After a couple record-breaking performances, pair of seniors honored as the first scholar-athletes of 2012
Senior point guard Chene Cooper of the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team and senior Kersee Lind from track and field have been selected as January’s Scholar-Athletes of the Month.
This award, presented by the EWU Athletic Department, recognizes the athletic and academic success of student-athletes, based primarily on performances turned in during the month prior.
Cooper, a 2008 graduate of Lakes High School in Puyallup, Wash., maintains a 3.33 cumulative grade point average in criminal justice. She was recognized as EWU’s Scholar-Athlete of the Month in March 2011 as well.
Lind, who hails from Hermiston, Ore., carries a 3.57 GPA as a Spanish major. He is also a two-time scholar-athlete honoree, as he was recognized in January 2010.
More on Cooper
In Eastern's 2011-12 Big Sky Conference opener against Montana State (Dec. 29), Cooper broke EWU's 27-year-old career steals record and tied the school's single-game record with seven steals against the Bobcats. Cooper surpassed the previous career record of 212, held by Lisa Comstock (1982-85). Cooper now has 220 in her tenure. She ranks first in the Big Sky and 32nd nationally in steals, averaging 3.1 per game this season.
Along with her achievements on the defensive end, Cooper has made waves as one of the top point guards in the nation in terms of assists. With an average of 7.1 assists per game, Cooper ranks first in the Big Sky and fifth overall among all Division I women’s basketball players. She has had four double-digit assist performances this season - all of which came in the month of December.
Against the nationally-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs (Dec. 9), Cooper was just two rebounds shy of a triple-double, as she finished with 16 points, 10 assists and eight boards to lead the Eagles in a near-upset of their cross-town rival.
Cooper registered back-to-back double-doubles in wins against Idaho (Dec. 21) and Montana State (Dec. 29) with 11 points and 11 assists against the Vandals and 14 points and 11 assists versus MSU. Cooper had just five turnovers in those two games combined. Her season assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.4 is leading the Big Sky, while ranking 18th nationally.
Cooper is also among the top three free-throw shooters in league with an 83.7 season free throw percentage, and is the second-leading scorer on the EWU squad, averaging just under 10 points per game.
More on Lind
Lind broke his own school record in the heptathlon with 5,132 total points at the fourth annual Candy Cane Invitational on Dec. 3.
Lind won five of the seven heptathlon events at the Candy Cane, including the 1,000-meter run, 55-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump and pole vault. He earned 819 points in the pole vault after clearing 15-5 and tallied 782 points in the 1,000 meters with a time of 2:48.40. He has already qualified for the 2012 Big Sky Conference Championships, held Feb. 24-25 in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Lind first etched his name in the EWU record book in 2010, when he scored 5,033 points at the Candy Cane Invitational. His 5,033 points broke Matt Ludwigson's 2007 record of 4,951.
Lind has competed in two Big Sky Conference Championships in his career, placing fifth in the indoor heptathlon in 2008 and fourth in the outdoor decathlon in 2010.