The IUP men's basketball team made a huge jump in the NCAA Division II rankings this week, rejoining the top 10 for the first time since March after a week that included wins against California and Clarion.
The Crimson Hawks (14-2, 10-2 PSAC) are in a first-place tie with Slippery Rock (13-3, 10-2) and moved from No. 16 to No. 9 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Top 25.
IUP's strength is its offensive balance. The Crimson Hawks have five players who average between 8.3 and 14.5 points per game. Furthermore, the team plays excellent defense, holding opponents to 58.6 points per game.
The Crimson Hawks needed overtime to beat Edinboro, 86-75, but in the 10 games before that they had not given up 70 points and, in seven of those games, they held their opponents to 60 or less.
Grogg's excellent season
Former standout Moon swimmer Zina Grogg, a junior at North Carolina State, is one of the top female swimmers for the Wolfpack if not the entire Atlantic Coast Conference.
Grogg was named the co-ACC swimmer of the week after having excellent performances in back-to-back conference meets last week.
In the win Wednesday against Virginia Tech, she won the 100 backstroke in 55.08 seconds. She also finished second in the 100 butterfly (54.68) and swam the butterfly leg for the winning 200-medley relay team.
Saturday, Grogg finished first in the 100 backstroke (55.19 seconds) and 100 butterfly (55.14)in a triangular meet against Florida State and Georgia Tech.
Grogg, who won the PIAA championship in the 100 butterfly in 2010, set a school record in the 100 butterfly last season (55.24) and has since broken it.
How hot is hot?
Clarion sophomore guard Marques Jones was on fire Wednesday against Mercyhurst.
Jones scored 17 consecutive points in a five-minute stretch that included hitting five 3-pointers.He finished the game with a career-high 20 points and had six 3-pointers. It was the fourth game in a row Jones has scored in double figures.
As hot as Jones was, he was not close to the Clarion record -- and PSAC record -- for consecutive points in a game. That was set by Kwame Morton in 1994 when he scored 27 points in a row.
The Saint Vincent women's basketball team has won three games in a row and is 13-5 (9-2 in the PAC).. The Bearcats are in second in the league and are thriving on contributions from many players.
Devin McGrath (OLSH) had the big game Wednesday in a 62-52 win against Washington and Jefferson, scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
She was 8 of 14 from the field and 6 for 6 from the free-throw line.
Saturday, the Bearcats beat Chatham, 87-55, and reserve Ariel Rocco had her first career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, but she was one of four Bearcats in double figures.
Last Wednesday, sophomore Ellie Collins scored 23 points in the 72-54 win against Waynesburg.
McGrath is leading the team in scoring (16.2 ppg) but she is the only player averaging double figures.
The next five Bearcats scorers average between 6.4 and 7.4 points per game.
Paul Zeise: email@example.com, 412-263-1720 and Twitter @paulzeise.