Indiana University Northwest’s Lady RedHawks basketball team is off to a strong start in 2008-09, and so is star forward Sharon Houston.
The RedHawks moved to 3-1 on the season after winning an exciting 61-56 home game against Trinity Christian College on Nov. 11. Houston, a 6-foot, 3-inch freshman and Merrillville High School grad, led the effort with 23 points, including nine-for-nine foul shooting, and 13 rebounds. She also added five blocks and four steals.
Freshman guard Nina Wills, of Munster, also had a strong night, adding 10 points and five steals.
Houston’s numbers approximated her average for the first week of play – 25.3 points, 12 boards and 4.6 blocks per game – and those stats earned her National Player of the Week honors from the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, of which IU Northwest is a member.
“Sharon has had a tremendous start to her college basketball career and has made an impact both on and off the court since arriving at IU Northwest," said head coach Ryan Shelton. "She’s having fun playing the game she loves."
Shelton also credited the players around Houston, many of whom are also freshmen or sophomores, with stepping up to make an impact early in the season.
"We have been getting contributions from different people each night, which has had much to do with our early success," he said. "We play hard every night. This is a fun team to watch and coach.”
In their first week of play, the Lady RedHawks defeated the Illinois Institute of Technology 57-48 and Andrews University 88-59, while dropping a hard-fought road game at Calumet College 62-53. Their next game is at home against Judson University on Saturday, Nov. 15, starting at 4 p.m.
That contest is the front half of an IU Northwest home doubleheader; the men’s basketball team takes the floor at 7 p.m. Saturday against Spalding University of Louisville, Ky. The men dropped to 1-4 on the season Wednesday night after coming up on the losing end of a seesaw battle with the University of St. Francis – Joliet, which bested the RedHawks 88-74 in a game that was much closer than the final score.
Despite the loss, men’s coach Pete Trgovich remains confident that his squad, which features a number of new players this season, is on track for a successful year. The RedHawks’ win was a 107-88 victory during the IU East Tournament last week.
The IU Northwest Office of Student Life and Athletics has placed renewed emphasis on the university’s sports programs this season, and the results so far have been fun to watch. IU Northwest invites students, faculty, staff, and community members to come out and support the RedHawk teams as this exciting season unfolds.