|Brendan Boken||Meredith Mesaris|
Two University of Scranton basketball players earned national recognition today.
Junior forward Brendan Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola) of the men’s team and Lady Royal senior forward Meredith Mesaris (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) have been named the National Jesuit Players of the Week (NJPW) by the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight for the period ending Sunday, Jan. 4.
The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight is a nationwide effort to bring greater positive awareness and exposure to Jesuit education and its shared mission. Jesuit institutions promote academic excellence, service and justice, and encourage students to seek God in all things and be men and women for others. Today, Jesuit institutions boast over 2 million living alumni across the world, including nearly 10% of the United States Congress and basketball legends Bob Cousy (College of the Holy Cross), Bill Russell (University of San Francisco) and John Stockton (Gonzaga University).
Boken is honored after averaging 19.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in leading the 16th-ranked Royals to a 3-1 record during a four-game span from December 28 through January 3. He was also named the most valuable player (MVP) of the fourth annual Cross County Challenge after leading Scranton to victories over King's College, 86-83 in overtime, and Wilkes University, 75-73, at the Scandlon Gymnasium on the campus of King's College in Wilkes-Barre.
In last Saturday's win over Wilkes, he scored 21 points, including the 1000th of his career. He is now the 42nd player in Scranton history to reach this milestone. He tied his season-high the previous day with 24 points and scored 18 and 16 points against Husson University (Maine) and Hanover College (Indiana), respectively, at the D3hoops.com Classic in Las Vegas on December 28-29.
Mesaris also had quite an eight-day span, leading the Lady Royals to three victories to bounce back from their first loss of the season before the holidays. On Sunday, December 28, she had a team-high 15 points and pulled down four rebounds as Scranton (ranked 6th in the D3hoops.com Top 25) defeated fourth-ranked Tufts, 52-42, in San Juan Puerto Rico. A day later, she poured in a team-high 22 points on 9-for-16 shooting to go along with four rebounds, two steals and a block in a 75-59 win over Babson in San Juan.
After Scranton returned stateside, Mesaris led the way in a 58-46 victory in Landmark Conference play over Elizabethtown by scoring a team-high 20 points, pulling down nine rebounds and making two assists and a steal. She has now led Scranton in scoring in 12 of 13 games this season.
The Royals and Lady Royals return to action Thursday, January 8, as the Scranton men (10-2 overall/4-0 Landmark Conference) take on Susquehanna University (9-3/2-1 Landmark) at 7:00 p.m. at the Houts Gymnasium in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, while the Lady Royals (12-1 overall/4-0 Landmark) host Susquehanna (9-2 overall/3-0 Landmark) in the Long Center in Scranton at 7 p.m.
--ROYALS, LADY ROYALS--