Aliyah Boston is now a member of the elite triples club.
The South Carolina star was honored for the third straight year as an All-American by The Associated Press on Wednesday. She is only the 10th player to win this honor three times.
Boston was joined in the first team by Caitlin Clark of Iowa, Maddy Siegrist of Villanova, Angel Reese of LSU and Mackenzie Holmes of Indiana. Boston and Clark were chosen unanimously by the 28-member national media panel that votes in the AP Top 25 every week.
This is the second consecutive season that a player has joined the club. Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard did it last season.
A’ja Wilson of South Carolina, Brittney Griner of Baylor, Chamique Holdsclaw of Tennessee, Alana Beard of Duke, Courtney Paris of Oklahoma, Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon and Breanna Stewart and Maya Moore of UConn are the only other players to have won first-team honors at least three times. Paris and Moore have done it four times.
Boston earned second-team All-America honors in its freshman year.
“Aliyah has been the best college player in, for me, as many years as she was honored as an All-American, but certainly the last two seasons,” South Carolina coach Dawn said. Staley. “I really hope we can give her flowers while she’s still a varsity athlete, because I don’t think there will be another Boston Aliyah to honor varsity women’s basketball.”
Boston helped South Carolina stay undefeated in the regular season and enter the NCAA Tournament as the first overall seed. She averaged 13.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. She’s a big reason the Gamecocks went wire-to-wire as No. 1 in the AP poll for the second straight season.
Clark could join the triples club next season. The junior once again posted stunning numbers averaging 27.0 points, second best in the country. She also had 8.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game to help Iowa win the Big Ten Tournament title for a second straight year.
“It’s one thing to be a first-team All-American, but another to receive it in back-to-back seasons,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “Our program, our university and our state are so proud of everything she has accomplished so far. There is no one more deserving than a generational player like Clark.
Clark was only ahead of Siegrist in scoring. The Villanova star averaged 28.9 points this season and set the Big East career goalscoring record. She has 984 points this season and is looking to become the fifth player to score over 1,000 points in a season. She has scored more than 20 points in 34 straight games, one shy of Kelsey Plum’s record set in 2016-17.
“Maddy is an All-American in every sense of the word and she truly deserves this honor,” Villanova coach Denise Dillon said. “On the pitch, the numbers she’s put up this year are staggering. To lead the country in points and score 1,000 points in a season is incredible. We’re very proud that Maddy has become the first Associated Press All-American in program history.
Reese had a stellar season for the Tigers, averaging 23.4 points and 15.5 rebounds while shooting 54% from the field. The sophomore forward broke Sylvia Fowles’ school record of 20 consecutive double-doubles.
“Angel Reese joined our program and had a huge impact on our team,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said. “She has special skills that set her apart as one of the best players in the country. She is definitely one of the best players in the country. We are excited to see what her future holds and the impact she will have. on our team at LSU.
Holmes helped Indiana to one of the best seasons in school history. The Hoosiers, who finished second in the AP poll, won the Big Ten regular season title. Holmes averaged 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and shot 68.8 percent from the field.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment for a girl from Maine,” Indiana coach Teri Moren said. “No one is more excited and happier for her than our staff and her teammates. It’s well deserved. She’s been working on her game since the day she arrived in Bloomington.
Boston, Clark, Stanford’s Haley Jones, Iowa State’s Ashley Joens, Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley and DePaul’s Aneesah Morrow made up the preseason All-America team.
The AP’s second team was led by Kitley, who was the ACC Player of the Year for the second straight season. She was joined by Cameron Brink from Stanford, Diamond Miller from Maryland, Olivia Miles from Notre Dame and Alissa Pili from Utah.
The third AP team was Joens, Aaliyah Edwards of UConn, Morrow, Jones and Zia Cooke of South Carolina.
Indiana’s Grace Berger and Florida State rookie Ta’Niya Latson and Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith were the top voters among players who didn’t make the three All-America teams. Players were granted honorable mention status if they appeared on one of the ballots.
AP March Madness coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com /AP_Top25