April 15, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis and her staff handed out several awards to players at the annual awards banquet on Thursday night.
Jamierra Faulkner was awarded the team's Most Valuable Player Award for the second time in as many years in addition to the offensive award. She received Conference USA first team honors as she led the team and league in scoring with a 19.0 per game average. She also led the team and league in assists (205-6.6 apg). Faulkner also averaged 3.3 steals and 3.9 rebounds per game. Her season totals ranked her 32nd in scoring, 11th in assists and in steals nationally. Faulkner scored in double figures in 28 games including 13 games with 20 or more points. She also had two 30-point games. Faulkner became the all-time leader in assists while moving into ninth on the all-time scoring list and sixth in steals.
For the second consecutive season, Niesha Pierce came away with the top honor, the Lady Eagle Award, for her leadership, academics, community service and willingness to go the extra mile. Pierce finished the season averaging just 2.0 points and 1.2 rebounds while playing limited minutes because of injuries. She was able to start the final six games of the season and scored in double figures in two of the last three.
Nitesha Pierce collected her second Iron Woman Award after she continued to battle most of the season with knee problems. She played in 27 contests while playing limited minutes. Her best performance came against SMU when she scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds. She finished the season averaging 4.7 points and 4.0 rebounds.
Jerontay Clemons received the team's defensive award. The freshman led the team in rebounding while averaging 10.4 points and collected 71 steals. Clemons always received the assignment of guarding the opposing team's best offensive player. The freshman tallied 17 games with double figure scoring and five games with double digit rebounds.
Terri Berry received the most improved player award. On the season, Berry averaged 1.6 points and 3.5 rebounds while collecting 21 blocked shots.
The Lady Eagles also played tribute to three seniors Tanecka Carey, Ance Celmina and Danielle Johnson, presenting them with a framed jersey and their own Cabbage Patch doll in uniform.
The staff also handed out statistical awards for team leaders in the various categories.