MOUNT PLEASANT – Jessi Beachey (Jr.-Fisher, Ill.) was named Midwest Collegiate Conference Player of the Year and Head Coach Steve Williamson was named MCC Coach of the Year, highlighting a number of honors received by the Iowa Wesleyan College women’s basketball team when the MCC released its all-conference team Wednesday afternoon.
Beachey was joined by teammates Anna Jones (So.-Cornell, Ill.) and Melanie McCreight (Jr.-Winfield, Iowa) on the all-conference first team, while Sheray Brown (Jr.-Detroit, Mich.) was named Honorable Mention All-MCC. Beachey also swept up the conference Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors, while Williamson was honored as Coach of the Year for the third time in five years.
In all, four of the Tigers’ five starters received all-conference honors, led by Beachey, the 6-2 junior forward. The transfer from Parkland (Ill.) CC led the MCC in scoring (17.7 points per game) and was second in field goal percentage (58.3%). She also was fourth in the conference in free throw percentage (78.8%) and seventh in blocked shots (0.8 blocks per game).
Beachey also averaged 5.8 rebounds per game (13th in MCC) and helped the Tigers to the MCC regular season and tournament championships and a berth in the NAIA Division II National Tournament. She did so while playing with a torn meniscus in her knee since January, missing two games during the season and overall averaging 24.8 minutes per game.
“Jessi is without a doubt one of the best players to ever play here at Iowa Wesleyan,” Williamson said. “She has had an amazing season and is a big reason why we have had the success we had. She is very deserving of this honor especially when you think about the stats she put up while playing limited minutes due to her injury. Jessi made a huge impact on our team and in our conference this year.”
Jones received all-conference recognition for the first time as a sophomore after averaging 10.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.5 steals per game. The point guard led the MCC in assists and was fourth in steals, eighth in free throw percentage (76.4%) as well as 10th in field goal percentage, 14th in rebounding and 18th in scoring.
“Anna had a great sophomore season,” Williamson said. “She can do it all-score, rebound, pass, and defend. She was one of the best point guards in our league and is very important to our team. She is like a coach on the floor and runs the team for us. She makes the players around her better.”
McCreight also was named to the all-conference first team after averaging 12.8 points per game while emerging as one of the conference’s best three-point shooters. The junior transfer from Iowa Western CC ranked 11th in the MCC in scoring and was ninth in three-pointers per game and 10th in three-point percentage. McCreight also was the seventh-best free throw shooter in the conference, hitting at a 76.9% clip at the line, and came on late in the year, scoring in double figures in 10 of IWC’s last 11 games.
“Mel really came on strong in the second half of conference play,” said Williamson. “She is a very good scorer and can score multiple ways. She can shoot the three, beat you off the dribble, or pull up. She is a great athlete that does a great job in our transistion game getting out and running the floor. She is also a very good defender.”
Brown was named to the honorable mention team and did a lot of the Tigers’ dirty work down low, finishing fourth in the conference in rebounding with 9.4 boards per game. She also averaged 7.4 points and 1.5 steals per game and was an efficient shooter, hitting 50.3% from the field.
“Sheray is a great rebounder,” Williamson said. “She does a great job of going and getting a rebound. She explodes up in the air and attacks the rebound. She is not the biggest player on the floor, but she is a great athlete and works extremely hard…I’m happy to see her hard work being rewarded.”
Williamson was named Coach of the Year for the second year in a row after leading Iowa Wesleyan to the MCC regular season and tournament titles. IWC finished with a 15-1 record in conference play, and at 25-7 overall has tied the school record for wins in a season. The Tigers’ national ranking of 13th to end the season also is the highest ranking in school history.
The sixth-year coach picked up his 100th career win early in the season and his program has accumulated five straight 20-win seasons, a first in school history. The Tigers also have now won three MCC regular season titles in the last five years and four conference tourney titles and NAIA D-II national tourney berths in the last five years.
Wesleyan now gets ready to face Walsh (Ohio) University on Thursday, March 11 at 10:15 a.m. in the first round of the NAIA Division II National Championships in Sioux City, Iowa. The Tigers are seeded third of eight teams in Pool 3 of the bracket and will look to defeat the Cavaliers for the second time this season. IWC defeated Walsh 76-55 on Dec. 19 in a tournament held in Whiting, Ind.
For more information regarding the IWC basketball programs or any of the Tiger athletic teams, contact sports information director Adam Glatczak (319-385-6306 phone; 319-385-6384 FAX; email@example.com e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
MCC Women's Basketball All-Conference Team