Four Bearkats Earn Southland Women's Basketball Honors

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Britni Martin and Sequeena Thomas both are first team All-Southland selections, Thomas is the 2013 Southland Conference “Defensive Player of the Year” and Bearkat head coach Brenda Nichols has been honored as the league’s women’s basketball “Coach of the Year.”
Thomas also was named to the first ever Southland All-Defensive team and the Bearkats’ Chanice Smith was an honorable mention All-Southland selection.
The 2013 All-Southland Conference women’s basketball team was announced Monday morning. The honor squad is selected by vote of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Thomas led Sam Houston State to its first-ever Southland regular-season title. The senior from Allentown, Pa. (Parkview H.S.), led the league in rebounding with 12.5 rebounds per conference game, including 9.4 defensive rebounds per league game.
She registered 1.3 blocks per contest and recorded a league-best 19 double-doubles. Thomas finished the regular season with 371 rebounds including a conference-best 20-rebound performance in a win against Oral Roberts in January. Thomas is the first Sam Houston player to earn defender of the year honors.
Thomas stands as Sam Houston’s all-time leader in rebounds (1,129) and blocks (159) and stands No. 4 in Bearkat career scoring (1,381). She is the only SHSU women’s basketball player to total both 1,000 career points and rebounds.
Smith is the Bearkats’ third leading scorer with 9.5 points per game. The senior from Mansfield totaled 17 double-figure scoring performances during the 2013 championship season. She stands as Sam Houston’s 13th all-time leading scorer with 1,081 career points. Only 14 women’s basketball players in the program’s history have scored more than 1,000 points.
Martin led the Bearkats’ 2013 Southland co-championship team in scoring (16.2 points) and assists (4.2). The senior from Conroe is a three-time All-Southland first team selection. She ranks as the program’s all-time leader in both three point field goals (306) and free throw percentage (.795) and stands second in career points (1,797) and assists (442).
Martin, an All-Academic honors candidate as well with a 3.68 grade point average as a Masters’ program student in kinesiology, has scored in double figures in 97 of her 119 games at Sam Houston. That includes a streak of 47 consecutive double figure games during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Nichols earned her first coach of the year award after guiding the Bearkats to their first overall South Conference regular-season championship.
She is the second Sam Houston State coach to earn the award, joining Vic Schaefer, who was honored in 1996. The Bearkats enter this week’s conference tournament with a 17-13 overall record and finished 13-5 during conference play.
The Bearkats head into the tournament as the No. 2 seed and winners of four of their last five contests. Nicholls, who led the Bearkats to division titles in 2011 and 2012 before the conference did away with divisional play this season, is looking to guide Sam Houston to its second consecutive postseason trip after advancing to the quarterfinals of the Women’s Basketball Invitational last year. Nichols, who is in her seventh season in Huntsville, has a 78-128 record at Sam Houston, including a 52-39 mark the last three seasons.
The Southland Conference Basketball Tournament begins Wednesday at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. The first four games of the tournament will be streamed live for free on the Southland Conference Digital Network, including Southland.org and the league’s iPhone and Android apps. The semifinals and championship game of the women’s tournament will be available solely on ESPN3. Tickets for the tournament are available through Ticketmaster or at the Merrell Center box office.

2013 All-Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Teams
First Team

School

Pos.

Cl.

Hometown
Megan Herbert4

Central Arkansas

F

Sr.

Rogers, Ark.
Kalis Loyd3

Lamar

G

Sr.

Malmoe, Sweden
Kevi Luper

Oral Roberts

G

Sr.

Adair, Okla.
Sequeena Thomas3

Sam Houston State

F

Sr.

Allentown, Pa.
Britni Martin3

Sam Houston State

G

Sr.

Conroe, Texas

Second Team

School

Pos.

Cl.

Hometown
Ashlyn Baggett3

McNeese State

G

Sr.

Iota, La.
Jaci Bigham

Oral Roberts

G

Sr.

McAlester, Okla.
Caitlyn Baggett3

McNeese State

G

Sr.

Iota, La.
Porsha Roberts

Stephen F. Austin

C

So.

Waco, Texas
Alisha Allen

Nicholls State

F

Sr.

Garland, Texas

Third Team

School

Pos.

Cl.

Hometown
KK Babin2

Nicholls State

G

Jr.

Gonzales, La.
Courtney Duever

Central Arkansas

C

Jr.

Austin, Texas
Aja Gibson

Southeastern Louisiana

F

Jr.

Somerville, Tenn.
Janelle Perez

Northwestern State

G

Fr.

El Paso, Texas
Brandi Simmons

Southeastern Louisiana

F

Sr.

Jackson, Miss.
Honorable Mention: Gia Ayers, Lamar; Taylor Cooper, Oral Roberts; Cecilia Okoye, McNeese State; Chanice Smith, Sam Houston State; Sarah Shelton, Oral Roberts.

2013 Southland Conference Women’s All-Defensive Team
Player

School

Pos.

Cl.

Hometown
Sequeena Thomas

Sam Houston State

F

Sr.

Allentown, Pa.
Kalis Loyd

Lamar

G

Sr.

Malmoe, Sweden
Porsha Roberts

Stephen F. Austin

C

So.

Waco, Texas
Kevi Luper

Oral Roberts

G

Sr.

Adair, Okla.
Carenn Baylor

Lamar

G

Sr.

Shreveport, La.

Individual Award Winners
Player of the Year: Megan Herbert, Central Arkansas
Newcomer of the Year: Cecilia Okoye, McNeese State
Freshman of the Year: Janelle Perez, Northwestern State
Defensive Player of the Year: Sequeena Thomas, Sam Houston State
Coach of the Year: Brenda Nichols, Sam Houston State

2 Two-Time All-Conference Selection
3 Three-Time All-Conference Selection
4 Four-Time All-Conference Selection



 
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