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Jan. 31, 2012
OXFORD, Ohio - Each winning the award for the first time this season, freshman guard Brian Sullivan and junior swimmer Leah Thornton are Miami Male and Female Athletes of the Week, respectively, for the week of Jan. 23-29.
Sullivan (Upper Arlington, Ohio) averaged 16.5 points per game while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and an impressive 62.5 percent from 3-point range in a pair of games last week. He tallied 13 points against Toledo and knocked down four 3-pointers against the Rockets. Saturday at Western Michigan, Sullivan drained six 3-pointers, which ties for 10th on Miami's single-game list and spearheaded the RedHawks as they tied the second-most team 3-pointers in a game with 15 against the Broncos. The freshman was 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half at WMU as the `Hawks knocked down 11 treys in the first 20 minutes. Sullivan leads all Division I freshmen and also ranks sixth nationally in 3-point field goal percentage, while his 2.7 made 3-pointers per game rank second among all Division I freshmen and 42nd nationally. In MAC-only games, he leads the league knocking down 3.4 triples per game, nearly one more per game than any other player.
Thornton (Helena, Ala.) had one of the best weeks of her career, winning five individual events and a relay to help Miami defeat both Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green on the road in dual meets last weekend. On Friday, Thornton captured first in both the 100-yard backstroke in 57.25, winning by over a second, and the 200-yard backstroke in 2:05.65, winning by over two seconds, to score 18 points in Miami's 167-132 win over EMU, which was EMU's first MAC dual meet loss of the year. She also swam the lead leg (backstroke) on Miami's 200-yard medley relay team that won in 1:45.87 while she clocked a split of 27.00, earning another 11 points for the `Hawks. Saturday at Bowling Green, she won the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke again, doing so in 58.15 and 2:06.37, respectively, winning the 200 back by over three seconds. She also touched first in the 200 individual medley in 2:09.30 and helped the RedHawks take second in the 400-yard medley relay in 3:54.27 with Thornton swimming the lead leg (backstroke) as Miami won the meet 178-111.
Sullivan and the rest of the men's basketball team return to the court Wednesday, hosting Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m., before taking on Ball State Saturday in Muncie, Ind. Thornton and the women's swimmers are back in the pool Saturday when the RedHawks host rival Ohio in their final dual meet of the season at 1 p.m.
The next Miami Athletes of the Week will be announced Tuesday, Feb. 7. For a list of previous winners, click here.