Cross Repeats as AMC Player of the Year

Cross Repeats as AMC Player of the Year

Mon, Mar. 6, 2017 - [Women's Basketball]

Courtesy of American Midwest Conference

ST. LOUIS, Mo – The American Midwest Conference announced its 2016-17 Women’s Basketball awards Monday following the AMC Championship game, and for the second consecutive season, Freed-Hardeman University’s Taleeah Cross was named the Conference’s Player of the Year. Cross was one of three Lady Lions to be honored with an AMC superlative award – along with AMC Coach of the Year Dale Neal, and AMC Defensive Player of the Year Kim Mallory – while Lindenwood University-Belleville’s Brianna Mueller was tabbed as the AMC’s Freshman of the Year, and Lyon College’s Kiara Moore was selected as the AMC Newcomer of the Year.

Cross was a unanimous selection as the AMC’s best player, receiving all 12 first-place All-Conference votes she was eligible to receive. She leads the AMC in scoring, averaging 16.8 points per game through her team’s first 32 games of the season, and she ranks eighth in the NAIA in total assists (148) and 10th in the NAIA in Assists-to-Turnover Ratio (2.209). She also eclipsed the 2,000-point threshold for her career during the season.

Neal guided the Lady Lions to the first unbeaten regular season in NAIA Division I Play since the 2013-14 Vanguard University Lady Lions accomplished the feat. His Lady Lions were 32-0 entering the AMC Championship title game on Monday night, and his career record was 636-171 (.788). The Lady Lions also won the 800th game in program history during the season, as Coach Neal claimed his third AMC Coach of the Year honor in the four years FHU has been a member of the Conference.

Mallory anchored a Lady Lion defense that led the AMC in scoring defense, field goal percentage allowed, 3-point percentage allowed, and turnover margin. Mallory averaged better than two steals per contest, swiping the ball 65 times during the season – a number that ranked her 31st in NAIA Division I women’s basketball.

Mueller led the Lady Lynx in scoring as a freshman, pouring in 15.4 points per contest as Lindenwood-Belleville set a new program record with 22 wins. That number ranked her third in the AMC behind only Cross and Mallory, as she scored 476 points on the year.

In her first season with the Scots, Moore started slowly on the offensive end, but by the end of the season, she led the Scots with an average of 13.2 points per game. She shot 41.7 percent from the floor on the season, including 34.1 percent from long distance. Defensively, she also ranked in the top-50 in Steals per game (2.286).

Cross, Mallory, Moore, and Mueller were joined on the All-Conference First team by Columbia College’s Ashlee Marlatt, and Jasmine Brown of William Woods University. Marlatt averaged 12.5 points per game for the Cougars, the 14th best mark in the AMC, and Brown ranked as the 4th-best scorer in the conference, chipping in 14.5 points per contest for the Owls.

Columbia’s Morgan Brandt was a Second Team All-Conference Honoree, as were Brionna Taylor of Harris-Stowe State University, Lindenwood-Belleville’s Alison Webb, Madison Riley of Lyon, and Alytrius Perry of Williams Baptist College. The Third Team Consisted of Raegan Wieser (Columbia), Tiffany Pate (FHU), Angela Randall (HSSU), Shaylen Robinson (Missouri Baptist University), and April Gebke (WWU).

There were 11 players who earned Honorable Mentions for All-Conference status: Aliyah Block (Central Baptist College), Sarah Cline (Hannibal-LaGrange University), Torre Kohrmann (LU-B), Candace Niemerg (LU-B), Liz Henderson (Lyon), Ali Tucker (Lyon), Amanda Scott (MBU), Lexus Bradley (Park University), Kendahl Adams (Stephens College), Peyton Greenlee (WWU), and Andrea Moffitt (WBC).