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Courtesy of Saint Francis
Junior guard Skylarr Shurn leads the undefeated Saint Francis women’s team in scoring at 15.1 points per game.

Saint Francis women close in on best start

– It all began Halloween night with an 81-79 season-opening victory over Asbury, and the team hasn’t lost yet.

What makes this 10-0 start and No. 8 ranking even spookier for the rest of the NAIA is Saint Francis could get better.

“We’ve been good,” Cougars women’s coach Gary Andrews said. “I don’t know if we’ve played great yet. We haven’t peaked yet.”

While approaching the holiday season of no peeking, who could blame Saint Francis for looking ahead to its next game Dec. 15 when it faces Urbana? One more win would match the school’s best start of 11-0.

“We’ve got a lot of new faces and young girls on this team,” senior guard Meghan Slusher said. “I think we’re a lot quicker. Last year’s team (19-13) kind of struggled. We didn’t make it to nationals. I was hoping for something a little better, a little different, and we’ve got it.”

Four players are averaging double figures in scoring, and a fifth – junior guard Jenelle Wilson – is at 9.4.

Skylarr Shurn, a junior transfer from Vincennes, leads the team with a 15.1 average. Kayla Drake (14.1), Brooke Ridley (13.6) and Slusher (10.1) are close behind.

“With us, you can’t key on anybody,” Andrews said. “I have no idea where the points are going to come from game to game. I just know we’re pretty balanced.”

Of the 10 games, there have been five different leading scorers.

Slusher hit a streak when she scored 21, 18 and 19. Ridley has had 17 and 19. Wilson has had 20 and 22. Drake and Shurn both have had 18 and 19.

“Everyone’s sharing the ball,” said Shurn, whose steal and layup with 1.1 seconds remaining gave the Cougars the two-point win against Asbury. “Everyone can score. It’s hard to guard us.”

Track teams open

The IPFW and Indiana Tech indoor track seasons recently began.

In an unscored invitational at IPFW, Mastodons sophomore Kayla Zink set a school record in the weight throw (15.59 meters), freshman Rachel Dincoff established a shot put record (14.45 meters) and senior Katy Moore tied the school high jump record of 1.63 meters.

Tech athletes set three school records in recent meets. Freshman John Broaden set the indoor 200-meter dash record with a 21.81 time. Darryl Marlow set the indoor long jump record with a lead of 23 feet, and Stacia Murray (Elmhurst) broke her own school record with 38-3 triple jump.

Broaden was named WHAC track athlete of the week.

Coach resigns

Bo Wright has resigned as the men’s head golf coach at Grace, the college announced.

Athletes of note

University of Indianapolis junior Klay Fiechter (Norwell) and senior Andrew Mansaray (Bishop Dwenger) were named to the Capital One Academic All-America NCAA Division II football first team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. It was Mansaray’s second first-team honor. Fiechter has a 3.64 grade-point average in exercise science and pre-physical therapy. Mansaray, with a 3.88 GPA, will receive his MBA. … IPFW junior forward Amanda Hyde was recently named the Summit League women’s basketball player of the week. Hyde tied a school record with 43 points in the Mastodons’ victory over Southern Illinois. She was 16 of 26 from the field and added four assists and four rebounds. … Indiana Tech wrestlers Justin Brooks (Warsaw) and Andre Dunn won their division championships in the 53rd annual Little State Invitational in Indianapolis. Brooks won the 125-pound championship and Dunn won the 285-pound title. … Newberry College junior Samantha Parrish (Angola) was named to the Daktronics All-Southeast Region second team in volleyball. … Saint Francis sophomore defender Sarah Freygang (Snider) was recently selected to the Capital One Academic All-America soccer team. … Saint Francis senior center Brice Darling was named to the Capital One All-America College Division Football first team. Cougars named to the second team were Lance Carey (Leo) and Matt Carden. Darling owns a 3.87 grade-point average as a secondary education major, Carey has a 3.56 in the same major, and Carden has a 3.97 GPA as a math/secondary education major. … Indiana Tech volleyball players Kelsey Cox and Stacy Nagy have been named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association NAIA All-Region team. … Saint Francis sophomore midfielder Jason

Walcutt (Carroll) was named to the All-Crossroads League second team.

Steve Warden covers area colleges for The Journal Gazette. He may be reached by email at stwarden@jg.net, by phone at 461-8477, or by fax at 461-8648.

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