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March 4, 2015


COLUMBIA, S.C. – After capturing a second-straight SEC regular season title and garnering league recognition yesterday, South Carolina junior guard Tiffany Mitchell has been named one of 10 national semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy while head coach Dawn Staley also earned a national semifinalist spot for the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club has announced.

Yesterday, Mitchell became the sixth woman in SEC history to earn back-to-back outright Player of the Year honors when the league office announced the coaches’ awards. Her 14.8 points per game are second in the SEC, and she ranks third in the league in field goal percentage (.515) and free throw percentage (.828). She is one of two SEC players to rank among the league’s top 15 in scoring, assists (13th, 2.8 apg) and steals (T-8th, 2.0 spg).

Long known as a defensive coach, Staley has this season’s team ranked among the nation’s top 20 in scoring at 76.7 points per game and seventh in field goal percentage (.477) while still among the top-10 defenses, yielding just 53.3 points per game. She has improved South Carolina’s overall and SEC win totals every year of her career, including this season’s program-record 15 SEC victories. Staley joined Pat Summitt (Tennessee in 2003 and 2004) and Joe Ciampi (Auburn 1988 and 1989) as the only SEC coaches to repeat as league Coach of the Year, sharing this season’s honor with Mississippi State’s Vic Schafer after earning the award outright last year.

As the No. 1 seed in this week’s SEC Tournament in North Little Rock, Ark., South Carolina will take on the winner of the game between the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds, Ole Miss and Arkansas, on Fri., March 6, at 1 p.m. (ET) in the quarterfinal round.

Naismith Trophy Women’s National Semifinalists

Brittany Boyd, California, Sr., G
Lexie Brown, Maryland, So., G
Nina Davis, Baylor, So., F
Moriah Jefferson, Connecticut, Jr., G
Jewell Loyd, Notre Dame, Jr., G
Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State, Fr., G
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina, Jr., G
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Connecticut, Sr., F
Breanna Stewart, Connecticut, Jr., F
Amanda Zahui B., Minnesota, So., C

Women’s College Coach of the Year National Semifinalists

Geno Auremma, Connecticut
Courtney Banghart, Princeton
Anthony Bozzella, Seton Hall
Brenda Frese, Maryland
Scott Rueck, Oregon State
Vic Schaefer, Mississippi State
Sue Semrau, Florida State
Suzie McConnell-Serio, Pittsburgh
Dawn Staley, South Carolina
Charli Turner-Thorne, Arizona State