DePauw junior guard Maya Howard (St. Louis, MO/MICDS) has been named the Player of the Year and Oberlin junior center Olivia Canning (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln Sudbury) has been named the Top Defensive Player to highlight the 2018 All-North Coast Athletic Conference women's basketball team, following voting by the conference's head coaches.
Howard, who is DePauw's first player to earn the NCAC's top honor since Katie Aldrich in 2012, was one of the key factors in leading the Tigers to a perfect 16-0 mark in league play and their seventh conference crown in the last eight years. In addition to being named Player of the Year, Howard was the only repeat selection on the All-NCAC first team from a year ago. Howard led all NCAC players in scoring during conference play with 215 points (13.4 ppg), highlighted by a season-high mark of 24 points in the Tigers' 66-56 home win over Oberlin on the last day of the regular season. While the majority of her production came in the scoring column, she also ranked second in the league in assists with 66 helpers in 16 conference games, led by an eight-assist performance back on December 9th in an 83-43 victory at Wooster. Howard was also the top free throw shooter in the league at 84 percent (41-of-49) and the sixth-best shooter from the field at 45 percent (78-of-173).
Canning, who jumped up to the All-NCAC first team from the second team in 2017, was the leader in the middle for the Yeowomen's defensive unit that limited conference opponents to shoot just 33 percent (328-of-1,007) from the field and score 52.2 points per game. She was the top shot blocker in the league throughout the season with 40 total blocks, which included a pair of seven-block performances in a 57-52 home win over Hiram on November 21st and again in a 77-55 home win over Wooster on January 31st. Canning also ranked sixth in the NCAC in rebounding with 110 total boards (6.9 rpg), highlighted a 15-rebound effort in the November 21st win over Hiram.
Howard and Canning were joined on the 2018 All-NCAC first team by a trio of players being recognized on an all-conference team for the first time in their careers, including DePauw sophomore guard Sydney Kopp (Burr Ridge, IL/Hinsdale South), Kenyon sophomore Paige Matijasich (Pickerington, OH/North) and Oberlin junior guard Alex Stipano (Alexandria, VA/Bishop Ireton).
In addition, DePauw freshman forward Claire Keefe (Libertyville, IL/Libertyville) was named the 2018 NCAC Women's Basketball Newcomer of the Year as the top player in the league in her first season of collegiate competition. In 16 total conference games, Keefe ranked 11th in the league in scoring with 186 points (11.6 ppg) and 16th overall on the glass with 85 total rebounds (5.3 rpg). Keefe hit the double-digit mark in scoring in 12 of the Tigers' 16 league games, led by a pair of 19-point games in wins over Wittenberg, 61-57, and Kenyon, 64-58. Keefe now joins Howard as the only two DePauw players to earn the NCAC's Newcomer of the Year honor.
Finally, Oberlin head coach Kerry Jenkins was named the 2018 NCAC Women's Basketball Coach of the Year for the second time in his career after guiding the Yeowomen to a second-place tie with Kenyon in the regular season with a 13-3 mark against league foes. Jenkins, who was also named the Coach of the Year in the 2014-15 season, solidified the Coach of the Year honor after leading the Yeowomen to their first NCAC Tournament title in program history with a 71-39 victory over Wittenberg in the championship game on February 24th. In nine-plus years with the program, Jenkins now owns an overall record of 102-161, which has included guiding the 2017-18 team to a school-record 21-7 mark heading into the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament.
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|Maya Howard||Olivia Canning||Claire Keefe||Kerry Jenkins|