DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
The two-day stat stuffing of Sean Tarver and Faith Hezekiah has earned the Wesmen basketball players Canada West honours among the stars of the week.
Tarver, a fifth-year forward from Baltimore, was named the Canada West men's first star of the week on Tuesday, the first time he has received the honour in his three years in Winnipeg. As first star, Tarver will now move forward as the conference nominee for the U Sports national athlete of the week.
Tarver is the first Wesmen player to win the first star of the week award since Benny Iko, also a Baltimore native, won it in November 2012.
Hezekiah, a fourth-year forward from East St. Paul, garnered the conference's female second star of the week after another weekend in which she led the team in scoring and rebounding.
Tarver posted a pair of career-highs on back-to-back nights as the Wesmen men's basketball team split its home-and-home series with the Brandon Bobcats. On Friday in Brandon, Tarver grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds and scored 24 points in 40 minutes of a double-overtime loss.
The next night, Tarver scored 24 points in the second half alone and helped cue a Wesmen surge that turned a tie game into a 20-point win. He scored a career-high 33 points and, with 13 rebounds, recorded his fifth double-double of the season. For the weekend, he averaged 28.5 points and 15.5 rebounds while shooting 53% from the field and 54% from three.
It was Tarver's fifth double-double of the season.
Tarver is now averaging 19.5 points and a team-leading 9.3 rebounds per game through 12 conference games.
Hezekiah, meanwhile, had the most efficient night of her career on Friday and had on back-to-back nights had a game's worth of stats in half the time.
Hezekiah scored 22 points with seven rebounds in the first half on Friday, finishing the night needing just 14 shots and 23 minutes to get her game-high 26 points. She also added 15 rebounds.
On Saturday, she had 24 and 9 before half — including 18 of the team's first 25 points — as the Wesmen swept the Bobcats. She'd finish the night with a career-high 35 points — the fourth time this season she's scored 30-plus points, a Canada West high.
Hezekiah has scored in double figures in all 12 conference matches (and 15 straight dating back to last season) her 12 rebounds on Saturday gave her her 25th career double-double and moved her into a tie for seventh all-time in Canada West history.
For the weekend, she shot 25-for-39 (64%) from the field and 55% from three and averaged 25.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and two steals per game.
This is the fourth time a Wesmen athlete has been singled out by the conference this season. On Nov. 6, women's volleyball's Emma Parker and Tarver's teammate Narcisse Ambanza were both named third stars of the week.