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Jan. 21, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – With two entries in Tiffany Mitchell and A’ja Wilson, South Carolina is one of three teams with a pair of athletes on the John R. Wooden Award Women’s Midseason Top 20, The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced today. Mitchell is one of three on the midseason list that were also included on last season’s National Ballot for the prestigious award, while Wilson is the lone freshman to earn recognition. South Carolina accounts for half of the SEC’s total presence among the 20 selections.

Mitchell has picked up where she left off after last season’s All-America campaign. The team’s top scorer, the junior guard has had an impact on all facets of the Gamecocks’ effort. Her 15.2 points per game are 3rd in the SEC, while her 2.9 assists per game are among the league’s top 15 as well. Mitchell is having her best 3-point shooting season so far, hitting 48.1 percent from outside the arc to rank 5th in the nation, even as she is using the weapon more frequently as 79 of her 176 field goal attempts have come from 3-point range.

Wilson has thrived in the spotlight of her freshman campaign, scoring in double figures in 15 of 18 games to rank 10th in the SEC in points per game (13.4). Second on the team in points and rebounds (7.1), the versatile freshman has posted four double-doubles, including two in league play. Three times, Wilson has earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors and was named the USBWA National Freshman of the Week in December after hitting the game-winner at then No. 9/8 Duke.

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.

The Gamecocks are 18-0 on the season, including a 6-0 mark in SEC play, both of which mark the best starts in program history. South Carolina is in action next on Mon., Jan. 26, against No. 10/10 Texas A&M in a 7 p.m. tipoff at Colonial Life Arena. It is the Gamecocks’ “We Back Pat” game and will air on ESPN2.

John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 20
Jillian Alleyne, Jr., F, Oregon
Brittany Boyd, Sr., G, California
Crystal Bradford, Sr., G, Central Michigan
Nina Davis, So., F, Baylor
Nneka Enemkpali, Sr., F, Texas
Alisha Gray, So., G, North Carolina
Reshanda Gray, Sr., F, California
Dearica Hamby, Sr., F, Wake Forest
Isabelle Harrison, Sr., C, Tennessee
Bria Holmes, Jr., G, West Virginia
Samantha Logic, Sr., G, Iowa
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame
Tiffany Mitchell, Jr., G, South Carolina
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Sr., F, Connecticut
Amber Orrange, Sr., G, Stanford
Kelsey Plum, So., G, Washington
Breanna Stewart, Jr., F, Connecticut
Courtney Walker, Jr., G, Texas A&M
Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke
A’ja Wilson, Fr., G/F, South Carolina