MINNEAPOLIS -- Aysiat Afolabi, who helped the Lewis & Clark Pioneers back to the Northwest Conference tournament after a two-year absence, was selected to the D3Hoops.com All-West Region First-Team, the website announced Monday.
Afolabi becomes the first All-Region selection since Kristina Williams, who is now an assistant coach for Lewis & Clark, in 2013.
In aiding Lewis & Clark to a turnaround from 11 wins in the prior two seasons combined to 16 and an NWC postseason berth this past year, Afolabi led the conference in rebounding by nearly two full rebounds per game and was second in scoring. As a result, she was the best double-double producer in the NWC and ranked 18th in the nation. She shot 50.6 percent from the field, made 98 free throws and totaled 77 steals, all of which ranked top three in the conference.
The senior finished the year on the All-NWC First-Team, as did Pacific's Sarah Curl, the only other NWC student-athlete chosen to the All-West Region First-Team.
On Jan. 28, Afolabi surpassed 1,000 points for her career by scoring 16 to lead Lewis & Clark to a 63-52 win over Pacific Lutheran.
"1,000 points, I'm happy. It feels like a regular day, I'm actually really happy this team has been winning. Coming from last year, it been a big improvement," said Afolabi after that game.
"It's been such a joy coaching you," said Williams in a video message on the day Afolabi passed 1,000 points. "I'm not really surprised that you hit this milestone. I remember back to the fall after I graduated and [then coach] Juli [Fulks] told me someone else would be wearing number three. I didn't know how I felt about it, but you turned out to be a great player, and I don't think anyone else could have worn number three the way that you did."
During the season, Afolabi twice set a new career high for points scored. In Lewis & Clark's 79-70 upset of then-No. 18 Whitman on Jan. 21, Afolabi scored 27 points on 9 of 18 shooting. On Feb. 23, she scored 30 points in the NWC tournament. Once again, she shot 50 percent from the field, 12 of 24, as the Pioneers season ended in a 61-58 defeat to No. 6 Puget Sound.
2017 D3Hoops.com All-West Region First Team
Katie Sommer - Wartburg
Claire Marburger - Central
Ayisat Afolabi - Lewis & Clark
Sarah Curl - Pacific
Kaitlin Langer - St. Thomas (Player of the Year)