Sports & Outdoors

McKinnis wins Logger of the Month

Kelsey McKinnis (Ashland, Ore.) finished her Puget Sound basketball career in style on Senior Night, the last Logger home game of the season on Feb. 16, scoring 14 points despite the 71-53 loss to George Fox.

McKinnis was recently awarded First Team All-Northwest Conference honors following the conclusion of the 2012-2013 basketball season, in which the Loggers finished 6th with a 7-9 conference record and 14-11 record overall.

McKinnis has proven her skills on the court time and time again as a Logger. In her sophomore year, she was awarded Second Team All-Northwest Conference honors for the 2010-2011 season while scoring 15.3 points per game on average for a total of 399 points scored.

In the 2011-2012 season, McKinnis was again awarded Second Team All-Northwest Conference honors as a junior, leading the Loggers with an average of 14.2 points per game. Her senior season followed the same trajectory.

“This year helped grow a lot as a player, and make improvements to my game across the board. As a senior, teams in our conference were familiar with my style of play and really zoned in on taking me out of my natural ‘catch and shoot’ element and out of my comfort zone. I had to find new ways to get open and score.

“I also was given a new rebounding responsibility, which has never been a big part of my game. I really enjoyed working on that and ended up improving my rebounding to a career-high percentage, and got my first double-doubles of my life,” McKinnis said.

She earned First Team honors while again leading the Loggers in scoring with an average of 14.0 points per game. She was twice featured as the Northwest Conference Basketball Student-Athlete of the Week for outstanding performances against Southern Oregon and Concordia; against Southern Oregon, she scored a career-high 36 points to break the record for most points scored in a game in the Loggers’ Division III history, and the second-most points scored all-time (Nov. 19-25 and Dec. 10-16 respectively).

She also ended her senior season with  37.7 percent three-point and 85.7 percent free throw shooting averages while averaging 2.4 assists and a career-high 5.2 rebounds per game.

McKinnis finished a highly successful career at Puget Sound ranked sixth on the Loggers’ all-time best scorers list with 1,383 points. She also finished with top-ten rankings for the Loggers in three-point percentage, assists, points per game and three-point field goals.

“Kelsey is not only a great player, but an amazing individual. She has been a four-year contributor and a three-year captain and leader for our team. She has helped form the foundation of the new era of Puget Sound women’s basketball. She will be remembered as one of the greatest scorers in program history and it has been an absolute honor to coach her,” head coach Loree Paine said.

McKinnis’ presence on the court will undoubtedly be missed next year as the Loggers look to build upon a team which is returning 11 players for the 2013-2014 season.

After four years on the court competing as a Logger, McKinnis could reflect on what it meant to be a Logger and represent Puget Sound.

“In my opinion, Loggers have passion.  I think being a Logger means pursuing your goals and interests with passion and determination, whether it’s in academics, athletics, music, theater, clubs, service, or most likely … a crazy combination of those areas.  Loggers are involved all over campus and put their heart into whatever it is that drives them.

“As my senior season was ending, I began to recognize just how lucky I am to be a Logger, and how privileged I feel to be a student-athlete here. The athletic community as a whole is so supportive and I am so grateful to have spent four years at this place.

“It blew my mind seeing so many students and faculty members at our home games this year and I’m so thankful for all the support and spirit. Playing in front of peers, friends, and family … that is something I’m going to miss very much,” she said.