March 28 – AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Following a season that saw the Hiram women's basketball program reach new heights, the North Coast Athletic Conference announced Tuesday morning that Terrier standouts Mercedes Jones and Kaylee Shockley have been named All-NCAC selections. Jones tallied First-Team All-NCAC honors, while Shockley was tabbed with an Honorable Mention selection.
Jones and Shockley helped lift the team to new standards during the 2016-17 campaign, including hosting the programs' first-ever NCAC playoff game. With the duo at the helm, the Terriers finished the season with a school record 17 victories, and a 9-7 mark in NCAC play.
The totals marked the fifth winning season in program history for Hiram, as the team posted the second-highest winning percentage (.653) since becoming a school-sanctioned sport in 1974-75.
Jones also earned a first for the women's basketball team, becoming the first player in program history to garner First-Team All-NCAC honors. She is just the third player, overall, to be named a first-team all-conference selection, joining Angie Horner (twice) and Erika Willig, who were named First-Team All-Ohio Athletic Conference honorees in the 90s.
The honor marks the third in the career of Jones, who was also named the NCAC Newcomer of the Year in 2014-15, before earning a second-team selection following the 2015-16 campaign.
The junior center ranked second in the conference in points per game, averaging 14.3 points per night. She was one of just 13 players to finish the season averaging double figures. Shooting at an efficient rate on the year, Jones also ranked fourth in the NCAC in field-goal percentage (.495).
Additionally, Jones showed her ability to take advantage of the charity stripe, ranking second in the NCAC in made free throws (84) and free-throw percentage (.785). She also finished in the top ten in the conference in rebounds per game, averaging 5.8.
Jones played a consistent game throughout the 2016-17 season, scoring in double figures in 19 of the 26 games, while breaking the 20-point plateau on eight-separate occasions. She also tallied her season best of 25 points, four different times.
Twice on the season, Jones was selected as the NCAC Player of the Week. She was one of just four players to accomplish the feat multiple times on the year (joining DePauw's Claire Ryan, Denison's Jordan Holmes, and Ohio Wesleyan's Megan Kuether).
Her first POTW honor came on December 5, after averaging 20.6 points and 6.6 rebounds in games against Muskingum University, DePauw and Wittenberg. She again earned honors on January 30, averaging a double-double (18 points/10.5 rebounds) while totaling 4.0 steals per night in wins over Wooster and Allegheny.
Thanks to her strong season scoring the rock, Jones also celebrated becoming just the seventh player in program history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark with a 21-point performance against Ohio Wesleyan. She remains seventh on the all-time scoring list with 1,030 points.
Shockley was given her second-consecutive All-NCAC Honorable Mention nod after posting one of the best all-around seasons of anyone in the conference. The junior finished the season in the top 20 in every major statistical category, including points, rebounds, blocks, steals and assists per game.
The Terrier defense was one of the most opportunistic in the NCAC, leading the conference in steals per game (11.2). Shockley was the spearhead on that front, leading the entire NCAC with 2.5 pilfers per night. She matched he career high with 65 steals, moving her into ninth on the all-time career list with 152 career takeaways.
Shockley recorded at least one steal in 24 of the teams' 26 contests, tallying at least four, six times, and adding a career-high of seven in a victory over Westminster College on Nov. 16.
Adding to her defensive prowess, Shockley finished fourth in the NCAC in blocked shots per game, totaling 33 on the season. She also pulled down five rebounds per night, ranking in the top 20 in the NCAC.
On the offensive side of the floor, Shockley averaged 10 points per game for the second-consecutive season, ranking 12th in the conference. She scored in double figures 12 times on the year, including a season-high 19 in a win over Rosemont on December 29.
Jones and Shockley have been key contributors to a class that has helped the Terrier women's basketball team improve in the win column during every season on campus. As it stands, the class (which also includes Kayla Yost and Allison Vannoy), needs just seven wins next season to become the winningest class in program history.