January 25, 2011

Men's Basketball Ranked 24th in D3hoops.com Top-25

PORTLAND, Ore. - With an eight game winning streak and 14-3 overall record, the Lewis & Clark men's basketball team has cracked the D3hoops.com Top-25 for NCAA Division III Men's Basketball. The Pioneers are the 24th ranked team with 59 points and one of three teams to break into this week's poll. The D3hoops.com Top- 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members from across the country, and is published weekly.

The Pioneers are joined in the top-25 by Northwest Conference foe Whitworth, who are currently ranked second in DIII and first in the NWC, one spot ahead of the Pios.

As a team, the Pioneers are the best free-throw shooting team in the NWC, making 271 of their 347 attempts for a .781 percentage through 17 games. The Pioneers also lead the conference in three-point field goals made, averaging 11.18 a game.

Senior Kelly Edwards leads the Pioneers in scoring and currently ranks fifth in the conference with 17.6 points on average, while teammate PJ Taylor ranks ninth in scoring in the NWC. Edwards also ranks ninth in the conference in field goals made (.523), ninth in assists (2.82), fourth in free-throw percentage (.809) and seventh in three-point shooting percentage (.422).

Marcus Wells is shooting .504 from the floor, earning him 11th place in the NWC rankings, while ranking 13th in assists (2.18). Taylor sits right behind Edwards in assists with 2.59 on average for 10th place. Wells and Taylor rank second and third respectively in free-throw percentage.

Taylor currently sits as the best three-point shooter in the conference, making 58 long range baskets this season for an average of 3.41 a game. Donato Perconti is also ranked in the top-five in the conference in three-pointers made with 39 (2.29).

Edwards contribution does not end on the offensive side of things, as he leads the Pioneers in total rebounds with 6.1 on average, which also ranks him 12th in the NWC. He is also 3rd in defensive rebounds with 5.06. Taylor has been equally as successful on the defensive side of the ball, stealing it from his opponents 1.47 times a game, ranking him sixth in the NWC. Senior Kyle Meeuwsen has been another key component to the Pio defense, blocking 15 shots on the season (0.88), the second most in the conference.

The Pioneers return to action on Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. when they take on the Whitman Missionaries in Walla Walla, Wash.