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Kelly, Coppola gain All-State honors from MWBCA

Allie Coppola '17 earned All-Rookie Team honors from the MWBCA. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine – Bates College senior Meredith Kelly earned MWBCA First Team All-State honors and first-year Allie Coppola garnered a spot on the All-Rookie Team, the Maine Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced on Thursday.

A native of Cohasset, Mass., Kelly continues to add to her postseason honors as earlier this week she earned D3hoops.com All-Northeast Region First Team accolades as well as First Team All-New England laurels from the New England Women's Basketball Association.

Earlier this month, Kelly captured both First Team All-Conference and NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year honors from the New England Small College Athletic Conference. The 5-foot-8 guard became the first player to lead the NESCAC in scoring and win Defensive Player of the Year accolades in the same year.

Coppola snagged MWBCA Rookie of the Week honors on three occasions during the season – Jan. 8, Feb. 4, and Feb. 17 – to help back her candidacy. The product of Tarrytown, N.Y., led the team this past season with 7.1 rebounds per game while averaging 7.5 points per game. She started the last eight games of the season for the Bobcats and compiled 10.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game during that span.

A 5-11 forward, Coppola notched seven double-doubles in her rookie campaign and scored in double figures in each of 10 games on the year.

Kelly averaged 21.6 points per game, a whopping 5.7 points more than any other NESCAC player, setting Bates' team records for points in a season (518), game (42) and half (25). She added a career-high 6.0 rebounds per game and ranked fifth in the conference in free-throw percentage, at a career-best .801. Kelly also added the 3-pointer to her offensive repertoire this season, hitting 21-of-74 shots from behind the arc (.284) after entering the season a career 3-for-17 (.176).

Bates' premier defender for the past four seasons and the 2011 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, Kelly led the league in steals this season, with 2.83 per game, and grabbed a career-high 6.0 rebounds per game, including 3.2 on the defensive glass. She often guarded the opponent's best player and proved indefatigable despite averaging 36.6 minutes and not missing a game. She is the first Defensive Player of the Year in team history.