MSOE's Kirmse, WLC's Dowden Named WisBCA D-III Private College Players of the Year

MSOE's Matthew Kirmse and Wisconsin Lutheran's Jen Dowden have been named Division III Private College Players of the Year by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association.
MSOE's Matthew Kirmse and Wisconsin Lutheran's Jen Dowden have been named Division III Private College Players of the Year by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association.

MILWAUKEE, Wis. --- The Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WisBCA) has announced its Men's and Women's College Basketball Player of the Year awards to student-athletes in and from the state of Wisconsin who have excelled at the collegiate level. The WisBCA annually presents awards for Player of the Year from the state's NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III (public and private collegess) and junior college programs.

Both WisBCA Division III Private College Players of the Year hail from Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) institutions. MSOE's Matthew Kirmse captured this year's men's award, while Wisconsin Lutheran College's Jen Dowden has been selected as this year's women's recipient.

Note: As there is only one NCAA Division II school in Wisconsin, recipients may Wisconsin high school graduates playing at out-of-state schools.

Matthew Kirmse, Milwaukee School of Engineering
A 2015 graduate of Port Washington High School, Kirmse was named the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Player of the Year as the Raiders claimed a share of their first regular season league title since 1982.

Kirmse was a repeat selection on the NACC All-Conference team, averaging 18.9 points and 5.5 assists per game as a senior. For a second straight season he led the league in made three-pointers, shooting 42.6% in 2018-19. The Raiders finished 21-5 overall and 16-4 in league play, as Kirmse eclipsed 30 points on three occasions, including a season-high 35 points in a January win over Concordia Chicago.

Jen Dowden, Wisconsin Lutheran College
Dowden, a 2015 graduate of Bonduel High School, led the Warriors to a program-best 27-2 overall record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The two-time NACC Player of the Year averaged 15.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for coach Klay Knueppel and the Warriors as a senior. Dowden shot 44.7 percent from the floor and scored at least 20 points in eight games. Following the Warriors' postseason run, she was named First Team All-Central Region by D3hoops.com for a second consecutive season. Dowden finished her career as Wisconsin Lutheran's all-time leading scorer with 1,757 points. The Warriors reached the NCAA Tournament in three of her four years.

WisBCA College Players of the Year
NCAA Division I
M: Markus Howard, Marquette
W: Marsha Howard, Wisconsin

NCAA Division II
M: Harrison Cleary, Minn.-Crookston (Oak Creek HS)
W: Jessica Kelliher, Lewis (Waukesha North HS)

NCAA Division III - Public Schools
M: Ben Boots, UW-Oshkosh
W: Isabella Samuels, UW-Oshkosh

NCAA Division III - Private Schools
M: Matthew Kirmse, MSOE
W: Jen Dowden, Wisconsin Lutheran

Junior College
M: Dylan Martens, UWGB-Sheboygan
W: Aleah Herron, Milwaukee-Waukesha