Women's Basketball's Merrill and Jackson Earn All-MAC Honors

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March 7, 2005

CLEVELAND--Junior Cindi Merrill (Noblesville, IN/Noblesville) and sophomore Amanda Jackson (Springfield, OH/South) have both been honored by the Mid-American Conference head coaches, the league office announced Monday morning. Merrill earned second-team all-MAC honors for the second consecutive season, while Jackson picked up honorable mention all-league plaudits.

Merrill, who is averaging 16.9 points per game this season, leads Miami and enters the MAC Tournament ranked fourth in the league in scoring. The junior has totaled 10 20-point games this season--the second-highest single-season total in program history--and already ranks sixth on Miami's single-season scoring chart with 455 points. Just the fifth Miami player to surpass 1,000 career points prior to her senior season, Merrill also leads Miami and ranks 16th in the MAC in rebounding, clearing 6.1 boards per game.

With five outings of 25 or more points on the year, Merrill has led Miami in scoring in 16 games and scored in double digits in all but four games. She was at her best in last Saturday's MAC Tournament first-round game, coming off an ankle injury that caused her to miss the regular-season finale and contributing a game-high 25 points and nine rebounds. A preseason all-MAC selection and a 2004 second-team all-MAC honoree, Merrill is only the fifth Miami player to earn first- or second-team all-MAC honors in consecutive seasons.

Jackson earned honorable mention all-MAC status for the first time in her career after averaging 13.0 ppg to rank 14th in the league. A MAC all-freshman pick last season, Jackson started 26 games while scoring in double figures 18 times this season. She leads Miami and ranks seventh in the MAC with her 2.15 steals per game and also ranks among the league's top 10 in free throw percentage, connecting on 81-of-102 charity tosses for 79.4 percent. Jackson owns Miami's two highest-scoring games this season, tallying 27 points each versus Appalachian State (Nov. 26) and Manhattan (Dec. 20).

The sophomore has been at her best down the stretch, averaging 19.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.4 steals over the past five games and hitting key shots or free throws in the final minutes of four of those five contests. She is coming off her second career double-double, contributing 22 points and 10 rebounds in Miami's first-round MAC Tournament win over Western Michigan.

Merrill and Jackson, along with the rest of their eighth-seeded Miami teammates, resume MAC Tournament play at 1 p.m., Wednesday in Cleveland's Gund Arena when they take on top-seeded Bowling Green. The RedHawks, who are making their sixth consecutive MAC Quarterfinal appearance and looking to extend their league-long string of four straight MAC Semifinal appearances, own a 15-13 record.

Ryan Coleman, Eastern Michigan
Melissa DeGrate, Kent State
Kate Endress, Ball State
Carrie Moore, Western Michigan
Lindsay Shearer, Kent State

Liz Honegger, Bowling Green
Kelly Koerber, Western Michigan
Ali Mann, Bowling Green
Cindi Merrill, Miami
Sikeetha Shepard-Hall, Marshall

Danielle Bishop, Toledo
Erika Ford, Eastern Michigan
Karin Hoogendam, Toledo
Nikki Knapp, Eastern Michigan
Stephanie Raymond, Northern Illinois

Crystal Champion, Marshall
Carin Horne, Bowling Green
Amanda Jackson, Miami
Simone Redd, Ohio
Malika Willoughby, Kent State

Kate Achter, Bowling Green
Julie DeMuth, Ball State
Simone Redd, Ohio
Olivia Terry, Toledo
Heather Turner, Buffalo