CLINTON, Iowa - Three members of Ashford University's men's and women's basketball teams were awarded Midwest Collegiate Conference postseason honors as the 2008-09 season came to a close. All-conference teams were determined from voting by the coaches earlier in March.
On the men's side, Ashford guards Daniel Joiner of West Chicago, Ill., and Josh Pickens of Rockford, Ill., received MCC Honorable Mention Team status. Junior guard Kelly Fisher of Fremont, Calif., was named to the women's Honorable Mention Team.
Joiner was the Saints' leading scorer in his junior season (15.4 ppg.) and ranked fifth in the conference while helping lead Ashford to an 11-win season. He was Ashford's leading scorer in 10 contests, posting a season-high 29 points in a win against Silver Lake College in the second game of the year.
The junior guard was also a marksman at the charity stripe, ranking fifth in the MCC in free-throw percentage, hitting over 80 percent of his attempts. He was named the MCC Men's Basketball Player of the Week in early December, helping lead the Saints to a pair of victories against the University of St. Francis and Rockford College.
Joiner was named the MCC's Most Improved Player following his sophomore season.
Pickens averaged double figures (12.1 ppg.) in his final season with Ashford, and connected on 70 three-point field goals, the third-best conference mark. The senior also tied for the team lead in assists with Tim DePaoli, dishing out 62.
The emergence of a perimeter presence from Joiner and Pickens was crucial for Ashford Head Coach Andy Eberhart's squad as guard Byron Emerson went down early in the season with an injury.
"With an injury to Byron, they both had to step up and they did just that," said Eberhart. "I think when both of them played well, we had the opportunity to win. Josh (Pickens) hit a lot of game-winning shots for us and Daniel (Joiner) was able to penetrate and get to the free-throw line. Both are really good shooters -- and both are very deserving of this award."
Fisher led the Saints in scoring at a 12.1 clip per game and was a force on the boards, averaging 6.3 rebounds per game in her junior season. She ranked within the top 10 of the MCC in steals (8th, 1.87 spg.) and finished 10th in rebounding as Ashford finished sixth in the conference standings.