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Feb. 11, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Junior Tiffany Mitchell, senior Aleighsa Welch and freshman A’ja Wilson were named to the Naismith Trophy Women’s Midseason 30, the organization announced on Wednesday. With three of the SEC’s five spots, the Gamecocks are one of just four schools with multiple entries. South Carolina and Connecticut lead the way with three each. Four semifinalists will be announced on March 20 before the winner, who is decided by the board of selectors and fan voting, is revealed on April 6.

Also named to the Naismith Women’s Midseason Top 30 last season, this is the third national award list for Mitchell in the last four weeks. She is one of 16 guards on the Dawn Staley Award Watch List given to the best guard in NCAA Division I who exemplifies the skills that Staley possessed – ball handling, scoring, ability to distribute and will to win. The Charlotte, N.C., native was also included on the Wooden Award Midseason Top 20.

Mitchell leads the Gamecocks with 14.9 points per game, a total that ranks third in the SEC, while posting the second-best field goal percentage in the league at 51.5 percent. She has posted double figures in 19 of this season’s 23 contests and has led the team in scoring on nine occasions. The reigning SEC Player of the Year also ranks in the SEC’s top 15 in assists (2.8) and steals (1.8) per game.

Welch has been a source of consistent production and leadership for the Gamecocks this season. Averaging 9.3 points per game and 6.1 rebounds, Welch also swats 1.3 shots per game and hands out 1.7 assists per contest. With her 20th career double-double earlier this week, Welch entered the program’s all-time top 10 in the category and is just 21 offensive rebounds away from Marsha Williams’ (1990-93) school record of 427.

Wilson is one of three freshmen to make the Naismith Midseason Top 30 after earning the distinction as the only rookie to make the Wooden Midseason Top 20 in January. A four-time SEC Freshman of the Week, Wilson is second on the team in points (13.1) and rebounds (6.9) per game. The Hopkins, S.C., native, has scored at least 10 points in 19 games this season and has led the Gamecocks in scoring a team-high 10 times.

The Gamecocks are back in action with a pair of home SEC matchups, beginning on Thu., Feb. 12, against LSU. Tipoff at Colonial Life Arena is slated for 7 p.m.

2015 Naismith Trophy: Women’s Midseason Top 30
Brittany Boyd, Sr., G, California
Lexie Brown, Sr., G, Maryland
Adut Bulgak, Jr., C, Florida State
Kaela Davis, So., G, Georgia Tech
Nina Davis, So., F, Baylor
Blake Dietrick, Sr., G, Princeton
Allisha Gray, So., G, North Carolina
Reshanda Gray, Sr., F, California
Precious Hall, Jr., G, James Madison
Isabelle Harrison, Sr., C, Tennessee
Brittany Hrynko, Sr., G, DePaul
Moriah Jefferson, Jr., G, Connecticut
Jonquel Jones, Jr., F, George Washington
Samantha Logic, Sr., G, Iowa
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame
Kelsey Mitchell, Fr., G, Ohio State
Tiffany Mitchell, Jr., G, South Carolina
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Sr., F, Connecticut
Amber Orrange, Sr., G, Stanford
Kelsey Plum, So., G, Washington
Tyler Scaife, So., G, Rutgers
Ka-Deidre Simmons, GS, G, Seton Hall
Brianna Stewart, Jr., F, Connecticut
Brianna Turner, Fr., F, Notre Dame
Courtney Walker, Jr., G, Texas A&M
Aleighsa Welch, Sr., F, South Carolina
Sydney Wiese, So., G, Oregon State
Courtney Williams, Jr., G, South Florida
Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke
A’ja Wilson, Fr., G/F, South Carolina