Two months of the DII women's basketball season are in the books. The holiday break is over, the calendar has flipped to 2023, and it's time for teams to start building their resumes for March.
These players can certainly help.
As a reminder, this team is based purely on statistical leaders in DII women’s basketball. Some may be outright No. 1 in a single category, while others are sometimes top-five in several categories. This month sees four new faces highlight the mix.
LOOK BACK: All-Stats Starting Five for November
The December DII women’s basketball All-Stats Starting Five
(Note: All games through Dec. 31, per NCAA.org)
Guard — Gabby Stare, Ohio Dominican
Technically speaking, Simon Fraser’s Jessica Wisotzki leads guards in scoring, but she — to no fault of her own — has played in half the games as everyone else. Stare has been sensational, scoring 22.8 points per game on 51.3% shooting from the field. She’s also in the top 5 in 3-point percentage, hitting 57.1% of shots from downtown. Entering the new year, the junior is posting career highs in nearly every category.
Guard — Caitlyn Ross, UVA Wise
With all this offensive firepower in the all-stats starting five, we need DII women’s basketball assists leader in the mix. Ross leads the division with 8.2 per game and is tied for the single-game high with 14. She’s not a big scorer, but clearly can when she has to, averaging 10.3 points per game. With the ability to control the glass — Ross has five games with at least six rebounds — she brings a little bit of everything to UVA Wise’s offense, which is off to an impressive 8-3 start.
Honorable mentions: Brittney Cedeno, Dominican (CA); Joey Batt, Minnesota State; Ariel Jones, Shippensburg; Lauryn Vieira, Eckerd; Jessica Wisotzki, Simon Fraser
SURPRISE, SURPRISE: 7 teams of to unexpected starts
Forward — Arriana Manzay, West Liberty
Manzay is having a breakout season. After averaging just 12.0 points per game last year, she is DII women’s basketball’s top-scoring forward with 20.9 points per game. She does it by shooting 67.4% from the field, second-best in the division. She is also a double-double machine, averaging 10.3 rebounds per game, a top-15 mark in DII.
Forward — Jami Tham, Tusculum
Tham returns to the all-stats team, marking her second straight appearance. She’s played in 13 games and has double doubled a DII-best 13 times. That’s 100% of the time, and that is remarkable. Her 13.8 rebounds per game lead all DII women’s basketball forwards, and she averages 17.8 points on 60.4% shooting. Simply a dominant start for the Pioneer.
Honorable mentions: Jaclyn Jarnot, West Florida; Mackenzie Johnson, Young Harris; Brooke Littrell, Central Missouri; Annie Roshak, Ashland; Emilee Weakley, Frostburg State
RANKINGS: The latest DII women's basketball Power 10
Center — Abby Spurgin, Hawaii Pacific
It’s not often you see a center leading all DII women’s basketball in scoring, but here we are. In fact, I don’t remember it ever happening in my years on the beat, which is how Spurgin edges out the red-hot Samantha Bowman for this month’s spot. Spurgin is scoring 26.2 points per game while adding 9.0 rebounds a contest. She was on a hot streak with 35, 38 (a school record) and 21 points respectively before missing a few games with injury and returned after the break with 26 points and nine rebounds. That's consistency right there.
Honorable mentions: Samantha Bowman, Central Washington; Kayla Simmons, Lane