BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. - West Liberty University sophomore guard Liz Flowers was a first-team selection and two other Hilltoppers were also honored on Monday when the Mountain East Conference coaches announced the first All-MEC women's basketball team.
Flowers' first-team selection makes this the 16th consecutive year that West Liberty has had at least one first-team All-Conference performer.
Joining Flowers on the All-MEC squad were fellow sophomore guard Kailee Howe, a second-team honoree, and sophomore post Kiki Simpson, one of only four honorable mention picks.
The talented trio played a key role in leading Coach Lynn Ullom's youthful squad to a 19-9 record and a runner-up finish in the inaugural Mountain East Conference race. The regionally-ranked Hilltoppers received a first-round bye in this week's MEC Tournament.
A 5-7 sophomore from Williamstown, Flowers emerged as one of the MEC's prime-time players this season. She ranked at or near the top of the West Liberty charts in nearly every offensive category, ranking among the Top 5 in the MEC in scoring (17.4 ppg.) and free-throw percentage (97-of-115, .843) and among the Top 10 in assists (3.7 apg.), 3-point field goals (53), and assist/turnover ratio (1.16). She was also second on the team with 5.6 rebounds a game.
Flowers set a school record this season with 70 points in consecutive games. She had a career-high 37 points in a win at W.Va. Wesleyan on Jan. 11 and followed that up with a 33-point night in a Jan. 13 upset of No. 10 Glenville State. Heading into this week's MEC Tournament, she's had 24 double-figure scoring games, 11 20-point games and 3 double-doubles.
Howe, a 5-10 guard from Zanesville, Ohio, made an impact in her first season at West Liberty after transferring from Morehead State. The talented backcourter wound up leading the Hilltoppers in assists (5.2 apg.), steals (49) and minutes played (31.7 mpg.) while scoring at a 12.5 ppg. clip and averaging more than 5 rebounds a night. Howe's 13 assists in a February win at W.Va. State were an MEC season-high. She also had 36 points and 8 rebounds in a November win at Charleston and had a 30-point game in a win against Shepherd in February.
Simpson, a 5-11 sophomore center from Columbus, Ohio, exploded onto the MEC scene as one of the most dominant posts in the region. She led the conference in rebounding by a wide margin and ranked among the nation's Top 10 for most of the season as her 318 rebounds shattered a 17-year-old school record. Simpson also led the MEC in field-goal percentage (113-of-181, .624) and set a school sophomore record with 43 blocked shots while averaging 9.6 points and 11.4 rebounds a game.
The West Liberty women open WVIAC Tournament play in Charleston Thursday at noon when they take on the winner of Tuesday's first-round game between Notre Dame (Ohio) and UVA-Wise.