Gamble Named SBC Player of the Year; Morrill and Boyer Honored
JONESBORO, Ark. — Arkansas State sophomore guard Aundrea Gamble earned Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year honors, head coach Brian Boyer was named the league’s Coach of the Year while Jane Morrill named Second-Team All-Conference the league announced Tuesday afternoon.
Gamble became just the third player in school history to be named the conference’s Player of the Year, joining Shyla Tucker (1993-94) and Sonja Tate (1992-93). Boyer became the fourth coach in Sun Belt history to win the Coach of the Year award at least three times, joining former Louisiana Tech coach Leon Barrmore, former Western Kentucky coach Mary Taylor-Cowles and Middle Tennessee coach Rick Insell.
Gamble, who was also a first-team selection, helped lead Arkansas State to a 20-10 regular-season record and a 14-4 Sun Belt slate to claim the outright regular-season title and the No. 1 seed entering the SBC Championship Tournament for the first time in school history. ESPN.com currently projects the Red Wolves to be a No. 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament in the website’s latest Bracketology predictions.
Gamble finished the regular season ranked second in the conference in point per game (18.7) and assists per game (4.2) and No. 3 in steals per game (2.2). She ranks in the top-10 in nine statistical categories and already ranks second among active SBC players with three career 30-point games. She currently ranks seventh on Arkansas State’s single season scoring list with 561 points and set a new Convocation Center record by going a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line against Western Kentucky on Feb. 5.
Gamble was named the Sun Belt Conference Players of the Week three times this past year, including most recently after she scored 30 points in A-State’s victory over ULM to secure itself the No. 1 seed and then finished the regular-season with a near triple-double to assure the Red Wolves the outright SBC regular-season championship.
Morrill is just the third player in A-State history to be named to three straight SBC All-Conference teams after finishing second on the team with 12.9 points per contest. She currently ranks seventh on the school’s career scoring list with 1,498 points and is just one of 13 Arkansas State players to record 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in her career. She also ranks 38th among all active Division I basketball players with career free throw percentage of 80.2 and ranks 75th among Division I players in career points. Morrill recently tied a Convocation Center record by going 8-for-8 from the field against ULM on March 5 and has played in every game in her Red Wolves career and has started in every game since her sophomore season, a streak that spans 90 games.
Boyer was named the league’s Coach of the Year after leading the Red Wolves to their first 20-win regular season since 1992-93. He became the Sun Belt’s leader in conference wins with 137 and directed A-State to its first Sun Belt Conference championship since 2003-04. He needs one more victory to tie his career-high for wins in a season with 21 and is the longest tenured head coach in the Sun Belt Conference (men’s or women’s).
Boyer also guided A-State to the No. 1 seed in the SBC Championship Tournament for the first time in school history and directed the team to 14 league wins, the most ever in school history. Boyer won the Coach of the Year award in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 and made an appearance in the WNIT in each of those seasons.
Arkansas State will open play in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Wednesday, March 12 at noon against No. 8 ULM in New Orleans, La., at Lakefront Arena. To purchase tickets or for more information contact the A-State Ticket Office at 1.800.ASU.Fans. Single-session tickets can be purchased at the arena for $15.