WMU News

Basketball Broncos sweep top freshman honors

March 6, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University is the first school in the Mid-American Conference to produce the league's top freshman player in both men's and women's basketball in the same season.

On Tuesday, WMU's Casey Rost of St. Johns, Mich., was named the MAC Freshman of the Year in women's basketball. One day earlier, MAC officials announced that Bronco Ben Reed of Battle Creek, Mich., had taken top honors among the league's rookie men's players.

Voting for Freshman of the Year honors is conducted by the MAC News Media Association, consisting of member media outlets and sports information personnel.

MAC men's programs began honoring the league's top freshman in 1979 and the women followed in 1983, making Reed and Rost's dual accomplishment the first of its kind in 19 years. Booker James in 1984 was the only other Bronco men's player to earn the honor. Former women's player Kina Brown was selected as the top newcomer in 1992 and current Bronco Kristen Koetsier had the league's top debut campaign in 2000.

Reed concluded the regular season as the MAC's leading freshman scorer (14.2 points per game) and rebounder (6.3 per game), despite missing the final three contests after suffering a season-ending knee injury versus Ball State on Feb. 20. He reached double figures in 13 of the 15 MAC games in which he played, including a career-high 30 points in the Jan. 12 victory over
rival Central Michigan. Through March 3, Reed was ranked 12th nationally in scoring among all freshmen and 18th in rebounding.

Rost is the league's top scoring freshman, averaging 14.7 points per contest. That average improves to 14.9 in MAC only contests. Her scoring average is currently seventh-best in the league in all games and tied for sixth in league outings. She also concluded the regular season ranked fifth in the MAC in 3-point field goals per game (2.28). Ten times, Rost led or tied for the team lead in scoring during the regular season, including a career-high 24 points against Kent State on Feb. 17.

Both players were also named to their respective five-member league all-freshman squads. Rost was joined by teammate Maria Jilian of Dearborn, Mich., and WMU was the only school to place two players on the women's MAC All-Freshman Team.

For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web at <www.wmubroncos.com>.

Media contact: Scott Kuykendall, 269 387-4125, scott.kuykendall@wmich.edu

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