By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Asher Cai awarded Division II National Player of the Week

Asher Cai shoots from downtown. Photo courtesy Jacob Thompson/Thompson Sports Media

With the final regular season game happening tonight, Thursday, Feb. 29, the CWU women’s basketball team has an overall record of 18-10 and conference record of 9-7. They have clinched a spot in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) tournament and will start play on March 7.

A large part of the team’s success this season can be attributed to leading scorer and rebounder, sophomore guard Asher Cai. She has averaged 20 points and 9 rebounds per game. Her performance on the court has been recognized as she was awarded the World Exposure Report (WER) for National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II National Player of the Week. Her name is alongside top women’s college players like all time NCAA women’s scorer Caitlin Clark from Iowa University.

After winning the award, Cai talked about what it meant to her personally at this point in the season. “It’s just part of the process,” Cai said. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to get that and I want to thank my team for letting me get to this point and my coaches along the way. I couldn’t do it without them.”

Asher Cai acknowledges the bench. Photo courtesy Jacob Thompson /Thompson Sports Media

She had come into the program already ready to make an impact, averaging 14 points per game in her first season at CWU. Cai has improved in every statistical category besides assists, but that is to be expected seeing as she’s now the number-one scoring option on the team. 

Cai and junior guard Sunny Huerta have been putting the scoring workload on their back this season with Huerta averaging 18 points per game alongside Cai. Because of the team’s recent success this season, they’ve also just been awarded GNAC team of the week.

Cai expressed pride in her team’s achievement saying “We have worked really hard to get here and I’m hoping it is not the last one we will get.”

Freshman forward Capri Sims also recently won an individual award as she was awarded GNAC player of the week. Cai spoke on Sims’ impact this year and the work ethic she has brought to the team saying that she always comes in early in the mornings and stays late to put work in after practice. 

For Cai, there have been many people in her time at CWU that have pushed her to be her best. A few names that were mentioned include her scoring partner Huerta, head coach Randi Richardson-Thornley and former CWU women’s basketball star Sam Bowman. 

In terms of what has gone into her success this season, Cai spoke highly of Huerta’s impact. “I’m just looking up to Sunny,” Cai said. “She pushes me every day at practice and just is that role model holding the standard that we all stick to”.

The reigning team of the week has one regular season game left tonight at 5:15 p.m. in the Nicholson Pavilion. Fans can cheer on the Wildcats one final time this regular season as they take on Saint Martin’s University.

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