Players of the Week: 12-2-2016
December 1, 2016
Filed under Sports
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Isaiah “Big Dog” Johnson led the Zips to the top of the Savannah Invitational, taking the tournament’s’ MVP award. Johnson scored 19 points in both games of the tournament and also hauled in 11 rebounds and seven assists in the two games. Johnson made 14 of 21 shots (67 percent) from the field in the tournament. He made 10 of 15 free throws (67 percent), which is something that he has struggled with in the past. Johnson’s dominance in the past week not only made him Tournament MVP, but he also was named Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week. Before Wednesday night’s game versus Adrian, Johnson averaged 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, three assists, and one block per game, all of which led the team.
After setting the team record for most 3-pointers made in a single season last year, the Zips’ leading returning scorer entered this season with very high expectations. Plybon met those expectations and some last week when she scored a career-high 39 points versus Canisius. Also, Plybon set another team record by making nine 3-pointers in the game on just 14 attempts. The senior also grabbed six rebounds and made all six free throws that she attempted. Her excellent play made her Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week. Through four games, Plybon is averaging 21.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 3.5 3-pointers made per game.
Possibly overshadowed by the excellence of Johnson was diminutive point guard Antino Jackson. Jackson registered games with 15 and 14 points in the Savannah Invitational, while he made eight of 16 shots from the field. The junior was possibly most important late in the first game of the tournament versus Air Force, as he made eight of 12 free throws in the game, all of which came in the last 12:21 of the second half. Jackson also pulled in seven rebounds and two steals in the two games, earning himself All-Tournament honors. Jackson is averaging 11.5 points, two 3-pointers made, and one steal per game this season.
Zips’ junior running back Manny Morgan led the team in rushing in last Tuesday’s season finale versus Ohio with 47 yards on eight carries (5.9 yards per carry). His effort wasn’t enough in a close 9-3 game in Athens, as Morgan was the lone bright spot of the offense without starting quarterback Thomas Woodson and backup quarterback Tra’von Chapman. Morgan finished second in rushing for the Zips this season with 417 yards on 81 carries (5.1 yards per carry), while he never found the endzone. Morgan and fellow running back Van Edwards did an honorable job in the backfield after senior starter Warren Ball went down with an injury in week two at Wisconsin and never returned.