ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Tusculum University junior guard Mia Long has been honored as the South Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in women's basketball, as the league announced its All-Conference teams and award winners on Thursday.
Long was named second-team All-SAC while senior center Kendrea Duke and senior forward Yolizma Cupidan were honorable mention selections in voting by the league's 11 head coaches, after leading the Pioneers to an official record of 16-9 overall and 8-8 in the conference.
Long leads NCAA Division II in steals per game at 4.1 per game and is second on the Tusculum single-season list with 107 steals in 27 games. She led Tusculum in scoring at 12.6 points per game and reached double figures 20 times, including season highs of 23 points against Coker on Jan. 12 and Catawba on Jan. 26.
The Ann Arbor, Michigan product had at least one steal in all 27 games in which she played, including a career-high eight against Coker on Jan. 12 and seventh against both Bluefield State (Jan. 2) and Mars Hill (Jan. 9). Long had four steals or more 17 times and finished the regular season with a streak of 24 consecutive games with two steals or more.
In two seasons at Tusculum, Long is averaging 11.7 points per game and shooting 47.2 percent from the field. She has recorded 176 steals in 54 career games, ranking her tenth on the Tusculum all-time list. Her 3.5 assists per game are seventh-best in Pioneer program history.
Duke averaged 10.4 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game for the Pioneers this season, and was one of three players to appear in all 29 games. Duke finished in double figures in scoring 16 times in 29 games, including three double-doubles, and scored a career-high 21 points against Lenoir-Rhyne on Feb. 16. Duke had 19 points and a career-best 17 rebounds against Wingate on Jan. 19.
In two seasons at Tusculum, the Hendersonville, Tennessee native averaged 9.7 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game in 44 career appearances. Duke also averaged 1.2 blocked shots per game this season, including 13 blocks over the final four games of the regular season.
Cupidan started all 29 games and averaged 11.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Pioneers. She ranked fourth in the SAC in field-goal percentage in the regular season at 50.2 percent and led the team with 21 games in double figures in scoring. Cupidan had a streak of 12 straight games in double figures from Jan. 21 through Feb. 27, and made at least one three-pointer in 12 of the Pioneers' final 14 games.
Cupidan averaged 10.2 points per game while starting all 56 games over her two-year Tusculum career. The Ocoee, Florida product also averaged 4.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the field.
Tusculum was also recognized by the conference as the team statistical champions for scoring defense and steals. The Pioneers allowed 55.3 points per game during the regular season, which ranks 17th overall in Division II, and gave up fewer than 50 points a total of nine times this season. The Pioneers had a league-high 380 steals as a team during the regular season, placing them in the top 10 nationally, and had at least nine steals in every game this season including a Division II season-high 36 against Bluefield State on Jan. 2.
Alexy Mollenhauer of Anderson, who led the SAC in both scoring average (20.2 ppg) and rebounding (11.5 rpg) was named Player of the Year, and Jo Snow of Wingate took the Freshman of the Year award. Anderson's Jonathon Barbaree was recognized by his peers as Coach of the Year after leading the Trojans to a perfect 20-0 conference record and a top-10 national ranking.
SAC Women's Basketball All-Conference
Alexy Mollenhauer, Anderson
Haris Price, Carson-Newman
Meg Essex, Newberry
Ace Easter, Anderson
Kayla Marosites, Carson-Newman
Caroline Averette, Wingate
Shelby Britten, Newberry
Emily Griffith, Lincoln Memorial
Mia Long, Tusculum
Madi Suddreth, Lenoir-Rhyne
Madison Baggett, Anderson
Rachel Griffith, Lincoln Memorial
Jo Snow, Wingate
Madeline Hardy, Lenoir-Rhyne
Lindsay Proffitt, Lincoln Memorial
Jaleah Goff, Queens
Saquita Joyner, Coker
Player of the Year: Alexy Mollenhauer, Anderson
Freshman of the Year: Jo Snow, Wingate
Defensive Player of the Year: Mia Long, Tusculum
Coach of the Year: Jonathon Barbaree, Anderson
SAC Statistical Champions
Points Per Game – Alexy Mollenhauer, Anderson, 20.2
Three Pointers Per Game – Shelby Britten, Newberry, 3.1
Rebounds Per Game – Alexy Mollenhauer, Anderson, 11.5
Blocked Shots Per Game – Teliyah Jeter, Wingate, 2.8
Field Goal Percentage – Lade Adepoju, Queens, 56.2
Assists Per Game – Kendall Toineeta, Lenoir-Rhyne, 5.7
Assist-to-Turnover Ratio – Madison Baggett, Anderson, 2.1
Steals Per Game – Mia Long, Tusculum, 4.1
Three Point Field Goal Percentage – Lindsay Proffitt, Lincoln Memorial, 45.3
Free Throw Percentage – Haris Price, Carson-Newman, 89.9
Team Scoring Offense – Carson-Newman, 81.9
Team Steals – Tusculum, 380
Team Field Goal Percentage – Anderson, 44.4
Team FG Percentage Defense – Anderson, 34.7
Team Assists – Carson-Newman, 447
Team Rebounding – Anderson, 1,288
Team Blocked Shots – Anderson, 142
Team Three Point FG Percentage – Anderson, 37.3
Team Scoring Defense – Tusculum, 55.3
Team Free Throw Percentage – Carson-Newman, 80.4
Team Assist-to-Turnover Ratio – Carson-Newman, 1.11