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Zach Pekale | NCAA.com | December 9, 2020

DII women's basketball: Paige Robinson, Julia Ruzevich lead this week's starting 5

Lindenwood Athletics Lindenwood's Julia Ruzevich. Lindenwood's Julia Ruzevich set career highs in scoring and rebounding this week.

It's been another exciting week of DII women's basketball, which means it's time to announce our next starting five. Let's take a look at some of the top performances and milestones from around the Division.

In case you're not familiar, this is our bi-weekly team of the week, crafted to highlight some of the top individual performances throughout DII. Teams are chosen using statistics as well as milestones and moments from throughout the week. 

Note: All games played from Tuesday, Dec. 1, through Monday, Dec. 7, were taken into account.

Sha Carter — Walsh, guard

The 2019-20 GMAC Player of the Year picked up right where she left off a season ago. Carter opened the new year by dropping 28 points in Walsh's 92-59 win over Ursuline. The junior guard played just 24 minutes, but she was highly effective, knocking down 11-of-15 shot attempts. Carter added a team-high nine rebounds — four on the offensive end — in addition to a pair of steals in the win

Hannah Cooper — Western Colorado, guard

Cooper was the 2019-20 RMAC Freshman of the Year. Her first game of the new season would indicate that she's ready to take the next step. Cooper piled on 34 points in Western Colorado's 81-74 win against Black Hills State. The sophomore could not be stopped as she connected on 9-of-15 shooting and converted 15 of her 16 free-throw attempts. Cooper also picked up her first career double-double with 10 rebounds in addition to five assists and a pair of steals.

MORE: 9 things you may have missed in DII basketball last week

Ashlyn Huffman — Cedarville, guard

Huffman was Cedarville's second leading scorer a year ago. It would appear she is poised to be the Yellow Jackets top offensive option this go around. The senior has flirted with her career high in scoring twice in the opening week of the season. Huffman averages 26.5 points and 5.5 rebounds through two games. She had 28 points in an opening night loss to Ohio Dominican, following that up with 25 points, eight boards and four assists in a win over Findlay.

Paige Robinson — Drury, guard

If it feels like you've read Robinson's name a lot in the early goings of the season, your eyesight is fine. She's just been THAT good. Robinson made our first all-stats team this year with a 37-point eruption against Lindenwood. She followed that up by nearly posting a triple-double in a rout of Southwest Baptist. Robinson finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. She jumped back over the 20-point mark a few days later, dropping 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists on William Jewell. Drury won its two games this week by an average of 28.5 points with Robinson leading the charge.

MORE: Here is your first DII women's basketball all-stats team of the season

Julia Ruzevich — Lindenwood, guard/forward

Ruzevich was the Lions' fifth-leading scorer during the 2019-20 season. But you'd never be able to tell if you've seen the start she's had to the season. The senior is a matchup nightmare because she can play from the post or perimeter and make opponents pay from both. That versatility was on display last week as she set a career-high with 29 points and 15 rebounds in a 79-67 loss to Maryville. She helped Lindenwood get into the win column a few days later against her former team, Quincy. Ruzevich had 17 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots in the Lions' 67-41 win.

Here is the first DII men's basketball all-stats team of 2021

Here are some of the top DII men's basketball performances from the first few days of 2021.
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