Coastal women sweep top Sun Belt season honors

Sports

New Orleans, La. –The Sun Belt Conference announced today the 15-member All-Sun Belt women’s basketball team and individual honors for DJ Williams, Naheria Hamilton, and Jaida Williams, who were named Sun Belt’s Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year, respectively.  DJ Williams was named to the All-Sun Belt first team while Hamilton and Aja Blount were selected to the second team. Voting for the individual awards, and All-Sun Belt teams were conducted by the league’s 12 head coaches along with a selected media panel.

Williams, a senior guard from Moreno Valley, Calif., is just the third Chanticleer to win a conference player of the year award and the first since Alisha Dill in 2006-07. She is the first Coastal player to be named to the All-Sun Belt first team twice, having been named to the first team last season. For the year, Williams is averaging 19.4 points, 5.3 assists, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.4 steals per contest to lead the CCU offense. She sits atop of the Sun Belt in scoring average, free throw attempts (210), free throws made (163), steals (68), and steals per game. Williams scored a career-high 51 points in the 124-103 win over Troy on Feb. 13 to break a 34-year old school record for most points in a single game. She followed that up with just the third triple-double in school history against South Alabama two days later. Williams is ranked second in the Sun Belt with 149 assists while helping her teammates with 5.3 assists per game. She is also third in double-doubles with 11 on the year.

Hamilton becomes just the second Chanticleer to win conference defensive player of the year award, joining Amanda Stull in 2009-10, while being named to the All-Sun Belt second team. The senior center averaged a double-double with 10.3 points and 10.2 boards per game while ranking second in the conference in rebounds with 297. Her 10.2 rebounds per game lead the league. Hamilton is the top defensive rebounder in the conference and 15th nationally grabbing 7.4 defensive boards per contest. She was twice named the Sun Belt Player of the Week, earning the honor on Nov. 12, 2019 and March 2, 2020. On the year, Hamilton has scored in double digits 16 times.

Blount, a sophomore forward, was named to the All-Sun Belt second team while being fourth in the conference in scoring with 14.7 points per contest. The forward also sits atop the conference in free-throw percentage and 11th nationally shooting 89 percent from the charity stripe. She recorded a career-high 38 points against South Alabama on Jan. 4 to even Coastal’s record in conference play. Blount recorded 22 double-doubles on the season with 14 coming in Sun Belt action. She was named the player of the week on Dec. 30 for her performance against South Carolina State.

Coach Williams becomes just the second coach in CCU’s women’s basketball history to be named coach of the year and the first since former head coach Alan LeForce was named Big South Coach of the Year in 1998-99. Williams is the first Chanticleer coach to win the Sun Belt Coach of the Year award while leading her team to 25-win season, the most wins in program history. Picked to finish sixth in the league’s preseason polls, coach Williams led her team to a 15-3 conference record and a second place finish in the regular season.

2019-20 SUN BELT WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POSTSEASON HONORS

All-Sun Belt First Team
DJ Williams, Coastal Carolina (Sr., G, Moreno Valley, Calif.)
Kyra Collier, Little Rock (Sr., G, North Little Rock, Ark.)
Shaforia Kines, South Alabama (Sr., G, Birmingham, Ala.)
Marie Benson, UTA (Sr., F, Waco, Texas)
Japonica James, Troy (Sr., F, Mobile, Ala.)

All-Sun Belt Second Team
Aja Blount, Coastal Carolina (So., F, Northampton, Pa.)
Naheria Hamilton, Coastal Carolina (Sr., C, Goldsboro, N.C.)
Ty’Reona Doucet, Louisiana (Jr., F, Ville Platte, La.)
Antoinette Lewis, South Alabama (Jr., F, Memphis, Tenn.)
Alexus Dye, Troy (Jr., F, Birmingham, Ala.)

All-Sun Belt Third Team
Pre Stanley, Appalachian State (Jr., G, Rockledge, Fla.)
Jireh Washington, Arkansas State (So., G, Memphis, Tenn.)
Teal Battle, Little Rock (Jr., F, Millington, Tenn.)
Savannah Jones, South Alabama (Jr., G, Ocean Springs, Miss.)
Jasmine Robinson, Troy (Jr., G, Augusta, Ga.)

Player of the Year
DJ Williams, Coastal Carolina (Sr., G, Moreno Valley, Calif.)

Defensive Player of the Year
Naheria Hamilton, Coastal Carolina (Sr., C, Goldsboro, N.C.)

Freshman of the Year
Gara Beth Self, ULM (Fr., G, New Albany, Miss.)

Newcomer of the Year
Marie Benson, UTA (Sr., F, Waco, Texas)

Coach of the Year
Jaida Williams, Coastal Carolina

Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics

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