December 15, 2008

Lakers are soon to have four current players in the 1,000-point club

SAULT STE. MARIE - When forward Tim VanOudheusden makes his next basket, half of the eight seniors in the Lake Superior State men's and women's basketball program will be members of the 1,000-point club.

VanOudheusden, who is averaging a team-leading 18.7 points per game, heads into Saturday's game at Tiffin with 999 career points. With one more point, he will join teammates Mark Morse and Ryan Kuhl in reaching the career scoring milestone. Senior Jackie Armstrong, who is the top scorer on the LSSU women's basketball team, scored her 1,000th point on Dec. 4 at Hillsdale.

"Those guys have had great careers," LSSU men's basketball coach Steve Hettinga said. "They have been steady players and have worked hard on their game all four years."

Kuhl scored his 1,000th point as a junior and currently has 1,261 career points. He led the Lakers in scoring in 2005-06 and 2006-07, and was second behind VanOudheusden in 2007-08. After recovering from his third knee surgery, he is averaging 14.7 ppg this season.

"Kuhl was kind of a made player when he got here," Hettinga said. "The other two have worked hard to improve themselves, and it's paying dividends now. Our team is definitely very balanced. We get good shooting from Mark, and we have the inside presence with Tim and Ryan. Tim can also step outside if he has to. It's a blessing to have those three seniors."

Morse scored 10 points during Sunday's 77-64 win at Saginaw Valley State to hit 1,000 points on the nose. He was 5-of-14 from behind the arc during last week's three winning performances and moved from sixth to fifth on LSSU's top-10 list for career three-pointers with 197.

VanOudheusden, who is ranked fourth in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in scoring, averaged an impressive 25.7 ppg last week and was named GLIAC North Division Player of the Week for the second time this season. He has scored 20 or more points in five of nine games so far this season. Against Finlandia, Ashland and Saginaw Valley State, he shot 52 percent from the field (31-59) and 75 percent at the free-throw line (12-16), and averaged five rebounds per game.

Armstrong, who is ranked third in the GLIAC in women's basketball scoring at 17.6 ppg, has scored 20 or more points in four of her last five games, including both games last week. She tied her career high with 25 points during Sunday's 89-69 victory at SVSU and has 1,064 career points. Armstrong was also named GLIAC North Division Player of the Week.

"It is a great accomplishment for Jackie that she scored her 1,000th point," LSSU women's basketball coach Jamie Pewinski said. "There are a lot of things that have to go right for someone to reach this milestone. For Jackie, it has been being a consistent contributor for her three-plus years in the program and staying healthy. She has worked hard and made adjustments to her game, and has gone from the freshman of the year alongside Becky Marquardt to being the go-to player as a senior that other teams have to double team."

Armstrong scored 20 points during last Friday's 69-67 loss at Ashland. After shooting 39 percent from the field during the Lakers' first eight games, she shot 51.5 percent (17-of-33) and made 11-of-13 free throws against the Eagles and Cardinals. She had 11 rebounds against SVSU to average 9.5 rpg for the week and record her third double double of the season.