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Alexandra Maseko, WBB

SHUPirates.com Athlete of the Week (January 8, 2013)

Alexandra Maseko, Women's Basketball

The Seton Hall women’s basketball team opened up its BIG EAST slate with a decisive 69-56 win over visiting Pittsburgh last week, improving to 6-3 at home this season and starting 1-0 in the conference for the first time since 2008.

The win was the third in four games for the Pirates, who have received a huge boost from senior Alexandra Maseko (Harare, Zimbabwe) thus far this season.

Against the Panthers, the fourth-year forward provided a valuable low-post presence, grabbing six of her 10 rebounds on the offensive end en route to a 16-point afternoon. It was the second consecutive double-double for Maseko, who had previously recorded 11 points and 11 rebounds as SHU downed Wofford to close non-conference play, and her third of the season.

The 6-foot-2 senior was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for her performance, becoming the first Pirate to earn a conference-wide honor this year.

The recognition continues what has been an impressive few months for Maseko. The Zimbabwe product, who was a finalist to receive one of the nation’s two Rhodes Scholarships in December, has quietly been putting together her most productive statistical season on the court for the Pirates.

A starter each of the first 14 contests for SHU, Maseko led the team in rebounds on six occasions during that stretch.  Her 6.4 rebounds per game average is best on the team and ranks among the top-15 in the league. Especially adept at creating extra opportunities, the frontcourt fixture is pulling down nearly half (3.1) of those boards on the offensive end, the sixth-highest average in the BIG EAST.

Maseko has also displayed a greatly improved touch around the basket, scoring to the tune of 7.9 points per game, a rate more than double her average scoring output during her first three years in a Seton Hall uniform. A contributor in every phase of the game, Maseko is also second on the squad in blocks and is registering more than a steal per game from her position in the post.

As she continues to play a key role for a Pirates team entering the heart of the BIG EAST schedule, Alex Maseko is your SHUPirates.com Athlete of the Week (1/8).