Welcome to March. Sixty-four teams remain in the hunt for all the glory, but before they start, let's take a look back at some of the best of the best in Division II women's basketball.
Points. Assists. Rebounds. Swats. We all love to see the stat sheets get filled. These five players did it better than anyone else in 2017-18.
Guard: Chelsey Shumpert, Union (TN)
Dominican (CA)'s Natalie Diaz actually edged out Shumpert as the top scoring guard in DII by 0.1 points per game, but Shumpert's play led her team to a No. 1 seed in the South Region, giving her the slight edge. Shumpert was pretty consistent, scoring over 20 points 21 times and eclipsing the 30-point mark on 11 of those occasions. She led the Gulf South Conference in scoring and 3-point percentage en route to GSC Player of the Year honors.
GUARD: Jodi Johnson, Ashland
Johnson had a breakout season for the undefeated Eagles, earning Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors along the way. She finished right behind Laina Snyder, scoring 19.3 points per game in the Eagles record-setting 101.5 points per game attack. Johnson also led DII in steals, swiping 3.81 per game. It’s hard to imagine that Ashland had better players than Snyder or Andi Daugherty, but Johnson is making a strong case that she’s amongst the best in the division.
Forward: Laney Lewis, Ursuline
#G_MAC WBB Player of the Year (3x)— Great Midwest (@GreatMidwestac) March 1, 2018
Laney Lewis, UC
19.2 ppg, 13.2 rpg, 6.7 apg, 50.4 FG%
league's 2nd all-time leading scorer
1st in blocks, rebounds in conference career history pic.twitter.com/B4oaRj4qlD
Simply put, Lewis can do it all. At 6-1, she’s amongst the tallest on her roster, but she can run the floor with the best of them. Called on to be a point guard at an early age, Ursuline’s senior forward used her skills to become one of the elite passers in DII. Lewis set the DII single-season triple-double record with four, while leading DII in double-doubles with 23. Her 12.7 rebounds per game tied for the DII lead and her 19.3 points per game were a career high. Lewis ended her illustrious career with her third straight Great Midwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year award.
Forward: Jessica Kelliher, Lewis
Kelliher led Division II in scoring from start to finish, averaging 24.8 points per game. Kelliher wrapped up her second-straight Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year campaign by throwing in 8.8 rebounds per game as well. She is highly effective, finishing the season second in DII in field goal percentage, hitting 66.4 percent of her 2s.
Center: Tabitha Odabe, Flagler
This was a tight race. Dana Watts (American International) led all centers in scoring with 20.5 per game, but Odabe was a big presence in the paint, earning Peach Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors. The 6-5 junior was amongst the tallest players in DII, and used her size well, leading the PBC with 12.2 rebounds per game. She finished second in DII with 4.04 blocks, and averaged 10.1 points per game at a highly efficient 54.1 percent from the field. She recorded Flagler's first triple-double in program history with a ridiculous, 20-point, 21-rebound, 12-block stat line.
Other 2017-18 final stat leaders:
- Assists per game: Rejoice Spivey, Virginia Union (7.0)
- Blocked shots per game: Shanika Peterkin, Barton (4.19)
- Assist-turnover ratio: Zoe March, Azusa Pacific (3.62)
- Field-goal percentage: Riley Fitzwater, Concord (70.9)
- 3-point field goals per game: Lynsey Englebrecht, Findlay (3.86)
- 3-point percentage: Alanna Scott, Dominican (CA) (50.4)
- Free-throw percentage: Lakin Preisner, East Central (95.6)