COLUMBIA, Ky. — University of Rio Grande junior guard Brianna Thomas was named to the All-Mid-South Conference first team, while teammate Sarah Bonar earned second team all-conference and Academic All-Conference honors as the Mid-South Conference announced its women’s basketball award winners for the 2013-14 season on Thursday.
Two other RedStorm players, junior forward Morgan Daniels (Gallipolis, OH) and sophomore center Harley Adler (Burton, OH) joined Bonar on the Academic All-Conference squad.
Thomas (Maplewood, NJ) is averaging 19.4 points, 5.1 assists, 3.7 steals and 3.4 rebounds per game for the RedStorm. She ranks third nationally in steals, eighth in assists and 13th in scoring.
Her .827 free throw shooting percentage also ranks 12th in the country.
A two-time MSC Player of the Week selection and NAIA Division I National Player of the Week (Jan. 14), Thomas scored a career-high 33 points in a win over Cumberland University on Nov. 21 and had one of only two triple-double performances in the league this season with 29 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a win over Shawnee State on Jan. 11.
Bonar, a sophomore forward from Hartford, Ohio, is Rio’s second-leading scorer this season at 16.8 points per game, while also averaging 6.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
Bonar, who also is shooting 80.4 percent from the free throw line, earned MSC Player of the Week honors for the week of Nov. 11.
Joining Thomas on the All-MSC First Team were Diane Abbady, Alannah Sheets and Priscila Santos of Shawnee State University; Campbellsville University’s Daizah Kimberland and Ellen Sholtes; Andrea Howard and Kourtney Tyra of Georgetown College; University of Pikeville’s Callisha Johnson; and Brooke Forsythe of the University of the Cumberlands.
Sheets was named the league’s Player of the Year, while Lindsey Wilson’s Kayla Richardson was tabbed Freshman of the Year and Campbellsville’s Ginger Colvin was named Coach of the Year.
Sheets ranked in the conference’s top 10 in nine different statistical categories, including leading the conference in scoring (20.7 points per game), total points (600), 3-pointers made per game (3.1) and total 3-pointers (89).
The three-time MSC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week is eighth in the MSC in field goal percentage (41.1) and free throw percentage (77.6) and nine in 3-point field goal percentage (35.5) entering postseason play.
Nationally, Sheets ranks top 10 in four categories: third in 3-pointers, fourth in 3-pointers made per game and total points and seventh in scoring.
Richardson averaged 12.1 points and ranked 12th in the Mid-South averaging 2.8 assists per game. She completed her first collegiate regular season shooting 81.8 percent from the free throw line — fourth best in the conference.
Colvin led the No. 4-ranked Tigers to the regular season title with a 16-2 conference record. The coach of the year award is her third — Colvin also received the honor in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.
The awards were selected based on balloting of the league’s 10 coaches, who were not permitted to vote for any of their own players or themselves.
Bonar, Daniels and Adler were among a group of 43 student-athletes to earn Academic All-MSC honors.
In order to be nominated by an institution, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved at least sophomore academic status.
Daniels is a Middle School Education Math/Science major, while Adler is a Business Management/Accounting major and Bonar has yet to declare a major.
On the court, Adler averages 4.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots per game. She blocked a single-game school record 11 shots in a win over Pikeville and became the school’s single-season record holder in blocks with 55.
Daniels, who had her season cut short after 18 games by a knee injury, averaged 4.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Campbellsville (Ky.) produced the most women’s basketball academic honorees from one school with eight, followed closely by Cumberlands (Ky.) with seven. Bluefield (Va.), Cumberland (Tenn.), Georgetown (Ky.) and Pikeville (Ky.) each had five honorees.
All award winners will be recognized prior to their respective games in the 2014 Mid-South Conference Basketball Championships presented by GoJohnnyGo 5K/10K Run/Walk, which begins Friday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center on the campus of Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn.