BROWNWOOD – February 19, 2015 – Several Howard Payne University basketball standouts have been inducted into the American Southwest Conference Hall of Honor and will be honored in between the women’s and men’s basketball games this Saturday, February 21, at the Brownwood Coliseum.
Meia Daniels, 2008 HPU graduate and current head women’s basketball coach for the university, and the members of the 2007-08 HPU women’s basketball team were inducted into the ASC Hall of Honor in December. According to the ASC, the team holds distinction as the first to win an NCAA Division III team title for the conference.
Team members include Daniels, Stacy Blalock, Stephanie Brewer, Makiesha Davis, Mionca Hall, Elaine Hobbs, Hope Hohertz, Kimberly Hoffman, Sarah Pfiester, Daphnie Pippins, Katy Sarem, Tiffany Warner, Chris Kielsmeier (then head coach), Lindy Hatfield (then assistant coach) and Traci Ortiz (then student manager).
“These young women and their coaches brought national attention to HPU and the Brownwood community during their record-setting season,” said Mike Jones, HPU athletic director. “We hope the community joins us Saturday as we honor their achievements.”
Tickets to the game are $3 for adults, $2 for senior citizens and $1 for children ages 12 to 18. Children under 12 receive free admission.
A four-time all-conference honoree and three-time West Division Player of the Year, Meia Daniels capped her Howard Payne women’s basketball career with a NCAA Division III national championship, selection as the WBCA Division III Player of the Year (2008) and as a finalist for the Women’s Collegiate Sports 2008 Athlete of the Year award. Daniels is one of two women to twice earn American Southwest Conference Female Athlete of the Year honors, claiming the league’s highest student-athlete honor for both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years.
A point guard, Daniels is one of two women’s basketball student-athletes to have been named to the All-ASC team in each of her four seasons (2005, ’06, ’07, ’08). She also earned All-West Division First-Team honors all four seasons and was three times voted ASC West Division Player of the Year (2006, ’07, ’08). Daniels was the 2005 ASC West Division Freshman of the Year. Howard Payne made four straight ASC Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament appearances during Daniels’ collegiate career, winning the conference title three times (2005, ’07, ’08) with Daniels selected the tournament most valuable player in her junior and senior years (2007, ’08).
Daniels was named Most Valuable Player of the 2008 NCAA Division III Women’s Final Four and selected to the All-Tournament team. The WBCA named Daniels as an all-American in 2008 and honorable mention all-American in 2007. Her list of collegiate honors included WBCA and D3hoops.com all-South Region awards, including D3hoops.com South Region Player of the Year citations as a junior and senior (2007, ’08).
As a player, Daniels was part of an HPU program that posted a 109-12 record and made four trips to the NCAA Division III playoffs. Both Howard Payne and American Southwest Conference records bear Daniels’ name. She still holds seven Howard Payne career, season and game records and currently holds two ASC career marks – games played (121) and field goals attempted (1,694) – and five conference season records – points (649), field goals made (215) and field goals attempted (479). Daniels lists second all-time in career scoring in the ASC and at Howard Payne (2,118).
Daniels holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and criminal justice from HPU (2008) and a master’s degree in organizational management from Wayne State College Nebraska (2010). Following graduation from HPU, Daniels spent two seasons as a women’s basketball graduate assistant coach at NCAA Division II Wayne State College (Neb.). She helped guide WSC to a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship in 2010.
Daniels is a member of the Howard Payne University Athletics Hall of Fame, both as a student-athlete and as a member of the 2007-08 HPU women’s basketball national champion team. Daniels is presently assistant director of athletics/senior woman administrator and women’s basketball head coach at Howard Payne.
The 2007-08 Women’s Basketball Team
The American Southwest Conference claimed its first NCAA Division III national team championship when the 2007-08 Howard Payne University women’s basketball team capped a perfect 33-0 season with a 68-54 win over Messiah College for the 2008 national title. It was just the fifth time a team had gone undefeated in claiming the Division III women’s basketball championship. The HPU women’s basketball team was the only collegiate basketball team, men’s or women’s at any level, to finish the 2007-08 season with an undefeated record.
In addition to winning the first national team title in the ASC, the 2007-08 team also recorded the first national team title for Howard Payne since the institution joined the NCAA in 1996. The 2007-08 women’s basketball national championship team was inducted to the Howard Payne University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.
Howard Payne’s championship season included an American Southwest Conference title and West Division championship. The Lady Jackets led Division III women’s basketball in home attendance average and extended their Brownwood Coliseum home win streak to 36 games. The HPU win streak vs. ASC opponents stretched to 34 games. Only four of the season’s 33 games were decided by 10 or fewer points, and HPU led NCAA Division III women basketball in scoring margin (27.8 pts. per game).
The 2007-08 Lady Jackets established three ASC season records that still stand: points (2,485), free throws made (671) and free throws attempted (885). During the season, Howard Payne earned the first No. 1 national ranking for women’s basketball in school history.
In addition to team accolades, the 2007-08 Howard Payne team produced numerous national, region and conference individual award winners, including WBCA Division III National Player of the Year and All-American, Meia Daniels; WBCA and D3hoops.com National Coach of the Year, Chris Kielsmeier; WBCA Honorable Mention All-American, Stacey Blalock; and three all-region picks, Daniels, Blalock and Kim Hoffman. The conference postseason awards list included HPU players on the all-ASC team, all-West Division first, second and defensive teams; West Division freshman team; and ASC All-Academic team. ASC West Division awards were presented to Daniels (Player of the Year), Blalock (Defensive Player of the Year) and Kielsmeier (Coach of the Year).
Photo cutline: Meia Daniels and the members of the 2007-08 HPU women’s basketball team were inducted into the ASC Hall of Honor and will be honored during HPU’s basketball games this Saturday.