CLEVELAND -- Two first-team all-conference players from last season highlights the five-person Pepsi all-Mid-American Conference women's basketball first-team, which was announced Wednesday evening at the league's tournament Tip-Off Banquet at the Marriott Key Center in Cleveland. Voting on the team was conducted by the league's head coaches.
Kent's Dawn Zerman and Western Michigan's Shelsea Erving, the lone seniors on the first team, are joined by Akron junior Cheryl Bowles, Bowling Green sophomore Francine Miller and WMU freshman Kristin Koetsier.
Zerman, one of the MAC's top all-around players, currently ranks in the top-10 in the league in six different categories. The senior guard from Fremont, Ohio, who entered her final season with the Golden Flashes with a 12.8 scoring average, is averaging 18.1 points per contests and is also nationally-ranked in free throw percentage (.865) and steals (3.63). In February, Zerman became only the second player in league history to record 1,500 career points, 400 career assists and register 250 steals. A three-time Pepsi Offensive Player of the Week choice this season and once a Defensive Player of the Week honoree, Zerman presently ranks 17th in league annals with 1,626 points.
Erving, like Zerman, has been picked to an all-MAC squad in each of her four seasons as a Bronco -- all-freshman team, second team all-league as a sophomore and first-team all-conference as a junior and a senior. The Peoria, Ill., product is second on the team in scoring (16.9) and also ranks fifth in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.406) and is tied for ninth in treys per contest (1.93). In MAC games, she paces the league in scoring (18.9) and is closing in on 1,700 points for her career. With 1,694 points entering Thursday's quarterfinal contest against Bowling Green, Erving is six points from becoming only the 12th player in MAC history to accomplish the feat.
A second-team honoree as a sophomore, Bowles finished the regular season fourth in the conference in scoring (17.7) and was also fourth in field goal percentage (.546). In addition, the Kansas City, Mo., center also ranked in the top-10 in blocked shots (6th, 1.04) and in rebounding (8th, 8.4). Bowles, who surpassed the 1,000 point plateau earlier this year, is also fifth in the league in double-doubles with nine.
The second-youngest member of the all-MAC first team, Miller leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.457), is second in free throw percentage (.864), is fifth in scoring (17.3) and registered the highest scoring output in the MAC this season with a school-record tying 35 points against Kent. A member of the all-freshman team a year ago, Miller, in addition to leading the team in scoring, also paced the Falcons in rebounds (7.0).
In just her first collegiate season, WMU's Koetsier finished the regular season second in the MAC in overall scoring (19.3), rebounding (9.7) and blocked shots (1.37). The freshman also tops the league charts in double-doubles (13), and is one of the league's more accurate shooters. The Grandville, Mich., native, who is fourth in free throw percentage (.804) and fifth in field goal percentage (.529), helped guide the Broncos to a West Division title.
On the MAC second-team is a pair of Kent Golden Flashes, senior Alana Bader and junior Julie Studer, who garnered second team accolades last season. Joining the pair from the East Division champions and the top seed in the MAC Tournament are Ball State freshman forward Tamara Bowie, Buffalo junior center Tiffany Bell and last year's MAC Freshman of the Year, Eastern Michigan's Stephanie Smiley.
Eleven members make up the all-MAC honorable mention squad, all of which are capturing all-conference honors for the first time in their careers, not including the MAC all-freshman team. Toledo and Miami each landed two players on the team, which includes: Adriane Bryant and Kahli Carter of Toledo, Heather Cusick and Jenny Martin of Miami, Ball State's Shala Crook, Akron's Erica Glover, Buffalo's Sonia Ortega, Central Michigan's Shelly Woods, Michelle Johnson of Northern Illinois, Ohio's Jacquie Negrelli and Western Michigan's Danielle Mueller.
Youth is served on this year's team, as two-thirds of the 21 recipients -- there was a tie on the honorable mention team -- are underclassmen. In addition, there are also 14 newcomers to this year's list, including three freshmen. A complete list of all three teams follows.