6 of the best scorers in Division II women's basketball
Ashland's record-setting offense has stolen the limelight for much of the DII women’s basketball season. Its 61-game winning streak is national news, but its high-octance offense is all the more impressive. The Eagles — leading the country with 102.9 points per game — could be the first team to average 100 points per game in the history of women's basketball.
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There are plenty of other big scoring machines in DII women's basketball though. Glenville State is averaging 99.8 points per game, so there's a chance we'll see two teams average 100 points per game in the same season for the first time in women's basketball history. There are also individual players who have been lighting up box scores all season long. Some do it in the paint, others from 3-point land. Here’s a look at some standout scorers in DII women’s basketball.
Jessica Kelliher, Lewis
Kelliher has led DII women's basketball in scoring since opening night. She went four straight games scoring 25 or more points to start the season and has broken the 30-point mark seven times — including a season-high of 37 against Ferris State. Her 25.3 points per game are not only tops in DII, but second overall across all three divisions.
Perhaps most remarkable, Kelliher is putting up these numbers while boasting the second-best field goal percentage in DII at 66.8 percent. It's no fluke either, as Kelliher is tops on the active list with a career 64.2 percent mark. She’s been on fire of late, scoring 60 points over her last two games at a 71.7 percent shooting rate. The best way to keep Kelliher off the scoresheet is to send her to the line, which is perhaps her only weakness (she's shooting 68.6 percent on free throws). Still, to be scoring as much as she does as efficiently as she does is an impressive feat.
Laina Snyder and Andi Daugherty, Ashland
Snyder and Daugherty are Ashland’s dynamic duo. You won’t find them atop the DII scoring leaders this season because the Eagles are deep and distribute the ball to a lot of able scorers.
Snyder is the active DII scoring leader, however, putting up a remarkable 2,039 points over her career. Daugherty isn’t far behind at fourth overall with 1,817 career points. Considering Ashland’s history of going far in the postseason, both have a very good chance at cracking the all-time top 25 in DII history.
Snyder is averaging 19.5 points per game this season and Daugherty is chipping in 14.3. We’ll see how many more scoring records Ashland can shatter as the two prepare to walk off into the sunset as two of the most decorated student-athletes in program history.
Riley Fitzwater, Concord
Fitzwater was a recent member of our DII February All-Stat Team. She’s averaging a double-double on the season, averaging 13 points and ripping down 11.7 rebounds per game. She's also third in DII in blocks. Not bad for a freshman, right?
What’s most impressive is that Fitzwater is leading DII in field goal percentage. Her 70.4 mark is not only tops in the division, it’s second overall in the entire country across all three levels. It’s the fourth-best percentage in DII history. Fitzwater has been hot since the calendar flipped to February, shooting 71.1 percent this month. Should she keep up her pace, she has the chance to start her basketball career by etching her name in the DII women's basketball annals.
Again, not bad for a freshman, right?
Mikaela Burgess, Pittsburg State
Burgess hit seven 3-pointers the last time she took the court. That's just what Burgess does.
That total gave her 316 in her career, which moved her into the top 25 all time in DII lore. Should she maintain her average 3.08 per game, she will crack the top 20. She's currently the fourth all-time leading scorer in Gorillas history, and could move up that list as well. Only four current players in DII have scored more points than her.
Burgess is averaging 16.3 points per game on the season. The final games of her Pittsburg State career will be well worth watching to see how far she can jump up the rankings.
Morgan Arden, Shepherd
Arden is having a career season, which says a lot for the No. 2 active scoring leaader in DII women's basketball. The Rams senior guard already held a few program records before becoming Shepherd's all-time leading scorer this season.
February is her best month of the season thus far, as she's dropped 37, 30, 35 and 16 in her first four games. Arden is averaging 22.3 points per game — sixth best in DII — and she's a threat from deep, shooting 48.1 percent from 3-point land. She has a chance to close out her season with the highest points per game mark in the young history of the Mountain East Conference.
Others to watch:
Chelsey Shumpert, Union — Shumpert opened the season scoring 20 or more points in nine straight games, and she's yet to relent. She is second in DII with a 24.5 average.
Ariel Jones, Shippensburg — The Raiders are a young team, starting three freshmen, and Jones is the best of the bunch. Her 21. 3 points per game tops all freshmen and is eighth-best in DII.
Baylee Bennett, Cedarville — Bennett finished seventh overall in 3-pointers made last year as a freshman. Now a sophomore, she is leading DII and should set a new career-high while she's on pace to shatter some 3-point records along the way.