great West Conference Pitcher of the Week after a fine outing on the mound Feb. 18-20. The conference office announced the first honors of the season Feb. 24.

Beecher led Utah Valley to a 3-1 victory over Mid-American Conference foe Western Michigan in Texas Tech’s Red Raider Classic this past weekend. The senior from Pleasant Grove, Utah tossed six complete innings, allowing one earned run on one hit while finishing with seven strikeouts. The right-handed hurler retired 17-of-18 batters faced and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Texas-Pan American’s Stuart MacInnes received Great West Conference Player of the Week honors after he led UTPA to a 4-0 weekend. The outfielder hit at a .429 clip with a .786 slugging percentage and .529 on-base percentage. MacInnes produced six hits with a home run, two doubles and reached safely on three walks. He tallied four runs and 3 RBI, including the game-winning run in the opening day win over Illinois-Chicago and a pivotal 2-run home run that put the Broncs up 4-3 in a 5-4 extra-inning win over Saint Louis.

Others nominated were Robbie Buller (3B) and Jamie Storey (LHP) of Houston Baptist, Arnold Franco (RHP) of Texas-Pan American and Billy Burgess (OF) of Utah Valley.