March 10, 2013
NORFOLK, Va. – Hampton University senior forward Keiara Avant was named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year, while head coach David Six was named Coach of the Year and junior forward Alyssa Bennett was named Defensive Player of the Year as the conference office announced its 2012-13 women’s basketball honors on Sunday.
Avant (Chesapeake, Va.) is the first Lady Pirate to be named MEAC Player of the Year.
She led the Lady Pirates (25-5, 16-0 MEAC) in scoring and rebounding this season, ranking fifth in the MEAC with 16.3 points per game, while pulling down a conference-high 10.3 rebounds per contest. She was also fifth in the MEAC in field goal percentage, hitting 47.0 percent of her shots.
Avant is currently ninth in the nation in double-doubles after recording 19 this season, including four in a row to close out the regular season. She was also a First Team All-MEAC selection.
This is the second MEAC Coach of the Year award for Six; he first won the honor in 2010-11. Six led the Lady Pirates to their third straight MEAC regular-season title (and their sixth overall), and Hampton became the first MEAC team to run the table in conference play since Coppin State in 2006-07.
It was also the first perfect MEAC record for the Lady Pirates.
Hampton, which was picked to finish second in the MEAC this season, has won 16 straight games and has not yet lost during the 2013 calendar year.
Bennett (Hampton, Va.) is the first Lady Pirate to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors since Quanneisha Perry, who won the award twice in 2010 and 2011. She averaged 6.6 rebounds per game this season and tallied 35 blocks and 49 steals.
She also spent much of the season guarding the opponents’ best players, using her length and athleticism to shut them down.
Bennett was also named Second Team All-MEAC.
Junior guard Nicole Hamilton (Hampton, Va.), who spent this season as a point guard, was also named First Team All-MEAC, giving the Lady Pirates two honorees on the First Team. Hamilton averaged 12.0 points and 5.3 assists per game, ranking third in the MEAC in the latter category.
She earned All-Tournament honors in both the Toledo Invite and the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, and Hamilton also led the team in blocks with 44.
Eboni Ross of North Carolina A&T was named MEAC Rookie of the Year.
The top-seeded Lady Pirates will play in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Norfolk Scope Arena at 12 p.m., facing either No. 8 Bethune-Cookman or No. 9 Delaware State. Hampton swept the regular season series with both teams.
For more information on Hampton University basketball, please call the Office of Sports Information at (757) 727-5811, or visit the official Pirates website at www.hamptonpirates.com.
Courtesy of hamptonpirates.com