Bulldogs Hand Out Awards To Cap Great Season

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Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss.Martha Alwal and Jerica James won two awards each Tuesday night as part of the Mississippi State women’s basketball team’s celebration of the stellar 2013-14 season.

Alwal claimed MVP and Miss Offense honors, while James earned the Most Improved and 6th Man awards.

In addition to handing out awards, the night was also an opportunity to celebrate a 2013-14 season that saw Mississippi State 22-14, the fourth-most wins in program history, and advance to the quarterfinals of the WNIT.

Vic Schaefer’s squad set new school records with 2,551 points scored, 1,410 rebounds and 705 made free throws.

“This was a celebration. This team worked very hard, and the result was winning 22 games. I’m very happy and proud for them. I don’t think anyone could have seen this team accomplishing what they did after winning 13 games last season,” Schaefer said. “There are a just a few teams in the country that improved nine wins, and to do it in the SEC, I’m very proud of this team and my staff.”

Alwal’s pair of awards resulted from a junior campaign that saw her lead the Bulldogs with a 14.9 scoring average and 8.8 rebounding tally.

The First Team All-SEC selection, who also claimed SEC All-Defensive Team and co-Defensive Player of the Year accolades, finished Top 5 in the league in rebounds (8.8 rpg) and field goal percentage (49.2 percent) while rating 12th in scoring and first in blocks (97).

Alwal tied MSU’s single-season blocks record while smashing the career mark with 257. She also claimed the season rebounding record with 317 while passing 1,000-career points with 1,063, 18th in school history.

James had a banner year in her junior campaign, posting career highs in scoring (5.2 ppg), assists (2.8 apg), field goal percentage (34.5 percent) and 3-point field goal percentage (35.6 percent).

The North Little Rock, Ark., native finished second on the squad with 96 assists and committed 12 fewer turnovers and had 34 more assists than last season.

SEC All-Freshman Team selection Breanna Richardson claimed the Rookie Award after finishing the year third in scoring with 9.5 ppg and second on the boards with a 5.9 average. The Conyers, Ga., native was also second on the team with 15 blocked shots.

Junior Savannah Carter claimed the Miss Defense Award after finishing her inaugural season in Maroon & White fourth in the SEC with 2.2 steals per game. Her 78 swipes rated 10th in MSU single-season annals and third by a Bulldog junior.

In addition to a 7.3 scoring average, the Tulsa, Okla., native hauled in a team third-best 4.9 rebounds per game while rating second in charges taken.

Freshman Dominique Dillingham topped the Bulldogs in charges taken to help earn her the Miss Hustle Award. Dillingham tallied 57 steals, second most on the team and third by an MSU rookie.

Senior Candace Foster, a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll and SEC Community Service Team selection, earned the team’s Academic Award, while Chinwe Okorie and Ketara Chapel each received the Tommy and Terri Nusz Most Outstanding Bulldog Award.

This year’s Fan of the Year Award was presented to Brian Sims and his son, Wade.
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