March 3, 2010
Rome, Ga. - Shorter College post Shelby Farrer was named Southern States Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year to highlight a quartet of Lady Hawks that earned All-Conference honors at the SSAC Awards Banquet held on Wednesday evening at The Forum in Rome, Ga.
Lady Hawks' senior post Holly Bawden and sophomore guard Kelly Ellison were named to the SSAC's All-Conference squad while wing Ashley Harris joined Farrer on the league's All-Freshman team as announced during the pre-tournament festivities.
Farrer, a Rome native who starred at Model High School, becomes the first Lady Hawk to garner the SSAC's Freshman of the Year honor.
She became a force in the paint for veteran head coach Vic Mitchell, averaging 9.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the field.
Farrer has averaged over 13 points and five rebounds since entering the starting lineup on Jan. 14 and has reached double figures in scoring 12 times.
Bawden and Ellison both earned All-Conference accolades in their first season with the Lady Hawk program.
Bawden, who hails from Wodonga, Australia, ranks second on the team in scoring at 9.5 points per game while leading the Lady Hawks and ranking seventh in the SSAC at 7.1 rebounds per contest.
The versatile Bawden, who came to Shorter from Mercer University, racked up six double-doubles on the season, but also showed a deft shooting touch, knocking down 81 percent of her free throw attempts and 50 percent from beyond the arc.
Ellison, a native of Columbus, Ga., took the SSAC by storm after transferring from Stetson University over the summer. The combo guard leads Shorter in scoring at 10.9 points per game, leads the team and ranks second in the SSAC in assists at 4.6 per outing and also excels on the defensive end of the floor, swiping 1.7 steals per game.
Ellison, who was named SSAC Player of the Week on Jan. 25, averaged 12.1 points in conference play and put up 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in four total games against the SSAC's No. 1 and No. 2 teams, Lee University and Southern Poly State, respectively.
Ellison was also named Shorter's recipient of the Musco Lighting Champion of Character Award.
Harris, a Royston, Ga., native, played well in place of senior Tamara Weatherby, who has been hampered by foot and ankle injuries. In the stead of her veteran teammate, Harris did not disappoint, ranking fifth on the team in scoring at 7.0 points per game, second on the squad in three-point percentage (.404) and seventh in the SSAC in three-pointers made (39) in her first collegiate campaign.
Harris shot a blistering 84.2 percent from the foul line and reached double figures eight times this season, six times in the Lady Hawks' final 14 games of the regular season.
The Lady Hawks placed four athletes on the SSAC All-Academic team.
Senior Whitni Tucker was named to the All-Academic team for the third time, capping a tremendous collegiate career both on and off the court. The senior from Pisgah, Ala., was a 2008-09 NAIA Scholar-Athlete as well as the NAIA's 2008-09 Emil S. Liston Award winner, the highest honor bestowed upon a junior basketball player.
The Lady Hawks also took home the lone team award handed out on Wednesday night, winning the league's Sportsmanship Award for the second consecutive year.
Southern Poly State's Nate Teymer won SSAC Coach of the Year honors and Lee University senior post Katie Nelson was named SSAC Player of the Year. Auburn University-Montgomery center Cassie Moore garnered Defensive Player of the Year accolades and Southern Poly junior Marissa Stotler earned SSAC Newcomer of the Year.
Shorter (21-8), seeded third in this year's SSAC Women's Basketball Championships, will take on No. 6-seed Southern Wesleyan University (14-13) in tomorrow's quarterfinal round at the Darlington School in Rome. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.