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Lee headlines All-NCAC honors as Coach of the Year

(L-R) Valesha Province, Alison Schafer, Lauren Longbrake
(L-R) Valesha Province, Alison Schafer, Lauren Longbrake

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Following an 18-win season and their second trip to the NCAC Tournament Championship game in the last three seasons, Denison women's basketball garnered four All-North Coast Athletic Conference selections on Wednesday, including head coach Sara Lee as the NCAC Coach of the Year for the sixth time in her career. She is joined by senior Valesha Province as a second-team honoree and juniors Alison Schafer and Lauren Longbrake as honorable mention selections.

In her 30th season at the helm of the Big Red, Lee collected coach of the year honors after leading Denison to an 18-9 overall record and their second trip to the NCAC title game since 2017. Finishing at 12-4 in conference play, Lee guided the Big Red to seven straight wins from Jan. 12-Feb. 9 and ended the regular season with 12 wins in their last 14 games. Lee currently holds a career mark of 472-318 during her 30 seasons in Granville.

Making her all-conference debut as a senior, Province enjoyed the best season of her career in 2018-19 after finishing top-three on the team in points (10.6), assists (3.2), steals (1.1), and three-pointers (2.1) per game. Starting all 27 games this season for the Big Red, the Tiffin, Ohio native tallied 13 double-digit scoring performances as a senior, including a career-high 24 points while tying a program record with six three-pointers in Denison's 100-74 win at Hunter College on Nov. 17.

Schafer returns for the second-straight year as an All-NCAC honorable mention selection after posting career-highs in points (10.9), rebounds (4.8), and assists (2.6), while also shooting 34.3 percent from the perimeter. A native of Columbia Station, Ohio, Schafer also tallied a career-best 27 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three to help the Big Red defeat Oberlin, 73-50, on Dec. 10.

Like Province, Longbrake made her All-NCAC debut following a breakout season in 2018-19. Appearing in all 27 games off the bench for the Big Red, Longbrake led the team with 11.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 52.7 percent from the field and 76.7 percent from the charity stripe. A native of Groveport, Ohio, Longbrake achieved 20 or more points in four games this season while posting new career-highs with 25 points and 13 rebounds in DU's regular-season finale victory over Ohio Wesleyan, 61-50, on Feb. 16.