Junior goalie Gussie Johns was named the MPSF Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after a strong showing against No. 6 Colorado last Friday. Johns made nine saves and picked up three ground balls in USC’s 11-5 victory at the Coliseum, shutting out the Buffaloes during the entire second half.The junior goalie is no newcomer to accolades. This is Johns’ second MPSF Defensive Player of the Week award of the year and her fifth career Player of the Week honor. Johns leads the country in goals against average (6.69) and is fourth in the nation in ground balls per game (4.0). Johns also continues to add to her program-record 289 career saves and 156 career ground balls. Monday marked the fifth consecutive week that a USC women’s lacrosse player took home a weekly conference award. Senior attacker Michaela Michael leads the way, winning four straight MPSF Offensive Player of the Week awards — a streak that ended this week. Freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller took home Rookie of the Week honors in March, and freshman midfielder Kaeli Huff also received the award two weeks ago. Johns’ accolade was her first since being named Defensive Player of the Week on Feb. 20.Johns has gained national attention for her play in net for the Trojans. After dominating at USC during her first two collegiate seasons, Johns was named to the United States’ final roster in January for the 2017 FIL Women’s Lacrosse World Cup, which will be held in Guildford, England this summer.Johns is one of just two current student-athletes on the national team, along with North Carolina junior midfielder Marie McCool. Also joining Johns on Team USA is Devon Wills, the Trojans’ associate head coach and defensive coordinator.Next, USC will look to extend its six-game winning streak when the team travels to Stanford on Friday. A victory over the Cardinal would clinch the first seed in the MPSF tournament, which will be hosted at McAlister Field beginning April 27. Another win over UC Davis on Sunday would also set a new MPSF record for consecutive conference wins. While individual recognition is nice, Johns and thenow-sixth-ranked Trojans will strive for a conference title as well as the ultimate goal: the first national championship in the program’s five-year history.
The Drake University men’s basketball team, winners of three of its last five games, faces Missouri State Tuesday evening at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. Tipoff for the first meeting of the season between the Missouri Valley Conference rivals is set for 7 p.m. The contest will be broadcast on The Valley on ESPN3 and ESPN Des Moines 1350-AM.The Bulldogs sit in fourth place in the MVC standings with a 4-4 record, one game behind third-place Missouri State’s 5-3 mark. In their last outing, the Bulldogs fell at league-leading Illinois State, 72-58, despite only trailing by two points with 12 minutes left in the contest. Junior Reed Timmer (New Berlin, Wis.) has led Drake in scoring the last two games with 20 points in the win over SIU and 13 at Illinois State to help bolster his standing as the league’s second leading scorer in conference games this season. He also ranks second among active MVC players in career scoring.Along with classmate Ore Arogundade (Chicago, Ill.), Timmer has helped the Bulldogs’ offense become more of a long range threat. Since head coach Jeff Rutter took over the program, Drake has averaged 10.1 three-pointers per game. That mark would rank 11th in the nation if extended over the entire season. The team has made 10 or more three-pointers in a game in four-straight games and eight times in total this season.Missouri State has enjoyed tremendous fortunes against the Bulldogs in Springfield. Drake has won just once on the Bears’ home court with that win coming in 2001. The Bears are led by Alize Johnson, who has earned seven weekly Valley awards this season and is the reigning MVC Newcomer of the Week after posting 26 points and 20 rebounds in the team’s win over Indiana State last week. On the season, he is averaging 14.2 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. Two other Bears also average double figure scoring including preseason all-MVC selection Dequon Miller with 12.6 points per game.Following Tuesday’s game, the Bulldogs return home to host UNI Saturday, Jan. 28. That contest, broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network, tips off at 1 p.m.Print Friendly Version The Valley on ESPN3 Live Audio Live Stats Drake Game Notes Story Links