Press Release from Mississippi State Athletics
After guiding Mississippi State women’s basketball to the program’s first SEC regular-season championship, Victoria Vivians and Teaira McCowan have been named finalists for national player of the year honors.
The MSU duo was tabbed to the Wooden Award national ballot, while Vivians was named a finalist for the Dawn Staley Award and McCowan a finalist for the Lisa Leslie Award.
State and UConn are the only teams in the country with multiple players among the final 15 candidates for the Wooden Award.
Vivians, who is also a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, finished the regular season in the Top 3 in the league in scoring at 19.6 ppg. She reached double figures in 32 of State’s 33 games, including 15 20-point games and a pair of 30-point contests. She was named to the SEC All-Tournament Team on Sunday after averaging 17.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in guiding the Bulldogs to the championship game for the third-consecutive year.
The third Bulldog to score 2,000-career points, Vivians has posted the best shooting percentages of her career, hitting 48.5 percent from the field, 39.5 percent from the 3-point arc and 81.4 percent from the free-throw line. Vivians has also tallied a career-best 6.0 rpg.
The Carthage, Miss., native was named First Team All-SEC after scoring a league-best 19.6 ppg in SEC games.
McCowan has been a dominant force in the paint for the Bulldogs, averaging a career-best 17.7 points and 13.2 rebounds per game this season. She was named First Team All-SEC and SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 17.7 points and 14.4 rebounds per contest in league play.
McCowan finished the regular season third nationally on the glass and set an MSU single-season record with her 435 boards. She also finished fourth in the SEC with 2.0 blocks per game.
The Brenham, Texas, native recorded a program-best 23 double-doubles, fourth-most in the nation, and topped the Division I ranks on the offensive glass with 6.0 rpg. McCowan tallied 10-plus rebounds in 29 games.
Offensively, McCowan has shot the basketball at a 60.2-percent clip that is 15th in the nation. She has collected double figures 26 times, including 11 20-point games and five 30-point contests.
Fans can vote for Vivians for the Senior CLASS Award at www.seniorclassaward.com/vote through March 19. Voting for the Ann Meyers Drysdale and Lisa Leslie Awards runs through March 23 at www.hoophallawards.com.
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