BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- UT Martin's Jasmine Newsome was named the 2012-13 Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in voting by the league's head coaches and sports information directors. Murray State's Erika Sisk was selected as the Freshman of the Year while Coach of the Year honors went to Eastern Illinois' Lee Buchanan.
Newsome, a native of Millington, Tenn., becomes the first player in league history to earn both the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honor in the same season. It's Newsome's second-straight Player of the Year honor and her second overall Defensive Player of the Year award after winning it in 2010-11. The first team All-OVC selection leads the league and ranks seventh in the nation with 21.9 points per game while putting up a conference-best 24.3 points each time out in OVC play. Newsome tops the Conference with 3.13 steals per outing and 94 total swipes which also ranks 18th in the nation. She is second in the conference with 5.6 assists each time out so far this season. Newsome has reached double-digits in scoring in all but one game and has hit the 30-plus point mark three times this season, including back-to-back 31-point efforts versus Tennessee State and Murray State. The junior guard is second among OVC active players in career points (1,845), steals (231) and assists (491). Newsome was named the OVC Player of the Week seven times this year, including three straight to close-out the regular-season. She is the second different Skyhawk to earn Player of the Year honors.
The Oxford, Miss., native, Sisk ranks in the league's top 10 in points (13.8 ppg) and steals (1.8 spg). She averaged 14.7 points while dishing out 41 assists against conference foes this year. The All-Newcomer selection has recorded six 20-point games this season including scoring a career-high 29 versus Tennessee State. Sisk, a guard, was named Freshman of the Week nine times this season, including a stretch of six straight. She has started all 28 games as a freshman and becomes just the second Racer to earn Freshman of the Year honors joining Rebecca Remington in 2001-02.
Buchanan was tabbed the OVC Coach of the Year after leading his team to a share of its second OVC regular-season title with a 12-4 league mark. Eastern Illinois, which was predicted to finish second in the West Division, finished with a 7-1 home record in OVC play this year. The Panthers need just one more win to have its fourth 20-win season in the last five years. Eastern Illinois is second in the league with 68.9 points per game while it has also set a new school single-season record with 184 three-pointers made. Buchanan is the first EIU coach to win Coach of the Year honors.
Joining Newsome as repeat first-team selections are Eastern Illinois senior guard Ta'Kenya Nixon and UT Martin junior guard Heather Butler. SIUE senior post player Raven Berry moves up to the first team after earning second team honors last year while Tennessee Tech sophomore guard Diamond Henderson is a first time All-OVC selection.
A native of Michigan City, Ind., Nixon leads the league with 5.8 assists per outing. She also ranks among Conference leaders in points (14.5 ppg), steals (2.6 spg) and rebounds (6.0 rpg). She is second among active OVC players in career steals (272) and assists (272) while ranking third with 1,817 career points.
Butler, a Medina, Tenn., native, leads the league and ranks eighth in the nation with 21.9 points per game. She is also eighth in the nation with 3.13 three-point field goals made per game. Butler has made a three-pointer in 76 straight games which is an NCAA Division I record. She also became the first UT Martin player to score 2,000 points in his/her career.
A product of Collinsville, Ill., Berry recently became the first SIUE player to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career. She is currently averaging a double-double with 14.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season. Berry recorded six straight double-doubles to end the regular-season.
Henderson, a native of Kennesaw, Ga., is third in the OVC with a 48.6 field goal percentage. She ranks in the league's top 5 with 16.0 points each time out. Henderson has reached double-digits in 26 of her 29 games played this season.
The 2012-13 All-OVC second team features three first-time honorees. Making her third straight appearance on the second team is Eastern Illinois junior forward Mariah King (Chicago, Ill.) while Eastern Kentucky senior forward Alex Jones returns to the team after earning honors in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Also making the squad are Murray State senior guard Mariah Robinson (Beaver Dam, Ky.), Morehead State junior guard Terrice Robinson (Ft. Pierce, Ky.) and Tennessee State senior guard Kesi Hess (Dublin, Ohio)
King ranks among league leaders in points (13.8 ppg), rebounds (6.2) and field goal percentage (44.6 FG%) while Jones has recorded 10.3 rebounds per game to rank second in the OVC. Mariah Robinson ranks fourth in the league with 16.5 points per game just behind Terrice Robinson who has put up 17.5 points per outing while Kesi Hess is averaging 12.8 points this season.
Joining Sisk on the All-Newcomer team are Belmont senior forward Jordan Coleman (Orlando, Fla.), Southeast Missouri freshman guard Kara Wright (Louisville, Ky.), SIUE freshman guard CoCo Moore (Indianapolis, Ind.), Austin Peay freshman guard Tiasha Gray (Clarksville, Tenn.) and senior guard Lashay Davis (Baxter, Tenn.)
Coleman ranks among league leaders with 9.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while Wright is second on the team with 10.6 points per game in OVC play. Moore is 15th in the OVC with a 40.6 field goal percentage as Gray leads the Lady Govs with 73 assists. Davis is averaging 8.4 points per game to rank third on the Golden Eagle squad.
2012-13 All-Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Teams
(voted on by the league's head basketball coaches and sports information directors)
Jasmine Newsome, UT Martin *
Ta'Kenya Nixon, Eastern Illinois*
Heather Butler, UT Martin*
Raven Berry, SIUE% P
Diamond Henderson, Tennessee Tech
Mariah King, Eastern Illinois%
Alex Jones, Eastern Kentucky
Mariah Robinson, Murray State
Terrice Robinson, Morehead State
Kesi Hess, Tennessee State
Erika Sisk, Murray State
Jordan Coleman, Belmont
Kara Wright, Southeast Missouri
CoCo Moore, SIUE
Tiasha Gray, Austin Peay
Lashay Davis, Tennessee Tech
Six appear on the All-Newcomer team due to ties.
OVC PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jasmine Newsome, UT Martin
OVC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Erika Sisk, Murray State
OVC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jasmine Newsome, UT Martin
OVC COACH OF THE YEAR: Lee Buchanan, Eastern Illinois
* - 2011-12 First Team All-OVC
% - 2011-12 Second Team All-OVC