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Regional College Players Rack Up GAC Conference Honors

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BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma -


Southwestern

Southwestern Oklahoma State's Marin Zelalija, Michelle Fisher, SaRaya Oyler, and MaRiah Oyler all earned spots on the Great American Conference's 2012-13 all-conference teams.

Zelalija made honorable mention on the men's side while Fisher landed first team honors on the women's side. Her teammates SaRaya Oyler made second team and MaRiah Oyler made honorable mention all-conference honors.

Women's coach Kelsi Musick was also named the conference's Women's Basketball Coach of the Year. This is Musick's second consecutive season to be honored with the award.

Zelalija finished the regular season as the leading scorer for SWOSU, averaging 12.4 points per game, which ranks him 13th in the GAC. He also ranks fifth in the conference in three-pointers made and he has connected on 36.5% (58-of-159) of his attempts from long range. Zelalija has started 21 of 25 games for SWOSU this year and he is averaging a team-high 31.9 minutes per game. He has other season averages of 2.2 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game to go along with eight steals and five blocked shots. This is the first all-conference honor for Zelalija, a native of Trogir, Croatia, who played his first two years at Redlands Community College.

This is the first All-GAC selection for Fisher, who leads the Lady Dawgs and ranks third in the conference in scoring, averaging 17.0 points per game. She is also the top three-point shooter in the conference, knocking down 68-of-180 (37.8%) attempts from long range this season. Fisher anchors an offense that leads the GAC in scoring, averaging 81.3 points per game. She has season averages of 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game and ranks second on the team with 27 steals on the year. Fisher, a Mustang, Okla., native, has played in all 26 games for SWOSU this year and was named the GAC Player of the Week for the week of November 26.

SaRaya Oyler earns her second All-GAC honor after being named an honorable mention selection last season. SaRaya is the second-leading scorer for SWOSU, averaging 11.3 points per game, and she leads the team in steals with 33 and ranks second in assists with 65. She is also the fourth-leading rebounder for SWOSU, grabbing an average of 4.3 rebounds per game. A native of Beaver, Okla., SaRaya has knocked down 43.1% (107-of-248) of her field goal attempts this season and 35.1% (33-of-94) of her attempts from long range.

MaRiah Oyler picks up her first All-GAC selection following a senior campaign which has capped off an outstanding career. MaRiah is the fourth-leading scorer for SWOSU, averaging 8.8 points per game, and she ranks third in the GAC in three-point shooting after knocking down 54-of-151 (35.8%) of her attempts from long range. In addition, MaRiah, a Beaver, Okla., native, has averages of 1.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while also ranking fifth on the team with 16 steals.

Musick was named the Great American Conference Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season after leading the Lady Dawgs to a 21-5 record, which included a second-place finish in the GAC with a 16-4 conference record. Musick is completing her fourth season at SWOSU and her teams have improved their win total in each of those seasons with 2012-13 marking the second-consecutive 20-win season for the program. The Lady Dawgs continue to play an exciting brand of basketball under Musick and this year's team currently ranks No. 3 in NCAA Division II in scoring, averaging 81.3 points per game.

Southeastern

Southeastern's Chris Roussell, Steven Kohli, and Bailey Welch have earned all-conference honors from the Great American Conference.

Rousell was selected to the men's First Team, Welch was named to the Second Team on the women's side, and Kohli was named to the Honorable Mention Team on the men's side.

Roussell earns his first postseason honor after leading the Savage Storm with 15.7 ppg on the season which good for seventh in the conference.

He has shot 47.0 percent from the field, including a 40.4 percent mark from three-point range, connecting on 46-of-114 from long range. Roussell scored his 1,000th career point in the regular season finale against Harding, and is at 1,003 points heading into the GAC tourney. He has scored in double-digits in 24 of 26 games this year and has turned in six double-doubles as well as six 20-point scoring outings.

Roussell is also second on the team in rebounding with 7.3 rebounds per game, good for sixth in the GAC, while dishing out 3.4 assists per outing.

Kohli also earns his first ever conference postseason recognition after finishing second on the team in scoring and leading the squad on the glass.

He is averaging 12.4 ppg on the year, shooting 42.6 percent from the floor and has drained 28 threes on the year.

Kohli paces the team as well as the conference in rebounding with 8.3 rebounds per contest.

He has reached double-digit rebounds eight times this year with a season-best of 16 boards. He has also turned in six double-doubles.

The selection is Welch's first in the GAC and her second honor at the conference level after she earned honorable mention All-Lone Star Conference North Division her sophomore season.

Welch is the leading scorer for the Savage Storm at 13.1 ppg, which is 12th in the GAC this season, and she has done a lot of her damage from behind lines, including 33 threes on the year and an 89.8 percent shooting effort from the free throw line, hitting 149-of-166 attempts.

Her 89.8 percent mark from the charity stripe is tied for the league lead, while her 149 made free throws leads the conference.

She also paces the club in assists with 4.5 assist per contest, using that to climb into third on the all-time list in assists with 451 assists over four seasons. Her season total is good for second in the league this year and her assist/turnover margin of 1.9 leads the GAC.

Welch has reached 20 points in five games this season, while dishing out five assists in 10 contests.

Northwestern

The Northwestern Oklahoma State men's basketball team was well represented Wednesday night at the Great American Conference post-season awards banquet.

Jonathan Freemyer and Daryl Glover each earned All-Conference honors and Andrew Brown was named GAC Coach of the Year following a season in which Northwestern finished in a three-way tie atop of the conference standings.

Freemyer - a 6-foot-6 senior from Kingwood, Texas - averaged a team-high 16.8 points and was the conference's third-leading scorer. His 7.2 rebounds-per-contest ranked seventh in the GAC.

"Jonathan developed into one of the toughest players in the conference to defend and also became a really strong rebounder," Brown said. "He's been a consistent player for us for four years."

Freemyer finished his career as Northwestern's third all-time leading scorer, with 1,499 career points.

Glover - a senior point guard from Inglewood, Calif. - was the league's fourth leading scorer at 16.4 points-per-game. His 4.0 assists tied for third in the GAC.

"He's improved every year since he set foot on campus," Brown said. "He's an example of what a player can become if he really chooses to commit himself."

Brown's Coach of the Year nod was also well earned. In the first season of their transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II, Brown's Rangers went toe-to-toe for traditional powers Harding and Arkansas Tech for much of the season. After a 4-7 start, Northwestern won 11 of its last 15 games to finish 15-11 (13-7 in conference play).

"This is a humbling award because it comes from your peers. I appreciate the recognition," Brown said. "It's a result of us having a good year as a team. People are recognized individually when teams have success."

The Rangers finished atop the conference standings for the first time since the 1999-00 season when they won the Red River Athletic Conference.

East Central

East Central University's Colby Carr, Dilan Webster, and Ashley Robison all earned spots on the Great American Conference's postseason squads.

Webster was named to the Second Team (women's team), while Carr (men's team) and Robison (women's team) made the Honorable Mention teams.

Webster leads the Lady Tigers with 13.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game heading into the quarterfinal round of the 2013 GAC Championship Tournament, March 7-10. The Oklahoma City, Okla., native is ranked No. 2 in the conference in blocks (2.4), sixth in field-goal percentage (.466) and ninth in defensive rebounds (4.9). She was named the GAC Player of the Week for Jan. 14 after recording a career-high 31 points at Southwestern Oklahoma State. During the season she set the ECU career blocks record, which currently stands at 92.

Carr is a New Orleans, La., native who led the Tigers with 13.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in his first season in a black and orange uniform. Carr tallied eight double-doubles during the season, which is currently ranked No. 50 in the NCAA.

He is also ranked No. 75 in the nation in rebounds. Carr finished the 2012-13 regular season ranked No. 10 in the GAC for scoring (13.1) and third in rebounds (8.0).

Robison is third on the women's team with 8.5 points and first with 7.5 rebounds per game and has recorded a .401 shooting percentage for the season. The Tulsa, Okla., native is ranked in the top-10 in the GAC in five categories after the regular season. She is No. 6 in three-point field-goal percentage (.384), seventh in rebounds (7.5) and three-point field-goals made (1.5/gm), eighth in offensive rebounds (2.6) and tenth in defensive rebounds (4.9).

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