Just like the men’s awards we will be giving our weekly awards for Summit Women’s Basketball as well. This first edition will be for the year so far and weekly thereafter.
Senior of the week: Liv Korngable. The Rochester MN native get the nod for her play this week, but her start to the season has been fantastic. Korngable has provided a real nice steady third option in the scoring column and is great distributor of the ball. In the lone game this week, Korngable scored 18 points and added 5 dimes in a throttling of Lipscomb. She currently is averaging 18ppg and 6 assists. Dang good start to her senior season in Vermillion.
Junior of the week: A bit of an oddity if you find yourself looking at the Summit League-leading scorers through 3 ish games. A lack of juniors on that list. Paiton Burckhard (SDSU) is among them though. Burckhard played 41 minutes while adding in 14 points and 5 rebounds in an OT vs then #18 Gonzaga. Through 3 games the Aberdeen, SD native is averaging 11.7 points and 3.3 rebounds for the now #22 ranked Jacks.
Sophomore of the week: Heaven Hamling North Dakota State
The Bison are off to a surprising 3-0 start and Hamling has been a big reason why. The sophomore is leading North Dakota State in scoring, averaging 16.3 points per contest. The 5-8 redshirt sophomore is also pulling down five rebounds per night while shooting 50 percent (8-16) from three. The eight threes made is fourth in the league in makes per game (2.7). Hamling also averages four assists per game, good for fifth in the league, while her +1.1. assist to turnover ratio is a tie for ninth.
Hamling is also fourth in the conference in steals per game, averaging 2.3.
Freshmen of the week: Oral Roberts head coach Misti Cussen needed someone to step up offensively when senior standout Keni Jo Lippe was sidelined with an ankle injury. Freshman Tierney Coleman has answered that bell for the Golden Eagles. Coleman has started all four games for ORU and is averaging a team-high 9.5 points per game. The 5-foot-9 freshman guard hasn’t found her stride from beyond the arc (1-for-14) and she needs to work on limiting the turnovers (21) but Coleman has stepped up in a big way for ORU in just the first two weeks of the 2020-21 season. The Golden Eagles are 0-4 but have played a juggernaut of schedule with games against No. 14 Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Kansas. Coleman is trending in the right direction as she dropped a career-high 16 points in 28 minutes against the Jayhawks. She also added three steals, three assists and two rebounds. Coleman needs to be more efficient from the floor and let the game come to her but through her first four collegiate games, she’s showed up big for ORU.
Bench player of the week: A big-time off the bench performance on Saturday vs Wyoming has earned Denver’s Uju Ezeudu the Reach the Summit Bench Player of the Week. Shooting 10-15 from the field including 5-8 from downtown the sophomore from Reynoldsburg Ohio scored a career-high 26 points. The Pioneer squad could not pull out the game losing 79-67, but Uju was certainly a bright spot and deserving of this weekly award. We’ll see how long she is a bench player.
Defensive team of the week: North Dakota State is off to a strong defensive start this season through three games. The Bison are 3-0 with wins over Northern Iowa and Green Bay (twice) and have allowed 61.7 points per game, which ranks second in the Summit League. Now yes, it’s a small sample size and two of those victories are over the same team on back-to-back nights but Jory Collins has his squad moving in the right direction not only offensively. NDSU is holding its opponents to 35.8 percent from the field along with 20 percent from the 3-point line. The Bison gave up 71.4 points per contest in 2019-20 and look to be well on their way to dropping that number in 2020-21.