Time for the next installment of our weekly series profiling the best players in D2 Women's Basketball. This week we bring you the Mountain East Conference, and there was no shortage of talent to choose from. This list features THREE West Liberty players – making the Toppers the only team in our series so far with more than two players featured.
5. Chyress Lockhart, G
Chyress Lockhart is second in the conference in scoring – which just shows how impressive the top 5 players in this conference are. An argument could definitely be made for each of these ladies to be number one.
Lockhart is currently averaging 19.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game, but her most impressive stat is her three field goal percentage, which sits at 41%. Her fairly well-rounded game should make her an All-MEC First Team selection without a doubt.
4. Kylie Molisee, C/F
Kylie Molisee averages a double-double, with 11.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Whenever a player produces in two areas like Molisee has this season it's always worth noting, even if her scoring isn't as high as some other players. She's had game-highs of 24 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 assists this season, and .
3. Kierra Simpson, F
Kierra Simpson is another double-double machine, averaging 13.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, and contributes a very impressive 3.4 blocks per contest as well. She also has a sky-high field goal percentage at 68% (50% from deep). Over the offseason, Simpson said, "I've never been a confident free throw shooter and it showed in my stats last season. I wanted my percentage to improve which I believe it has so I was shooting at least 200 free throws a day to become more comfortable." So far, her percentage isn't too shabby at 63%.
Simpson's teammate Liz Flowers had some nice things to say about the 5-foot-10 senior forward, "What I admire most about Kiki's game is the effort she always puts out. She plays as hard as she can every single game. She also rebounds like crazy which leads to every offensive possession we get," Flowers said on why she loves having Simpson as a teammate.
Senior guard Kailee Howe also chimed in, saying, "Kiki is an all-around freak of nature. I admire how hard she plays. She leaves everything out on the floor each game. She creates extra possessions for us. When we are struggling defensively, Kiki is always there to pull us through!"
2. Kailee Howe, G
"Seeing the floor, pushing the basketball, knowing how to get your teammates open, stuttering to draw defenders when necessary. These are things that Coach Ullom preaches when it comes to point guard play and passing the basketball," Kailee Howe said when asked about her success as a playmaker. Her 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game would be solid enough on their own, but when you also add 10.9 assists per game, she becomes arguably the best point guard in the country. She's the only player in D2 women's basketball who averages double digit assists per game.
Kierra Simpson said she admires, "Kailee's strength. She leads our team into games with a strong head and a great attitude. Even when things get tough she's always there giving encouragement and making great plays. She's a smart, confident player."
Liz Flowers said that Kailee is a, "humble player and without her I would not be the player I am or have any of the success that I do."
1. Liz Flowers, G
Leading the conference in scoring with 19.4 points, Liz Flowers goes into every game to "play as hard as I can and do whatever it is to help our team win, whether that is hitting shots, getting rebounds, or playing lock down defense. I try to keep a positive and motivated mind set. I give my teammates all the credit, without their hard work I couldn't score."
Her teammates are very complimentary of her as a player as well. Kierra Simpson said that she "admires how hard Liz plays and her competitive edge. She is an intense player and it's easy to feed off of that intensity." Kailee shares a similar point of view to Flowers' mentality, stating that "when it comes to guarding the other team's best player, she always steps up to the plate and gets the job done!" It sounds like Flowers is definitely the type of player you want on your side.