For the fourth consecutive year, the Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Year resides in Conway.
And, for the first time since 2010, so will the Freshman of the Year.
On the heels of Megan Herbert’s three straight Player of the Year awards, UCA senior Courtney Duever made the most of her final season as she was selected as the 2014 Southland Player of the Year by vote of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. In addition to being named Player of the Year and first team All-Southland, Duever was also selected to the five-member All-Defensive Team.
Brianna Mullins was also voted as the league’s Freshman of the Year and was All-Southland honorable mention.
Duever, from Austin, Texas, was the only player to finish among the top 15 in Southland conference games in points, rebounds, blocks and steals — averaging 16.8 points (5th), 10.1 rebounds (4th), 1.5 steals (14th) and 1.3 blocks (6th). She anchored the league’s top scoring defense at 55.5 points per game in league play and 56.8 for the season, which ranked 17th nationally. She also led the league with 7.2 defensive rebounds per game.
For the season, Duever had 14 double-doubles, including 10 in conference play — one off the league lead — with seven games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. She had her best outing of the season with a 36-point, 12-rebound effort in a win over Oral Roberts on Feb. 22, tying the UCA record for most points scored against a Division I opponent. She had a season-high 15 rebounds three times, all in Southland games against A&M-Corpus Christi, Lamar and Stephen F. Austin.
In 11 games against the field for this week’s upcoming Southland Conference tournament in Katy, Duever averaged 18.5 points and 10.9 rebounds with eight double-doubles.
It is the second appearance on the all-conference team for Duever, who was a third-team selection last season. She joins Herbert (2010-13) and Caronica Randle (2007) as the only Sugar Bears to make the All-Southland first team in UCA’s eight seasons in the league.
Mullins who played at Nevada High School in Rosston, was voted as the league’s top freshman after being the Sugar Bears’ second-leading scorer at 10.2 points per game for the season — third highest among Southland freshmen — and 10.7 in conference play. She led UCA and ranked 5th overall in the Southland with a 79.2 free throw percentage, and her 38.8 3-point percentage was second on the team behind fellow freshman Maggie Proffitt’s 39.7 and would have ranked 8th in the Southland if she’d met the minimum attempts to qualify. She had 15 games in double figures scoring, 10 coming in conference play with a pair of games with at least 23 points including a season-high 25 at Abilene Christian.
She joins Herbert (2010) as the only two Sugar Bears to be named Southland Conference Freshman of the Year.
The Sugar Bears enter this week’s Southland tournament as the No. 3 seed and will face the winner of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and McNeese State at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. The game can be seen at http://southland.org/watch/ or heard on KUCA 91.3 FM The Bear and on ucasports.com.