Lady Bulldogs Honored During Awards Banquet
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State recently capped its 2011-12 women's basketball season by holding its annual awards banquet.
Second team All-SEC honoree Diamber Johnson and sophomore Brittany Young each hauled in three awards on the night. Jerica James, Porsha Porter, Martha Alwal and Candace Foster each collected honors during the evening's festivities.
Johnson claimed the Highest Power Rating Award for the second-straight season after averaging 14.7 points and 3.6 assists in her final season wearing the Maroon & White. Johnson eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career, becoming just the seventh player in MSU history to record 1,000 career points and 300 assists.
The Pontotoc, Miss., native also claimed the Most Assists Award (109) and the Free Throw Percentage Award (74.9 percent) for the second-consecutive year.
Johnson's senior campaign saw her finish among the three finalists for the Gillom Trophy, presented to the state's top women's basketball player, while also being tabbed third team all-SEC by College Sports Madness.
Young saw action in 20 games last season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The Birmingham native was named the Sonny Mullins Community Service Award winner after being named to the SEC's Community Service Team earlier in the year.
Young has been very active for a Lady Bulldog squad that strives to be active in giving back to the community. During her short time in Starkville, she has participated in Bully's Book Blitz, MSU's annual Halloween Carnival, the Lady Bulldogs' Adopt-A-Family program, Starkville's Compassion Food Pantry and the SEC Together We CAN Food Drive.
She has also excelled in the classroom, earning both the Newsom Award and the Lady Bulldog Academic Award.
Young, Johnson, Foster and Danielle Rector also earned places on the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Foster capped her sophomore season by earning the Coaches Award. The Jackson, Miss., native played in 20 games during the year, drawing the first two starts of her career. She also collected her first collegiate points while finishing with nine rebounds.
Porter capped her two-year Lady Bulldog career by collecting a second Best Defensive Player Award. The Chicago native capped her final season in Starkville by pacing the SEC in steals with 3.1 per game, a mark that rated 15th-best nationally.
An All-SEC Defensive Team pick, Porter wrapped the season with the fifth-most steals in MSU single-season history while rating seventh in the SEC in scoring with a 13.0 clip.
Alwal claimed the team's Best Rebounder Award after rating sixth in the SEC with 7.2 rebounds per game. In addition to her prowess on the boards, the Worthington, Minn., native also excelled in blocking shots, pacing the conference and rating 16th nationally with 2.7 per game.
The SEC All-Freshman Team selection tallied 22 rebounds against Alcorn State earlier in the year, a new Lady Bulldog freshman record.
Alwal's swats tally rated third in Mississippi State single-season history and fifth in the school's career record book. During her rookie season, she shattered LaToya Thomas' freshman blocks record while also setting a new single-game mark with 10 in her Lady Bulldog debut against Jacksonville State.
James, Alwal's classmate, was named State's Most Improved Player Award recipient. In her freshman season, the North Little Rock, Ark., native played in 29 games, starting one, averaging 2.0 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists.James finished the season on a strong note, averaging a team third-most 6.0 points and 1.8 assists over the campaign's final four games. The run started in her first collegiate game in her home state, where she tallied a season-best 12 points against Arkansas.