West Liberty’s Marissa Brown Is First Team All-American

Senior was Top 10 nationally in three categories

Photo by Kyle Lutz Marissa Brown was named first team All-American on Monday. She became the first women’s player in West Liberty history to be a two-time All-American.

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — West Liberty University senior center Marissa Brown became the first two-time All-American in WLU women’s basketball history on Monday when she earned a first team spot on the 2018-19 NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-America Team.

A 6-foot-3 post from Columbus, Ohio who was a second-team selection as a junior, Brown is the third Lady Hilltopper to earn first-team All-America honors and the sixth women’s basketball All-American to wear a Hilltopper uniform.

The Division II Conference Commissioners Association sponsors the D2CCA All-America Women’s Basketball Team, which is selected in nationwide voting by NCAA Division II sports information directors from institutions and conference offices.

A total of 20 players from the 306 NCAA Division II women’s basketball teams are chosen for All-America honors, broken down into five-woman pods of First Team, Second Team, Third Team and Honorable Mention selections.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am for Marissa,” coach Kyle Cooper said. “It’s an incredible honor to be recognized as one of the top five players in the country. The best thing about all of this is that Marissa is the most humble superstar I’ve ever been around. In her eyes, this is more of a team and program award than an individual honor. She said her real reward was helping us to a 20-win season and getting back to the NCAA Tournament.”

The only NCAA Division II woman ranked in the Top 10 nationally in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots, Brown was a consensus choice as the Mountain East Conference Player of the Year as a five-time MEC Player of the Week and the only first-team repeater on the All-Atlantic Region Team.

The Youngstown State transfer led the nation in field goals for the second straight year with her school- and MEC-record total of 328 baskets the most by an NCAA Division II woman in nearly two decades. She ranked among the Top 10 nationally in nine separate categories: field goals (first, 328), points (third, 755), points/game (sixth, 24.4), rebounds (2nd, 402), rebounds/game (second, 13.0), blocks (third, 114), blocks/game (fourth, 3.68), double-doubles (fourth, 21) and field goal percentage (seventh, 61.7).

Brown’s 755 points and 24.4 ppg. scoring average are school and MEC single-season records. With 1,818 points in 90 career games, she is also the first Lady Hilltopper and first MEC woman to average more than 20 points a game for her career (20.2 ppg.). Her 788 career field goals are also an MEC record. Brown also set the all-time school and MEC single-game scoring record with a 46-point explosion against West Virginia State on Jan. 10 while scoring 20 or more points in 22 of her 31 games with nine games of 30-plus points and two games of 40 or more.

“Marissa’s numbers border on the unbelievable,” Cooper said. “Not only is this a very real tribute to her growth and development, it says volumes about the hard work she put in and the trust she’s placed in her teammates and coaching staff. We’re all thrilled for her.”

Brown was one of only four Atlantic Region players to earn D2CCA All-America status. Atlantic Region Player of the Year Seairra Barrett of California (Pa.) was a second-team choice while sophomores Shareka McNeil of Virginia Union and Ariel Jones of Shippensburg (Pa.) were third-team honorees.

Bolon is 1st-Team NABC All-District Pick

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — West Liberty University men’s basketball standout Dalton Bolon has received yet another prestigious post-season honor.

Bolon was the lone sophomore to earn first-team All-Atlantic District honors on Monday when the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) released its national list of All-District awards for the 2018-19 season.

This marks the 14th consecutive season that a Hilltopper basketball player has been selected as an NABC All-District honoree.

Despite playing the entire season with a patch covering his left eye due to a serious off-season injury, Bolon was the leading scorer on yet another Hilltopper juggernaut that rolled to its second straight Mountain East Conference championship, earned a 10th straight NCAA Tournament bid and advanced to the “Sweet 16” for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons.

Honored earlier this month as an NCAA Division II Academic All-American, the 6-foot-4 sharpshooter from Gnadenhutten, Ohio averaged 20.7 ppg. and set a WLU sophomore record with 106 3-point field goals as the Hilltoppers led the nation in scoring for the 11th time in the last 14 years.

Bolon hit double figures in 29 of West Liberty’s 33 games and topped the 20-point mark on 21 occasions. He posted five games with 30 points or more, highlighted by a 39-point explosion — with a career-high nine 3-pointers — in a win against West Virginia State.

Bolon, who became West Liberty’s 50th 1,000-point scorer as a mere sophomore, also set the Hilltoppers’ sophomore scoring record with 682 points and heads into his junior season with 1,182 career points.

Along with his Academic All-America honor, Bolon was an All-Mountain East Conference and All-Atlantic Region selection and was a member of the Mountain East Conference All-Tournament Team and the Atlantic Region All-Tournament Team.

He’s joined on the NABC All-District first-team unit by seniors Tommy Bolte of Concord, Jacobo Diaz of Indiana (Pa.), Anthony Lee of Kutztown (Pa.), Will Vorhees of Notre Dame and Shaw (N.C.) junior Amir Hinton.

Virginia State’s Lonnie Blow Jr. and IUP’s Joe Lombardi shared NABC Atlantic District Coach of the Year laurels.

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