JMU’s Tarik Hislop named ESPN national player of the week

James Madison senior Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) Monday was selected ESPN’s national women’s basketball Player of the Week.

The Dukes point guard was honored for her play in the Nov. 22-24 Cancun Challenge, where she scored a tournament-high 74 points in the three-day, six-team event. 

Hislop set the pace in a three-games-in-three-days marathon for the Dukes. She scored a career-high 32 points in 40 minutes, including seven of her team’s 10 points in overtime, as JMU posted an 89-86 victory over Green Bay to open the tournament.  Hislop closed it with 30 points in a 63-58 win over Wichita State, including a pair of free throws with 7.3 seconds to go to ice the game.

In her two 30-point efforts, she was 23-of-41 from the floor. Hislop’s performance helped JMU — which is looking to get back into the NCAA field after winning 29 games and reaching the WNIT final last season — even its record at 3-3.

Hislop might not have a national reputation, but her talents are well-known in the Colonial Athletic Association, where she was named the league’s player of the week and picked to the CAA’s all-conference second team last season.

Hislop, who averaged a team-best 14.8 points a game last season, has improved her perimeter shooting since last season, expanding her game and her scoring possibilities.

Hislop told an interviewer during her sophomore season that some of the best basketball advice she’d ever gotten had come from her high school coach at Paint Branch High in Maryland.

“Boy, I remember when we won the championship, Coach [Heather Podosek] before the game said that big-time players show up in big-time games,” Hislop said in 2011. “Rise to the occasion. I knew she was talking to me and knew that my team expected me to do whatever it took to win.”

Hislop certainly followed that advice this weekend in Mexico.

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