Division II women's basketball: A class by class look at the premier post players
Last week, we took a look at some of the most prolific scorers in Division II women's basketball. This week, we turn our attention to some of the more dominating post players in the division.
What exactly defines a dominating post player? It's the ability to score, most often at a high efficiency. It's also the ability to keep opponents off the glass and make them think twice about driving the lane. Here's a class by class look at some of the best basket stuffing, board grabbing, ball swatters in DII.
Laina Snyder and Laney Lewis will end their collegeiate careers as two of the most dominant post players of their era.
Snyder, the Eagles' center, is the leader of the 26-0 record-setting Ashland squad, winners of 63 straight games. She is the first player in program history to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, and is just eight points shy of the school's scoring record. This season, Snyder is averaging 19.1 points per game with a team-best 7.9 rebounds per game. Her 1,422 career points in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference are third all-time, and she is 122 points off the record. Snyder could arguably have even better numbers if she didn't have to share the court with other superstars like Andi Daugherty and Jodi Johnson, but her selfless play adds more to her legacy.
Lewis, Ursuline's star forward, recently became the single-season, triple double record-holder in DII. As a 6-1 post player. Her ability to run the floor came at a young age when she was forced to play point guard. Through the years, she has become one of the elite post players in the game, able to score, board and pass with the best of them. Her 13.0 rebounds per game leads DII and her 176 assists are second most this season.
California (Pa)'s Shatara Parsons is ending her career on the right note. Her 20.9 points per game are a career high and leads all senior forwards this season. She leads the Vulcans with 7.5 rebounds per game and her 2.65 blocks per game are 20th-best in DII.
Jessica Kelliher has been the most dominating junior post player from start to this weekend's regular season finish. Lewis's 6-foot forward is building on her Great Lakes Valley Conference player of the year 2016-17 campaign with career-best numbers across the board. Her 25.1 points per game have led DII all season, while her 8.4 rebounds per game lead the team and are third in the GLVC. Kelliher has been on a tear of late, with two 30-plus point double-doubles in her last three games.
West Liberty's Marissa Brown is one of the taller forwards in DII, standing at 6-3. She uses every inch to her advantage, leading the Mountain East Conference in scoring, her 23.8 points per game placing fourth in DII. The MEC is stacked with talented bigs, and Brown paces the way, adding 11.0 rebounds per game. Brown's last time out was borderline unbelievable as she recorded 43 points, 25 rebounds and five blocks in a 106-103 loss to Glenville State.
Speaking of tall, Tabitha Odabe has had a big -- in every respect of the word -- season for Flagler. The 6-5 center is third in DII in rebounding (12.4 per game), while her 4.1 blocks per game rank second. Odabe recorded a triple-double on January 13 by going for 20 and 15 with a season-high 12 blocks. She's also second in the Peach Belt Conference with a 57.9 field goal percentage, as she drops 10.1 points per game.
The sophomore class is really deep in bigs. Angelo State's 6-4 forward De'Anira Moore leads all sophomores in blocks. Saint Anselm's Shannon Ryan and Southern Connecticut State's Kiana Steinauer have been double-double machines, atop the Northeast-10 leaderboards in rebounds. Throw in big play from King (TN)'s Kori West and Carson-Newman's Kayla Marosites, it makes narrowing down the best to a select few a daunting task.
Lindenwood's Kallie Bildner has made her case all season long. The reigning Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association freshman of the year is having an even better sophomore campaign. She leads the MIAA in rebounding, pulling down 11.9 per game, fifth-best in DII. Bildner is also chipping in a career-high 18.9 points per game.
Cal State East Bay's Morgan Greene leads all sophs in rebounds with 12.8 per game, second most in DII. She also leads all sophomores in double-doubles this season, recording one in 20 of her 27 games played. At 5-10, she's one of the smaller post players on the list, but with a 16.1 points and 12.8 rebounds per game average, she plays amongst the largest.
Riley Fitzwater has made her presence felt in the MEC all season long. Concord's 6-4 forward is amongst DII's top ten in both points and blocked shots. She's averaging 14.1 and 11.8 per game with 3.92 blocks per game. Perhaps most impressively, she leads all of DII in field goal percentage at 71.4 percent.
Southwestern Oklahoma State is having a historic season, sitting at 24-2 and 19-1 in the Great American Conference. While the dynamic duo of Hailey Tucker and Hayden Priddy can't be denied, Bethany Franks contributions as a freshman can't be overlooked. Franks is averaging 10.1 points and a team-best 9.4 rebounds per game, which leads the GAC.