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Baxter, Vest named Applebee's Student-Athletes of the Month

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum College women’s basketball guard Kendal Baxter and men’s basketball guard Kevin Vest have been named the Applebee’s Student-Athletes of the Month for December announced College officials Tuesday.
 
Baxter, a 5-5 junior from Sevierville, Tenn., earns this honor for a second straight month.  Baxter averaged 15.6 points per game in eight contests, helping the Pioneers to a 6-2 record in January. She sank 27 three-pointers in those eight games, and set a school and South Atlantic Conference record with 11 threes against Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 4. Baxter scored a career-high 35 points in the game against LMU, one of three performances of 20 or more points during the month.

Baxter was named SAC Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 8 after averaging 28.0 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 51.7 percent (15-for-29) from three-point range. At the free-throw line, Baxter shot 87 percent (20-for-23), including a 9-for-9 effort against Mars Hill on Jan. 21.

Overall, Baxter leads the Pioneers and is ranked seventh in the SAC in scoring at 14.7 points per game. She leads the conference in free-throw percentage at 90.5 percent (57-for-63), good for fifth in Division II, and has made a SAC-best 54 three-pointers in 18 games.

Vest, a 6-1, 170-pound senior from Dayton, Ohio, averaged a team-best 17.4 points per contest in his eight games in January, including a career-best 31 points against Newberry College on Saturday.  In his last six contests, he is averaging 20 points per game, while shooting a 34-of-62 from the field in his last five games (54.8%), including 12-of-24 (50%) from three-point territory.  The Carroll High School graduate recorded 22 points and seven assists in Tusculum’s 67-61 win over Carson-Newman College on Jan. 11.  In that game, he went a perfect 11-for-11 at the free throw line.  He followed that performance with 19 points and assisted on the game-winning basket with 4.8 seconds left in TC’s 70-69 victory against Catawba College (Jan. 14).

For the month, Vest shot 51.8 percent from the field, including 16-of-34 from three-point land (47.1%).  Vest also averaged 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game.  Overall, he is averaging 15.0 points (10th in SAC), 3.8 rebounds, 2.33 assists (T15th in SAC) and 1.56 steals (T4th in SAC) per game.  He is shooting 48.5 percent from the field (14th in SAC), 42.9 percent from beyond the arc (T7th in SAC) and 83.8 percent from the free throw stripe (5th in SAC).
 
The Tusculum College Student-Athlete of the Month Award is sponsored by Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar of Greeneville.  The Applebee’s Student-Athlete of the Month Award honors one male and one female student-athlete each month from an in-season sport during the 2011-2012 academic year, recognizing their hard work, effort and performance.

- TC -

2011-2012 Applebee’s Student-Athletes of the Month
Month              Male Athlete of the Month              Female Athlete of the Month
September 2011     Nick York (Men’s Golf)                 Sam Underwood (Volleyball)
October 2011       Andy Goellner (Men’s Soccer)           Tramicka James (Women’s Soccer)
November 2011      Terrence Smith (Football)              Staci Hicks (Women’s Basketball)
December 2011      Justin Steigerwald (Men’s Basketball)  Kendal Baxter (Women’s Basketball)
January 2012       Kevin Vest (Men’s Basketball)          Kendal Baxter (Women’s Basketball)

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