MSU Women Present End Of Season Team Awards

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Sherise Williams (l-r), Carnecia Williams, Candace Foster, Katia May, Jessy Ward, Kendra Grant and Martha Alwal all won awards Wednesday night.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State women’s basketball coach Vic Schaefer reflected on the season and handed out team awards during Wednesday night’s HailState Hoops banquet.

In addition to the awards, the night also included a highlight video and remarks from Schaefer and his staff on the season.

“These kids have worked hard and have represented Mississippi State in a positive way. I’m very proud of them,” Schaefer said. “We are disappointed we didn’t win a few more games, but we are proud of the big games we did win. I feel like we have a bright future ahead of us with these young ladies and the players we have coming in next season.”

Sophomore Martha Alwal earned Most Valuable Player honors in addition to the Miss Defense Award following a stellar campaign that saw her claim a pair of All-SEC accolades and the Gillom Trophy for Mississippi’s outstanding female college player.

Alwal led the SEC with 16 double-doubles, second-most in school history, while also topping the league in rebounding (9.7 rpg) and blocked shots (2.6 bpg).

The Worthington, Minn., native paced the Bulldogs in scoring at 12.1 ppg while rating third in the SEC at the free-throw line with a 78.9-percent clip.

Junior Candace Foster also claimed a pair of awards, the 6th Man Award and the Tommy and Terri Nusz Most Outstanding Bulldog Award.

The Jackson native played in the last 29 games of the season, including a personal-best eight starts, setting career highs in nearly every category this season.

Sophomore Kendra Grant received the Miss Offense Award after tallying an 11.8 scoring average during the season. Grant posted the second-highest 3-point field goal percentage on the team and rated third on the boards with 4.8 per game. The Richland, Miss., native led MSU in scoring 10 times and tallied 20 double-figure scoring games, including two with 20-plus points. She also topped State and rated fourth in the SEC with 34.0 minutes per game.

In addition to her rebounding, Grant also tallied a team second-most 38 steals.

Junior Katia May received the Miss Hustle Award after scoring 5.1 ppg and leading the Bulldogs with 95 assists. The York, Ala., native also excelled at swiping the basketball, rating third on the squad with 36 steals.

May, who paced MSU in assists in 19 games, set a career high with 16 points in the Bulldogs’ Feb. 10 victory at Missouri.

Redshirt sophomore Carnecia Williams received the Most Improved Award. After averaging 0.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 4.3 minutes per game last season, the Memphis native started 25 games and averaged 25.5 minutes, 8.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest this year.

Williams recorded Mississippi State’s top two offensive outputs of the season, tallying a career-best 26 points against Savannah State and 25 in the regular-season win against Alabama. She also notched her first collegiate double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds against Troy.

Freshmen Jessy Ward and Sherise Williams received the Team Academic Award and Rookie Award, respectively.

Ward, who saw action in 25 games during her rookie season, was stellar in the classroom, claiming a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in her inaugural college semester.

Williams also competed in 25 games, averaging 5.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest. The St. Louis product finished the year second on the team in blocked shots with a 1.3 average that rated seventh in the SEC overall and the most by a league freshman.

Williams, who was sidelined five games by an injury, earned SEC Co-Freshman of the Week laurels following a 21-point, seven-rebound, three-block performance against Florida A&M on Dec. 16.

The night also saw the presentation of the first Fan of the Year Award, which was presented to faithful Bulldog supporters Bill and Jackie Henry.
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