Blackwell grows into Providence starting job

Seton Keough standout did nicely against UConn



February 06, 2002|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Keisha Blackwell took all mighty No. 1 Connecticut could hand out Sunday in an 85-61 Big East loss for Providence College, but when it was over the gifted freshman from Seton Keough was still standing as the Friars' starting point guard.

"I've been told I'm the starting point guard for the rest of the season," the 5-foot-6 Blackwell said yesterday. "Of course, things could change. But I've gained confidence in my ability to create scoring opportunities for my teammates."

Blackwell was making her third straight start at point guard and seventh start of the season Sunday. She came out of the pressure-packed situation against the Huskies with five points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals, as well as seven turnovers.

"Keisha is going to be a good one," said Providence coach Jim Jabir. "I was a little worried early in the season, when she was throwing the ball around the gym. But she's settled down a lot. I think her turnovers against UConn were caused by stage fright, their pressure and their size."

Blackwell agreed that she was nervous in her matchup against UConn's senior star Sue Bird, the preseason Big East Player of the Year. Bird finished witg 13 points and three assists.

"Playing against UConn before 3,000 people packed into that little gym of ours was my biggest thrill here so far," said Blackwell.

She was Seton Keough's Athlete of the Year for 2000-01 and a first-team All-Metro choice by The Sun.

"I can learn so much by just watching Sue Bird play," she said. "I only have one more chance to play against her."

Blackwell's biggest disappointment?

"Losing to Rhode Island and Denise King, because I played with Denise at Seton Keough," said Blackwell, who is averaging 4.2 points, 2.06 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.7 rebounds after playing in 18 of 20 games for the Friars.

Providence has lost six of its past seven games, falling to 8-12 overall and 2-7 in the Big East.

Jabir said Blackwell also has started to realize how hard she must work at the major-college level.

"She didn't have a poor work ethic but figured if she worked the way she did in high school, it would be OK," he said. "She certainly won't pass up an open shot and handles the ball well with great quickness."

Baltimore North

Six Baltimore-area players have helped Alvernia College to a 10-1 record in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference North Division. The Division III school (15-5 overall) in Reading, Pa., stunned then-16th-ranked Johns Hopkins, 63-55, 10 days ago.

Junior forward Jen Sawyer (Francis Scott Key) is the top scorer from the Baltimore area, averaging 11.7 points. Other Baltimoreans: Jenny Pattik (Howard), Sarah Swears (South River), Kelli McKee (Mercy), Keita Moore (Western) and Heather Hebb (South River).

Dorsey posts big stats

Freshman Darryl "Magic" Dorsey (Dunbar and Southern-Baltimore) is rolling up some nice statistics this season for Brevard Community College (3-20) in Cocoa, Fla., averaging 21.1 points, 9.1 assists and 3.85 steals.

Have an item for Postcards? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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