Luper Claims Three Summit League Awards while Finkbeiner Named Coach of the Year

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Oral Roberts’ 
Kevi Luper captured three of the five major women’s basketball awards as announced by the league Thursday. Luper earned Summit League Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors in voting by the league’s 10 head coaches, sports information directors and select media members.

Oakland’s Hanna Reising was named Sixth Woman of the Year, while Oral Roberts’ Jerry Finkbeiner earned Coach of the Year honors.

Luper claimed the Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards after leading Oral Roberts to a 15-3 league record and top seed in The Summit League Women’s Basketball Championship. In league play, the freshman is tops in points per game with 24.4 and also leads in steals with 4.9. For the year, Luper has retained the top spot in the nation in steals since the beginning of the season and currently averages 4.6 in all games played. Her 25.6 points average for all games is currently fourth in Division I. The Adair, Okla., native is second in the league in minutes played per game (34.5) and fifth in offensive rebounds per game (2.7). Luper is shooting 46 percent from the field in league contests, 33 percent from behind the arc, and 80 percent at the line. She has also set two Summit League records this season. In just her third collegiate game on Nov. 20, Luper scored a league record 44 points in a victory over La Salle, surpassing the 43-point mark held by Youngstown State’s Brianne Kenneally (set on Nov. 24, 2000). On Feb. 27, Luper scored her 660th point of the season, topping Northern Illinois’ E.C. Hill’s record of 659 in 1993-94. Luper now has 683 points heading into The Summit League Tournament. She also registered 12 steals in a victory over Southern Utah on Dec. 5, to tie a record in league games. Additionally, Luper set records with four straight Summit League Player of the Week awards and seven on the year.

Reising garnered Sixth Woman of the Year honors after coming off the bench in 16 of OU’s 18 league games while averaging 10.4 points per game for the Golden Grizzlies. The senior also averaged 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per league game. Reising connected on 47 percent of her shots from the field and 83 percent from the line, both second-best on the team.

Finkbeiner earned the Coach of the Year award for the first time in his career. He guided the Golden Eagles to their first-ever regular season league championship title and No. 1 tournament seed with a 15-3 record after finishing in eighth place last year. As a team, ORU leads the nation in scoring with 86.4 points per game.

Joining Luper as a first team All-Summit selection is teammate Jaci Bigham, who finished first in the league in assists with 5.6, three-point shooting (.462) and free throw percentage (.892). Preseason Player of the Year Chazny Morris earns first team honors after finishing fourth in the league in scoring (15.2 ppg) and fifth in both steals (2.3) and three-pointers made per game (1.9). NDSU’s Katie Birkel finished fourth in the league with 2.4 steals per game and averaged 14.1 points per contest for a spot on the first team. Melissa Jeltema of OU lands on the first team after placing third in the league in both scoring (15.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg). SDSU’s Maria Boever scored 13.6 points per contest and was second in the league in field goal percentage (.601).

Comprising the second team is IPFW’s Anne Boese (14.2 ppg, 1.7 apg) and Stephanie Rosado (14.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg), OU’s Bethany Watterworth (14.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg), SDSU’s Ketty Cornemann (12.9 ppg, 2.3 apg) and SUU’s Challis Pascucci (13.8 ppg, 9.7 rpg).

Receiving honorable mention honors are IUPUI’s Kerah Nelson (15.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg), NDSU’s Ashley Samuelson (11.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg), ORU’s Janae Voelker (10.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg), SDSU’s Kristin Rotert (10.9 ppg) and WIU’s Jordon O’Brien (11.7 ppg).

ORU’s Bigham and Luper, IPFW’s Rosado, IUPUI’s Nelson and OU’s Watterworth were named to the all-newcomer team.

The Summit League Championships begins March 6 at the Sioux Falls Arena in Sioux Falls, S.D., and culminates with the title game on Tuesday, March 9 on ESPNU at 3 p.m.

First Team All-Summit League
Jaci Bigham, Oral Roberts, G, Fr.
Katie Birkel, North Dakota State, G, So.
Maria Boever, South Dakota State, F, Sr.
Melissa Jeltema, Oakland, G, Sr.
Kevi Luper, Oral Roberts, G, Fr.
Chazny Morris, UMKC, G, Sr.
Second Team All-Summit League

Anne Boese, IPFW, G, So.
Ketty Cornemann, South Dakota State, F, Sr.
Challis Pascucci, Southern Utah, F, Jr.
Stephanie Rosado, IPFW, F/C, So.
Bethany Watterworth, Oakland, F/C, Fr.
Honorable Mention All-Summit League

Kerah Nelson, IUPUI, F, So.
Jordon O’Brien, Western Illinois, G/F, Sr.
Kristin Rotert, South Dakota State, G/F, Jr.
Ashley Samuelson, North Dakota State, F, Sr.
Janae Voelker, Oral Roberts, G/F, Sr.

All-Newcomer Team
Jaci Bigham, Oral Roberts, G, Fr.
Kevi Luper, Oral Roberts, G, Fr.
Kerah Nelson, IUPUI, F, So.
Stephanie Rosado, IPFW, F/C, So.
Bethany Watterworth, Oakland, F/C, Fr.

Kevi Luper, Oral Roberts


Kevi Luper, Oral Roberts

Hanna Reising, Oakland


Kevi Luper, Oral Roberts

Jerry Finkbeiner, Oral Roberts