Three Lady Bears Selected for All-MVC Honors
ST. LOUIS -- Three Missouri State Lady Bears have been named to 2009-10 All-Missouri Valley Conference women's basketball postseason teams, the league office announced Wednesday. Casey Garrison was chosen for the Valley's first team for the second consecutive year, while Jaleshia Roberson was a second-team pick, and Christiana Shorter received All-MVC honorable mention, as well as All-Freshman Team honors.
Garrison's selection to the first team marks the 20th time in the last 21 seasons a Lady Bears has been chosen for the Valley's top team, and her spot on the All-Defensive Team is the first for a Missouri State player since 2006, when Kari Koch was tabbed for the honor. With Shorter's nomination to the All-Freshman squad, this also marks the third consecutive season a Lady Bear has been picked for the league's all-rookie team.
A sophomore from Bolivar, Mo., Garrison led the conference in scoring (19.8 ppg) and steals (2.9 spg) and ranked second in assists (5.3 apg) during the regular season to spearhead the Lady Bears' turnaround from a 10-20 season a year ago to a 20-9 record and third-place Valley finish. The 6-0 guard was the only Division I women's basketball player to in the nation to rank among the top 30 individuals in those same three categories through games of March 7, and also ranked among the MVC's leaders in offensive rebounding (3.1 rpg), assist-turnover ratio (1.9) minutes played (35.9 mpg), field-goal percentage (.492), rebounding (7.3 rpg) and free-throw percentage (.834) during the regular season. Garrison recorded just the second triple-double in school history on Dec. 8 vs. Tulsa, and was honored as the MVC's Player of the Week on three occasions in 2009-10. Her 573 points on the season is ninth all-time at MSU and equals the 24th-best total in MVC history. She needs just 14 additional points to crack the Valley's top 20 single-season scoring list.
The Lady Bears' second-leading scorer, Roberson has been one of the conference's top threats from beyond the arc throughout her sophomore campaign. The Kansas City product's total of 83 three-point field goals this season is tied with two others for the second-highest total in MSU history and ranks eighth all-time on the Valley's single-season list. Roberson, who also earned three MVC Player of the Week nods, posted two +30-point games this year and was the Valley's fourth-leading scorer (15.7 ppg) during conference play. She entered the week 16th in the nation with an average of 2.9 three-point field goals per game. Additionally, Roberson's 3.0 assists per game ranked 10th in the conference, while her .842 free-throw percentage was the 38th-best in the nation coming into the week.
Shorter wasted no time in asserting her presence in the Missouri State lineup as a freshman, averaging 11.3 points and 6.4 rebounds while starting all 29 contests to help lead the Lady Bears' turnaround. The 6-1 Tulsa native has been particularly dominant strong since the start of MVC play, posting five double-doubles and closing the regular season as the sixth-leading rebounder (7.6 rpg) among all Valley players in conference play. A four-time MVC Newcomer of the Week honoree, Shorter was 10th in the conference in steals per game (1.8 spg) during MVC play and her 31 blocked shots rated as the sixth-highest total overall in the league and the eighth-best figure in a single season at MSU.
The Valley will announce the recipients of its specialty awards, including the Jackie Stiles Player of the Year, Rawling's Coach of the Year and the Freshman, Newcomer and Defensive Players of the Year at an awards ceremony in between Games 1 and 2 of the State Farm MVC Tournament on Thursday, March 11, at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.
The Lady Bears will begin their quest for an unprecedented 10th MVC Tournament title when they face off against Wichita State this Friday at 8:35 p.m.