Mar. 7, 2023
Bowman's record-setting season leads Wildcats into NCAA Tournament
It’s been a banner year for the Central Washington University women’s basketball team and their senior standout, Samantha Bowman.
The 6-foot-3 center earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Player of the Year honors after leading the Wildcats to a 21-8 overall record and their second consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament berth.
Along the way, Bowman broke the GNAC’s career rebounding record, grabbing number 1,187 in a playoff win over Simon Fraser last week—a game in which she scored a tournament record 40 points and pulled down 14 boards.
During her dominant senior campaign, the Zillah native broke CWU’s single-season scoring record with 640 points, raising her season average to 22.1 points per game—tops in the conference and seventh in Division II. Bowman also averaged a GNAC-best 14.8 rebounds per game, blocked a team-high 43 shots, and delivered 105 assists, good for second on the team.
Sophomore point guard Valerie “Sunshine” Huerta (18 points per game) joined Bowman on the all-GNAC first team, and senior guard Tori Maeda (team-high 153 assists) received honorable mention, along with GNAC Freshman of the Year Asher Cai (14 points per game).
Teammates Claire Heitschmidt, Ashley Schow, Riley Johnson, Malia Smith, Kiera Bush, Shaylee Coulter-Fa’amafu, and Shelby Blodgett will help lead the Wildcats into Friday’s NCAA tournament game against Cal State San Marcos. Tipoff is at noon in Carson, California.