WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Barrios, Plaisance take home LSWA’s top awards

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RUSTON, La. – Nicholls State University’s Cassidy Barrios took home another Player of the Year honor, while head coach DoBee Plaisance received her second career state Coach of the Year, as the Louisiana Sports Writers Association announced Saturday its 2017-18 women’s basketball awards.

Barrios, who garnered all three of the Southland Conference’s top awards this season – Player of the Year, Tournament MVP, and Student-Athlete of the Year – is the first Colonel in program history to be recognized as Louisiana’s top women’s basketball player. She is also the first non-LA Tech/LSU player to win the award since 1994 and is the first outright winner not wearing a Tigers or Lady Techster jersey since 1986.

In her 10th season at the helm, Coach Plaisance earned her third coaching honor, and second from the LSWA after taking the title in 2015. Plaisance and Barrios led Nicholls to its first-ever appearance to the NCAA Tournament this season.

In addition to Barrios’ top honor, the Raceland, Louisiana native was one of 15 players to be named All-Louisiana, earning first-team recognition. Sophomore teammate Tykeria Williams was an honorable mention selection.

Barrios closed out her junior campaign averaging 17.3 points and 9.1 rebounds and set single-season program records with 95 steals and 48 blocks. She ranked among the NCAA leaders with 16 double-doubles and was ranked in the top 10 in the Southland in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage (.462), assists (3.2), free throw percentage (.847), steals, 3-point percentage (.400), and blocks.

A five-time Southland Player of the Week, Barrios averaged 23.7 points in the Colonels’ three Southland Tournament games to earn MVP honors. As a No. 4 seed, Nicholls defeated the No. 5, 1, and 2 seeds en route to the program’s first tournament title. In 10 games against Louisiana schools,

Plaisance added another award to her impressive resume after leading the Colonels to 19 victories – matching the program’s all-time mark for a single season set by her 2012-13 squad. Picked to finish ninth in the preseason polls, Nicholls closed out the regular season winning eight of its last nine to earn a tie for fourth in the standings. The Colonels then went on to win all three tournament games to tie the program’s best seven-game winning streak.

A member of the St. Martin and Loyola University New Orleans Hall of Fames, Plaisance’s LSWA award is her fifth honor as a collegiate coach. In 2015, she was named LSWA Coach of the Year and was a co-recipient for the Southland Conference. At Loyola, Plaisance won back-to-back COYs in 2007 and ’08.

Williams received honorable mention as the Colonels’ second-leading scorer at 13.2 points per game. She proved to be one of the Southland’s best 3-point shooters, averaging 2.5 per game while connecting on 35.9 percent.

Barrios picked up 12 of the 30 votes for player of the year as seven different players in the state earned at least one vote for the honor. LSU’s Raigyne Louis had the second-most votes with seven. Plaisance received 12 votes, three ahead of Grambling’s Freddie Murray and LSU-Shreveport’s Matt Cross.

Player of the Year: Cassidy Barrios, Nicholls State
(Barrios, 12; Raigyne Louis, 7; Shakyla Hill, 4; Alexus Malone, 3; Kolby Morgan, 2; Randi Brown, 1; Christina Devers 1)

Newcomer of the Year: Christina Devers, LSU-Shreveport
(Devers, 27; Taylor Stahly, 3)

Freshman of the Year: Arsula Clark, ULM
(Clark, 19; Skylar Goodwin, 5; Bre’Ashlee Jones, 5; Fu’tra Banks, 1)

Coach of the Year: Dobee Plaisance, Nicholls State
(Plaisance, 12; Freddie Murray, 9; Matt Cross, 9)

First Team
Cassidy Barrios, Nicholls, Junior, Guard, Raceland, La.
Randi Brown, UNO, Senior, Guard, Houma, La.
Alexus Malone, LA Tech, Senior, Forward, Oxford, Miss.
Kolby Morgan, Tulane, Senior, Guard, New Orleans, La.
Shakyla Hill, Grambling State, Senior, Guard, Little Rock, Ark.

Second Team
Raigyne Louis, LSU, Senior, Guard, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Christina Devers, LSU-Shreveport, Senior, Guard, Bixby, Oklahoma
Chloe Jackson, LSU, Junior, Guard, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Katie Lemieux, LSU-Alexandria, Senior, Guard, Fairview, La.
Brianna Green, Southern, Senior, Forward, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Third Team
Taylin Underwood, Southeastern Louisiana, Senior, Guard, Livingston, La.
Kierra Anthony, LA Tech, Junior, Guard, New Iberia, La.
Gabriella Cortez, ULM, Senior, Forward, Natchitoches, La.
Brooke Jones, Louisiana College, Senior, Center, Covington, La.
Arsula Clark, ULM, Freshman, Guard, Douglasville, Ga.

Honorable Mention: Taylor Stahly, LA Tech; Tykeria Williams, Nicholls; Ayana Mitchell, LSU; Simone Fields, Louisiana-Lafayette)

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