News release date: February 24, 2003

Whitman First-Year Players Named to All-NWC Women's BB Team

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Megan Higgins and Miryia Libbey, a pair of first-year players on the Whitman College women's basketball team, have earned All-Northwest Conference honorable mention recognition.

Higgins, a 5-foot-7 point guard from Colorado Springs, Colo., led Whitman in scoring, averaging 10.6 points per game. She also handed out 3.67 assists per contest, which ranked her No. 2 in the NWC this season in that statistical category.

Libbey, a 5-foot-9 forward from Pateros, Wash., was No. 2 in scoring for Whitman, averaging 9.7 points per game. She was No. 2 in the NWC in 3-point field goal accuracy, making 48 of 106 attempts, or 45.3 percent.

"It's exciting to have two first-year players receive All-NWC honors," Whitman women's coach Michelle Ferenz said. "Both Megan and Miryia had strong first seasons."

Higgins led Whitman in scoring in 11 of its 24 games.

"Megan had the tough job of being a first-year point guard," Ferenz said. "She is a gifted athlete and solid scorer. As she continues to grow and mature as a player, she has the potential to be one of the top players in the conference."

Higgins finished among the top ten in several NWC statistical categories. In addition to being No. 2 in assists, she was No. 4 in 3-point percentage (44.1 percent), No. 5 in free throw percentage (78.1 percent), No. 7 in 3-point baskets made (1.25 pg), No. 8 in steals (1.79 pg), and No. 9 in assist-to-turnover ratio (.90).

Higgins enjoyed her best game of the season against Evergreen State. She scored a game-high 22 points, making nine of 11 shots from the floor, while dishing eight assists and grabbing three rebounds.

Libbey, who was slowed by knee injuries late in the season, ripped Lewis-Clark State for 28 points in December and added 27 points against Willamette in mid-January. Against LCSC, Libbey hit eight of 10 3-point shots to set a new Whitman single-game school record.

"Miryia will continue to be one of the top long-range shooters in the conference," Ferenz said. "After she has off-season knee surgery and gets healthy again, I'm sure she work hard to develop other aspects of her game."

Beginning on Jan. 26, when she was shooting 50.6 percent from the 3-point line, Libbey ranked No. 2 nationally (NCAA Div. III) in 3-point accuracy for a stretch of four consecutive weeks. With her knee giving out, Libbey made just four 3-point baskets in her final six games.

Whitman, which played with just one senior and two juniors on its roster, finished with a record of 9-16 on the season, including a 6-10 mark in the NWC. The Missionaries placed sixth, two spots higher than predicted by a preseason coaches poll.


Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information, 509 527-5902