The DII women’s basketball regular season has come to a close. As the bulk of conference tournaments begin, let’s take a look back at some of the stat sheet stuffers from the past five months.
Each month, NCAA.com put together a starting five based purely on the statistical leaders of DII women’s basketball. Here is the final starting five of the regular season, with an added honorable mention list at each position to acknowledge the many standout performers throughout the season.
Addy Clift, Guard, Oklahoma Christian
Easy pick. The DII women’s basketball scoring champion simply can’t be left off an all-stats team. Clift was steady all season, scoring 30 or more points nine times with two 40-point games in the mix. While she had a few off nights shooting percentage-wise, Clift scored in double-digits in every game she played this season, capping it off with a 31-point output.
Honorable mention: Natalie Diaz, Dominican (CA); Ariel Jones, Shippensburg; Anna Hall, West Florida, Christen Prasse, Nova Southeastern.
Daejah Bernard, Guard, Drury
There were way too many players deserving of this spot, but ultimately it came down to Bernard. The junior guard isn't going to fill up the scorecards with points, but she led DII women's basketball in steals while finishing in the top 10 in assists. With her at the helm, the Panthers were a top 20 scoring defense allowing just 55.3 points per game, running through the regular season undefeated as the No. 1 team in the land. That gave Bernard the slight edge over a slew of others.
Honorable mentions: Autumn Avina, Oklahoma Baptist; Kari Lankford, Shepherd; Karlee Alves, Merrimack; Renee Stimpert, Ashland.
Kiana Steinauer, Forward,Southern Connecticut
Steinauer simply dominated the entire season for the Owls. She wowed us with a historic 33-point, 31-rebound performance in December, and just kept rolling. She finishes the regular season as the DII rebounding leader, averaging 15.3 per game. Steinauer piled up five games with 20 or more rebounds, and just missed twice with 19. She’s posted nine straight double-doubles as part of her DII-best 22.
RED-HOT TEAMS: Don't play these five teams this March
Marissa Brown, Forward, West Liberty
A very tough spot to pick. Brown has just enough points and rebounds to edge out Benedict's Ay'Anna Bey, as both impressively finished in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding. And then there is Riley Fitzwater of Concord, who led DII women's basketball in field goal percentage and blocked shots. But the Hilltoppers' senior forward has scored 24.3 points while averaging 13.1 rebounds per game all while shooting nearly 62 percent from the field. She closed out the season with eight double-doubles in her final nine games and was an absolute force any time she stepped on the floor.
Honorable mentions: Jessica Kelliher, Lewis; Felecity Havens, Mount Olive; Ay'Anna Bey, Benedict; Riley Fitzwater, Concord.
Be on the 👀 for these seven women #D2Hoops student-athletes that could possibly DOMINATE on the court come conference and post-season play: https://t.co/QN5649hapW. #NCAAD2 / #MakeItYours 🏀 pic.twitter.com/W339NYeGeD— NCAA Division II (@NCAADII) February 21, 2019
Dana Watts, Center, American International
The senior makes her final (of many) appearances on the all-stats team. Watts once again finished the regular season leading all centers in points, scoring 21.2 points per game, giving her 2,163 career points, third-most amongst active DII women’s basketball players. Watts also pulled down 321 rebounds (11.5 per game), giving her 1,152 in her career, second most amongst active players.
Honorable mentions: Cassidy Boensch, Grand Valley State; Allie Navarette, Hawaii Hilo.