CJ Pentland, CapU Sports Information Director
A pair of talented fifth-years and an up-and-coming rookie on the Capilano University Blues women’s basketball team were honoured among the best in the PACWEST conference on Wednesday afternoon.
The reigning Player of the Year, M’Bikata led the league in scoring for the second-straight season with 13.8 points per game and was second in rebounding with 9.3 per contest. A fifth-year forward who studies in Capilano’s Business program, she was also second in field goal percentage at 47.2, sixth in blocks (0.7), and seventh in steals. This marks the third-straight year she’s been named a conference All-Star, and the second season in a row where she was voted to the First Team.
Twice this season M’Bikata was named PACWEST and CCAA Athlete of the Week. In the week of January 15-21 she recorded a total 26 points, 20 rebounds, and a 56.3 shooting percentage in two games against Quest, and during the week of February 5-11 she totaled 42 points, 31 boards, seven steals, and a field goal percentage of 65.2 percent in two wins over Langara.
M’Bikata finishes her five years in third place on the PACWEST all-time scoring list with 1,165 career points, and sixth in rebounding with 653 career boards. Both those totals are also the most in Capilano Blues women’s basketball history.
Joining her teammate as a First Team All-Star is Ashley dela Cruz Yip. Named to the Second Team last season, dela Cruz Yip remained the top passer in the league and also developed into one of the top scorers. The fifth-year guard led the PACWEST in assists for the third time in her career with an average of 4.9 per game, and she also finished 10th in league scoring at 11.3 points per contest. She rounded out her game with 4.3 rebounds per game, 1.9 steals per game, and a 41.8 field goal percentage.
An Arts & Sciences student at CapU, dela Cruz Yip was named PACWEST Athlete of the Week in this first weekend of the season; in two wins, she tallied 35 points, 12 rebounds, nine steals, and four assists. She finishes her five years at Capilano atop the PACWEST all-time assists leaderboard with 387 career helpers – having broken the record on November 18 against Vancouver Island.
First-year forward Mackenzie Smith was named to the PACWEST All-Rookie team after a strong rookie campaign. Coming to Capilano from Cariboo Hill Secondary in Burnaby, Smith established herself a strong presence in the paint at both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-3 forward shot 54.8 percent from the floor and averaged 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, and on defence she consistently disrupted the opposition by altering shots and getting in passing lanes.
The awards come on the heels of the PACWEST Basketball Championships, held March 1-3 at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. The Blues head into the tournament as the #2 seed, and have received a bye to semifinal on Friday, March 2 at 1:00pm. They’ll face the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between #3 Vancouver Island and #6 Quest; the game can be viewed online at pacwestbc.tv.