Winthrop University

Winthrop men, women receive Big South Conference basketball awards

Two Winthrop women’s basketball players earned first team Big South All-Conference honors for the first time since 1987.

Sophomore Erica Williams and junior Schaquilla Nunn were named in the first team all-conference announced Monday. Nunn was also named to the all-academic team and was honored as the league’s defensive player of the year.

“It was awesome,” said Winthrop women’s coach Kevin Cook. “She’s got impeccable timing and she’s become a better shot-blocker this year because she’s blocked shots and caught them and she’s blocked shots and kept them in play, where her freshman year she used to swat for the delight of it into the third row. Now she understands the significance of blocking it, keeping it in play and retaining possession.”

On the men’s side, Keon Moore became Winthrop’s first first team all-conference selection since 2006-07, when Craig Bradshaw and Michael Jenkins both made the cut. Moore was joined by freshman forward Xavier Cooks who was voted into the all-freshman team, and redshirt junior Derrick Henry who was selected to the all-academic team thanks to his 3.69 grade point average.

Moore finished fourth in the conference in scoring, at 18.7 points per game and he’s produced double figures in 23 straight games, the longest such streak in the Big South. Moore also set Winthrop Division I single-season records for points (542) and scoring average. The 6-foot-5 redshirt senior is also second in the league in free throw percentage (87) and 3-pointers made (94).

Cooks has made an instant impact as a freshman for Winthrop, and finished second in the freshman of the year voting to Presbyterian’s DeSean Murray. Cooks is second in the Big South in blocked shots per game (1.59) and averages 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest. Last Saturday against Presbyterian, Cooks set the single-season record for freshman blocked shots (46), surpassing Chris Malcolm’s 44.

Nunn was an easy choice as the Big South’s top female defender after averaging a double-double in the regular season of 13.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. She led the conference in the latter and blocked shots. Nunn’s 3.72 rejections per contest is eighth best in the nation, and she broke the school’s career blocked shots record earlier this season. She also produced a 3.2 grade point average, earning further recognition.

“That’s the one area where I’m always challenging her,” said Cook. “She’s just a pretty good student naturally, so I’m always telling her, ‘you got to get a 4.0 this semester.’ And she’ll always flirt with it, but I think she’s saving that for her last couple semesters.”

Williams leads Winthrop in scoring at 16.5 points per game, second best in the conference. She averages close to nine rebounds per game and has scored in double digits in 26 of the team’s 29 games this season.

Redshirt sophomore guard Aliyah Kilpatrick made the honorable mention all-conference team.

“Those three that were honored, those are three of our hardest workers,” said Cook. “They’re always trying to find ways to get better.”

2014-15 Big South Conference men’s basketball award winners

First Team All Conference

Saah Nimley, G, Sr., Charleston Southern; John Brown, F, R-Jr., High Point; Jerome Hill, F, Jr., Gardner-Webb; Javonte Green, F, Sr., Radford; Keon Moore, G, R-Sr., Winthrop.

Second Team All Conference

Andrew Rowsey, G, Soph., UNC Asheville; Warren Gillis, F, Sr., Coastal Carolina; Tyler Strange, G, Sr., Gardner-Webb; Will Saunders, F, Sr., Charleston Southern; Quincy Taylor, G, R-Sr., Longwood.

Honorable Mention All Conference

Jordan Downing, G/F, R-Sr., Presbyterian College; Arlon Harper, G, Sr., Charleston Southern; R.J. Price, G, Sr., Radford; DeSean Murray, F, Fr., Presbyterian College; Josh Cameron, G, Sr., Coastal Carolina.

All-Freshman Team

DeSean Murray, F, Presbyterian College; Xavier Cooks, F, Winthrop; Kevin Vannatta, G, UNC Asheville; Ryan Badowski, G, Longwood; Curtis Phillips, F, Campbell.

All-Academic Team

Andrew Ryan, G, R-Sr., Campbell; Paul Gombwer, F, Sr., Charleston Southern; Tristian Curtis, F, Jr., Coastal Carolina; Tyrell Nelson, C, Soph., Gardner-Webb; Haiishen McIntyre, G, Jr., High Point; Ethan Layer, G, R-Jr., Liberty; Damarion Geter, F, Soph., Longwood; Kyle Noreen, F, Sr., Radford; Giacomo Zilli, F, Soph., UNC Asheville; Derrick Henry, G, R-Jr., Winthrop.

Player of the Year

Saah Nimley, G, Sr., Charleston Southern

Freshman of the Year

DeSean Murray, F, Presbyterian College

Defensive Player of the Year

Javonte Green, F, Sr., Radford

Coach of the Year

Barclay Radebaugh, Charleston Southern

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Giacomo Zilli, F, Soph., UNC Asheville

2014-15 Big South Conference women’s basketball award winners

First Team All Conference

Stacia Robertson, F, R-Sr., High Point; A.J. Jordan, G, Sr., Coastal Carolina; Ashley Rininger, F/C, R-Jr., Liberty; Erica Williams, F/G, Soph., Winthrop; Schaquilla Nunn, C, Jr., Winthrop.

Second Team All Conference

Kiera Gaines, F, Sr., Campbell; Ayana Avery, G, Sr., Radford; Karly Buer, G, R-Sr., Liberty; Keyonna Allen, F, R-Jr., Presbyterian; Aisha Foy, G, Jr., Radford.

Honorable Mention All Conference

Olivia Parker, F, Jr., Gardner-Webb; Aliyah Kilpatrick, G, R-Soph., Winthrop; RaeChaun Edwards, G, R-Jr., Campbell; Shonese Jones, G, Sr., UNC Asheville; Raven Williams, G, Jr., Longwood.

All-Freshman Team

Cortney Storey, G, Presbyterian; Jas Adams, G, Coastal Carolina; Summer Price, G, Campbell; Janayla White, C, Radford; Jayda Worthy, F, Radford.

All-Academic Team

Juli Osborne, F, Sr., Campbell; Alyssa Mann, G, R-Soph., Charleston Southern; A.J. Jordan, G, Sr., Coastal Carolina; Alicia Quinn, F/C, R-Soph., Gardner-Webb; Latrice Phelps, F, Sr., High Point; Ashley Rininger, F/C, R-Jr., Liberty; Emily Nylen, F, Soph., Longwood; Kiera McIvor, G, Sr., Radford; Jeannie Buckner, F, Sr., UNC Asheville; Schaquilla Nunn, C, Jr., Winthrop.

Player of the Year

Stacia Robertson, F, R-Sr., High Point

Freshman of the Year

Cortney Storey, G, Presbyterian

Defensive Player of the Year

Schaquilla Nunn, C, Jr., Winthrop

Coach of the Year

Mike McGuire, Radford

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Ashley Rininger, F/C, R-Jr., Liberty

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