published Thursday, March 6th, 2014

UTC's Taylor Hall named SoCon player of the year

The referee calls a foul on UNCG player Jarae Savage (10) while UTC forward Taylor Hall (31) dribbles the ball down the court during the UTC versus UNCG women's basketball game on Sunday at McKenzie Arena. The Lady Mocs won 77-56.
The referee calls a foul on UNCG player Jarae Savage (10) while UTC forward Taylor Hall (31) dribbles the ball down the court during the UTC versus UNCG women's basketball game on Sunday at McKenzie Arena. The Lady Mocs won 77-56.
Photo by Erin O. Smith /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Taylor Hall became an all-around threat for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team during the 2013-2014 season.

Wednesday afternoon, she was rewarded for her abilities.

The 6-foot-1 senior forward was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year by both the league coaches and the media, and was also named Defensive Player of the Year by the coaches.

Hall becomes the first UTC player to win the award since Shanara Hollinquest in 2010. She averaged 14.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.6 steals per game for the 26-3 Mocs, who just finished off an 18-0 regular season in conference. She was top five in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals, while also finishing third in free-throw percentage (84.7) and fourth in minutes played (34.8).

"It's a great honor that I think is a reflection of the team," Hall said. "We had a great season, and being undefeated in conference play can't hurt in the voting process."

Appalachian State's Maryah Sydnor, Davidson's Laura Murray and Furman's Brittany Hodges and Holli Wilkins joined Hall on the media's first team.

Also honored for the Mocs were Ashlen Dewart, Alex Black and Chelsey Shumpert. Dewart was named second-team all-conference by the coaches and to the 10-player all-conference team by the media. She averaged 10.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

Shumpert was named to the five-player all-freshman team both by coaches and media. She took over the starting point guard position in December, and for the year averaged 7.4 points per game.

Black was named to the coaches' all-conference team. She adjusted to a move to shooting guard this season, and was fourth on the team at 6.6 points per game -- a stat that improved to 8.6 per game in conference play.

The coach of the year by both the coaches and the media was Furman's Jackie Carson, who took a Lady Paladin team predicted sixth in the preseason to the No. 2 seed in the upcoming tournament.

Elon's Jenifer Rhodes was named the conference freshman of the year, averaging 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

The Mocs play the winner of Wofford and Georgia Southern in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference tournament Saturday at noon.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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