SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- UTC senior Taylor Hall was selected the Southern Conference Player of the Year by both the league coaches and media while the coaches also named her the Defensive Player of the Year.
Hall becomes the second player to win both the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season, joining Davidson’s Sophia Aleksandravicius, who did it in 2012 and again in 2013. It is the 10th time a Chattanooga player has won the award and the first since Shanara Hollinquest in 2010. Hall finished the season in the top-five in the SoCon in scoring (fifth), rebounding (third), assists (second), steals (second), free-throw percentage (third) and minutes played (fourth).
She averaged 14.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.6 steals per game for a Chattanooga squad that went a perfect 18-0 in conference play and currently holds the fourth-longest winning streak in the nation at 22 games. Hall was named the league Player of the Week three times and recorded 12 double-doubles. She topped the 1,000 point mark this season and is ranked 21st all-time at UTC for scoring with over 1,100 points and eighth in rebounding with nearly 800 boards.
Chattanooga placed a league-high three players on the coaches all-conference team, with seniors Alex Black (Memphis, Tenn.) and Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) joining Hall on the All-SoCon roster. Hall was named to the SoCon media first team while Dewart earned a spot on the second team.
This is Dewart’s second All-Conference honor since arriving at Chattanooga and third overall to go along with her all-freshman team selection in 2010 as a member of Appalachian State and SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Player last year. She was second on the team in scoring and rebounding this season with 10.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game and sported a shooting percentage of .498, fifth in the SoCon.
Black earns her first all-conference nod, earning a spot on the coaches’ team. She was fourth on the team in scoring with 6.6 points per game and shot 44.9 percent from the 3-point line. Last season she was selected to the SoCon all-tournament team in Chattanooga’s run to the title.
Chattanooga placed a league-high three on the Coaches All-Conference team. Davidson and Furman each notched two all-conference selections. Dakota Dukes and Laura Murray were Davidson’s representatives, while Furman’s Brittany Hodges and Holli Wilkins were selected to the team. Appalachian State’s Maryah Sydnor, Elon’s Kelsey Harris and Georgia Southern’s Anna Claire Knight round out the All-SoCon selections.
Hall was joined on the SoCon Media’s All-Conference First Team by Appalachian State’s Maryah Sydnor, Davidson’s Laura Murray, and Furman’s Brittany Hodges and Holli Wilkins. Dewart was joined on the Second Team by Davidson’s Dakota Dukes and Hannah Early, Elon’s Kelsey Harris and Georgia Southern’s Anna Claire Knight.
Shumpert earned a spot on both the Coaches’ and Media All-Freshman team. She took over the starting role at point in Chattanooga’s win over Colorado State, sinking the game-winning free throws to start a 22-game win streak that ranks fourth all-time for UTC. Shumpert is third on the team in scoring averaging 7.4 points per game and has 49 assists with a 1.1 assist-turnover ratio.
Shumpert is joined on the SoCon Coaches’ All-Freshman team by Elon’s Jennifer Rhodes and Lauren Brown, Furman’s Whitney Bunn and Samford’s Hannah Nichols. The five were selected to the SoCon Media’s all-freshman team as well.
Furman’s Jackie Carson was named the league Coach of the Year by both the SoCon Coaches and Media after leading a Furman team picked by the coaches to finish sixth in the SoCon in the preseason to the No. 2 seed in the upcoming SoCon tournament. The Paladins finished with a winning record for the first time since 2004-05 in Carson’s fourth year at the helm.
Elon’s Jennifer Rhodes was selected the Freshman of the Year on both lists. She averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the Phoenix in the regular season. The North Charleston, S.C., native was selected as the CRONS Freshman of the week three times, tied for the most selections this season.
Samford’s Shelby Campbell, a senior guard from Murfreesboro, Tenn., was named the recipient of the Ann Lashley Inspiration Award. This award honors a student-athlete or coach who has shown outstanding courage or service. It is presented in memory of former Elon women’s basketball associate head coach Ann Lashley, who passed away on November 10, 2005 after a six-month battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
As a junior in 2012-13, Shelby Campbell was Samford’s leading scorer until she tore her ACL in a game at Auburn in late December. Despite being unable to play, Campbell continued to be a leader off the court for the Samford team. As a senior this season, Campbell was once again one of the leaders of the team before breaking her knee cap in a game at Appalachian State this January. Since having surgery to repair her knee, Campbell has continued to be an emotional leader for the young Samford team. In her first two seasons in a Samford uniform, Campbell was a key member of the Bulldogs’ back-to-back SoCon Tournament championship teams. In her sophomore season in 2011-12, she was named the MVP of the SoCon Tournament.
The 2014 Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament begins Friday, March 7 at 11:00 a.m. at Kimmel Arena in Asheville, N.C. The championship game is scheduled for Monday, March 10 at 5:00 p.m.