Cange plays big role in Lander’s historic season

Douglasville native Makaila Cange was named the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year and was also named to two All-American teams while leading Lander University to the NCAA Div. II Final Four.

Former New Manchester High standout Makaila Cange was part of Lander University’s greatest women’s basketball season.

With the sophomore helping lead the way, the No. 2-seeded Bearcats reached the NCAA Div. II national semifinals at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Ohio.

Lander’s season ended Wednesday with a 74-65 loss to Drury to bring its final record to 20-2.

Cange finished the semifinals game with seven points while leading the team with 13 rebounds.

For only the sixth time in 22 games this season, Cange failed to record a double-double for the Bearcats.

Cange was held scoreless until the 2:13 mark when she hit a pair of free throws, ending a 9-0 Drury run early in the contest.

It was an impressive season for Cange, who was named Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year. Just before the start of the national tournament, she was named to the Div. II All-American team.

Cange along with teammate Zamiya Passmore were two of the 10 players named Women Basketball Coaches Association NCAA Div. II Coaches’ All-Americans.

In addition, Cange was also named a first-team D2CCA All-American.

The Bearcats are the only team to put multiple players on the WBCA All-American team and one of only two schools to have multiple players honored by D2CCA.

It was the first time the Bearcats have ever had multiple players earn All-American honors in the same season.

Just before the postseason begun Cange was named the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year after leading the conference in double-doubles and six other categories.

She also led the conference in made field goals, field-goal percentage, total rebounds, and offensive, defensive, and total rebounds per game.

Cange was second in the nation in field-goal percentage (66.0), third in double-doubles (15), fourth in rebounds (262) and fifth in rebounds per game (13.1) and defensive rebounds per game (9.3). Cange has scored in double-figures in 13 consecutive games and averaging 19.0 points and 11.5 rebounds per game in the NCAA Tournament.

As a team, Lander was making its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, the longest streak in program history

Cange is the only underclassman in Division II with 16 double-doubles and has tied Kierstan Bell of Florida Gulf Coast for most double-doubles by an underclassman in the NCAA this season.

As a freshman last season, Cange appeared in 30 games while making 15 starts. She averaged 5.9 points last season.