Key February games are about to be played on the hardwood. Before the month kicks off, let’s look at some of the top performers in DII women’s basketball through January of 2022.
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The DII women’s basketball “all-stats starting five” is a dream team, picking some of the best players at their respective positions, statistically speaking. While you will find some of the leaders in all of DII, some players are leaders specifically at their position. It is also important to note, some of the players considered were in the top 5 of multiple categories, stuffing the stat sheet nightly. Simply put, there are multiple ways to earn your spot in the lineup.
This month’s starting five looks very similar to the inaugural lineup of 2022. Many of those statistical leaders have continued to perform very well as the NCAA DII women’s tournament nears. All stats are from games played through Sunday, Jan. 30 per NCAA.org.
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The January all-stats starting five
Guard: Audrey Tingle, West Liberty
If you heard that Tingle had four triple-doubles this season, you would be impressed. The fact that all four have come in January — recording three in her last four games mind you — will blow your mind. Tingle is on a run that has been matched by few at any level, putting up 10 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists on Jan. 30 for her fourth triple-double of the month. No other DII women's basketball player has more than one triple-double on the season. Tingle's latest triple-double ties her with Ursuline’s Laney Lewis’s DII women’s basketball single-season record… in a month.
Also considered: Abby Beeman, Shepherd — Beeman continues to lead DII in assists, dishing out 7.6 per game. She is also a potent offensive weapon, leading the team in scoring at 19.4 points per game and shoots a solid 40 percent from three. An impressive all-around player, Beeman also contributes 5.6 rebounds per game which is second most on the team while being listed at 5-foot-4.
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Guard: Aspen Thornton, Ouachita Baptist
Thornton continues to lead DII women’s basketball in scoring by nearly a two-point margin. By the way, she is merely a freshman. She’s averaging 24.3 points per game and posted the second 40-point game of her young career this month. Thornton also posts an impressive 3.1 steals per game which is the best mark in the Great American Conference.
Also considered: Maighan Hedge, Cameron — Hedge is lighting it up in January with five 20-point performances in six tries this month. She’s a sharpshooter as well, converting 50.9 percent from the field and 48.1 percent from three.
Forward: Kelsey Johnson, Central Oklahoma
Johnson is the top scoring forward in DII women’s basketball, averaging 21.8 points per game. She has completely turned it up in January, scoring at least 20 points in all nine games while going for 30 or more in three of those performances. Johnson has done so while shooting an impressive 62.8 percent over that span. She’s also posted 11 double-doubles on the season while leading the team in rebounds and blocked shots.
Also considered: Jaclyn Jarnot, West Florida — Jarnot is as balanced a player you’ll find. She scores 16.5 points per game while averaging 12.8 rebounds, the most by a forward in the division. You’ll see her name high on the list of DII double-doubles, tied for third most with 12.
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Forward: Riley Fitzwater, Concord
Another month means another appearance by Fitzwater. Currently the record holder for the best field-goal percentage in the history of DII women’s basketball, it comes as no surprise that Fitzwater is once again leading DII by shooting 70.3 percent from the floor. She also entered the season fifth all-time in DII history with 4.2 blocks per game and is leading the division yet again. Fitzwater also averages 16.8 points and 12.1 rebounds per game as one of the best overall players in the division.
Also considered: Makaila Cangé, Lander — Cangé has been remarkable the past two seasons and seems to get better every game. For the season, she is among the DII leaders in points (21.2 per game), rebounds (10.6 per game), field-goal percentage (68.2 percent) and double-doubles (11).
Center (tie): Jamiyah Johnson, Slippery Rock
Johnson continues to be a dominant force in the paint. She is second in DII in rebounding with 15.3 per game and has posted a double-double in each of her 15 games on the season, tied with Tingle for the most in DII. Perhaps most clutch is her performance on the offensive glass where she leads DII with 6.1 per game. Johnson also contributes 19.1 points per game while shooting 57.3 percent from the field.
Center (tie): Samantha Bowman, Central Washington
There really isn't much separating Bowman and Johnson, so instead of an "also considered", these two finished in a tie. Bowman leads DII in rebounding with 15.6 per game while adding 16.3 points per game to the offense. She is also tops in defensive boards with 11.0 per game, translating to 11 double-doubles on the season. Central Washington is rolling and may be the team to beat in the West. Having Bowman in the middle sure helps.