BLACKSBURG, Va. — Winthrop senior guard Dequesha McClanahan is the Big South Women’s Basketball Player of the Year for the third straight season, chosen by the league’s head coaches and media. Freshman forward Erica Williams made the All-Conference Second Team and All-Freshman Team.
McClanahan is just the second player to earn three straight Big South Player of the Year nods. She is the league’s all-time leading scorer with 2,192 points. She is No. 7 in the nation and tops in the league with 6.90 assists per game, while ranking second in the Big South in scoring with 17.3 points. Her 1.52 assist-to-turnover ratio is No. 2 in the Big South, and she is second in the conference with 2.45 steals.
McClanahan has turned in nine 20-point games this season, to go along with nine double-doubles and six 10-assist games. She turned in a triple-double of 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on Senior Day as Winthrop downed Campbell 82-56 last Saturday.
McClanahan was named to the Big South’s All-Academic Team, maintaining a 3.3 grade point average while majoring in exercise science.
High Point’s Kaylah Keys beat out Winthrop’s Williams for Freshman of the Year. She leads the conference in scoring with 17.3 points per game and led High Point to the regular season championship. Williams and Keys tied a conference record by being named Freshman of the Week seven times. Williams is averaging 15.4 points and 7.7 rebounds and shooting over 50 percent from the floor.
High Point coach DeUnna Hendrix is the Coach of the Year, while Campbell forward Kiera Gaines is Defensive Player of the Year and Ashley Rininger of Liberty was voted Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
First Team: Dequesha McClanahan, Winthrop; Kaylah Keys, High Point; Ashley Rininger, Liberty; Stacia Robertson, High Point; AJ Jordan, Coastal Carolina
Second Team: Catrina Green, Gardner-Webb; Roslyn Presley, Campbell; Kiera Gaines, Campbell; Erica Williams, Winthrop; Karlee Taylor, Presbyterian
Honorable Mention: Schaquilla Nunn, Winthrop; Erin Bratcher, Charleston Southern; Ayana Avery, Radford; Angelica Henry, Coastal Carolina; Paige Love, UNC Asheville
All-Freshman: Kaylah Keys, High Point; Erica Williams, Winthrop; Mickayla Sanders, Liberty; DeAnnisha Jackson, High Point; Karsen Sims, Coastal Carolina (tie); Simone Brown, Liberty (tie)
Player of the Year: Dequesha McClanahan, Winthrop
Freshman of the Year: Kayla Keys, High Point
Defensive Player of the Year: Kiera Gaines, Campbell
Coach of the Year: DeUnna Hendrix, High Point
All-Academic Team: Casey Elliot, Campbell; Kirklin Kirkpatrick, Charleston Southern; AJ Jordan, Coastal Carolina; Catrina Green, Gardner-Webb; Stacia Robertson, High Point; Jessica Parker, Longwood; Ashley Rininger, Liberty; Sherece Smith, Presbyterian College; Kiera McIvor, Radford; Leah Wormack, UNC Asheville; Dequesha McClanahan, Winthrop
Big South women’s basketball
The Big South women’s basketball tournament bracket was announced on Sunday. The first round opens on Tuesday in Conway.
No. 8 UNC Asheville vs. No. 9 Radford, 11 a.m.
No. 7 Presbyterian vs. No. 10 Longwood, 1 p.m.
No. 6 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 11 Charleston Southern, 6 p.m.
No. 8/No. 9 winner vs. No. 1 High Point, noon
No. 4 Campbell vs. No. 5 Gardner-Webb, 2
No. 7/No. 10 winner vs. No. 2 Liberty, 6 p.m.
No. 3 Winthrop vs. No. 6/No. 11 winner, 8 p.m.
Semifinals, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Final, 5 p.m.
Three school records were broken over the weekend at Virginia Tech during the Big South Indoor Conference Championships. Marthaline Cooper and Jakeb Elliott broke the record in the weight throw, while Ashlee Eady improved her previous record in the high jump.
Elliott placed sixth in the weight throw on the first day, breaking the school record with a distance of 17.43 meters (57-02.25).
Cooper and Cynthia Gordon set new lifetime bests and placed second and third in the women’s weight throw. Cooper shattered her own school record with a distance of 19.34m (63-05.50) on her first attempt. Gordon set a new personal best with a mark of 17.76m (58-03.25).
Eady captured eighth place in the high jump while breaking her own school record with a leap of 1.62m (5-03.75).
Senior Jeanne Stroud was just short of the podium in the 5000m with a time of 17:46.35. Stroud also earned the Big South women’s scholar award for the fifth time.
Colby Coulter also had a successful weekend. The sophomore was able to place sixth in the 3000m race with a time of 8:24.34. The following day he ran 4:15.92 in the Mile run, which was good for seventh place. Coulter was also honored on the men’s All-Academic Team.
In the 60m hurdles, freshman Jordan Jackson made finals at his first Conference Championships, and placed sixth in the final with a time of 8.53 seconds.
Both men’s and women’s teams placed eighth in the conference rankings.