Three Wildcats Among Four All-Region WBB Players
Central Washington women's basketball players Kizzah Maltezo (second from left, No. 21), Samantha Bowman (No. 23) and Kassidy Malcolm (No. 24) all received All-West Region Team honors from the D2CCA.
Central Washington women's basketball players Kizzah Maltezo (second from left, No. 21), Samantha Bowman (No. 23) and Kassidy Malcolm (No. 24) all received All-West Region Team honors from the D2CCA.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA) announced its all-region selections Thursday, and the GNAC was well represented. Four players were selected to the All-West Region Team, including three from tournament champion Central Washington.

Wildcats junior center Samantha Bowman and senior forward Kassidy Malcolm, the GNAC Player of the Year, were both named to the first team, while CWU senior guard Kizzah Maltezo and Western Washington senior guard/forward Emma Duff earned selection to the second team.

The GNAC and Pacific West conferences each had four representatives to the all-region teams, while the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) had two. Concordia Irvine’s Michaela VanderKlugt was honored as the West Region Player of the Year. Central Washington was the only school in the West Region with three selections and the only school with multiple players on the first team.

Bowman leads Division II with 15.6 rebounds per game and 24 double-doubles. She has annihilated the GNAC’s old single-season record of 385 rebounds, set by SFU alum and Canadian Olympian Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, with 438 rebounds and counting this season.

Bowman has gone over 20 rebounds in a game five times this season, including in the GNAC Championships final against Western Washington, where she set a conference tournament record with 23 boards and was named the tournament MVP. Aside from her rebounding prowess, Bowman ranks fifth in the GNAC in scoring with 16.1 points per game, 11th with 2.9 assists per game and second with a .508 field-goal percentage. She leads the conference and ranks 26th in Division II with 2.04 blocks per game.

Malcolm adds to her GNAC Player of the Year honors with a first-team all-region recognition. Malcolm ranks second in the conference at 18.1 points per game, ninth in rebounding at 6.6 per game, second with a .400 three-point percentage and first with an .850 free-throw percentage. She was the leading scorer in the GNAC Championships final with 14 points and averaged 17 points per game during the tournament.

Malcolm has 15 20-point games in 30 contests, with a high of 30 points on Feb. 3 against Alaska. She averaged 26.4 points during a torrid five-game stretch from Feb. 2-Feb. 12, which included games against Western Washington and Alaska Anchorage. Malcolm never averaged less than 11 points or six rebounds per game at any point during the season, and she set her season-high in rebounds in each of the regular season’s final two games, grabbing 12 boards on Feb. 24 and 13 on Feb. 26.

Maltezo makes the second team after leading the GNAC in scoring with 18.9 points per game. She was a walking bucket for large parts of the season, going off for 20-plus points 14 times in 30 games, including a run of four straight games with 25-plus points from Dec. 20-Jan. 20 and 26 and 22-point performances in the GNAC Championships. Willing and able to fire from three-point range, Maltezo ranks second in Division II with 248 three-pointers attempted and seventh with 86 three-pointers made, shooting 35 percent from behind the arc for the season.

Duff also earned second-team honors after leading Western Washington to a regular-season GNAC championship. Duff is averaging 15.7 points (sxith in GNAC) and 6.6 rebounds per game (eighth in GNAC) and her 47 assists, 31 steals and 21 blocks are all team-highs. Duff is shooting 44 percent from the field, 34 percent from three and 84 percent from the line. She scored a season and career-high 29 points in a 76-74 road win over Central Washington on Feb. 12.

Eight of the 10 All-Region honorees, including all four of the GNAC selections, play for teams that earned bids to the NCAA Championships. The West Regional is taking place in Hayward, California from Friday-Monday. No. 2 Central Washington plays No. 7 Northwest Nazarene on Friday at noon while No. 3 Western Washington plays No. 6 Alaska Anchorage immediately afterwards.

The All-Region nominees are now eligible for selection to the D2CCA All-America Team, which will be announced on March 18.