6/7/12 ASHLAND, Ohio -- Ashland University basketball player Kari Daugherty (Fresno, Ohio/Dayton) has been named the 2011-12 Honda Sports Award NCAA Division II Female Athlete of the Year. The award was announced today (June 7) by the Collegiate Women Sports Award program. Daugherty will receive the award on June 23 at the ESPN Studios in Los Angeles.
Daugherty, a junior, is the first AU student-athlete to receive this award. She was one of 11 finalists for the award. The other finalists were Shippenburg's Neely Spence (cross country), Bloomsburg's Amanda Riley (field hockey), Nova Southeastern's Abbey Gittings (golf), West Chester's Tori Dugan (lacrosse), Carmelina Puopolo of the College of Saint Rose (soccer), Kutztown's Samantha Derr (softball), Southern Connecticut State's Amanda Thomas (swimming and diving), Armstrong Atlantic's Barbara Krtickova (tennis), Grand Valley State's Betsy Graney (track and field) and Cal State San Bernardino's Samantha Middleborn (volleyball).
"This award is such an honor," said Daugherty. "To be chosen for something like this, especially when I look at all of the amazing women that participated in Division II this year, is truly amazing. The whole year has been such a blessing from God, from the first day of the preseason to losing in overtime in the national title game, to being awarded this honor. I could not have done any of it without my coaches, teammates and family."
"What a well deserved honor this is for Kari," said AU head women's basketball coach Sue Ramsey. "Her hard work, dedication and desire to give her best 100 percent of the time has been recognized through this prestigious award. We are so proud to have Kari as an Ashland Eagle."
Daugherty put together one of the best seasons of any Division II player in history. She led the nation in rebounding (14.1 rpg.) and double-doubles (27). She averaged 21.3 ppg., shot 50.3 percent from the floor and 84.1 percent from the free throw line. She led the Eagles in blocked shots (35) and steals (54). Daugherty notched the first and only triple-double in school history (12 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists vs. Findlay).
Daugherty is a first team All-American (WBCA and Daktronics) and is the WBCA NCAA Division II national player of the year. She was named the GLIAC player of the year, the GLIAC Tournament's Outstanding Player and the Outstanding Player at the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championships and she was selected as the Daktronics Midwest Region Player of the Year. She was named to the all-tournament team at the NCAA Elite Eight and she established NCAA Division II tournament records for rebounds (95) and field goals (56). She was one point shy of the tournament record for points. Daugherty scored 148 points in tournament play.
The junior led the Eagles to a 33-2 record. AU advanced to the NCAA Division II national championship game where it lost in overtime to Shaw, 88-82. Ashland put together a 33-game winning streak, the longest winning streak in NCAA Division II (men or women) this season. The Eagles were the first team to go 19-0 in GLIAC play. Daugherty and her teammates won the first GLIAC basketball championship in school history. The Eagles ended the year ranked second in the nation. That is the highest ranking in school history.
This was Daugherty's first year at Ashland. She transferred to AU from the University of Dayton. At Dayton, Daugherty was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team. Her sophomore year she was a CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-District pick.
Daugherty is one of the top prep players in Ohio history. While playing for River View High School she was part of two state championship teams (2006, 2007) and was the state's co-player of the year in 2009.
Daugherty is a middle grades education major. She is the daughter of Bill and Caroline Daugherty.