CHARLOTTE, N.C. â€“ Ten student-athletes, representing eight institutions, make up the fourth annual North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) University Division All-State womenâ€™s basketball teams released Monday.
Junior Amber Bland, one of two all-state honorees from North Carolina A&T State University, earned her second consecutive first-team all-state commendation. North Carolina A&T State and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington both had two students recognized on this yearâ€™s teams.
The squads consist of student-athletes from NCAA Division I colleges and universities throughout the state. North Carolina sports information professionals submitted nominees and NCCSIA members selected the teams. The all-state basketball units consist of the top-10 vote-getters and include all students involved in ties.
Founded in 2002, NCCSIA is comprised of sports information professionals from North Carolinaâ€™s NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and independent institutions for the purpose of promoting college athletics in the state. Membership is open to anyone affiliated with a college, university or conference located in North Carolina whose responsibilities include sports information.
NCCSIA selects all-state teams in the university (NCAA Division I) and college (Division II, III, NAIA, NCCAA) divisions for womenâ€™s volleyball, menâ€™s and womenâ€™s basketball, menâ€™s and womenâ€™s soccer, softball and baseball. Over 500 student-athletes have been recognized on all-state teams since 2003.
NCCSIAâ€™s all-state college division womenâ€™s basketball teams were also released Monday. The organization will announce its fourth annual all-state menâ€™s basketball squads Tuesday, March 25.
North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association
2007-08 University Division All-State Womenâ€™s Basketball Teams
Pos Name Class School Hometown
G/F Brittany Blackwell Fr. UNC Wilmington Raleigh, N.C.
G Amber Bland# Jr. N.C. A&T State Boardman, Ohio
G Chevon Keith Sr. Western Carolina Ivanhoe, N.C.
F Mackenzie Maier Fr. High Point Charleston, W.Va.
F Mercedes Robinson Jr. Davidson Baltimore, Md.
Pos Name Class School Hometown
G Tierra Bumbrey Sr. Elon Stafford, Va.
G Taâ€™Wuana Cook Soph. N.C. A&T State Fayetteville, N.C.
G Sabrina Gregory# Sr. Charlotte Fayetteville, N.C.
C Marlena Murphy# Sr. Campbell Fayetteville, N.C.
F Sahsha Taylor* Jr. UNC Wilmington Charlotte, N.C.
# – 2006-07 NCCSIA College Division All-State First Team
* – 2005-06 NCCSIA University Division All-State First Team
For the second straight season, Bland earned first-team all-state honors, led the Aggies in scoring (15.1 ppg.) and was a First Team All-Mid Eastern Athletic Conference selection. The junior ranked among in the top 15 in eight different league categories and led the conference in three-point shooting percentage (.393). The Aggies stand second nationally in steals per game through contests of March 16, helped by Blandâ€™s 40th-place individual ranking (2.7 spg,), and qualified for their first Womenâ€™s National Invitational Tournament. The fastest Aggie to 1,000 career points, Bland holds North Carolina A&T season records for points, scoring average, field-goal attempts and minutes played.
UNC Wilmingtonâ€™s Brittany Blackwell was the Colonial Athletic Associationâ€™s Rookie of the Year and a second-team all-league selection. One of two all-state freshmen, she stands fifth in the conference in scoring (14.4 ppg.) and sixth in rebounding (7.7 rpg.) thanks in part to five double-doubles on the year. She led the Seahawks in scoring 12 times and was a four-time CAA Rookie of the Week selection.
Western Carolina Universityâ€™s Chevon Keith was the Southern Conferenceâ€™s Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference pick, according to the leagueâ€™s media association. The lone senior on the first-team all-state unit became the Catamountsâ€™ second student to score over 1,000 points and grab 900 rebounds. Her 8.6 rebounds per game rank second in the league and 62nd in the country as of March 16. She recorded seven double-doubles this season.
Mackenzie Maier of High Point University was named the Big South Conference Freshman of the Year and earned second-team all-conference laurels. She topped the Panthers in scoring with 11.5 points per game. Against league competition, she stood second in blocks per game (2.67 bpg.) and fourth in scoring (15.0 ppg.). Maier led all Big South rookies in scoring, rebounding, shooting percentage and blocked shots.
Davidson Collegeâ€™s Mercedes Robinson led the Wildcats in scoring (12.7 ppg.), rebounding (8.4 rpg.), field-goal shooting (.517) and steals (54). She paced the Southern Conference with 14 double-doubles, including 11 in league play. She ranked third in the conference in scoring and rebounding, and fourth in field-goal percentage. The Baltimore, Md., native scored 20 or more points three times and set or tied 11 personal bests in both offensive and defensive categories.
The second-team all-state squad includes Tierra Bumbrey of Elon College, North Carolina A&Tâ€™s Taâ€™Wuana Cook, Sabrina Gregory of Charlotte, Marlena Murphy of Campbell University and UNC Wilmingtonâ€™s Sahsha Taylor. Gregory and Murphy were first-team all-state honorees in 2006-07. Taylor was a first-team pick in 2005-06.