Mitchell, Thompson share Player of the Year honor on Louisiana sports writers all-state women’s basketball team

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RUSTON, La. – LSU senior forward Ayana Mitchell and LSU-Shreveport junior guard DeAuja Thompson were voted Co-Player of the Year by the membership of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association released on Monday.

Louisiana College guard ZyUnn Cormier was named the state Freshman of the Year while LSU forward Awa Trasi was voted the Newcomer of the Year. LSU-Eunice’s Jaime Gonzales is the state Coach of the Year.

Mitchell and Thompson each picked up nine votes in the POY voting to share the top honor in the state. Mitchell averaged 13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game for the Tigers while earning second team All-SEC honors. She was one of 10 finalists for the Katrina McClain Award and was a Top 30 Senior CLASS Award candidate.

Thompson was named the Red River Athletic Conference Player of the Year and was a third team NAIA All-American after averaging 16.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game for the Pilots.

Cormier edged out a couple of other state players for the Freshman of the Year award. She averaged 15.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for Louisiana College while being named the American Southwest Conference East Division Freshman of the Year.

Trasi, a transfer from Northwest Florida State College, ran away with the Newcomer of the Year voting, picking up 20 of the 25 votes. She averaged 6.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game for the Tigers. Over the last nine games of the year – all starts – she averaged 10.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, including a career-high 22 points in a win over Tennessee.

In his first year with the program, Gonzales led LSU-Eunice to a 21-7 record and captured the school’s third straight Louisiana Community College Athletic Conference (LCCAC) regular season title. The team won their first Region 23 game in program history, their first postseason win since 2009.

Mitchell and Thompson were joined on the 5-person first team by guard Ava Jones (LSU-Eunice), guard Kelsey Thaxton (LSU-Alexandria) and forward Krystal Freeman (Tulane).

The second team was comprised of guard Kaila Anthony (Loyola-New Orleans), forward Ty’Reona Doucet (UL-Lafayette), guard Rehema Franklin (New Orleans), guard Khayla Pointer (LSU) and Faustine Aifuwa (LSU).

Third team members include guard Amber Dixon (Louisiana Tech), forward Damilola Balogun (McNeese State), Cormier (Louisiana College), guard Justice Coleman (Grambling State) and center Alexandria Pollard (Bossier Parish Community College).

Seven players from around the state earned honorable mention accolades, including Kira Bonner (Northwestern State), Arsula Clark (Tulane), Ciera Daniels (LSU-Alexandria), Gara Beth Self (ULM), Celica Sterling (Southeastern LA), Kendriana Washington (LSU-Alexandria) and Asia Woods (New Orleans).

Ayana Mitchell (LSU), R-Senior, Forward, Conyers, Ga.
Stats: 13.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.3 spg, 0.7 apg, 0.3 bpg,
Honors: Second Team All-SEC… SEC Community Service Team… Top 10 Finalist for
Katrina McClain Award (Basketball HOF Starting Five awards program – forward)…
Top 30 Senior CLASS Award candidate… Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy
Preseason Watch Lists… LSWA Player of the Week (Jan. 23)… Junkanoo Jam Bimini
Division All-Tournament Team
DeAuja Thompson (LSU-Shreveport), Junior, Guard, Columbus, Ohio
Stats: 16.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2 APG, 40 STL, 26 BLK, 41% 3p
Honors: RRAC Women’s Player of the Year, 1st Team All-RRAC, NAIA 3rd Team All-
Ava Jones (LSU-Eunice), Sophomore, Guard, Carencro, La.
Stats: 17.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.6 apg, 2.8 spg,
Honors: LCCAC Player of the Year, First-Team All-LCCAC, All-Defensive Team LCCAC, All-Region 23 Team
Kelsey Thaxton (LSU-Alexandria), Sophomore, Guard, Many, La.
Stats: 20.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.4 apg,
Honors: First Team All-Red River Athletic Conference, Honorable Mention NAIA All-
America, NAIA National Player of the Week (Feb. 4), 3X RRAC Player of the Week
Krystal Freeman (Tulane), Junior, Forward, Pineville, La
Stats: 15.0 ppg., 7.7 rpg., 1.3 apg.
Honors: Second Team All-American Athletic Conference

Kaila Anthony (Loyola-New Orleans), G/F, Senior, Pflugerville, Texas
Stats: 14.8 ppg; 4.7 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.6 spg,
Honors: SSAC Player of the Year… SSAC First Team All-Conference… SSAC All-
Academic… SSAC Player of the Week… Jesuit National Player of the Week (2x).
Ty’Reona Doucet (UL-Lafayette), Junior, Forward, Ville Platte, La
Stats: 12.6 ppg., 7.6 rpg., 1.34 bpg, 1.0 apg.
Honors: All-Sun Belt Second Team
Rehema Franklin (New Orleans), Senior, Guard, New Orleans, La
Stats: 14.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.9 SPG
Honors: All-Southland Conference Third Team Selection, Two-time winner of Southland Athlete of the Week
Khayla Pointer (LSU), Junior, Guard, Marietta, Ga.
Stats: 14.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.7 apg, 2.1 spg,
Honors: Second Team All-SEC… SEC Player of the Week (Feb. 4)… LSWA Player of the Week (Feb. 4, Feb. 18)… Junkanoo Jam Bimini Division MVP and All-Tournament Team
Faustine Aifuwa (LSU), R-Junior, Center, Dacula, Ga.
Stats: 10.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 0.6 spg, 0.5 apg
Honors: SEC All-Defensive Team

Amber Dixon (LA Tech), Junior, Guard, Arlington, Texas
Stats: 12.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.5 spg,
Damilola Balogun (McNeese State), Senior, Forward, Lagos Nigeria
Stats: 11.1 ppg., 10.5 rpg.
Honors: All-SLC (2nd team)
ZyUnn Cormier (Louisiana College), Freshman, Guard, Duncanville, Texas
Stats: 15.9 PTS, 4.8 REB, 1.0 AST, 1.5 STL
Honors: American Southwest Conference East Division Freshman of the Year, ASC All-Freshman Team member, All-ASC East Division Honorable Mention
Justice Coleman (Grambling State), Junior, Guard, Baton Rouge, La
Stats: 15 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 1.8 apg.
Honors: Second Team All-SWAC
Alexandria Pollard (Bossier Parish CC), Sophomore, Center, Houston, Texas
Stats: 13.1 ppg., 10.6 rpg., 3.6 bpg.
Honors: NJCAA Region XIV All-Conference, LSWA Player-of-the-Week

Honorable Mention: Kira Bonner, Northwestern State; Arsula Clark, Tulane; Ciera Daniels, LSU-Alexandria, Gara Beth Self, ULM; Celica Sterling, Southeastern LA; Kendriana Washington, LSU-Alexandria; Asia Woods, UNO

Co-Player of the Year: Ayana Mitchell (LSU), DeAuia Thompson (LSU-Shreveport)
(Votes: Mitchell 9, Thompson 9, Kelsey Thaxton 5, Ava Jones 2)

Newcomer of the Year: Awa Trasi (LSU)
(Votes: Trasi 20; Jamaya Galloway, LSU-Alexandria, 5)

Freshman of the Year: ZyUnn Cormier (Louisiana College)
(Votes: Cormier, 10; Alexius Horne, Southeastern LA 6; Gara Beth Self, ULM 6: Mia Deck, UNO 2; Tiara Young, LSU 1)

Coach of the Year: Jaime Gonzales (LSU-Eunice)
(Votes: Gonzales 12; Gary Brodhead, UL-Lafayette 5; Keeshawn Davenport, UNO 4; Kellie Kennedy, Loyola-New Orleans 2; Dobee Plaisance, Nicholls State 1; Matt Strickland, LSU-Shreveport 1)

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