Roberts named All-American
Roberts leads NAIA in blocked shots
Bruner, Winston recognized for their efforts as well
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Prior to the Southwestern Assemblies of God University sports banquet on Thursday, three members of the women’s basketball team were recognized for their performances during the 2011-2012 campaign.
Shaquita Roberts led the trio with numerous honors. The 6’0 junior from San Antonio’s Byron Steele High School was named First Team All-American by the National Christian College Athletic Association, which has 106 member institutions.
Roberts finished second in the balloting for Most Valuable Player in the Central Region, of which she was chosen All-Regional as well.
Only National Player of the Year, Christiana Whitelaw, of Colorado Christian University (NCAA Division II), had more votes (60 to 58). Whitelaw’s CCU Cougars won the NCCAA championship in Winona Lake, Indiana in March.
Under head coach Arlon Beadles, SAGU finished a rebuilding season with a 10-21 record. They had averaged 24 wins per season during the previous three years.
Senior Gabrielle Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS) garnered selection as an NCCAA Scholar Athlete.
The Red River Athletic Conference, which has 15 member schools from four states, chose Roberts to the All-Conference Second Team while transfer sophomore Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JuCo, Lakeview Centennial HS) was listed on the All-Conference Honorable Mention Team.
Roberts’ season included her specialty, shot blocking, in which she led the entire NAIA Division I by averaging 3.93 rejections per game (114 in 29 gms). She swatted five or more on twelve occasions and denied a shot in 28 of 29 games (at LSU-Shreveport, Jan. 16).
Alice Honnery, of the University of Mobile (Ala) also was credited with a 3.93 average, though the senior had 110 in 28 contests. The Rams went 7-21.
In the NCCAA, Tara Vanweerdhuizen, a 6’2 freshman from NAIA Division II Corban University (Ore), was tops in blocks with a 4.1 average. The Lady Warriors were 24-8.
Breaking Down the Trio's Season
Roberts averaged 8.3 points per game while making 44% of her shots and 53% from the free throw line. She reached double figures 13 times in 31 games. Her high was an 18 point game early in the season.
Her 10.3 rebounds per game ranked #3 in the NCCAA, fourth in the RRAC and were #14 in the NAIA.
She recorded a high of 19 caroms in one game and reached double-digits on 14 occasions.
“Shaq” averaged 1.3 assists per game, 1.1 steals and had a team-best eight double-double efforts.
Roberts, who sat out most of the past two years with a calf injury that eventually required surgery, returned to the same form she displayed as a freshman when she blocked 98 shots.
The cog in the Lady Lions wheel, she also was elected to the RRAC’s All-Conference Second Team.
Her impact helped SAGU finish #8 in the NAIA in field goal percentage, allowing opponents to make just ranking #22 nationally.
Bruner (BREW-nuhr), who was a 5’9 forward who started throughout her career, earned inclusion to the All-Academic Team. She scored 7.7 ppg, grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game, blocked 17 shots and swished 68% of her free throws.
She made 10 or more points in 11 games, twice with a high of 16; versus Bacone College and Langston University.
The most boards she latched onto was 16 in a game against the University of the Southwest.
Nia (like NEE-yah) Winston, a 5-foot-8 sophomore guard, scored at a 13.8 ppg clip, rating 10th in the league.
She also finished sixth in the RRAC in three-point baskets per game (2.1), knocking down 63 from beyond the arc.
She was fourth in free throw accuracy (.773), swishing 102 of 132, and was also credited with 2.3 steals per outing, which ranked #5 in the conference.
Winston had a high of 26-points against Our Lady of the Lake University. She netted 20 or more on five occasions and reached 10 or more points 23 times in 31 games.
Three times she tossed in four triples, and she ripped the nets for three trifectas in ten other games.