Nicholls standout Barrios repeats as Louisiana Sports Writers Association Women’s Basketball Player of the Year

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Cassidy BArrios

NEW ORLEANS – Cassidy Barrios, a senior guard from Nicholls, has been selected as the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) Women’s Basketball Player of the Year for the state of Louisiana. The LSWA released its women’s basketball honorees on Saturday. Voting was conducted by media members from Louisiana and the state’s sports information directors.

Xavier University of Louisiana capped an impressive basketball season by earning the first major LSWA awards in its history: junior forward Jas Hill was selected as the LSWA Newcomer of the Year while head coach Bo Browder was named the state’s top coach. Kelsey Thaxton, a sharp-shooter from LSU-Alexandria, was named the LSWA Freshman of the Year.

Barrios was also the Player of the Year last year and becomes the first repeat winner since LSU’s Theresa Plaisance won the honor in 2012-13 and 2013-14. The Raceland, La., product averaged 20.4 points (20th in the nation) and 10.7 rebounds (25th in the nation) per game; she was one of six Division I players to average a double-double this past season. Her 660 points set a school single-season record and she closed her career with a school record 1,993 points.

Browder, the longtime coach at Xavier, directed the Gold Nuggets to their first Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship in six years, a No. 24 national ranking and at-large bid to NAIA national tournament. The team was 23-7 overall and 13-1 in conference and was the only Louisiana women’s team in 2018-19 to go unbeaten at home (13-0). In 20 years guiding Xavier, Browder has posted a 469-186 record.

The Gold Nuggets were led by junior Jas Hill, a transfer from Tallahassee Community College. The Mobile, Ala., product averaged 14.9 points, the most by a Xavier woman in 20 seasons, and 4.8 rebounds per game. She was also selected as the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year and was an NAIA Division I Third-Team All-American.

Thaxton, a true freshman from Negreet High School in Many, La., set LSU-Alexandria’s single-season record with 97 three-pointers. She averaged 16.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as the Generals finished with a program-record 22 wins and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament for the first time.

Joining Barrios on the LSWA All-Louisiana First Team was Player-of-the-Year runner-up Kierra Anthony from Louisiana Tech. Anthony ranked in the top five in the nation with 23.4 points per game. Grambling State Star Shakyla Hill was also a first-team selection after averaging 18.9 points per game and earning Player of the Year honors in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. LSU’s Ayana Mitchell and LSU-Alexandria’s Danyale Bayonne rounded out the LSWA First Team. Mitchell averaged a double-double with 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, while Bayonne averaged 19.8 points per game and became her program’s first NAIA All-American.

The second team is comprised of Bossier Parish Community College’s Monette Bolden (22.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg), Tulane’s Krystal Freeman (14.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Hill from Xavier, Thaxton from LSU-A and Dillard’s Alyssa Washington (15.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg).

The third team features Loyola’s Kaila Anthony (16.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg), ULM’s Arsula Clark (14.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg), LSU’s Khayla Pointer (12.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Louisiana’s Brandi Williams (12.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg) and UNO’s Shania Woods (14.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg).

Four players earned honorable mentions: Ty’Reona Doucet from Louisiana, Celica Sterling from Southeastern, Kayla Watson from Baton Rouge Community College and Megan Worry from Loyola.
The 15 players making up the three Louisiana all-star teams represent 13 different schools with only LSU and LSU-Alexandria earning multiple selections. The four players recognized as honorable mention All-Louisiana add two more schools to the list.

Louisiana Sports Writers Association Women’s Basketball Awards
Player of the Year: Cassidy Barrios, Nicholls
Freshman of the Year: Kelsey Thaxton, LSU-Alexandria
Newcomer of the Year: Jas Hill, Xavier
Coach of the Year: Bo Browder, Xavier

LSWA First Team All-Louisiana
Cassidy Barrios, Nicholls
Kierra Anthony, Louisiana Tech
Shakyla Hill, Grambling State
Ayana Mitchell, LSU
Danyale Bayonne, LSU-Alexandria

LSWA Second Team All-Louisiana
Krystal Freeman, Tulane
Jas Hill, Xavier
Monette Bolden, Bossier Parish C.C.
Alyssa Washington, Dillard
Kelsey Thaxton, LSU-Alexandria

LSWA Third Team All-Louisiana
Khayla Pointer, LSU
Shania Woods, UNO
Kaila Anthony, Loyola
Arsula Clark, ULM
Brandi Williams, Louisiana

LSWA Honorable Mention All-Louisiana
Kayla Watson, BRCC
Ty’Reona Doucet, Louisiana-Lafayette
Celica Sterling, Southeastern
Megan Worry, Loyola

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