2017-18 All-SWAC WBB Honors announced
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Texas Southern guard Joyce Kennerson has been named the Southwestern Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, the league announced Monday. The announcement comes as part of the reveal of the 2017-18 all-conference teams.
Other individual honors unveiled were Defensive Player of the Year, which went to Southern forward Briana Green. Prairie View A&M doubled up on individual honors as guard Shala Dobbins earned Newcomer of the Year accolades and forward Jhyrah Cobb was named Freshman of the Year. Southern’s Sandy Pugh was named Coach of the Year. The awards and all-league teams were voted on by the SWAC’s coaches and sports information directors.
A first-team selection for the second-straight year, Kennerson led the SWAC in scoring at 24.1 points per game and currently stands among the top five in the country in the category, briefly leading the nation at one point this season. The Port Arthur, Texas native scored at least 20 points in 22 of Texas Southern’s 28 games this year. She also posted six 30-point games this season while dishing out 3.6 assists a night, good for fifth-best in the league.
Kennerson shot 41.6 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from deep, with both figures ranking her ninth and third, respectively in the conference. The junior’s 75.5-percent clip from the charity stripe is fifth-best in the league. Kennerson also accounted for 1.8 steals per game, tied for 10th best in the league.
Green continued to add to her stature as one of the most decorated players in recent SWAC history. Green averaged 16.6 points (ranked third in the SWAC) and 6.8 boards a night (fifth-best in the SWAC). On the defensive end, the senior boasts an average of 2.4 steals a night, tied for sixth-highest in the league. Green, a first-team selection at forward, anchored a Jaguars team that allows the second-least points a night in league play (58.4) and is tops in the league at defending the three-point line (22.4 3-PT%).
Dobbins asserted herself as an immediate difference maker for the Lady Panthers and is poised to set NCAA single-season records for free throws made, attempted as well as attempts per game. The Tulsa, Okla. native is second in the conference in scoring at 21.6 points per game, fifth in assists at 3.6 per night and tied for sixth in the SWAC with 2.4 steals a game.
A second-team All-Conference selection, Dobbins shot 79.6 percent from the line and is responsible for the top two single-game scoring performances by a SWAC women’s player this year, including a 40-point outburst against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the first such game by a SWAC women’s athlete in more than seven years.
Cobb posted eight double-digit rebounding games for the Lady Panthers and ranked fifth in the league in rebounded at 6.8 boards per game. She connected on 52.3 percent of her field goals and compiled a 1.5-blocks-per-game average, fourth-highest in the league.
After preseason polls tabbed Southern to finish fourth in the standings, Pugh guided the Jaguars to an outright regular-season crown, the No. 1 seed in the SWAC Tournament and a 15-12 (14-4 SWAC) overall record. Under Pugh, Southern boasts the best scoring margin (+10.8) in conference play and best overall turnover margin (+5.74) among league teams. This is the fourth time in five years that Southern has earned at least a share of the regular-season crown, and the Jaguars are the first SWAC women’s basketball team to win an outright regular-season crown since 2013, when Southern accomplished the feat. Grambling State landed two first-team selections, and Alcorn State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff each garnered two slots on the second team.
The entire list of awards and first and second teams are below:
ALL-SWAC FIRST TEAM
Guard – Joyce Kennerson – Texas Southern
Guard – Shakyla Hill – Grambling State
Forward – Briana Green – Southern
Forward – Monisha Neal – Grambling State
Center – Tatyana Calhoun – Alabama State
ALL-SWAC SECOND TEAM
Guard – Shala Dobbins – Prairie View A&M
Guard – Alexus Freeman – Alcorn State
Forward – Faith Ohanta – Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Forward – Miracle Rushing – Alcorn State
Center – Shawntayla Harris – Arkansas-Pine Bluff
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Joyce Kennerson – Texas Southern
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Briana Green - Southern
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Shala Dobbins – Prairie View A&M
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Jhyrah Cobb – Prairie View A&M
COACH OF THE YEAR
Sandy Pugh - Southern