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Mars graduate Isaacs adds production to Mount Aloysius hoops as freshman

Arriving With Impact

CRESSON — All Annalyn Isaacs was looking for was a little playing time. She’s made a big impact instead.

The Mars graduate and Mount Aloysius freshman signed on with the Mounties to play basketball and softball. She was part of the softball team’s fall season and is now one of the top 3-point shooters in all of NCAA Division III women’s basketball.

Mars graduate Annalyn Isaacs, a freshman guard at Mount Aloysius, is among the leaders in all of NCAA Division III women’s basketball in 3-point shooting percentage. Submitted Photo

“I can’t say I’m surprised she’s contributing,” said Mounties coach Brian Giesler, a Slippery Rock High School graduate. “But I never expected anything like this.”

The 5-foot-6 Isaacs comes off the bench as a shooting guard. She has sunk 65 3-pointers this season and leads the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference with a 42.7% shooting accuracy from beyond the stripe. That figure ranks eighth in Division III.

“I enjoy coming off the bench,” Isaacs said. “It gives me a chance to see the flow of the game, how the other team is playing defense, what we’re doing ... When I get on the floor, I just jump right in.”

Annalyn Isaacs Pictures 2024

Isaacs averages 24 minutes per game, but is second on the team with 11.8 points per game. She is shooting 76% from the free throw line, averages 3.1 rebounds per game, has 30 assists and 29 steals.

“I can’t say enough about how well Anna has taken to the sixth-man role. She does a lot of things for us,” Giesler said. “Anna can drive to the basket as well. She is instant energy when she enters a game, always gives us a spark.

“She can handle the ball, but we like to use her as a catch-and-shoot type of offensive player because she excels at that.”

Isaacs credits her teammates for that skill.

When she comes into a game, she attracts a lot of defensive attention by the 3-point stripe. She finds her shot regardless.

“My teammates do a great job of knowing when to pass me the ball,” Isaacs said. “I like the way we run our offense and I’ve been able to develop a quick release. Just set and shoot.”

The Mounties have no seniors on their team. They have a number of freshmen in the lineup, yet have a record of 13-12 overall, 9-8 in AMCC play.

Last year’s team won four games.

“This freshman class has been outstanding and Anna is among those who have exceeded expectations,” Giesler said. “I insert her, she gives us a boost. We’ve been showing great teamwork on the floor.”

“This is just the beginning for us,” Isaacs said. “We’re all excited about the future.”

When the basketball season ends, Isaacs will switch back to softball. She plays middle infield or third base.

The Mountie softball team has two interim coaches this season. One of them is also the volleyball coach and attends a lot of basketball games.

“She knows about me and is confident I can crack the lineup once I join the team,” Isaacs said. “Because there is no returning head coach, there are no preconceived notions as to who’s gonna play. Everyone has to earn her spot and I think that can play to my advantage.”

Mount Aloysius softball practices are underway, but no games have been played yet this season. A business and sports management major, Isaacs made the dean’s list last semester. The weight of playing two sports in college is not affecting her academics.

“I’m very conscious of that,” she said. “I bring my schoolwork with me on the bus rides to games and do a lot of it then. There’s always a way to get things done.”

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