Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thank You Seniors

Prior to last Saturday’s home game against Youngstown State, Detroit honored its two seniors in Lauren Allen and Jalesa Jones, both of whom have been a major part of the Titans revival since they came to campus.

They came to Detroit in the spring of 2008 and were among head coach Autumn Rademacher’s first recruits. Prior to their arrival, the Titans were 5-26 in 2006-07 and 6-24 during the 2007-08 season, but they quickly helped turn that around with 12 wins during their freshmen season and a win over #23 Georgia at home, 70-66, on Nov. 22, 2008. At that time, it was the Titans first win over a ranked team since 1981. In that game as a true freshman, Allen had her only collegiate double-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Jones had five points, four rebounds and a team-high six assists.

As sophomores, they helped the Titans to a 17-14 record and a 14-4 mark in the Horizon League, where they tied for second place and advanced to the semifinals of the HL Championships. It was the most wins UDM recorded since 2004 and during that season, Detroit defeated another ranked team in #23/22 Green Bay, 71-55, on Feb. 4, 2010. That win ended a 15-game slide to the HL powerhouse Phoenix.

As juniors, they were at it again helping the squad to a 67-48 victory at Michigan. It was the Titans first win against Michigan since 1994 and the first in Ann Arbor since 1993.

Now as seniors, they have Detroit on a roll as the Titans have rebounded from an 0-6 start. Both were key contributors in the historic win at #9/9 Green Bay two weeks ago and both have etched their names in the school record books. UDM is currently tied for second place in the Horizon League, but owns a tiebreaker for the No. 2 seed with just two games remaining. The Titans are 16-12 on the year, 12-4 in the HL, only the second time in the last 10 years they have posted 16 or more wins.

Allen is ninth in school history with 326 assists. A consistent all-around player, Allen has 42 career games with five or more rebounds, 31 double digit scoring efforts as well as 26 games with five or more assists.

She has played in 116 games with 87 starts and is averaging 6.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game. She has twice scored 19 points against Milwaukee as a sophomore and junior for her career high. Her 11 boards against the nationally-ranked Georgia Bulldogs as a freshman is still her career best, while she has tallied eight assists three times in her career. Defensively, she came away with six steals at Green Bay last season.

Jones currently leads the conference in assists at 4.9 per night and just broke the school’s all-time assist record with 487 – a number that stood for 30 years. She has started 95-straight games and 115 for her career, which is tied for the third-most in school history. Those numbers also rank in the top 15 in the nation among current players.

She is averaging 7.3 points, 4.0 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. She has a pair of 20-point games with a career-high of 21 against St. Joseph’s as a junior. She handed out a career-best 10 assists in a double overtime win over Eastern Michigan as a sophomore and earlier this year, pulled down a career-high nine boards on the road at Western Michigan. She also posted six steals for her high watermark against Valparaiso as a sophomore.

The program will continue to build and maybe postseason play will arrive at Detroit for the first time since 1997. In any case, these seniors gave it their all and when the Titans rise to the top, no one can forget the class that came in to originally get them there.

1 comment:

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