Lady Tiger Basketball Announces 2019 Team Awards

by Judy Willson
Lady Tiger Basketball Announces 2019 Team Awards

BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU women’s basketball team held its annual end-of-the-season banquet inside the South Club at Tiger Stadium on Thursday evening as head coach Nikki Fargas and the LSU staff presented several team awards at the event.

Redshirt junior Ayana Mitchell was named the team’s Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year after earning Most Improved honors last season. The Conyers, Georgia, native finished the season ranked 24th in the nation and second in the SEC, shooting a 56.3 field goal percentage to lead LSU. Mitchell was 30th in the nation and third in the SEC in rebounds per game at 10.5 and was 20th in the nation and second in the league with 16 double-doubles. An All-SEC First Team selection, she was 18th in the nation and third in the SEC in offensive rebounds (4.0) and third in the SEC defensive rebounds (6.5) per game. Mitchell ranked 17th in the SEC with 13.5 points per game and tied for 11th in steals per game (1.7). She is 25th in minutes played at 30.8 minutes per game. Against Auburn on March 3, Mitchell grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds and became the 15th Lady Tiger to crack the 700 career rebounds mark. Mitchell also received the L Club Team Captain Award for the 2018-19 season.

Senior Shanice Norton was selected as the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. Norton drew the assignment of guarding teams’ top players throughout the 2018-19 season. A four-year letterwinner for the Lady Tigers from London, England, Norton averaged 3.8 rebounds per game and committed 30 steals while scoring 7.0 points per game and shooting 82.6% from the free throw line. She recorded the first double-double of her career in her 100th game as a Lady Tiger on December 27 versus Southeastern Louisiana. Norton earned the 500th point of her career on February 4 against Missouri and scored a career-high 21 points at Vanderbilt on February 17.

Redshirt sophomore Faustine Aifuwa and sophomore Khayla Pointer earned recognition as the Co-Most Improved Players of the Year in 2018-19. Aifuwa averaged 9.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 46.9% from the field. The native of Dacula, Georgia, was fifth in the SEC this season in blocked shots with 1.5 per game. She also ranked 18th in the league in rebounds per game. Pointer led LSU and was fifth in the SEC with 4.5 assists per game. The Kennesaw, Georgia, native also finished the season ranked 21st in points per game (12.5) and tied for 11th in steals per game (1.7).

Redshirt sophomore Rakell Spencer earned the Academic Award, carrying the top cumulative grade point average on the team. Spencer has been on the SEC Honor Roll for the past two seasons.

Redshirt junior Yasmine Bidikuindila was recognized with the Sue Gunter Award for showing a spirit of courage and character while going above and beyond on and off the court. Members of Teams of Tomorrow (TOTS) received the Eye of the Tiger Award.

The team also said a special Thank You to Senior Associate Athletic Trainer Micki Collins to wrap up the festivities. Collins has served the LSU women’s basketball program since 2001 and will be moving to a new position within the department beginning with the 2019-20 season.

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