2004-05 MIAC Men's Basketball Athletes of the Week

February 28, 2005
Gustavus Adolphus College senior forward Doug Espenson (Mankato, Minn./Mankato East HS) averaged 22.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game as the Gusties defeated Bethel 65-49 and St. Thomas 68-58 to win the MIAC Playoff Championship. Espenson scored 14 points, grabbed six rebounds, dished out 9 assists and blocked 4 shots in the semifinal win over Bethel and then scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the championship game against St. Thomas. With the game tied at 55-55 and 2:23 remaining, Espenson hit a 3-point shot and followed with a dunk after a steal :30 seconds later to spark a 13-0 run in the final two minutes of the game. Espenson has now scored 30 points or more in a game three times this season. Gustavus, which is in the midst of an 18-game win streak, will host Lawrence University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament this Thursday, March 3. Stats for the week: FG: 16-35 (.435), 3-pt FG: 7-14 (.500), FT: 5-5 (1.00), Rebounds: 16 (8.0 pg), Points: 44 (22.0 pg), Assists: 12 (6.0 pg), Turnovers: 3 (1.5 pg), Blocks: 5 (2.5 pg), Steals: 3 (1.5 pg), Minutes: 70 (35.0 pg).

February 21, 2005
Gustavus Adolphus College senior forward Doug Espenson (Mankato, Minn./Mankato East HS) averaged 23.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game to help the Gusties post a 3-0 record and clinch their second consecutive MIAC regular season title. Espenson scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds in Monday's 75-62 win at Augsburg, then he scored 17 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in Wednesday's 72-60 win at Macalester, and closed out the week by scoring 29 points and grabbing 9 rebounds in Saturday's 82-73 win at home against Saint John's. Espenson reached two milestones during the week as he became the first player in Gustavus history to score 1,000 points, grab 600 rebounds, make 100 3-point baskets and block 100 shots in a career, and only the 12th player to score 500 points in a season. Espenson leads the Gusties in scoring at 20.3 point per game and in rebounding at 6.9 rebounds per game. Gustavus is currently 20-5 overall and 18-2 in the MIAC. Stats for the week: FG: 22-50 (.440), 3Pt. FG: 3-12 (.250), FT: 22-27 (.814), Rebounds: 22 (7.3 pg), Points: 69 (23.0 pg), Assists: 7 (2.3 pg), Turnovers: 5 (1.67 pg), Blocks: 5 (1.67 pg), Steals: 6 (2.0 pg), Minutes: 102 (34.0 pg).

February 14, 2005
Carleton College junior forward Dan Forkrud (Rosemount, Minn.) averaged 23.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game as Carleton won twice to assure itself of a MIAC Playoff home game for only the fourth time in school history. He opened the week by posting 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals in a 74-72 win at Macalester. Forkrud was 8-for-13 from the field and tallied five of Carleton's final seven points, including a huge three-pointer with under five minutes left, and broke up the Scots' final play with 0.4 seconds left, intercepting the inbounds pass. In Saturday's 86-73 win at St. Olaf, Forkrud tallied 26 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals, going 11-of-19 from the field. The junior has scored 20 or more points in four of Carleton's last five games and led the Knights to a 7-1 mark in the MIAC's second half. They can claim the third seed in the MIAC Playoffs with one more victory. Stats for week: 19-32 FG (59.4%), 4-9 3-pt FG (44.4%), 5-5 FT (100%), 13 reb. (6.5 rpg), 7 ast. (3.5 apg), 1 TO, 2 blk (1.0 bpg), 5 stl. (2.5 spg), 47 pts. (23.5 ppg). 

February 7, 2005
Gustavus Adolphus College sophomore guard Andrew Olson (Owatonna, Minn.) averaged 18.6 points per game and shot 85.7 percent from three-point range (12-14) to help Gustavus claim important MIAC wins over St. Thomas (90-80), Carleton (73-66) and Saint Mary's (69-50)last week. Olson scored a career high 27 points and made 7-of-9 from three-point range as the Gusties defeated St. Thomas at home on Monday to move into first place in the MIAC. On Wednesday, Olson scored 16 points and made 4-of-4 from behind the arc as the Gusties defeated Carleton in Northfield. Gustavus had lost to both St. Thomas and Carleton earlier in the season. On Saturday, Olson scored 13 points as the Gusties defeated St. Mary's in Winona. Gustavus is currently in first place in the MIAC with a record of 13-2 and the Gusties have won 11 consecutive games. Olson leads the MIAC in three-point field goal percentage at 53.4 percent (31-58). Stats for the week: FG-FGA: 16-24 (.667), 3-PT FG-FGA: 12-14 (.857), FT-FTA: 12-15 (.800), Points: 56 (18.7 ppg), Assists: 3 (1.0 pg), Turnovers: 6 (2.0 pg), Rebounds: 6 (2.0 pg), Minutes: 99 (33.0 pg).

January 31, 2005
Carleton College senior forward Kyle Beste (St. Louis Park, Minn.) averaged 21 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals per game in leading Carleton to a pair of victories this week as the Knights inched closer to securing a MIAC Playoff bid. In Wednesday's 70-64 win over Hamline he scored 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting and added six rebounds. He also shut down HU's Jesse Hendricks, who scored 18 points in the first half but zero in the second half after Beste switched over to guard him. He also canned two key baskets in the final three minutes as the Knights held off the upset-minded Pipers. In Saturday's win over Saint John's, Beste scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half as the Knights led at the break, 30-13, as Beste outscored the Johnnies 8-1 over the final 5:32 of the half. He ended the day 10-of-15 from the floor and grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists. Stats for week: 18-28 FG (.643), 0-3 3-pt. FG, 6-9 FT (.667), 10 reb. (5.0 rpg), 4 ast. (2.0 apg), 4 stl. (2.0 spg), 42 pts. (21.0 ppg).

January 24, 2005
Augsburg College senior Lucas Olson-Patterson (Minneapolis, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper HS) averaged 29.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in three close games, keeping Augsburg in contention for its first MIAC playoff berth since the 2000-01 season. In last Monday's 84-80 overtime win over Saint John's, Olson-Patterson led all scorers with 30 points and had a key steal with five seconds left in overtime to preserve the win. In Wednesday's 87-73 loss to Macalester, Olson-Patterson led the Auggies with 26 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. On Saturday, in an 83-74 overtime loss at St. Olaf, Olson-Patterson scored 32 points and had nine rebounds before fouling out early in overtime. Olson-Patterson has scored in double-figures in all 15 of his games this season and has a double-figure scoring streak of 23 straight games, dating back to last year. Olson-Patterson has scored in double-figures in 35 of his 38 Augsburg games. His 20.9 points-per-game and 8.5 rebounds-per-game are both team highs, and he currently leads the MIAC in scoring average (21.5 ppg in league play) and is third in rebounding (8.2 rpg). Stats for the week: 88 points (29.3 ppg), 24 rebounds (8.0 rpg), 34-67 FG (.507), 9-21 3FG (.429), 11-18 FT (.611), 7 steals, 8 assists, 2 blocks, 5 TO.

January 17, 2005
University of St. Thomas sophomore center Isaac Rosefelt (St. Paul, Minn./St. Thomas Acad.) had his seventh and eighth double-doubles of the season, averaged 14.0 ppg and 15.3 rpg, and shot 67% (18-of-27) from the field to help the first-place Tommies win three road games in a 3-0 week. In Monday's 67-66 win over Carleton he was 4-for-4 from the field and had eight points and six rebounds in 24 minutes. In Wednesday's 10-point win at Bethel he played 36 minutes and had 20 points and 23 rebounds -- the most rebounds in an MIAC game in the last 20 seasons. In Saturday's 29-point win at Saint Mary's, he added 14 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots in 27 minutes. St. Thomas is 9-4 overall, 9-0 in the MIAC and 6-0 in January. Totals: 18-27 FG, 6-9 FT, 14.0 ppg, 15.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 2.3 tpg, 1.3 bpg, 1.3 spg.

January 10, 2005
Concordia College junior guard Keith Eckhoff (Alexandria, Minn./Jefferson HS) averaged 27.0 points per game in the Cobbers three games last week. His biggest contribution to Concordia's two league wins was against Carleton where he scored 36 points and hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer in overtime. For the week, Concordia went 2-1 with their only loss coming to NCAA Div. I opponent North Dakota State Univ. Eckhoff led the Cobbers to a pair of league wins which places the team right back in the MIAC playoff hunt. Eckhoff had game-high point totals in all three of the Cobbers' games during the week. On Monday, in Concordia's 77-68 win, Eckhoff scored 26 points and was 12-of-13 from the free throw line. In Wednesday's overtime thriller against the Knights, Eckhoff scored 36 points - including 15 of the team's 17 points in overtime. For the game he was 11-of-17 from the field, 5-of-6 from 3-point range and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. On Saturday against NDSU, Eckhoff scored 19 points. His three-game performance helped Eckhoff to the top of the MIAC scoring race. He also leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage and is second in free throw percentage. For the week: 81 pts. (27.0 avg.); FG% 50.0% (23-of-46); 3-Pt% 55.5% (10-of-18); FT% 89.2% (25-of-28); 12 rebounds; 9 assists.

December 13, 2004
Carleton College senior forward Kyle Beste (St. Louis Park, Minn.) averaged 22.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.0 steals and shot 51.5 percent from the floor in Carleton's two contests last week, surpassing the 1,000-point plateau in the process. In Monday's 76-49 win at Saint John's, Beste exploded for 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting and added six boards and two steals. He tallied 16 points in the second half, scoring seven of Carleton's first nine points of the half to help the Knights blow the game open. In Wednesday's loss to Augsburg, the senior scored 18 points, gathered nine rebounds and dished out six assists. He is the 18th player in Carleton history to score 1,000 points in a career. Stats for week: 17-33 FG (51.5%), 2-5 3-pt FG (40.0%), 8-12 FT (66.7%), 15 reb. (7.5 rpg), 7 ast. (3.5 apg), 4 stl. (2.0 spg), 44 pts. (22.0 ppg).

December 6, 2004
Gustavus Adolphus College senior wing Doug Espenson (Mankato, Minn./Mankato East HS) averaged 18.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as the Gusties claimed convincing wins over Hamline (91-60) and Concordia (80-57) last week. Espenson put on a shooting display in the two games as he made 13-of-21 field goal attempts (.619) and 7-of-12 three-point attempts (.583). Against Hamline, Espenson scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished off two assists, blocked one shot and recorded two steals. He was 6-of-11 from the field and 3-of-5 from behind the arc. Against Concordia, Espenson scored 19 points, while also grabbing six rebounds and recording four assists, and two steals. He made 7-of-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from behind the arc. Espenson leads the Gusties in scoring averaging 20.4 points per game. Gustavus is currently 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the MIAC. Stats for the week: FG: 13-21 (.619), 3-PT FG: 7-12 (.583), FT: 3-8 (.375), REB: 11, Assists: 6, Turnovers: 4, Blocks: 1, Steals: 5, Points 36.

November 29, 2004
Macalester College senior guard Erik Jackson (Evergreen, Colo.) averaged 26.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists in a pair of narrow Macalester defeats. The senior point guard pumped in a career-high 30 points Tuesday (Nov. 23) in a two-point loss at Northwestern-Roseville, and in an 81-73 setback Saturday (Nov. 27) at UW-River Falls he had 22 points and five assists. Jackson shot 57% from the field in the two games, including 65% from three-point range (11-for-17). Stats for the Week: (2 games) 17-30 FG (.567), 11-17 3's (.647), 7-7 FT, 9 reb (4.5), 52 points (26.0), 10 assists (5.0), 5 to's, 5 steals, 35.0 min/g.

November 22, 2004
Bethel University senior forward Travis Jones (Willmar, Minn.) led the Royals to the championship in their own Tip-Off tournament as he averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds in two wins. In a 101-63 win over Martin Luther, Jones finished with 16 points (5-10 FG, 1-4 3pt FG, 5-7 FT), 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. In a 88-62 win over UW-River Falls in the championship game, Jones finished with 24 points (9-21 FG, 1-5 3pt FG, 5-5 FT), 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 blocks, and 1 steal. For the week: 20 ppg (14-31 FG, 2-9 3pt FG, 10-12 FT) 11 rpg 6 assists 8 blocks 3 steals.