Morningside placed three players on the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball All-America Team and the Mustangs’ Jamie Sale was named the NAIA II National Coach of the Year.
Morningside College’s Ashlynn Muhl has been named to the 2014-15 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball All-America First Team.
In addition to Muhl’s selection to the first team, the Mustangs’ Taylor Bahensky was named a third-team All-American, Lexi Ackerman was named an honorable mention All-American, and Morningside head coach Jamie Sale was named the Phyllis Holmes NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year.
The Mustangs were crowned NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Champions on Tuesday after they defeated Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) rival Concordia University 59-57 in the national title game to finish with a record of 37-1. Morningside won its fourth NAIA II National Championship under Sale, who has a 387-104 record in 14 seasons as the Mustangs’ head coach. Morningside also won national titles in 2004, 2005, and 2009.
Muhl, a 6-0 senior forward from Minneota, Minn., was the Mustangs’ second leading scorer and top rebounder with averages of 12.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. She had a team-high 15 double-doubles and had the Mustangs’ top individual scoring and rebounding performances of the season with a career-high 31 points against Midland University on Nov. 19 and 17 rebounds against Concordia on March 3.
Muhl was the Mustangs’ leading rebounder in 22 of their first 33 contests before she underwent season-ending surgery one day before the start of the NAIA Division II National Tournament. She made 148 of 252 field goal attempts for 58.7 percent and converted 109 of 157 free throw attempts for 69.4 percent. Aside from leading the Mustangs in rebounding, Muhl also topped the Mustangs with 31 blocked shots.
Muhl, a two-time honorable mention All-American before her promotion to this year’s first team, was named to the All-GPAC First Team three times during her career, joining Chelsie Trask and Dani Gass as the only players in Morningside history to make the All-GPAC First Team at least three times.
Muhl finished her career as the seventh leading rebounder and 18th leading scorer in Morningside history with 837 career rebounds and 1213 career points, respectively.
Bahensky, a 5-9 sophomore guard from Omaha, Neb., was the Mustangs’ leading scorer with an average of 12.5 points per game. She had a team-high 25 double figure scoring performances and a team-high five scoring performances of 20 points or more. Bahensky was the Mustangs’ best 3-point shooter with 40 treys in 101 attempts for 39.6 percent. She made 160 of 386 overall field goal attempts for 41.5 percent and converted 115 of a team-high 159 free throw attempts for 72.3 percent.
Aside from leading the Mustangs in scoring, Bahensky also topped the Mustangs with 96 steals and was second on the team with 89 assists for averages of 2.5 steals and 2.3 assists per game. Bahensky was named the 2014-15 GPAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Ackerman, a 5-10 sophomore guard from Rock Rapids, Iowa, dealt a team-high 142 assists for an average of 3.7 per game and finished third on the team with 62 steals for a norm of 1.6 per contest. Ackerman scored at just under a double figure clip with a scoring rate of 9.4 points per game to compliment an average of 3.4 rebounds per contest. She made 133 of 347 field goal attempts for 38.3 percent, 27 of 99 3-point field goal attempts for 27.3 percent, and 66 of 91 free throw attempts for 72.5 percent.
Morningside posted a 37-1 record during the 2014-15 season and won the GPAC regular season championship with a perfect 20-0 record. The Mustangs made their school-record 13th consecutive appearance in the NAIA Division II National Tournament, where they have won four National Championships and made seven trips to the Final Four over the last 12 years.
Click here for the complete 2014-15 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball All-America Team.