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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | January 3, 2020

We picked a DII women's basketball starting five based on the best stats of 2019

Watch DII Lander sink Clemson at the buzzer

The first half of the DII women's basketball season is in the books. As teams prepare for a spot in the NCAA DII tournament this March, let's look back at those who stuffed the box scores in 2019 in the first DII women's basketball all-stats starting five of the season.

DII RANKINGS: Lubbock Christian, Drury enter 2020 atop the NCAA.com Power 10

Every two weeks, we'll pick a starting five based on the stat leaders in DII women's basketball. While some of these players are the clear choice, seemingly running away in their respective categories, others put up a combined effort, finding themselves in the top 15 of several big categories. 

The DII women's basketball all-stats starting five

G — Shareka McNeill, Virginia Union

Virginia Union Athletics Shareka McNeill leads DII women's basketball in scoring.

Shareka McNeill has been on our radar since she and her wonder twin Shameka stepped on campus two seasons ago. The two lead the Panthers in scoring, putting in 44.9 of Virginia Union's 76.7 points per game. But Shareka has taken it to a new level, leading DII women's basketball with 32.1 points per game. She's hitting 41 percent of her 3s as well as being a complete scoring machine.

G — Brianna Purcell, Saint Michael's

Saint Michael's Athletics Brianna Purcell leads DII women's basketball with two triple-doubles.

The 5'6 senior guard has started out quite impressively, leading DII women's basketball with 8.9 assists per game. But that's not the number that caught our eye. Purcell wasted little time making her presence known, opening the 2019-20 season with a triple-double, scoring 12 points, ripping down 15 boards, and dishing out 11 assists. She recorded her second — and DII-best — of the season on Dec. 16, and was actually one rebound shy of back-to-back triple-doubles a few nights prior. 

Other guards considered: Kayla Marosites, Carson-Newman; Danielle Norquest, West Florida; Jessica Wayne, Emporia State

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F — Shannon Ryan, Saint Anselm

Saint Anselm Athletics Shannon Ryan is a double-double machine for Saint Anselm.

Ryan has played in nine of the Hawks ten games this season, and she's double-doubled in each one. That ties her for the DII women's basketball lead, but her name is all over the statistical leaders. Ryan's 25.7 points per game are second in the division while her 14.9 rebounds per game are second to none. She's also shooting a career-high 53.4 percent from the field and 75.4 percent from the charity stripe. Just a monster season so far.

F — Jamiyah Johnson, Davis & Elkins

Davis & Elkins Athletics Jamiyah Johnson has a national DII women's basketball player of the week award already this season.

The Senators are just 2-9, so you may have missed the unreal performance Johnson put on in the first half. She's averaging a double-double per game with 18.7 points per game and 14 rebounds per game. Her seven double-doubles match her career-high from last season and she's doing it all while shooting more than 60 percent from the field. Her work hasn't gone unnoticed, picking up a USWBA National Player of the Week Award on Dec. 15 after a ridiculous 31-point, 26-rebound output.

Other forwards considered: Riley Fitzwater, Concord; Quantesha Patterson, Delta State

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C — Cassidy Boensch, Grand Valley State and Shanika Peterkin, Barton (tie)

Grand Valley State Athletics Cassidy Boensch leads all DII women's basketball centers in scoring.

Boensch has pretty much been the standard at center for a couple years running, a regular on our 2018-19 all-stat teams. But this one was too close to call. Boensch leads all DII women's basketball centers with 20.1 points per game, while Peterkin is the top center in rebounds per game, eighth over all with an average of 11.6. Both are comparable double-double machines (Peterkin with nine, Boensch with seven) and are solid shot blockers (Peterkin at 3.8 per game, Boensch with 3.5). As conference play opens, we'll see which one can separate themself from the other. 

Another center considered:  Anna Hayton, Charleston (WV)

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