Feb. 9, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: John Kean
Association continues to honor Div. II standouts
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) Taevaunn Prince of Missouri Southern State University and Kierra Simpson of West Liberty University have been named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division II National Players of the Week for games of the week ending Feb. 7.

Prince, a 6-3 senior guard from Toronto, Ont., led Missouri Southern State University to a pair of Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association wins on the road over Emporia State University and Washburn University last week. Williams averaged 31.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game as the Lions improved to 14-9 overall and 11-6 in MIAA play.

In the 102-97 overtime win at Emporia State, Prince scored 31 points with 14 rebounds and seven assists, shooting 10-for-15 from the field and 11-for-15 from the free throw line. Three days later, he had a perfect shooting night, hitting 10-of-10 from the field including two three-pointers, and going 10-for-10 on free throws in a 32-point, nine-rebound, six-assist performance to lead Missouri Southern to a 103-95 win at Washburn. For the week, he shot 80 percent (20-for-25) from the field and 84 percent (21-for-25) from the free throw line.

Simpson, a 5-10 senior forward from Columbus, Ohio, averaged 21 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks per game as the Hilltoppers picked up a pair of road victories last week to hold their share of first place in the Mountain East Conference standings.

In a 67-61 victory at Fairmont State last Thursday, the MEC Player of the Week recorded game-highs of 24 points and 13 rebounds, going 12-of-15 from the field, while also recording three blocked shots and three steals.

Simpson recorded her second dominating performance of the week on Saturday in a 95-69 win at Shepherd, tallying 18 points and grabbing a MEC regular-season record 25 rebounds, which ranks as the second-most in NCAA DII this season. She also added five blocked shots to her stat line.

Simpson finished the week shooting 63.3 percent from the field and currently leads the nation in that category at 67.2 percent. She averages 13.9 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game for West Liberty, which is 19-3 overall, including 14-2 in the MEC.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.