INDIANAPOLIS -- UIC senior guard Daniel Barnes [Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park-River Forest (Kaskaskia College)] has been named the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, while Loyola freshman Devon Turk (Houston, Texas/ Westbury Christian) and Valparaiso junior guard LaVonte Dority [Chicago, Ill./Foreman (South Florida)] have been named the Co-Newcomers of the Week, for the week of Dec. 10-16.
UIC (9-1) extended its best start since 1997-98 with a 74-48 drubbing of Eastern Michigan, while Loyola (7-3) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the “Game of Change” with a 59-51 win over visiting Mississippi State. Valparaiso (7-3) collected a 62-54 road victory at Missouri State.
Barnes, who appeared in 12 games for Eastern Michigan in 2008-09, exploded for 30 points in UIC’s convincing win. The senior busted EMU’s 2-3 zone with a career-high 10 field goals, including a career-best six three-pointers. He scored 15 points in both the first and second halves. Barnes became the first UIC player to score 30 or more points in a single game since Jeremy Buttell at Youngstown State on Jan. 7, 2010, a span of 86 games.
Turk came off the bench to pour in a career-best 21 points, 18 of which came in the first half, to spark Loyola to a 34-20 halftime lead in its eventual eight-point win over Mississippi State. In addition to his 21 points, Turk also pitched in two rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a pair of steals as Loyola defeated a Power 6 opponent at home for the first time since 2005.
The Houston native is averaging 16.7 ppg and 4.0 three-pointers off the bench in the last three games, is shooting 52-percent (22-for-42) from long distance this season.
Dority made his Crusader debut after sitting out the first semester and led all scorers in Valparaiso’s road win. The junior came off the bench to become the first Crusader to debut with 20 or more points since Nov. 13, 2009. With the Crusaders trying to close out Missouri State, Dority hit 5-of-6 free throws in the final 2 minutes to help secure the win.
UIC will hit the road for its next three games, starting with a Tuesday night trip to Macomb, Ill., to face Western Illinois. The Flames and Leathernecks will tip at 8 p.m. ET. Loyola will head to St. Peter’s to return a 2011 BracketBusters meeting, taking on the Peacocks on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. ET. Valparaiso will play the first of its three games this week on Monday, Dec. 17, traveling to Oakland for a 7 p.m. ET tip.
Top Performers for the Week:
Ray McCallum, Detroit (Jr., G) - With a game-high 21 points in Detroit’s 80-73 win over Akron, McCallum eclipsed 20 points for the seventh time this season. McCallum handed out a team-best six assists.
Keifer Sykes, Green Bay (So., G) - Sykes had a game-high 22 points against Southern Illinois, converting 11-of-13 free throws and handing out a season-high five assists. The sophomore is averaging 24.7 points per game at home.
Christian Thomas, Loyola (So., F) - Had arguably the best game of his collegiate career on Saturday against Mississippi State, tallying a career-best 16 points and hauling in six rebounds.
Cole Darling, Wright State (Jr., G) - Questionable to play, Darling led Wright State to a 63-57 win at Hofstra, scoring 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
Top Newcomers for the Week:
Aaron Scales, Cleveland State (Fr., C) - Had his best game of the season on Saturday, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds off the bench.
Juwan Howard, Jr., Detroit (So., G/F) - Matched his season high with 16 points against Alabama State, following up the effort with 15 points and five rebounds in Detroit’s 80-73 win over Akron.
Miles Dixon, Wright State (Jr., G) - Came off the bench to score eight points in Wright State’s victory at Hofstra.
Men’s Basketball Player of the Week:
Nov. 12: Keifer Sykes, Green Bay
Nov. 19: Kendrick Perry, Youngstown State
Nov. 26: Ryan Broekhoff, Valparaiso
Gary Talton, UIC
Dec. 3: Cole Darling, Wright State
Dec. 10: Ryan Broekhoff, Valparaiso
Dec. 17: Daniel Barnes, UIC
Men’s Basketball Newcomer of the Week:
Nov. 12: Jordan Aaron, Milwaukee
Bobby Hain, Youngstown State
Nov. 19: JT Yoho, Wright State