February 21, 2011

Beitzel shares Big Sky weekly award

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OGDEN, Utah -- Northern Colorado's Devon Beitzel and Northern Arizona's Cameron Jones have been honored as this week's Big Sky Conference co-men's basketball players of the Week.

Both seniors led their teams to road nonconference victories Saturday during Sears ESPN BracketBusters weekend. Jones also led Northern Arizona to a conference win over Eastern Washington earlier in the week.

Beitzel, a 6-foot-1 guard from Lafayette, Colo., earned his fifth career Big Sky weekly award after scoring a game-high 28 points in a career-high tying 40 minutes in the Bears' impressive Sears ESPN BracketBusters road victory at New Mexico State on Saturday night.

He hit nine of 15 from the field, three of eight from beyond the three-point arc and dished out three assists and grabbed four rebounds in helping the Bears improve to 3-1 all-time against the Aggies and win a nonconference road game for the first time this season.

He was nearly perfect in the first half en route to 16 points. He hit four of his five attempts from the floor in the first 20 minutes, with his only miss coming from deep (3-4), and he connected on all five of his free-throw tries to push Northern Colorado to a 52-43 halftime advantage.

He hit his first free-throw attempt in the second half, too, giving him 29 consecutive made free throws. His effort on the night also pushed his season scoring average to 20.2, moving him even farther up the Big Sky stats (Cameron Jones, 19.7) and moved him into fourth place on Northern Colorado's all-time scoring list (1,385)

Jones, a 6-foot-4 guard from Los Angeles, averaged 23 points, six rebounds and 4.5 assists per game last week as the Lumberjacks defeated Eastern Washington 83-74 and topped Cal Poly 59-56.

Jones scored 27 points with four assists and tied a career-high with nine rebounds in the win against the Eagles. He was eight-of-13 from the floor and 11-of-14 from the three-point line.

He then scored a team-high 19 points with five assists and three rebounds in the win against Cal Poly. Jones drained the game-winning 3-pointer with one second remaining.

Beitzel and Jones are both among the 10 national finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Vote for Devon here.

Others nominated

Glen Dean, G, Eastern Washington: Averaged 24 points per game in two losses.

Broderick Gilchrest, G, Idaho State: Averaged 21 points per game in a win and a loss.

Brian Qvale, C, Montana: Averaged 19 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in a win and a loss.

Melvin Jones, G, Portland State: Averaged 16 points per game in a win and a loss.

Kyle Bullinger, F, Weber State: Averaged 16 points in a win and a loss.