Trio of Rebels earn SEC women’s basketball postseason awards

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KNOXVILLE, TN – JANUARY 28: Ole Miss Rebels head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin talks with forward Madison Scott (24) in a game against the Tennessee Lady Vols on January 28, 2021, at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. (Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Mississipppi women’s basketball’s Shakira Austin (First-Team All-SEC), Madison Scott (SEC Freshman of the Year, All-Freshman) and Snudda Collins (All-Freshman) have been honored by the league’s coaches after earning a handful of all-conference awards from the SEC on Tuesday.
 
The three total team selections (All-SEC, All-Freshman) are the most by a Rebel squad since 1992, and trail only the 1988 team’s five members and the 1990 team’s four members since the All-Freshman team began in 1987.
 
Austin – a 6-5 forward from Fredericksburg, Virginia – has been dominant in her first season as a Rebel after transferring from Maryland, putting the SEC on notice with her ferocious play on both ends of the court. She is the first Rebel to earn First-Team honors since Tia Faleru did so in 2014-15. On the season, the junior Lisa Leslie Award Top-10 list member is averaging 17.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 1.5 blocks, 1.3 assists and is shooting 52.1 percent from the field. She has scored in double digits in all but one of her 20 games played this season, which includes nine 20-point games and nine double-doubles.
 

Shakira Austin (0). Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Austin has been even more lethal in SEC season, during which she has recorded seven of her nine 20-point games and eight of her nine double-doubles. Austin has rarely been cold in 2020-21, but she has two particularly torrid spans of games, including a stretch from Dec. 15 to Jan. 7 where she became the first Rebel to score 20 or more in four straight since 2009-10 (Bianca Thomas), and recently from Jan. 31 to Feb. 21 when she became the first Rebel to record five straight double-doubles in SEC games since All-American and current assistant coach Armintie Herrington did so in seven straight during the 2006-07 Elite Eight season. Austin has showed up for the big games in superb fashion, nearly averaging a double-double at 17.1 points and 9.7 boards while shooting 51.1 percent vs. seven ranked opponents.
 
She is currently the only active SEC player with 1,000 career points (1,026), 700 career rebounds (715) and 150 career blocks (159), and she is also the only player in the conference this season to rank within the top-15 in the SEC in field goal percentage (3rd, .521), scoring (7th, 17.9), blocks (7th, 1.5), rebounding (10th, 8.7), steals (11th, 1.7) and free throw shooting (15th, .711).
 
Scott – a 6-1 forward from Indian Head, Maryland – is just the fourth Rebel to ever win SEC Freshman of the Year, and the first for Ole Miss since Herrington won in 2003-04. Other winners include Clara Jackson in 1990-91 and Kimsey O’Neal in 1986-87. Furthermore, Scott’s combination with Collins on the All-Freshman team ties this year’s team with 1988 for the most All-Freshman honorees (Teena Bender, Jackie Martin-Glass).
 
Scott came into Ole Miss with high expectations as the program’s first McDonald’s All-American, and did not disappoint in 2020-21. The former five-star No. 13 overall prospect ended the regular season leading all SEC freshmen in both scoring (10.5 PPG) and rebounding (7.4 RPG), with her rebounding total also ranking 13th nationally among freshmen. Scott was the motor for the Rebels on the glass all season long, recording six double-digit rebound games, five double-doubles and 11 games with at least seven boards. Scott was efficient from the field as well, ending with an impressive 59.4 percent shooting clip.
 
She was a regular mainstay in the weekly awards throughout the season, winning SEC Freshman of the Week six times. After her sixth and final win on Monday, Scott joined an exclusive club of six-time winners in conference history alongside current SEC Player of the Year Rhyne Howard (8x, 2019) and Mizzou great Sophie Cunningham (6x, 2016).
 
Collins – a Brookhaven, Mississippi product – took her freshman campaign by the reigns from the jump in her first game and didn’t let up, becoming the conference’s top freshman three-point shooter. She opened that first game vs. McNeese State with 23 points on 5-of-8 three-point shooting, the most points by any Rebel in their freshman debut (in available records). Collins ended the regular season averaging 7.2 points and 2.6 rebounds, while shooting a blistering 42.5 percent from beyond the arc at a 37-of-87 clip. Collins’ 1.9 threes per game leads all SEC freshmen and ranks 10th overall, and her three-point percentage ranks fourth among all freshmen nationwide in 2020-21.
 
Throughout her freshman year, Collins hit multiple threes in 10 games and three or more in eight – with seven of those 10 multiple trey games coming during SEC play. Collins was recently crucial for Ole Miss in a 73-69 upset at No. 17 Kentucky, hitting several late threes, including one that essentially sealed the game with less than a minute to play. Collins won SEC Freshman of the Week twice herself, and when combined with Scott’s six honors and Austin’s Co-Player of the Week award from Feb. 9, the 2020-21 Rebel team shattered the single-season program record for total honors with nine.
 
Ole Miss (10-10, 4-10 SEC) owns the No. 11 seed to this week’s SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, where the Rebels will take on No. 6 seed Arkansas (19-7, 9-6 SEC) on Thursday night (March 4) at approximately 7:30 p.m. CT following the preceding Missouri-Alabama game.
 
First Team All-SEC
Jasmine Walker, Alabama
Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas
Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
Khayla Pointer, LSU
Shakira Austin, Ole Miss
Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
Zia Cooke, South Carolina
Rennia Davis, Tennessee
N’dea Jones, Texas A&M
 
Second Team All-SEC
Jordan Lewis, Alabama
Unique Thompson, Auburn
Destiny Slocum, Arkansas
Lavender Briggs, Florida
Jenna Staiti, Georgia
Aijha Blackwell, Missouri
Rae Burrell, Tennessee
Aaliyah Wilson, Texas A&M
 
All-Freshman
Romi Levy, Auburn
Jordyn Merritt, Florida
Sarah Ashlee Barker, Georgia
Snudda Collins, Ole Miss
Madison Scott, Ole Miss
Madison Hayes, Mississippi State
Mama Dembele, Missouri
Marta Suárez, Tennessee
 
All-Defensive
Que Morrison, Georgia
Khayla Pointer, LSU
Chasity Patterson, Kentucky
Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
Tamari Key, Tennessee
 
Player of the Year – Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
Freshman of the Year – Madison Scott, Ole Miss
Co-Defensive Players of the Year – Que Morrison, Georgia & Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
6th Woman of the Year – Destiny Pitts, Texas A&M
Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Ciera Johnson, Texas A&M
Coach of the Year – Joni Taylor, Georgia
 

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