As the Pacific Lutheran University men's basketball team prepared for this season, Drew Cardwell was considered one of the team's leaders...

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As the Pacific Lutheran University men’s basketball team prepared for this season, Drew Cardwell was considered one of the team’s leaders.


Cardwell, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder and an honorable-mention All-Northwest Conference pick last season, was one of just three seniors on this year’s roster. Then it happened.


About 10 days before the Lutes’ season opener at Eastern Washington, a teammate’s errant elbow hit Cardwell in the face and broke his nose. On a team that had seen more than its fair share of injuries — PLU lost nine players to injuries last year and six the previous season — the loss of Cardwell would be a big blow.


A few days before the team traveled to Cheney, Cardwell had his nose repositioned. He then purchased a generic face mask for $35 and returned to practice. But he found that the mask did not allow him to see well, so he decided to make his own.


He searched the internet and determined what components he would need to construct the mask. Cardwell then located a plastics-supply company in Tacoma and purchased what he needed. The cost: $15.


The first step was making a plaster mold of his face. Then he heated plastic in his dorm room and put it over the mold. The mask, which covers his face from the top of his forehead to his upper lip, even includes nostril holes. Three straps, similar to the straps on a catcher’s mask, holds it in place. Cardwell said it took him about six hours to finish the project.


Cardwell, a 6-foot-3 senior wing from Lacey who carries a 3.7 GPA with a double major in physics and math, has picked up where he left off last season. The Lutes’ co-captain has started all four of the Lutes’ games this year and is again the team leader in scoring and rebounding, averaging 13.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.


Pick of the week


Volleyball

Washington vs. Purdue, at College Station, Texas, 5 p.m. today


The scoop:Third-seeded Huskies need to win NCAA matches today and Saturday to qualify for Final Four in San Antonio.


Which is a good return on a $15 investment.


Washington sports


Men’s golf: Washington men’s golf coach Matt Thurmond announced that four top recruits have signed national letters of intent with the Huskies: Joel Dahmen (Clarkston), Chris Evans (Shelton), Nick Taylor (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Darren Wallace (Langley, B.C.).


Cross country: Freshman Anita Campbell (Vancouver, B.C.) placed second Saturday at the Canadian Junior National Cross Country Championships, earning a berth at March’s World Junior Championships in Japan. This is the second straight year that Campbell has qualified for the World Championships.


Volleyball: The third-seeded Huskies make their third straight NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, facing No. 14 Purdue today at 5 p.m. The match will be broadcast by FSN on tape delay at 9 p.m. following the Sonics game.


Seattle Pacific


Men’s basketball: The No. 5 Falcons (5-0) are idle until Tuesday, when they visit Nevada, ranked No. 17 in D-I by The Associated Press. SPU has held its last three opponents to a combined 38 percent shooting and 64 points per game and is off to its best start since 1998-99.


Women’s basketball: Carli Grant’s (Valley Christian of Spokane) 14 points and 14 rebounds in last week’s win over Lewis-Clark State was her 21st career double-double. The seven-game road trip for No. 3 SPU (4-0) is the longest since 1994-95 and begins with a rematch of last year’s regional championship game, against No. 11 Chico State today in Bellingham.


Women’s soccer: Shannon Lovejoy (Seattle Prep) completed her career as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference career scoring leader after passing Seattle University’s Nichole Savageau with a penalty kick at the NCAA Final Four. Lovejoy finished with 42 goals, 27 assists and 111 points. Savageau had 110 points.


Seattle U.


Men’s basketball: Sean Namanny (Antioch, Calif.) is off to a hot start to the season, connecting on 61.5 percent of his three-point attempts in the first five games.


Women’s basketball: Entering the week, opponents are averaging 23.8 turnovers against the Redhawks this season.


Washington St.


Women’s basketball: With a 6-1 record, the Cougars have already equaled their win total from the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons and are off to their best start since beginning the 1994-95 season with a 7-1 mark.


Western Washington


Men’s basketball: Western Washington (5-1) is averaging 103 points through six games and has scored 100 or more in three straight games.


Women’s basketball: Western (3-0) has won all three of its home games and has won 89 of its last 98 games (90.8 percent) at Carver Gym. The Vikings are limiting the opposition for 54 points a game, 33 percent field goal shooting and 24 percent three-point accuracy.


Other colleges


Eastern Washington: Senior cornerback Jesse Hendrix (Lakes) played in 47 of 47 games in his career for the Eagle football team, and set a school record as well. Hendrix finished with 41 passes broken up to equal the school record set by Jackie Kellogg (1990-93). Hendrix had a total of 46 passes defensed in his career to rank second in NCAA I-AA history. He and fellow senior cornerback Isaiah Trufant (Wilson of Tacoma) combined for 16 interceptions, 65 passes broken up and 287 total tackles.


Evergreen: Jenny Olson (Deer Park) was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference player of the week as she led the Geoducks to two wins to open the conference playing season. The junior forward had 25 points and 12 rebounds against Cascade College and scored six crucial points down the stretch to hold off Warner Pacific 57-56.


Northwest: The women’s basketball team leads the conference in total offense, scoring 71.4 points per game. Sophomore Emilee Eisinger (Jackson of Mill Creek) leads the league, averaging 20.8 points.


Puget Sound: Senior Chase Curtiss (Santa Cruz, Calif.) earned Northwest Conference men’s basketball player of the week honors after scoring 41 points, including 11 three-pointers, to lead the Loggers to a pair of NWC road wins


Saint Martins: The Saints men’s basketball team dropped a pair of single-digit contests at the Stephens Memorial Classic at Pueblo, Colo., losing to the host school by two and to Regis by seven. Niko Nunogawa (Federal Way) had 37 points and 10 rebounds in earning all-tournament honors.


Whitman: Seeing his first extended action of the season, freshman guard Chris Faidley (King’s of Shoreline) scored 20 points, making 6 of 10 field goals and 7 of 8 free throws, and grabbed six rebounds for the men’s basketball team (3-2, 1-1) last Saturday at George Fox.


Whitworth: Jonathan Carlson (Camas) and Ali Seyedali (Lake Washington of Kirkland) were named to the NCAA Division III Final Four all-tournament men’s soccer team. The Pirates (19-2-1) lost in the semifinals to Gustavus Adolphus 2-1, but set school records for wins and winning percentage.


Sports information directors


contributed to this notebook.