Greencastle, Ind. - DePauw senior guard Maya Howard (St. Louis, Mo./MICDS) was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season as well as to the all-conference team for the fourth time and was among four Tigers recognized by the conference.
The all-time leading scorer in DePauw history with 1,513 career points, Howard is only the fourth player in NCAC women's basketball history to claim back-to-back honors as the Player of the Year. She helped lead the Tigers to a 15-1 mark in league play and their seventh conference crown in the last eight years. In addition to being named Player of the Year, Howard claimed her third consecutive selection to the All-NCAC first team, while also earning a second team selection during her rookie campaign along with being named the 2016 Newcomer of the Year.
Howard led all NCAC players in scoring during conference play with 277 points (17.3 ppg), highlighted by a career-high mark of 29 points in the Tigers' 86-68 home win over Ohio Wesleyan on Jan. 12. While the majority of her production came in the scoring column, she also ranked second in the league in assists with 60 helpers in 16 conference games. Howard was also the top free throw shooter in the league at 85.7 percent (66-of-77) and the second-best shooter from the field at 44.3 percent (94-of-212).
Joining Howard on the first team was junior guard Sydney Kopp (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South). Kopp leads the Tigers with 15.5 points per game and has hit a team-high 64 3-pointers. She scored at least 20 points in nine games this season with highs of 25 in back-to-back games against Kenyon and Wittenberg in January.
Claire Keefe (So., Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) was a second team choice after earning honorable mention last year and being named the league's Newcomer of the Year. Keefe averaged 10.6 points ad a team-high 6.2 rebounds for the season. She was named the Nan Nichols NCAC Tournament MVP after leading the Tigers to a sixth tournament title in eight years.
Guard Mya Shannon (Fr., Morris, Ill./Morris) was named the Newcomer of the Year as the top player in the league in her first season of collegiate competition. In 16 conference games, Shannon led the league in field goal percentage after shooting 54.9 percent (50-of-91). The rookie netted 126 points with seven double-digit performances against NCAC opponents, including a career-high 16 in a 72-50 win at Allegheny on Jan. 2. Shannon now joins current teammates, Howard and Keefe, as DePauw's only players to earn the NCAC's Newcomer of the Year honor.
DePauw takes a 24-4 record into Friday's NCAA Division III first-round game against Loras College. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. CST in University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh's Kolf Sports Center.