Special to the Herald
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON – One night before opening play at the Association of Independent Institutions Division II Basketball Tournament, the Ashford University men’s basketball team earned five awards at the conference tournament banquet.
Junior guard Anthony Woods was named first-team All-A.I.I. and conference Player of the Year after averaging a team-high 15.8 points a game and shooting 53.3 percent (161-for-302) from the floor, good for fifth overall in the conference. Additionally, Woods averages 3.7 rebounds a game and was named A.I.I. Male Athlete of the Week on two occasions.
DeAndre Lowery Jr. of Calumet City, Ill., picked up second-team All-A.I.I. honors and was named Defensive Player of the Year. The junior averages 13.0 points a game, grabs 3.3 rebounds, dishes out 3.3 assists and has forced a team-leading 37 turnovers.
Joining Lowery on the second team was sophomore guard Damon Overton, second on the team in scoring (14.9). The East Moline, Ill., native shot 39.5 percent (128-for-324) during the regular season and grabbed 4.2 rebounds a game on the year.
Thaddeus Perry of Rockford, Ill., was rewarded for his play off the AU bench with a spot on the honorable mention team. The senior averaged 9.9 points and 4.9 rebounds a game while leading the Saints with a .614 (102-for-166) field goal percentage.
Coach Oliver Drake joined his four players in the ceremonial photo after being named A.I.I. Coach of the Year, leading the Saints to a 22-8 record, the tournament’s top seed, and the No. 23 ranking in the NAIA Division II Coaches’ Top-25 Poll. It marks the fourth straight year under Drake that Ashford has reached the 20-win plateau.
The Saints open the A.I.I. Tournament tonight, when they host fourth-seeded Fisher College inside Kehl Arena at 7 p.m.
ALL-ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT INSTITUTIONS First Team Anthony Woods, Ashford; Stavros Schizas, Rochester; Matthew Brito, Northern New Mexico; Demetris Love, Johnson & Wales; Tyler Shuler, Fisher. Second Team DeAndre Lowery Jr., Ashford; Damon Overton, Ashford; Cameron Luckett, Wilberforce; AJ Peralta,Northern New Mexico; Brandon Grubl, IU-Northwest. Honorable Mention Paris Pereira, Rochester; Sean Cassidy, Wilberforce; A.J. Burton, Rochester; Thaddeus Perry, Ashford; Orlando Zayas, Fisher; Luke Spady, Walla Walla.