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March 6, 2013

Coley Repeats as Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year

For the second-consecutive season, FIU All-America candidate Jerica Coley has been named the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year, as the league announced its postseason award recipients on Wednesday. Junior Marita Davydova also received recognition as she was tabbed to the All-Sun Belt Conference Third Team.

A season ago, Coley became the first player in FIU women's basketball history to be named SBC Player of the Year, and she now becomes the program's only back-to-back or two-time SBC Player of the Year honoree. Coley has earned all-conference recognition in each of her three years in a Panther uniform, having earned first-team honors in 2012 and 2013, and second-team accolades as a freshman in 2011.

Coley, who has led the nation in scoring for nearly six weeks, enters this weekend's Sun Belt Conference Championship with an FIU single-season, school-record average of 26.1 points per game. The point guard has scored in double-figures in 27-straight games, and has notched 20, 20-plus point games, including 11, 30-plus point outings.

A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Coley leads FIU in field goals made (272); three-point field goals made (31); free throws made (181); assists (100, 3.4 apg); blocks (51, 1.8 bpg); steals (64, 2.2 spg); minutes played (1146, 39.5 mpg); and points (756, 26.1 ppg). The 2012 Associated Press All-American ranks first in the Sun Belt Conference in minutes played and third in both blocked shots and free throw percentage (.838).

Coley is just the second player in program history to achieve 2,000 career points, 600 rebounds and 300 assists, as her 2,051 points rank third all-time at FIU. The 2013 Capital One Academic All-District honoree has been responsible for 42.6 percent of the Panthers' scoring in 2012-13, and has scored 34.7 percent of FIU's total points for her career. Coley earned SBC Player of the Week honors a program-record four times this season, putting her career total at a program-best eight weekly nods.

Davyodva has recorded 10-or-more rebounds in 13 contests this season, as she leads FIU with 250 total rebounds and an average of 8.6 boards per contest. That mark ranks fourth in the SBC and her 102 offensive rebounds (3.5 rpg) rank second in the league. Davydova has led the Panthers in rebounding on 20 occasions and owns a team-leading nine double-doubles on the year.

A native of Moscow, Russia, Davydova registered a career-high-tying 15 rebounds three times this season, and posted a career-high 19 points at North Texas (2/9/13). The center also ranks second on the team in scoring (10.2 ppg).

Coley and Davydova have led FIU to an overall record of 18-11 and a conference mark of 12-8 in 2012-13. The 12 league victories are the second-most in program history since the Panthers joined the Sun Belt Conference in 1998-99.

FIU will travel to Hot Springs, Ark., for the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Women's Basketball Championship, held March 8-11. The fifth-seeded Panthers received a first-round bye and will face fourth-seeded Arkansas State on Saturday, March 9, at 12:30 p.m. ET on Convention Center Court at Summit Arena. Fans can watch online for free via the Sun Belt Digital Network at www.SunBeltSports.org. Tickets are available through www.ticketmaster.com and the Summit Arena box office (501.620.5003).

2013 Sun Belt Conference Postseason Awards
All-SBC First Team

Jerica Coley (FIU, Jr., Guard)
Kortni Jones (Middle Tenn. Sr., Guard)
Ebony Rowe (Middle Tenn., Jr., Forward)
Chastity Gooch (WKU, So., Forward)
Alexis Govan (WKU, So., Guard)

All-SBC Second Team

Taylor Ford (UALR, Jr., Guard)
Jane Morrill (Arkansas State, Jr., Forward)
Chenise Miller (FAU, RS-Jr., Forward)
Icelyn Elie (Middle Tenn., Sr., Forward)
Joanna Harden (Troy, Jr., Guard)

All-SBC Third Team

Marita Davydova (FIU, Jr., Center)
Ashleigh Simmons (ULM, Jr., Forward)
Loryn Goodwin (North Texas, Fr., Guard)
Alexis Hyder (North Texas, Fr., Forward)
Mary Nixon (South Alabama, Sr., Guard)

SBC Player of the Year

Jerica Coley (FIU, So., G)

SBC Defensive Player of the Year

Chastity Gooch (WKU, So., Forward)

SBC Freshman of the Year

Loryn Goodwin (North Texas, Fr., Guard)

SBC Coach of the Year

Michelle Clark-Heard, WKU


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