Digest: Towson's Benimon, Hairston, Johnson honored by CAA

Caps' Ovechkin to wed tennis star Kirilenko

January 01, 2013|Sports Digest

College basketball

Towson's Benimon, Hairston, Johnson honored by CAA

Towson junior forward Jerrelle Benimon was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week for the third time this season, while Tigers freshman Jerome Hairston was selected as the Rookie of the Week for the first time, the league announced Monday. Benimon and Hairston led Towson (5-8) to an upset win at Oregon State (9-3) on Saturday. Despite trailing by as many as 19 points in the second half, the Tigers rallied for a last-second 67-66 overtime victory. Benimon became the first Division I men's basketball player to score 20 or more points and grab 20 or more rebounds in a game this season. The junior finished with a game-high 20 points and career-high 21 rebounds to lead the Tigers to their first win over a Bowl Championship Subdivision-level school since 1995. Hairston scored all nine of his points against the Beavers during the dramatic second half run. The freshman also grabbed five rebounds and dished out a game-high tying three assists.

Division III men: St. Mary's junior guard Donn Hill (Bel Air) was selected as the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Week.

Women: Towson freshman guard Dominique Johnson was named CAA Rookie of the Week. Johnson, a Laurel native who was playing just her third game of the season, helped the Tigers to their first win over Maine in program history. Johnson led the Tigers in scoring against the Black Bears as she tallied a season-high 20 points, including 13 in the second half as the Tigers overcame a five-point halftime deficit. She shot 6-for-12 from the field and 3-for-5 from 3-point range. Johnson also added five points from the foul line for the Tigers. She also contributed two steals, one rebound, one assist and a block. ... For the second time this season, UMES freshman center Alexis Udoji was honored as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week. ... York junior guard Aja Wallpher (Seton Keough) was chosen as the CAC Player of the Week after earning tournament Most Valuable Player recognition and leading the Spartans to the title in their annual Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Wallpher averaged 12.5 points, 8.0 assists and 7.0 steals in victories over Wheaton (Mass.) and the College of New Jersey.

Et cetera

Caps' Ovechkin to wed tennis star Kirilenko

After dating for a little more than a year, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin and Russian tennis player Maria Kirilenko are engaged. Ovechkin confirmed the news himself Monday morning on Twitter. In September, when Ovechkin arrived in Washington to prepare for the start of the 2012-13 season before it was derailed by the lockout, the left wing discussed how much fun he had playing the role of doting boyfriend during the offseason. Ovechkin spent the summer attending all of Kirilenko's tennis tournaments, including Wimbledon and the 2012 London Olympics, serving as an occasional practice partner and carrying her bag. During that conversation, Ovechkin offered a glimpse into their relationship. "We have a good relationship," Ovechkin said. "It's always nice to have that kind of person around you. It's good."

Katie Carrera, The Washington Post

Media: The new year brings some new jobs on radio and the Internet for one-time Baltimore media figure Anita Marks. Marks, a former show host at 105.7 The Fan, will start Saturday as a weekend host on NBC Sports Radio. Her shift will run from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays. At this point, no Baltimore stations carry the NBC Sports Network. Several stations in Washington do, but none carries the full lineup of NBC programming. You can, however, listen to NBC Sports Radio online.

David Zurawik

Women's college volleyball: For the second consecutive season, UMES outside hitter Saitaua Iosia has been honored with a place on the COBRA Magazine All-National first team. Iosia was the only Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference player named to the team. Last season, Iosia was the COBRA East Region Player of the Year and the Freshman of the Year. The online publication honors the success of volleyball players of African, Samoan and Tongan descent, and published its fourth-annual All-National team in its January 2013 edition. Iosia led the Hawks to their second straight MEAC title and the best single-season win total in school history with 28 match victories. She finished in the top 35 in Division I in three NCAA categories, including being second in aces per set with 0.69, finishing with 62. Her 5.27 points per set was 12th among D-I athletes, and she ended the season with a team-best 384 kills, averaging 4.27 per game for 33rd in D-I.

College wrestling: Maryland junior Jimmy Sheptock defeated Edinboro's Vic Avery for the second time in as many days to place fifth at 184 pounds at the 50th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Sunday in Evanston, Ill. Sheptock, ranked sixth nationally, joined Steve Bell, Mike Letts and Hudson Taylor as the only Maryland wrestlers to finish in the top eight twice at the Midlands Championships.

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