The Sun Belt Conference announced today the 15-member All-Sun Belt women's basketball team and individual honors. Voting for the individual awards and All-Sun Belt teams were conducted by the league's 12 head coaches along with a selected media panel.
Little Rock's Ronjanae DeGray and UT Arlington's Cierra Johnson were voted Sun Belt Co-Players of the Year. Troy's Sky'Lynn Holmes was named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, Louisiana's Brandi Williams was voted Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and Georgia State's Allison Johnson was named Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year.
UTA head coach Krista Gerlich was voted Sun Belt Coach of the Year by her peers, her first Sun Belt Coach of the Year honor.
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DeGray, a senior from Odessa, Texas, started 25 of the Trojans' 27 games this season and averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in league play, ranking her fourth in both categories. She also ranked third in the league with eight double-doubles on the year.
Johnson, a redshirt-senior, sat out all but one game last season due to a torn ACL. She returned for her final year at UTA and led the Lady Mavericks in scoring (15.0), steals (58) and free-throw percentage (0.829). She also ranked third all-time in Sun Belt history in steals with 308, and counting. Earlier this season she became the 19th woman in UTA history to join the 1,000-point club.
Troy's Holmes has been a force on the glass for the Trojans this season. She ranks second in the league in rebounding averaging 9.4 overall per game, and 10.1 per game in conference play. She has tallied five double-doubles on the year and ranks in the top ten in the Sun Belt in both blocks and steals. Holmes is ranked in Troy's top ten all-time in rebounding with over 500 rebounds in just two seasons.
Louisiana's Williams led all freshmen scorers in the Sun Belt, averaging 13.0 points per game and 14.7 points per game in conference play. She owns the best free-throw percentage in the league (0.877), which ranks 19th in the NCAA. Additionally, Williams scored the most points in a season for a freshman in Ragin' Cajun program history.
Johnson shined in her first year in the Sun Belt helping lead Georgia State to its historic season. She finished the regular season ranking second on the Panthers squad in scoring, averaging 11.7 points per game. Over GSU's last 10 games, in which GSU has won seven, Johnson led the team in scoring, averaging 14.8 per contest. She also added 5.6 rebounds per game over those 10 games.
UTA's Gerlich wins her first Sun Belt Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Lady Mavs to a 23-6 overall record and a 15-3 league mark. The 23 wins are the second-most wins all-time for UTA and the most since the 2006-07 season. The 15 conference wins are a program-best as a member of the Sun Belt under Gerlich. UTA's No. 2 seed in the Sun Belt tournament also matches a program-high.
Joining DeGray and Johnson on the All-Sun Belt First Team were Coastal Carolina's DJ Williams, South Alabama's Antoinette Lewis and Texas State's Toshua Leavitt. Williams led the Sun Belt in scoring, averaging 18.1 points per game and Leavitt ranked third at 16.5. Lewis ranked tenth in the league in scoring per game (14.1), third in rebounding per game (9.0) and first in blocked shots (51).
The 2019 Sun Belt Conference Women's Basketball Championship features a new bracket setup with two opening round games played on campus with the No. 7 seed hosting the No. 10 seed and the No. 8 seed hosting the No. 9 seed. The No. 1 seed and No. 2 seed will receive byes to the semifinals and the No. 3 seed and No. 4 seed receive byes to the quarterfinals. The No. 5 seed and No. 6 seed will receive first round byes.
First round games will be played on Monday, March 11, with the winners of those games advancing to New Orleans' Lakefront Arena for the remainder of the tournament. Second round games will be played on Wednesday, March 13, with the quarterfinals set for Thursday, March 14. Friday, March 15, will see the top two seeds in action in the semifinals with the Championship set for Saturday, March 16, at 11:00 a.m. CT.