DARTMOUTH, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth sophomore Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.) picked up a pair of prestigious regional nods early this week, landing on the D3hoops.com All-Northeast First Team and the New England Women’s Basketball Association (NEWBA) First Team.
The regional placements are the first for Examond on her two-year Corsair career, as she joins teammate Megan Ronaghan ’16 and Colleen Moriarty ’13 as the third UMass Dartmouth player to land on both lists. Ronaghan was named to the NEWBA First Team and D3hoops.com Second Team 2014, and the First Teams for both last season.
Examond, the 2017 Little East Conference Player of the Year, played a crucial role in UMass Dartmouth’s first NCAA Division III Championship tournament run this season, averaging a team-high 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. With only three games left in the 2016-17 season, she sits fourth nationally in field goal percentage at 63.9 percent, and additionally ranks in the top 20 nationally in total rebounds (17th, 320) and offensive rebounds per game (19th, 5.0). Examond finished the regular season as the only LEC player to average a double-double, and posted double-digit point totals in 20-straight games from Dec. 29 to March 4. As part of her 13 double-doubles on the season, Examond hit career-highs with 25 points against Wellesley on Dec. 29 and snagged 22 boards to go along with 24 points at Eastern Connecticut on Jan. 11. During the regular season, she garnered LEC Player of the Week accolades three times, and was tabbed the NEWBA Player of the Week on Jan. 2.
Over the course of the Corsairs’ four NCAA tournament contests, Examond contributed 13.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per outing. She carried UMass Dartmouth to its first NCAA victory in program history in the First Round against La Roche College, leading all players with 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting and 15 rebounds. Examond converted 67 percent (22-of-33) of her shots from the field during NCAA competition.
Under head coach Matt Ducharme, UMass Dartmouth culminated its historic season on Saturday after advancing to the sectional final in just the program’s first NCAA tournament trip. The Corsairs finished the year 25-6 overall and 11-3 in LEC competition, both program records, and after falling in the conference semifinals to eventual champion Keene State secured one of 20 at-large bids to the national tournament. After downing La Roche 71-64, UMass Dartmouth claimed the program’s first victory over a ranked opponent, upending No. 11/12 Montclair State 71-63 on its home floor in the Second Round. In the round of 16, the Corsairs advanced past SUNY New Paltz 67-57 to meet No. 1 Amherst, which ultimately ended UMass Dartmouth’s run, 73-33.