Makayla Epps Named WBCA All-America Honorable Mention
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the second time in the past week, University of Kentucky junior guard Makayla Epps has been named an All-America honorable mention performer for her impressive season on the hardwood in 2015-16, most recently by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, it was announced recently.
This is the first such honor from the WBCA for Epps, who earlier this week earned her second straight All-America honorable mention honor from the Associated Press. Epps is the first Kentucky player to earn honorable mention All-America honors from the WBCA since DeNesha Stallworth in 2014. Earlier this season, Epps was named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Associated All-Region Team, which made her one of 52 candidates for the WBCA All-America Team.
Epps has a lengthy list of honors this season, including becoming the fourth player in program history to earn multiple SEC All-Tournament Team honors and becoming only the third player in the Matthew Mitchell era to be named first-team All-SEC multiple seasons. A First Team All-American by CollegeSportsMadness.com, Epps was named to the 30-member Wade Trophy Watch List, was a member of the Naismith Trophy Women’s College Player of the Year Midseason 30 Watch List and Dawn Staley Award Midseason Watch List. The junior was the espnW National Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week on Dec. 14 for her strong outings against Louisville and Middle Tennessee State.
On the season, Epps played in 32 games, averaging a team-best 17.1 points per game, hitting .473 from the field with 4.5 assists per game and 4.8 rebounds per game. Epps scored 20+ points 12 times on the season, while scoring in double digits 29 times. Early in the season, Epps posted the second triple-double in program history with 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds against Morehead State. During SEC play, Epps became the 31st member of Kentucky’s 1,000 point club and ended her junior year with 1,207 career points, which ranks her 19th all-time on Kentucky’s scoring list.
The star shone the most on the biggest of stages this season. During the regular season against highly-ranked Louisville, Duke, South Carolina (twice), Tennessee, Mississippi State and Texas A&M, Epps averaged 18.4 points per game, hitting .486 from the field with 29 assists and 33 rebounds. Those performances continued in the SEC Tournament as Epps led the team averaging 18.3 points per game with 5.3 rebounds per game, 12 assists and an impressive .553 clip from the field.
She paced the team in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 22.3 points per game to go with 4.3 assists per game and 5.0 rebounds per game. The junior increased her output not only in points per game, but efficiency from 3 as well as it increased to .438 in the tournament compared to shooting at a .250 prior to the event. Additionally, Epps ended her junior campaign with 546 points and 143 assists, becoming the only player in school history to have at least 500 points and 100 assists in two consecutive seasons.
For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @UKHoopCats on Twitter and Instagram, or Kentucky Women’s Basketball on Facebook.