CLEVELAND - Senior Naama Shafir was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week by the league office on Monday.
Shafir's selection marks the fourth time this season that a Rocket has been picked as the MAC West Division Player of the Week. Senior Yolanda Richardson won the award following the week of Nov. 12-18, Shafir won the prize following the week of Nov. 26-Dec. 2 and most recently junior Andola Dortch captured the honor following the week of Dec. 10-16.
Shafir was named the Toledo Invite Tournament MVP on Thursday-Friday, Dec. 20-21, averaging a team-high 18.5 ppg, a squad-best 6.5 apg, 1.5 rpg and 1.0 spg in wins against Evansville and Prairie View A&M.
Shafir was the only Rocket to score in double figures in both contests to earn tourney MVP accolades for the third time in as many tournaments this season. She opened last weekend with 12 points and a season-high 10 helpers, while committing no turnovers against the Purple Aces to record her fourth collegiate double-double. The following evening against the Panthers, she finished with a season-high 25 points, three assists, two boards and one steal to help UT extend its win streak to nine-consecutive games. With the PVA&M game still close in the waning moments of the first half, Shafir took control and tallied 12 of her team's final 13 points to break it open and give the home team an insurmountable lead at the intermission.
Overall this season, Shafir is contributing a team-high 13.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, a squad-best 5.6 assists and 1.9 steals in a team-high 28.0 minutes per game. She currently ranks second in the MAC in assist/turnover ratio (2.3), tied for second in assists, seventh in scoring, 10th in free throw percentage (77.5%, 31-of-40), 11th in thefts, 15th in overall field goal percentage (42.5%, 51-of-120) and tied for 15th in three-point field goal percentage (36.1%, 13-of-36).
Shafir is returning to the Rockets for the 2012-13 campaign after being granted a medical hardship waiver from the MAC. She has one season of competition remaining before her five-year eligibility clock expires.
The Hoshaya, Israel native was lost for the final 30 contests of the 2011-12 campaign after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee during UT's 69-58 win at Big Ten member Indiana (Nov. 25).
Shafir, who has started 117 consecutive games, is averaging 13.7 points, 5.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 30.1 minutes in her UT career.
The three-time All-MAC honoree currently sits third in Toledo annals in career free throws attempted (614), fourth in helpers (630), fifth in free throws made (472) and minutes played (3,518), tied for fifth in steals (189), seventh in points (1,598), eighth in scoring average and free throw percentage (76.9%, 472-of-614) and tied for ninth in field goals made (508) and field goals attempted (1,217).
Shafir and the MAC West Division leading Rockets return to the hardwood this weekend to wrap up their non-conference slate at the Georgia State Holiday Tournament in Atlanta. UT will face Atlantic 10 member Charlotte (8-2) in the opening round on Saturday, Dec. 29 at approximately 4:00 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena. The following day, Toledo will tangle with either Southwestern Athletic Conference participant Mississippi Valley State or Colonial Athletic Association member and host Georgia State (7-2). The consolation contest is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., while the championship game will tip off at approximately 4:00 p.m.