The Purdue University Calumet women’s basketball team saw its efforts during the regular season recognized as four players were tabbed to the all-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference team, as released by the league office Saturday.
Junior 6-0 forward Jada Buggs (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) led the way for the Peregrines with her first All-CCAC first team selection. Buggs, a transfer from Northern Illinois, led Purdue Calumet in scoring (17.4 ppg) and was second on the team in rebounding (6.9 rpg). She shot 50.7 percent from the field for the season, which included 434 points, 172 rebounds, and 91 assists (3.1 apg), which also ranked second on the squad.
In conference play only, Buggs finished third among the league’s top scorers at 19.9 points per game. She was selected as the CCAC’s Player of the Week during Week 4 , when she averaged 19.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in two wins over Olivet Nazarene and Wilberforce, which included a career-high 29-point, 20-rebound performance against ONU.
Sophomore 5-11 guard Cassidy Deno (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central) was selected to the All-CCAC Second Team after averaging 16.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, and shooting 40.2 percent from 3-point land, where she made a team-best 72 makes from behind the arc. In conference statistics only, Deno led the league in free-throw percentage (89.4 percent) and ranked sixth in 3-point percentage. The sophomore – last year’s CCAC Freshman of the Year – was named the league’s Player of the Week during Week 6 and set a new career-high in points in a game this season with 33 in a win over Grace College, which stands as the third-highest point total in Peregrine history.
Senior 5-8 guard Kami Graber (Nashville, Ind./Brown County) and junior 6-3 center Patrice McBee (Monterey, Ind./Culver Community) both earned spots on the CCAC Honorable Mention squad.
Graber finished the season averaging 12.6 points, 4.7 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for the Peregrines in her final season. She set new career single-game highs in rebounds (12) and assists (10) this season, and ranked third in the league in conference-only stats with 5.2 assists per contest. With 1,607 points, Graber stands fifth on the all-time scoring list in Purdue Calumet history.
McBee had a breakout season in her third season in a Peregrine uniform, averaging a double-double with 13.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest. She not only the CCAC, but all of NAIA Division II in field goal percentage all season long, finishing the year at a stellar 66.7 percent clip. McBee totaled 17 double-doubles this season and set new program record with 24 boards in a win over Olivet Nazarene. She was named the CCAC’s Player of the Week twice this season, the second time earning Purdue Calumet’s first-ever NAIA National Player of the Week award. In conference-only stats, McBee led the league in defensive rebounds (8.1 per game) and was second in overall rebounding with 11.6 per contest.
The Peregrines, who fell to eventual tournament champion Cardinal Stritch in Friday night’s semifinals, were the only team other than regular-season champion Saint Xavier to have four players named to the all-league squad.
The Cougars, who finished the CCAC regular season with a perfect 18-0 record, swept the special awards, as senior Morgan Stuut (Player of the Year), freshman Kara Krolicki (Freshman of the Year) and head coach Bob Hallberg (Coach of the Year) were all honored.
Trinity Christian earned the CCAC’s Champion of Character Team Award.
For a full listing of the awards, check out the CCAC’s full release here: http://www.ccacsports.com/awards/0/9.php
Purdue Calumet, currently ranked No. 21 in last week’s NAIA Top 25 poll, will await Wednesday night’s NAIA Selection Show to find out if the Peregrines earn an at-large bid into the national tournament.