Boston, Clark headline women's AP All-America team
Aliyah Boston is now a member of the elite three-timers club.
The South Carolina star was honored for the third straight year as an All-American by The Associated Press on Wednesday. She's just the 10th player to earn that honor three times.
Boston was joined on the first team by Iowa's Caitlin Clark, Villanova's Maddy Siegrist, LSU's Angel Reese and Indiana's Mackenzie Holmes. Boston and Clark were unanimous choices by the 28-member national media panel that votes in the AP Top 25 each week.
It’s the second consecutive season that a player joined the club. Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard did it last season.
South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson, Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw, Duke’s Alana Beard, Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris, Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu and UConn’s Breanna Stewart and Maya Moore are the only other players to earn first-team honors at least three times. Paris and Moore did it four times.
Boston earned second-team All-America honors her freshman year.
“Aliyah has been the best college player in, to me, as many years as she’s been honored as an All-American, but definitely the past two seasons," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. "I hope that we can really give her her flowers while she’s still a collegiate athlete because I don’t think there will be another Aliyah Boston to ever grace college women’s basketball.”
Boston helped South Carolina go undefeated in the regular season and enter the NCAA Tournament as the top overall seed. She averaged 13.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks a game. She is a big reason the Gamecocks went wire-to-wire as No. 1 in the AP poll for the second straight season.
Clark could join the three-timers club next season. The junior once again put up eye-popping numbers averaging 27.0 points, second best in the nation. She also had 8.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game to help Iowa win the Big Ten Tournament title for a second consecutive year.
“It’s one thing to be a first team All-American, but another to receive it in back-to-back seasons," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "Our program, university, and state is so proud of all the things she has accomplished thus far. There’s nobody more deserving than a generational player like Clark.”
Clark only trailed Siegrist in scoring. The Villanova star averaged 28.9 points this season and set the career Big East scoring record. She has 984 points this season and is looking to become the fifth player ever to score over 1,000 in a season. She has scored 20-plus points in 34 consecutive games which is one short of Kelsey Plum's record set in 2016-17.
“Maddy is an All-American in every sense of the word and she is truly deserving of this honor,” said Villanova coach Denise Dillon. “On the court, the numbers she has put up this year are staggering. To lead the country in scoring and score 1,000 points in one season is amazing. We are so proud of Maddy becoming the first Associated Press All-American in program history.”
Reese had a stellar season for the Tigers, averaging 23.4 points and 15.5 rebounds while shooting 54% from the field. The sophomore forward broke Sylvia Fowles' school record of 20 consecutive double-doubles.
“She has a special skillset that sets her apart as one of the best players in the nation,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said. “She is definitely one of the top players in the country. We are excited to see what her future holds and the impact she will have on our team at LSU.”
Holmes helped Indiana to one of the best seasons in school history. The Hoosiers, who finished second in the AP poll, won the Big Ten regular season title. Holmes averaged 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and shot 68.8% from the field.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment for a gal from Maine,” Indiana coach Teri Moren said. “No one is more exited and happier for her than our staff and her teammates. It’s well deserved. She’s worked on her game since the day she arrived in Bloomington.”
Boston, Clark, Stanford's Haley Jones, Iowa State's Ashley Joens, Virginia Tech's Elizabeth Kitley and DePaul's Aneesah Morrow made up the preseason All-America team.
The AP second team was headlined by Kitley, who was the ACC player of the year for the second straight season. She was joined by Cameron Brink of Stanford, Diamond Miller of Maryland, Olivia Miles of Notre Dame and Alissa Pili of Utah.
The AP third team was Joens, UConn's Aaliyah Edwards, Morrow, Jones and South Carolina's Zia Cooke.
Indiana's Grace Berger and Florida State freshman Ta'Niya Latson and Louisville's Hailey Van Lith were the leading vote-getters among players who didn't make the three All-America teams. Players earned honorable-mention status if they appeared on one of the ballots.
AP March Madness coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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