News release date: Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2006

Whitman's Matt Kelly Named NWC Basketball Player of the Week

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- For the second time this season, a Whitman College senior from Walla Walla has been named Northwest Conference men's basketball Player of the Week.

Matt Kelly, a 6-foot-2 guard, scored 52 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Whitman split a pair of games at last week's White City Rose Classic in York, Penn. Kelly, who made nine of 18 three-point shots in the two games, also handed out four assists and collected four steals.

Erik Kofler, a 6-foot-8 center from Walla Walla, earned NWC Player of the Week honors in late November. Both Kelly and Kofler are graduates of Walla Walla High School. Kelly played his first two college seasons at Walla Walla Community College.

Kelly poured in 33 points, his career-high total at Whitman, in one of last week's games. That is the highest single-game point total posted by a NWC player thus far this season.

On Monday of this week, Kelly scored 21 points as Whitman improved to 5-4 on the season with a 78-74 victory at Pennsylvania's Swarthmore College. Kelly is averaging 19.6 points per game, which is tops in the NWC. He is shooting 49 percent from the floor and averaging 5.1 rebounds per game.

A year ago, Kelly led Whitman in scoring at 16.2 points per game, which ranked him fifth in the NWC. He earned All-NWC Honorable Mention recognition at season's end.

Whitman resumes NWC play this weekend with a pair of home games in Sherwood Center. The Missionaries, 1-1 in conference, host Lewis & Clark on Friday and Willamette on Saturday. Both games start at 8 p.m.


Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information, (509) 527-5902