Points are mounting up, rebounds are being ripped down, and 3-point shots are flying high. So, who’s doing it the best?
RELATED: January’s All-Stat Starting Five
Every month, NCAA.com will put together a DII women's basketball Starting Five, consisting of some of the statistical leaders* around the country. Here is a position by position breakdown of some standout performers.
Chelsey Shumpert, Guard, Union (TN)
Shumpert is one of a couple of returners from last month’s All-Stat team. Union’s top guard had a big January, scoring 30 or more points on six different occasions. She saw her scoring average hit 24.7 on the season, making her second in DII women’s basketball and tops amongst all guards.
Union is in first place in the Gulf South Conference and tied for No. 10 in the poll. Shumpert’s play is clearly a big factor in how this team has 21 wins already after finishing 17-12 last season. She also grabs 6.9 rebounds, while chipping in 4.3 assists and 2.7 steals per game.
Felecity Havens, Guard, Mount Olive
Havens has been one of the more athletic, big guards (she’s listed at 5-foot-11) all season. She is scoring 23.9 points per game, fourth best in DII and third amongst guards. Havens also leads all guards in rebounding, ripping down 10.4 per game. She’s recorded 11 double-doubles, second to Limetone’s Keidra Smith amongst DII guards.
The junior has been on fire of late. Havens has scored 21, 28 and 39 in her last three contests and looks to be getting hot at the right time of year. She recently entered the 1,000 point club for Mount Olive as well.
Honorable mention (guard): Natalie Diaz, Guard, Dominican (CA); Nina Vukosavljevic, NYIT; Jodi Johnson, Ashland
Diaz had a big January for the Penguins, averaging 25.4 points per game on the month. She’s started off February in a big way, scoring 31 points this past Saturday against Hawaii Hilo. For the season, Diaz is averaging 24.4 points per game, second most amongst DII guards.
Vukosavljevic has been stuffing the stat sheet all season for the Bears. She’s averaging 14.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game, good for second in DII to the injured Ivy Wallen.
Johnson has come alive in her sophomore season for the undefeated reigning national champs. She's leading the team in scoring (19.8 points per game), while leading DII in steals with 4.05 per game.
Laney Lewis, Forward, Ursuline
Meet the Russell Westbrook/Oscar Robertson of DII women’s basketball. Lewis scored 18 points, with 16 rebounds and 11 assists on January 20, recording her DII-best third triple-double on the season.
Ursuline’s senior forward is averaging 19.4 points per game to go along with a DII-best 13.5 rebounds and career-high 6.7 assists per game, which leads the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. Lewis has won the last two GMAC Player of the Year Awards and a third is highly likely.
Riley Fitzwater, Forward, Concord
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Fitzwater’s numbers is that she’s the lone freshman on the list. She’s averaging a double-double on the season while leading DII with a 70.2 field goal percentage.
On the season, Fitzwater is averaging 13 points and 12. rebounds per game, which tops the Mountain East Conference. She also leads the MEC with 3.7 blocks per game, sixth-best in DII. She’s quietly putting together one of the better all-around seasons in the entire division.
Honorable mention (forward): Jessica Kelliher, Lewis
The 6-foot junior continues to do Kelliher things. She has led DII in scoring for pretty much the whole season, and still does, putting in 24.9 points per game.
Tabitha Odabe, Center, Flagler
The junior center is the only student-athlete on the All-Stat team not averaging double-digit points. Odabe brings plenty of other stat sheet fillers to the squad, however.
She leads all centers in rebounding, third in DII with 12.6 boards per night. She’s also tops in all of DII with 4.3 blocks per game. Odabe does chip in 9.9 points per game, so if she scores 16 more like her last time out, she’ll be averaging a double-double on the year.
Honorable mention (center): Dana Watts, American International
Watts leads all centers in scoring, dropping in 20.4 points per game. She’s second to Odabe in rebounding with 10.7 per night.
(* = All stats as of February 4, 2018 from NCAA.org)