Sunday, March 10, 2013

Avant, Bennett help Hampton sweep MEAC awards

Hampton cleaned up on MEAC awards as senior forward and double-double machine Keiara Avant was named MEAC Player of the Year, junior forward Alyssa Bennett earned Defensive Player of the Year honors and David Six took home the Coach of the Year award.

Avant averaged 16.3 points and a league-best 10.3 rebounds in leading the Lady Pirates to a 16-0 conference record. Bennett spearheaded a Hampton defense that has ranked among the nation's best all season. Six led the Lady Pirates to a third straight MEAC regular season title and the conference's first perfect regular season since 2006-07. It is the second conference coach of the year award for Six, who also won in 2010-11.

Avant was joined on the All-MEAC first team by Hampton junior guard Nicole Hamilton, whose 5.3 assists ranked third in the conference. Bennett was a second-team choice.

Also on the second team was Norfolk State junior forward Rachel Gordon, who averaged 10.6 points and 9.7 rebounds. Gordon became the first NSU player to earn All-MEAC first- or second-team honors since 2003-04 (Yomika Corbitt).

The 2013 MEAC Tournament runs Monday through Thursday at the Scope Arena in Norfolk. The three-time defending champion Lady Pirates will open in this year's event on Wednesday at noon against either Bethune-Cookman or Delaware State. The Spartans begin play on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. against Florida A&M.

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