SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference announced its November athletes of the month for men’s and women’s basketball, football, rifle, volleyball and wrestling Monday, highlighting excellence among student-athletes during the month.
Fletcher Magee, Wofford, Jr., G
Wofford guard Fletcher Magee opened his junior campaign by averaging 22.5 points per game over eight November contests, draining an NCAA Division I-best 34 3-pointers for the month. The Orlando, Florida, native scored in double figures in all eight games, extending his streak in double digits to a DI-leading 53 consecutive games. Magee opened the season with 17 points against 2017 Final Four participant South Carolina in the Terriers’ debut in Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium. At California on Nov. 16, Magee went off for 32 points, connecting on 7-of-12 3-point attempts. Three days later, he eclipsed 30 again, dropping 31 in a win over North Florida and hitting at least six 3s for the third straight contest. He ended his month with consecutive outings of 20-plus points, netting 20 in a road loss at UNC Asheville before scoring 26 in a road win over Coastal Carolina in which he was 5-for-5 from long range. For the month, Magee shot 58.6 percent from the floor, including an impressive 54.8 percent from 3-point range (34-for-62). He was a perfect 16-for-16 from the free-throw line.
Others nominated: Tariq Simmons (The Citadel), Desonta Bradford (ETSU), Devin Sibley (Furman), Ria’n Holland (Mercer), Francis Alonso (UNCG), Justin Coleman (Samford), Makinde London (Chattanooga) and Matt Halvorsen (Western Carolina).
Kahlia Lawrence, Mercer, Sr., G
Mercer’s Kahlia Lawrence finished the month of November averaging 19.3 points per game and scored in double digits in all seven of the Bears’ games, including two 20-point games. Lawrence started the season with a 26-point game at UCF and then finished out the road trip with a 17-point game at Florida Atlantic. Against the Owls, Lawrence shot 50 percent from the floor and brought down seven rebounds as the Bears picked up the 11-point victory. The senior helped Mercer get off to a 3-0 start after scoring 13 against Georgia Southern and then dropped 19 on SEC opponent Georgia on Nov. 19. Against Western Kentucky and VCU, Lawrence continued her hot start as she scored 18 and 14, respectively. The 5-8 guard rounded out the month with a season-high 28 points in a one-point win at Campbell on Nov. 30 that improved the Bears to 5-2 on the season. The Columbus, Georgia, native finished the month with 135 total points, 18 rebounds and 16 steals while going 19-of-21 from the free-throw line. Lawrence ranks first in the SoCon in free-throw percentage (92 percent), second with 19.1 points per game and fourth with 20 total steals. So far this season, Lawrence has climbed two spots on the all-time Mercer scoring list and currently ranks seventh with 1,792 points.
Others nominated: Tianna Tarter (ETSU), Cierra Carter (Furman), Nadine Soliman (UNCG), Hannah Nichols (Samford), Keiana Gilbert (Chattanooga), Lauren LaPlant (Western Carolina) and Chloe Wanink (Wofford).
Devlin Hodges, Samford, R-Jr., QB
Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges earned his second straight monthly honor and the fifth of his career, in just his ninth opportunity. The redshirt junior from Kimberly, Alabama, threw for 1,329 yards and nine touchdowns in the month, going 120-for-184 through the air. Hodges also ran for 69 yards, giving him an average of 349.5 yards of total offense per game in the Bulldogs’ four contests. Hodges eclipsed 300 yards passing in three of those games, throwing for 367 with two touchdowns in a win at Mercer and 305 with two scores in a win over No. 24 Furman to end the regular season. Against No. 16 Kennesaw State in the opening round of the FCS playoffs, Hodges threw for 396 yards and a TD. Hodges threw for four touchdowns and 261 yards in a win over ETSU, with his lowest yardage output of the month still eclipsing the seasonal average of every other quarterback in the league.
Others nominated: P.J. Blazejowski (Furman), Tee Mitchell (Mercer), Cole Copeland (Chattanooga), Detrez Newsome (Western Carolina) and Andre Stoddard (Wofford).
Shaheed Salmon, Samford, Sr., LB
Samford linebacker Shaheed Salmon had an all-around productive month for the Bulldogs, averaging 10.5 tackles per game and producing two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception. The senior from Tampa, Florida, totaled 42 tackles in November, including 24 solo stops and 8.5 tackles for loss for 32 yards. Two of those TFLs were sacks, as he dropped the opposing quarterbacks for a 9-yard loss at Mercer and a 10-yard loss in a win at No. 24 Furman. Salmon forced and recovered a fumble on his sack in the win at Mercer on Nov. 4 and had eight tackles and a diving interception on Furman’s final offensive drive to secure the win over the Paladins. He wrapped up his month by matching his career high with 18 tackles (13 solo) and forcing another fumble against No. 16 Kennesaw State in the opening round of the FCS playoffs.
Others nominated: Nasir Player (ETSU), Lee Bennett (Mercer), Taylor Reynolds (Chattanooga), Daniel Riddle (Western Carolina) and Devin Watson (Wofford).
Courtney Weekley, Georgia Southern, Jr.
Georgia Southern’s Courtney Weekley broke the school smallbore record on Nov. 11, shooting a 575 in the NRA Sectional, which also featured No. 11 NC State and The Citadel. She finished third in the discipline behind only a pair of shooters from the Wolfpack. Weekley, a junior from Leesburg, Georgia, also shot a 565 against UAB on Nov. 4, finishing third that day, as well.
Others nominated: Max Brabston (The Citadel) and Selina Curren (UAB).
Allison Auten, The Citadel, Jr.
Citadel junior Allison Auten shot a 587 to finish second in the NRA Sectional on Nov. 11, just two points behind No. 11 NC State’s Lauren Phillips. Auten’s 587 was one point off her career best, helping her finish with a team-high 1153 aggregate score. Auten, who was just four points outside of the top five in aggregate, shot a 566 in the smallbore event.
Others nominated: Selina Curren (UAB) and Rosemary Kramer (Georgia Southern).
Catie Cronister, Wofford, So., OH
The 2017 Southern Conference co-Player of the Year, Cronister led the Terriers to their first ever appearance in the SoCon volleyball championship final this season as Wofford finished with its best record in the Division I era (22-11) and best conference record in program history (10-6). The sophomore finished the month with 135 kills, 80 digs and 18 blocks in seven games, as the Terriers downed 2016 tournament champion Samford and 2017 regular-season champion Furman en route to the championship match. Cronister recorded double-digit kills in all seven matches during the month, including three matches with 20-plus kills, and four double-doubles. Cronister’s best game of the month came at UNCG, as she posted 31 kills, 20 digs and three service aces while recording a .338 attack percentage. The Chicago, Illinois, native finished the season as the SoCon leader in kills (4.56 per set) and service aces (55) and ranked in the top 10 nationally in total kills (fourth) and service aces (eighth). Cronister was named league player of the week three times during the 2017 season, was the October offensive player of the month and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team. Cronister finished the season with 556 kills, breaking Wofford’s single-season record, and is just Wofford’s second female to be named SoCon Player of the Year in any sport.
Others nominated: Moriah Smith (The Citadel), AJ Lux (ETSU), Nicole Mack (Furman), Paige Alsten (Mercer), Ashley Muench (UNCG), Krista Boesing (Samford) and Katie O’Connor (Western Carolina).
Christina Gregory, UNCG, Jr., L
UNCG’s Christina Gregory helped the Spartans to a 5-2 mark in November with 163 digs in 29 sets played. Gregory had 20-plus digs in six of the seven matches and posted 30 digs in a five-set victory over Western Carolina. The Spartans, who saw their eight-match winning streak snapped in the SoCon Championship semifinals to 2017 tournament champion ETSU, started the month with a four-set win over 2017 regular-season champion Furman, as Gregory tallied 23 digs and four assists in the victory. The junior stayed hot as she posted at least 24 digs in the next five matches and recorded just one service reception error in the entire month, recording a .985 average. The Louisville, Kentucky, native also chipped in five service aces in the month, including a season-high three at The Citadel. Gregory rounded out the month of November averaging 5.62 digs per set and finished fourth in the conference with an average of 4.78 digs per set.
Others nominated: Sarah Dobrich (The Citadel), Marija Popovic (ETSU), Meg DeMaar (Furman), Grace Tiesman (Samford), Aleah Keaton (Western Carolina) and Taylor Gill (Wofford).
Bryce Carr, Chattanooga, Sr., 184 pounds
Chattanooga’s Bryce Carr was named the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Month after going 8-1, winning both the Hokie Open and the Black Knight Invite at 184 pounds. Carr, a senior from Dublin, Georgia, has three major decisions, one technical fall and one pin fall thus far in the season. Carr, whose only loss was to No. 7 Zach Zavatsky of Virginia Tech in sudden victory, was named SoCon Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 8 after going 4-0 in the Hokie Open. Carr recorded two major decisions in his last three matches to end the month of November, boosting him to No. 13 in the nation at 184 pounds.
Others nominated: Laken Cook (Appalachian State), Quentin Perez (Campbell), Tony Palumbo (Davidson) and Nate Higgins (SIUE).
Southern Conference November Athletes of the Month
Men’s basketball Fletcher Magee, Wofford
Women’s basketball Kahlia Lawrence, Mercer
Football – offense Devlin Hodges, Samford
Football – defense Shaheed Salmon, Samford
Rifle – smallbore Courtney Weekley, Georgia Southern
Rifle – air rifle Allison Auten, The Citadel
Volleyball – offense Catie Cronister, Wofford
Volleyball – defense Christina Gregory, UNCG
Wrestling Bryce Carr, Chattanooga