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Women’s Basketball Awards Announced
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 02/28/2017
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Mercer's Kahlia Lawrence
Courtesy: Judy Stapleton/Mercer Athletics
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference announced the 2017 women’s basketball postseason awards today (Feb. 28). Selections include the coaches’ all-conference teams and specialty awards in addition to the Southern Conference Sports Media Association all-conference teams and awards.

Mercer junior guard Kahlia Lawrence, the reigning SoCon Player of the Year, claimed honors by both the league’s head coaches and media for the second straight year. Lawrence guided the Bears to their second consecutive shared SoCon regular-season crown and led the conference in scoring against SoCon opponents, averaging 18.9 points per contest and shooting 46.9 percent from the field. The Columbus, Georgia, native was one of two SoCon players to record at least three 30-point performances this season, against Florida Atlantic (34), Samford (31) and Western Carolina (30).

UNCG’s Nadine Soliman swept Freshman of the Year honors by both the conference’s head coaches and media after leading all freshman in the nation in scoring. Soliman averaged 16.3 points per contest in 2016-17, which puts her at No. 3 on this season’s SoCon scoring list behind SoCon All-Conference First Team members Tianna Tarter (ETSU) and Lawrence. The Cairo, Egypt, native was the only SoCon freshman to score 30 points in a single game, which she achieved in a 69-67 overtime win at High Point, finishing the game with 32 points.

Chattanooga senior center Jasmine Joyner was tabbed the 2017 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year after leading the nation in blocked shots. Joyner (4.04 bpg) was the only player in the country to average at least four blocks per contest. The Southaven, Mississippi, native totaled 113 on the season and broke the SoCon all-time blocked shots record in the Mocs’ 70-62 win over ETSU on Feb. 10. Joyner currently has 427 career blocks heading into this week’s SoCon tournament, putting her at ninth all-time in the NCAA record books. Joyner was the only SoCon player to average a double-double this season (14.9 ppg, 11.7 rpg) and led the SoCon in rebounding. Joyner was also first in the conference in defensive rebounds, averaging 7.26 defensive boards in 2016-17.

UNCG head coach Trina Patterson claims SoCon Coach of the Year honors after her first year as Spartan head coach. Patterson guided the Spartans to a record of 16-13 overall record and went 7-7 in conference play. UNCG’s 16-13 overall record is its best since the 2005-06 season, while the last time the Spartans achieved a .500 record in SoCon play was in 2010-11, when they went 10-10 against SoCon opponents. The Newport News, Virginia, native led the Spartans to wins in all three Spartan overtime contests this season, over UNC Pembroke, High Point and, most notably, the defending SoCon champion Chattanooga Mocs. Patterson joined UNCG after spending the last three years as the top assistant coach at Old Dominion. Additionally, she has been part of USA Basketball as an assistant coach on two different occasions in her career.

Furman senior guard Allison Beasley was voted the recipient of this year’s Ann Lashley Inspiration Award, which is presented to a current women’s basketball player or coach at a Southern Conference institution who, when challenged by a life-altering situation, used grace, perseverance, dedication and determination to face the event and serve as a role model to give hope and inspiration to others in similar situations. Beasley, whose basketball career, in both high school and in college, was plagued with injuries, tore her ACL in high school but overcame her injury to earn a full scholarship to Furman. She became an immediate contributor to the Paladins by starting in a combined 58-of-64 games her freshman and sophomore year, despite suffering a back injury her freshman year that limited her practice time. During her junior year, she missed six games after sustaining another knee injury against Georgia, but quickly regained her place in the Paladin rotation during conference play. This year during her senior campaign, Beasley missed the first 10 games of the season with a thumb injury but, once again, eventually reaffirmed her role in the Paladin rotation. Beasley is active in the community by volunteering at Harvest Hope food bank and the Ronald McDonald House. The Robinsville, North Carolina, native is Furman’s women’s basketball Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative and has been on the Southern Conference Academic Honor three times in her career.

The 2017 Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship presented by General Shale begins Thursday, March 2, at 11:30 a.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, North Carolina. The championship game is scheduled for Sunday, March 5, at 1 p.m. and all games will be broadcast on ESPN3.


2017 Women’s Basketball Awards - Coaches

All-Conference First Team

Tianna Tarter, ETSU

Whitney Bunn, Furman

Kahlia Lawrence, Mercer

Sydni Means, Mercer

Jasmine Joyner, Chattanooga


All-Conference Second Team (six players due to a tie)

Shamauria Bridges, ETSU

Cierra Carter, Furman

Nadine Soliman, UNCG

Hannah Nichols, Samford

Chelsey Shumpert, Chattanooga

Chloe Wanink, Wofford


All-Conference Third Team

Raven Dean, ETSU

Bailey Williams, UNCG

Queen Alford, Chattanooga

Keiana Gilbert, Chattanooga

Sherae Bonner, Western Carolina


All-Freshman Team

Le’Jzae Davidson, Furman

Nadine Soliman, UNCG

Te’ja Twitty, UNCG

Katie Allen, Samford

Lakelyn Bouldin, Chattanooga


Player of the Year

Kahlia Lawrence, Jr., G, Mercer


Defensive Player of the Year

Jasmine Joyner, Sr., C, Chattanooga


Freshman of the Year

Nadine Soliman, G, UNCG


Coach of the Year

Trina Patterson, UNCG


Ann Lashley Inspiration Award

Allison Beasley, Furman

 

2017 Women’s Basketball Awards - Media


All-Conference First Team

Shamauria Bridges, ETSU

Tianna Tarter, ETSU

Whitney Bunn, Furman

Kahlia Lawrence, Mercer

Jasmine Joyner, Chattanooga


All-Conference Second Team

Sydni Means, Mercer

Nadine Soliman, UNCG

Hannah Nichols, Samford

Chelsey Shumpert, Chattanooga

Chloe Wanink, Wofford


All-Conference Third Team

Raven Dean, ETSU

Cierra Carter, Furman

Bailey Williams, UNCG

Queen Alford, Chattanooga

Sherae Bonner, Western Carolina


All-Freshman Team

Le’Jzae Davidson, Furman

Nadine Soliman, UNCG

Te’ja Twitty, UNCG

Samantha Fitzgerald, Samford

Lakelyn Bouldin, Chattanooga


Player of the Year

Kahlia Lawrence, Jr., G, Mercer


Freshman of the Year

Nadine Soliman, G, UNCG


Coach of the Year

Trina Patterson, UNCG

  

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