Henderson headlines Howell list

Published 11:32 am Tuesday, February 25, 2014

JACKSON (AP) — Ole Miss’ Marshall Henderson and Mississippi State’s Martha Alwal will get the chance to defend their titles as the state’s best college basketball players.

Henderson, teammate Jarvis Summers and Southern Miss point guard Neil Watson were named finalists for the C Spire Howell Trophy on Monday. The award is given to the top male college player in Mississippi.

Alwal, Ole Miss forward Tia Faleru and Southern Miss guard Jamierra Faulkner are the finalists for the C Spire Gillom Trophy, which is given to the top female player.

The winners will be announced on March 3 at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

The finalists were selected by media members throughout the state who cover college basketball. The final vote will take place this week and fans have a 10 percent stake in who becomes the winner. Fans can vote by visiting www.csopavoting.com.

Henderson, a senior guard, won the award last year when he led the Rebels to the Southeastern Conference tournament championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance. He’s averaging a team-high 19.5 points per game this season and ranks third in the nation in 3-pointers, with an average of 4.5 per game. He has hit a 3-pointer in 60 consecutive games, which is tied with Pat Bradley for the SEC record.

Summers, a junior guard from Jackson, is one of the most improved players in the SEC, raising his scoring average (17.1 from 9.1), his field goal percentage (49.7 from 40.4) and his 3-point percentage (47.1 from 34.0) this season over last year’s totals. He is the only player in the SEC to rank in the top 10 in the league in scoring and field goal percentage and also in the top five in assists.

Watson, a senior, leads Southern Miss with 11.7 points per game, and is also averaging 4.0 assists per game.

Alwal won the Gillom Trophy last year and has had a superb junior season on both ends of the floor. She rates in the Top 10 in the SEC in scoring this season with a career-best 15.9 ppg, and her personal-best 51.3 field goal percentage is good for second in the league.

Defensively, she rates fourth in the league with 8.9 rebounds per game and second in blocks with 2.5 per outing.

“Martha is very deserving,” MSU coach Vic Schaefer said. “She does it in the best conference in college basketball, and to put up those numbers against the best players in the country night in and night out is quite an accomplishment.”

Faleru leads Ole Miss in both rebounding (9.9 per game) and scoring (17.0 points per game). She is the only player in the SEC ranked in the top three in both scoring and rebounding.

Faulkner leads Southern Miss in scoring and is also averaging 8.4 assists per game.