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Local sports briefs: Cougar women stretch advantage in polls

Saint Francis women tops national poll again

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 2:47 am

Last week the Saint Francis women's basketball team shared the NAIA Division II Coaches' Top 25 top billing with Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa), but USF (20-0) got eight first-place votes and 339 rating points in the fifth regular-season poll. NC (18-0) got five first-place votes and 336 points after playing just once and winning last week.

The Red Raiders are the only other NAIA Division II unbeaten team with an 18-0 record and are the last team to beat USF, an 87-77 decision in the 2013 NAIA championship quarterfinals in March in Sioux City, Iowa.

For the fourth consecutive poll, undefeated University of Saint Francis is No. 1. USF has the most wins at this point in the season in women's collegiate basketball at any level with 20.

Saint Francis women's basketball coach Gary Andrews has his team at 20-0 and they are 51-4 dating back to the start of the 2012-13 season, earned its fourth consecutive No. 1 ranking, their 16th dating back to 1999-2000 when the program received its first No. 1 nod and was No. 1 the entire season.

USF has won eight consecutive games as the No. 1-ranked team and resumes action at 7 tonight at home against Huntington University at 7 p.m. With 20 consecutive wins this season, USF can tie the school record for consecutive wins with another victory.

IPFW's Seibert wins first Summit League honor

IPFW women's basketball point guard Haley Seibert earned her first career player of the week honors as she was named Co-Player of the Week by the Summit League with DeAirra Goss of IUPUI and also took home the College Sports Madness Summit League Player of the Week.

Seibert led IPFW to a pair of Summit League wins. In the victory over Denver, the junior scored 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. She then scored a career-high 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field in the win over South Dakota. She also connected on a career-high seven three-pointers against the Coyotes.

For the week, Seibert averaged 29.5 points, three rebounds, 1.5 assists and one steal per game. She shot 67 percent (20 of 30) from the field, 53 percent (10 of 19) from three-point range and 82 percent (9 of 11) at the free-throw line. Her 29.5 points per game were 16.2 points per game higher than her season average entering the week.

Sports Corp. to host annual banquet

The Fort Wayne Sports Corp. will hold its annual Party in the Park from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 7 at Parkview Field. Among the local sports personalities scheduled to appear are former Major League Baseball manager Eric Wedge, Olympic gold medalists Lloy Ball and Sharon Wichman Jones, former Parade National High School Basketball Player of the Year Tiffany Gooden and NAIA Hall of Fame coach Kevin Donley from Saint Francis. Several awards will be announced, and silent and live auctions of various sports memorabilia will be held.

Tickets cost $75 per person ($65 for FWSC members) and need to be ordered by Feb. 3. For more information, contact Adam Henry at Beers Mallers Backs and Salin at 426-9706 or at www.fortwaynesportscorp.com.