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NIACC women place 5 players on all-region teams


This news story was published on March 12, 2019.
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MASON CITY – The NIACC women’s basketball team landed three players on the all-NJCAA Region XI first team.

NIACC’s Mandy Willems, Jada Buford and Autam Mendez all earned first-team all-region honors.

Also for the Lady Trojans, Tahya Campbell was a second-team selection and Kelcie Hale was a third-team pick.

Willems, who was the NJCAA Region XI tournament MVP, was selected as the league’s player of the year. NIACC’s Todd Ciochetto was selected as the region’s coach of the year.

It is the second straight season that the Lady Trojans have placed three players on the first-team all-region squad. Last season, Taylor Laabs, Mikayla Homola and UU Longs were first-team picks.

Willems is averaging 24.6 points per game heading into the NJCAA Division II national tournament. She leads the nation in free throw percentage, sinking 92.8 percent of her attempts.

Willems also leads the nation with 171 3-point goals and ranks second in NJCAA Division II with 787 points.

Willems set an NJCAA single-game for three-point goals in one game with 13. Three times, she scored 45 or more points in a game.

Buford, who was selected to the all-tournament team, averages 19.3 points per game, shooting 43.9 percent from the field. She is ranked ninth in the nation in overall points scored, tallying up 619 in 32 games heading into the national tournament.

Mendez, who was also an all-tournament selection, had eight double-doubles during the course of the 2018-19 season. She averages 16.0 points per game, along with 8.8 rebounds. Mendez leads the team with 273 rebounds.

Campbell averages 12.5 points per game. Campbell is second on the team with 90 assists and third on the squad with 157 rebounds.

Hale averages 8.8 points per game. Hale, who was an all-tournament team selection, is fourth on the team with 68 assists and fifth on the team with 46 steals.

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