Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
Over the course of several weeks, Bria Thames began her claim to fame by racking up numerous awards. The transfer from Umpqua Community College has quickly made a name for herself as the leading rebounder on the Saint Martin’s women’s basketball team.
Last season, Thames played in all 28 regular season games, starting in 15 of them. Her season high in rebounds last year was 18. This year she beat her own personal best by 11. She posted a career and Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) record with 29 rebounds against the Concordia Cavaliers on Jan. 20.
Thames is now the recipient of two GNAC player of the week honors, making a total of three in her athletic career. She earned another award by becoming the Saint’s player of the week on Feb. 3.
The women are 9-11 with a 4-9 conference record as they are just past the mid-way point of the season. Helping Thames are numerous players who have played key roles to the nearly .500 win team.
Tierney DeDonatis and Mallory Vivola are among the top transfers this year, both coming from Glendale Community College in Arizona. Reigning GNAC freshman of the year, Claire Dingus, is also among the key players helping lead Thames to a hopeful playoff push.
Dingus is coming off a superb freshman campaign that saw her named to the 2019-2020 GNAC preseason all-conference team. The team has seven games left on their regular season schedule as they look to make a move in the standings.
For the GNAC tournament, only four teams with the best records are invited to play for the championship, and the Saints are currently sitting at the eighth place mark. They are within two games of two opponents ahead of them, and if they continue to play at a high rate, the wins will start racking up for them.
The men’s side is currently sitting at 5-17 overall with a 3-10 GNAC record, and are looking for a little boost from a team that is heavily stacked with transfers. Transfers Demonte Malloy and CJ Jennings are leading the team in points with over 14 points per game.
Junior Marky Adams is the team leader in rebounds per game with a near average of nine. Freshman Alex Schumacher leads the team with 49 assists, averaging 2.6 per game.
With only seven games left on their regular season schedule, the men need to gain momentum fast. Just like the women, they are within two games of the nearest two opponents, which means the possibility of three straight wins, and losses from other teams, puts them around the sixth place mark.
Slowly but surely, the team will need to scratch and claw their way back into the playoff picture. They are riding a wave of momentum after erasing a deficit that saw them come out victorious, after trailing by as much as 12, in order to stun the Alaska Nanooks.