Shorter Honored as Valley's Top Freshman
ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- Missouri State freshman Christiana Shorter added to the Lady Bears' haul of post-season honors Thursday, with her selection as 2009-10 Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year. Shorter was recognized at the league's awards ceremony on opening night of the State Farm MVC Tournament at The Family Arena, after being chosen as the MVC's top rookie by the conference's head coaches, media members and sports information directors.
Shorter, who also earned MVC All-Freshman Team and Honorable Mention All-MVC recognition Wednesday, is the seventh Missouri State player to earn the Valley's freshman of the year honor and the second straight after Casey Garrison earned the award last year. Shorter joins Secelia Winkfield (1990), Roshonda Reed (1996), Jackie Stiles (1998), Jenni Lingor (2002), Kari Koch (2003) and Garrison (2009) as Lady Bear recipients of the MVC Freshman of the Year award.
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 from a 10-20 campaign last year to a 20-9 record and third-place MVC regular-season finish. MSU's third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, Shorter led the Lady Bears in rebounding 13 times and recorded 18 double-digit scoring efforts in all.
The 6-1 Tulsa native has been particularly dominant since the start of MVC play, posting a team-high 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 to date rate as the sixth-highest total overall in the league and the eighth-best figure in a single season at MSU.
Joining Shorter as Valley specialty award winners announced Thursday were Garrison, who was voted Jackie Stiles MVC Player of the Year, as well as Rawling's MVC Coach of the Year honoree Robin Pingeton of Illinois State, Newcomer of the Year Stephany Neptune of Southern Illinois and Defensive Player of the Year Sonya Harris of Bradley.
The Lady Bears will begin their quest for an unprecedented 10th MVC Tournament title when they face off against Wichita State Friday at 8:35 p.m.