The DII women’s basketball regular season is complete. It is officially tournament time, as conference championships will be decided in the coming days to see which 64 teams will vie to be the next national champion.
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This is the final DII women’s basketball “all-stats starting five” of the regular season and there will be one more for the DII tournament at its conclusion. This dream team is a collaboration of the best players at their respective positions, based purely on stats. Some may be DII categorical leaders and others may be the tops at their respective positions. For some, they may not lead DII in any one category, but find their name appearing in the top 5 of many.
This month’s starting five looks very similar to the first one 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 Monday, Feb. 28, per NCAA.org.
The February all-stats starting five
Guard: Audrey Tingle, West Liberty
Tingle finishes the 2021-22 season with six triple-doubles, breaking Ursuline’s Laney Lewis mark of four for the all-time single-season DII women’s basketball record. The mark is tops in DIII women’s basketball as well and came very close to Sabrina Ionescu’s unbelievable mark of eight, which she accomplished twice. She also tied the DII career mark with seven total triple-doubles, matching Christina Whitelaw of Colorado Christian. A record-setting season should be all Tingle needs to secure her spot in the starting lineup, but she also led the MEC in assists (finishing the regular season second in DII overall) and tied for third in DII in double-doubles. She averaged nearly 14 points and 11 rebounds per game, capping off an incredible season.
Also considered: Abby Beeman, Shepherd — Beeman and Tingle flip-flopped in this spot throughout the season. Shepherd’s guard finished the season leading DII women’s basketball in assists while chipping in 18.7 points and almost three steals per game. She was as solid an all-around floor leader as you’ll find in the division.
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Guard: Aspen Thornton, Ouachita Baptist
What a spectacular true-freshman campaign from Thornton. She led DII women’s basketball for nearly the entire season and finished atop the division with a 23.4 scoring average. She also finished second in the GAC with an impressive 2.5 steals per game. Thornton closed out the season strong — she scored 30 and 33 points in her last two games while shooting 7-for-15 from downtown.
Also considered: Shameka McNeill, Anderson (SC) — McNeill played alongside her twin, Shareka, for a successful stint at Virginia Union before settling in with the Trojans for her graduate season. She opened the 2022 portion of the schedule with a 30-point explosion on Jan. 5 and didn’t relent. McNeill went 13-straight games scoring no less than 21 points and finished second in DII in scoring.
Forward: Kelsey Johnson, Central Oklahoma
It was another strong season for Johnson, who led all forwards in scoring at 21.3 points per game — the fourth-highest mark in DII. She was also among the leaders in double-doubles finishing with 15. She finished the regular season with 597 points and an average of 9.5 rebounds per game and will end her career as one of the best Bronchos in program history.
Also considered: Riley Friauf, Concordia (CA) – Simply put, Friauf was one of the best scorers in DII women’s basketball all season. She made her living inside the paint, averaging more than 20 points per game on nearly 50 percent shooting while chipping in close to 10 rebounds a night. She also led DII in free throws made with 172.
Forward: Riley Fitzwater, Concord
If this is the last we see of Fitzwater, it brings to an end one of the best careers in DII women’s basketball. She led DII in field-goal percentage for the third straight season and fourth time in the past five years and will finish as No. 1 all-time in the DII women’s basketball record books. She also led the division in blocks for a second straight season, never finished lower than third in any of her five seasons and is now top-5 all-time in DII history. With 12.1 rebounds she placed in the top 10 of DII for the fourth time in five years and she’s never averaged fewer than 12.7 points per game. Simply put, this was a truly remarkable five-year run for one of Concord’s best players in its history.
Also considered: Jaclyn Jarnot, West Florida — This was probably the tightest race of the five positions, but Jarnot is more than deserving of taking it. She finished tied for fourth in DII women’s basketball with 13.0 rebounds per game while also tying for fifth with 17 double-doubles. She came down the stretch playing some of her best basketball, finishing the regular season with five double-doubles in her last six games.
Center: Samantha Bowman, Central Washington
Bowman has just been a consistent force for the Wildcats all season long. She has four games with 20 or more rebounds and has had at least 10 rebounds in every game since the calendar flipped to 2022. That propelled her to the top of the DII women’s basketball leaderboard with 15.4 rebounds per game. She finished the regular season on a tear with seven-straight double-doubles, a stat in which she finished second in DII with 21. Central Washington appears to have more meaningful basketball to play in March, so Bowman may just be getting started.
Also considered: Jamiyah Johnson, Slippery Rock – Johnson has just been a consistent and powerful force for the past few seasons. This year she finished second in DII in rebounding with an astounding 23 double-doubles to lead all players. Johnson also chipped in 17.2 points per game on 52.1 percent shooting from the field, helping turn around Slippery Rock’s program.
- Lauren Calhoun, Wheeling
- Makaila Cangé, Lander
- Nija Collier, Central Missouri
- Shanika Peterkin, Barton
- Katie Nolan, Seton Hill
- Lacy Stokes, Missouri Southern
- Michaela VanderKlugt, Concordia (CA)