Half the season is in the books, and the Division II women's basketball tournament picture is beginning to take shape. There are quite a few freshmen impacting their team's success halfway through January.
Let's take a look at nine freshmen who have played a big role in getting their respective teams in a very good position as March approaches.
Paige Robinson, Drury
The Panthers were amongst the pre-season favorites here at NCAA.com thanks in large part to a bevy of familiar faces returning to Springfield, Missouri. Robinson’s impact in Drury’s 15-0 start can’t be denied. The 5-10 guard is averaging 22.7 minutes a game off the bench, scoring 15.1 points per game, second-most on the Panthers. She’s also the team’s best 3-point shooter, converting 48 percent of the time behind the arc. To have that kind of depth to spell the experienced starting five is invaluable.
Kaylee DaMitz, Pittsburg State
Congratulations to Saturday's @TheEdgeAtRouse Performer of the Game, Kaylee DaMitz. Kaylee led the Gorillas with 16 points to go with 7 assists in the victory over the Jennies. #GorillaNation #ForGloryAndFame pic.twitter.com/OY6g2SX52s— Pitt State Women's Basketball (@GorillasWBB) January 13, 2019
DaMitz is the lone freshman in the Gorillas starting five. The 5-4 guard is averaging 10 points a night to go along with 3.9 rebounds and a team-best 4.7 assists. The 13-2 Gorillas look sharp early on, coming off a victory over the defending champions. DaMitz, who averages the most minutes per game, will need to keep it up with the tough MIAA schedule ahead.
Julia Macabuhay, UC San Diego
The Tritons are out to a perfect 14-0 start and Macabuhay is a big reason why. She drops 11.0 points per night while leading the team in both assists and steals. Macabuhay is a no doubt a key contributor to the CCAA’s leading offense that puts up 79.6 points per game.
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Quinoche Carter, Walsh
The Cavaliers have the top scoring offense in the G-MAC, scoring 80.4 points per game. That charge is led by Carter, who leads Walsh in scoring at 19.2 points per game, best amongst all freshmen in DII women's basketball and good for second in the conference. Carter also contributes on the boards, pulling down a team-best 6.3 points per game. Alongside fellow freshman Lexie Scarton in the starting lineup, Walsh appears to be in good hands moving forward.
Kayla Raymond, Stonehill
Stonehill is off to an 11-3 start and Raymond has led the way. She leads the team in scoring with 16.7 points per game. Raymond shoots 51 percent from the floor and 47 percent from 3. The Skyhawks will need her hot shooting to continue in a conference filled with big-time players.
For those of you scoring at home.... that's 🖐️#NE10EMBRACE Rookie of the Week awards for @stonehillwbb freshman Kayla Raymond! #GoHill #NCAAD2 Skyhawks back in action Wednesday at AIC. pic.twitter.com/I1rx4p7luO— Stonehill Athletics (@GoStonehill) January 7, 2019
Re’Shawna Stone, Glenville State
The Pioneers are scoring an unreal 104.9 points per game, and Stone is a big reason why. Not only is she scoring 16.2 points per game, but she also leads the team in assists and steals while pulling down 4.0 rebounds per game for the MEC’s leading rebounding team. Glenville State is a high-octane team and having the fresh legs of Stone will certainly help.
Maddie Re, Truman
Re has been instrumental in the Bulldogs 14-2 start. The 6-1 redshirt freshman has shown her versatility, posting double-doubles whether she is in the starting rotation or providing valuable minutes off the bench. Re is efficient from the field, shooting 57 percent, and seldom has a bad shooting night. She scores 8.1 points and rips down 7.9 rebounds per game, making her presence a valuable one in the paint.
Kamryn Cantwell, Southeastern Oklahoma
The Savage Storm is 9-4 but is riding a four-game winning streak into the heart of GAC play. Cantwell seems to be getting comfortable at the right time, scoring 20 or more points in three of the last five games, dropping 17.8 points per game over that span. The Storm has their work cut out to make the tournament, but if Cantwell and her team continue the upward trend, they could make some noise in March.
Amy Baum, Hawaii Pacific
The Sharks 9-5 record isn’t as sexy as some of the others on this list. But here’s where Baum has come in to play. Hawaii Pacific started the season 0-2 and have gone 9-3 since Baum entered the starting lineup in Game 3. The 5-7 guard is filling the stat sheet, averaging 9.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game as a starter. The Sharks may be on the outside looking in right now, but with Baum’s hot play and two matchups with Azusa Pacific remaining, HPU may be dancing come March.
(All stats through 1/15/18)