Bulldogs hand out awards to cap historic season

Victoria Vivians, Teaira McCowan, Jordan Danberry and Blair Schaefer took home two awards each.

Posted: Apr 16, 2018 10:55 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Mississippi State handed out awards and celebrated a historic 2017-18 season Monday night as it held its Hail State Hoops Awards Banquet at The Mill at MSU.

Victoria Vivians, Teaira McCowan, Jordan Danberry and Blair Schaefer took home two awards each.

Vivians and McCowan were named Co-Most Outstanding Players following All-American seasons. Vivians, the No. 8 pick by the Indiana Fever in last week’s WNBA Draft, led the Bulldogs in scoring with a career-best 19.6 ppg.

Vivians also earned the Miss Offense Award after scoring the second-most points in program history for both a season (773) and career (2,527). MSU’s first Associated Press First Team All-American since 2003, Vivians shot 48.5 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from 3-point range and 80.9 percent from the free-throw line.

She scored double figures in 38 of MSU’s 39 games and earned Kansas City Regional Co-Most Outstanding Player and a spot on the NCAA All-Final Four Team after averaging 21.2 ppg and 6.8 rpg in the NCAA Tournament.

The First Team All-SEC selection, who grabbed a career-best 6.1 rpg on the year, tallied 21.9 ppg and 6.1 rpg against Top 25 foes.

McCowan was one of the most improved players in the country this season, winning the inaugural Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award in addition to claiming numerous All-America accolades. The Brenham, Texas, native averaged 18.2 ppg and topped the SEC with 13.9 rpg.

She finished second in the nation with a school- and SEC-record 29 double-doubles, and her 544 rebounds set an SEC record and ranked second in NCAA history.

McCowan posted the second-highest field goal percentage in a season with 60.1 percent, while her 81 blocked shots finished the year fifth in program records. The First Team All-SEC selection and SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year averaged 17.7 ppg and 14.4 rpg in league play.

She averaged 20.8 ppg and 18.2 rpg in the NCAA Tournament and joined Vivians in earning Kansas City Regional Co-Most Outstanding Player and NCAA All-Final Four Team honors. McCowan set an NCAA Tournament record with 109 rebounds, while her 11-for-11 effort against NC State tied for the highest field goal percentage in tournament history. She also grabbed a Final Four-record and the second-most rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game with 25 against Louisville.

McCowan won the Miss Defense Award along with Blair Schaefer, who also claimed the Miss Hustle Award.

Schaefer started all 39 games and averaged a team-high 32.1 minutes per game in a senior season that saw her earn SEC All-Defensive Team and SEC Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors.

The senior guard averaged 9.1 ppg for the season and 10.8 ppg in SEC play. She made 97 3-pointers, second-most in school history, and finished the year second in the league in 3-pointers per game (2.5) and sixth in percentage (41.3 percent).

Schaefer, who finished fifth in the MSU career record books in 3-pointers made with 175 and third in percentage at 38.5 percent, also paced the Bulldogs on the defensive end taking 28 charges.

Danberry claimed the Team Academic Award after posting a 3.86 GPA in business economics. She also earned the Newcomer Award after tallying 86 points, 40 rebounds and 22 steals in 31 games.

She scored 23 points and shot 40 percent from the floor in the NCAA Tournament, including a 10-point contribution against Louisville in the national semifinal.

Morgan William was named the Tommy and Terri Nusz Most Outstanding Bulldog following a senior campaign that saw her earn Associated Press All-America and Second Team All-SEC honors.

William averaged 8.2 ppg and led MSU with 176 assists, tied for third-most in school history. The Birmingham, Ala., native, who ranked fourth in the SEC averaging 4.5 apg, finished the year third in the nation with a 3.7 assist/turnover ratio.

A starter in 114-straight games to cap her career, William set the MSU single-season record for free-throw percentage for the third time in four seasons with an SEC-leading 86.3 percent. She finished first in MSU annals in career free-throw percentage (84.7 percent) and assists (656).

Fellow senior Roshunda Johnson claimed the Most Improved Award. Johnson started all 39 games and averaged 29.9 minutes. She finished third on the team in scoring with 11.3 ppg and second in 3-pointers made with 76, the seventh-most in school history.

The Little Rock, Ark., native, who hit the tying 3-pointer in MSU’s Final Four win against Louisville, finished fourth in the SEC draining 41.8 percent from the arc, and she also shot 87.7 percent from the free-throw line on the year.

Johnson helped the Bulldogs to a perfect SEC slate by averaging 12.1 ppg and making 48.3 percent from the field and an SEC-best 47.9 percent from 3-point range.

She capped her time in Starkville the Bulldogs’ career leader in 3-point percentage with a 42.4-percent clip, the sixth-best tally in program history.

Junior Jazzmun Holmes claimed the 6th Player Award after averaging 14.8 minutes per game in 39 games. Holmes averaged 4.2 ppg and finished second on the team with 105 assists and third in steals with 45.

Chloe Bibby earned the Rookie Award following a stellar freshman season that saw her tally 146 points and 79 rebounds in 37 games. Bibby also made 81.8 percent at the free-throw line, the second-best percentage among SEC freshman with 25-plus attempts on the year.

Schaefer also presented Dr. Janice Nicholson with the Fan of the Year Award.

Mississippi State Women’s Basketball Awards

Team Academic Award – Jordan Danberry

Rookie Award – Chloe Bibby

Newcomer Award – Jordan Danberry

Most Improved – Roshunda Johnson

6th Player Award – Jazzmun Holmes

Miss Hustle – Blair Schaefer

Miss Defense – Teaira McCowan and Blair Schaefer

Miss Offense – Victoria Vivians

Tommy & Terri Nusz Most Outstanding Bulldog – Morgan William

Most Outstanding Player – Teaira McCowan and Victoria Vivians

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