WBB: VanDijk, Allen named All-Conference

March 5, 2018

Women's Bracket | Championship Central

After stellar seasons, the Sun Belt Conference honored seniors Rebekah VanDijk and Crystal Allen to the league's All-Conference squads, announced on Monday ahead of this weeks SBC Championship Tournament in New Orleans.

VanDijk was selected to the league's first team, making it four consecutive years with an SBC All-Conference selection. VanDijk's storied career has seen the Nazareth, Texas native become the first player in UTA history to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career, as well as overtake the all-time rebounding record that stood since 1979. VanDijk has led the Lady Mavericks in scoring (14.5 ppg), rebounding (9.0 rpg) and blocks in her senior season and helped UTA to a third-place finish in the league. VanDijk is on pace to shatter UTA's single-season field-goal percentage record.

Allen was named to the third team after finishing with 12.0 points per game. The Fort Worth, Texas native scored a career-high 25 points in her last time out on the court. Allen has been a sniper from the outside, knocking down 34.4 percent of her shots from long range. Allen was second on the team in games in double figures, only trailing VanDijk, and was named the College Sports Madness Mid-Major Player of the Week in the second week of the season.

Texas State's Taeler Deer and South Alabama's Chyna Ellis were awarded top honors on Monday as the Sun Belt Conference announced its 2018 women's basketball all-conference teams and individual awards.

Deer, a senior, earned the Sun Belt Women's Basketball Player of the Year award, while Ellis earned her second overall Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year honor. Voting for the individual awards and All-Sun Belt teams were conducted by the league's 12 head coaches along with a selected media panel.



Ellis' teammate, freshman Savannah Jones earned the Freshman of the Year award while Troy's Sky'Lynn Holmes received Newcomer of the Year honors. Little Rock's Joe Foley was named Coach of the Year, his fifth such accolade and second consecutive.

Deer's play was instrumental in the success of the Bobcats this season. The Houston, Texas, native averaged 17.1 points per game during the season. She ranks in the top three in the Sun Belt in scoring, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio and steals. Deer led the Bobcats with five double-doubles on the year and recorded the third-highest scoring output in the Sun Belt with 44 points in the team's opener against Texas Tech.

Deer is the 16th woman in Bobcat history to score more than 1,000 career points and is just the third in program history to score at least 1,000 points and dish out more than 300 assists.

Ellis has been a dominant force on defense for the Jaguars this season. The Sun Belt all-time leader in blocks tallied 93 during the regular season, leading the league. She has totaled 231 blocks in her career. Ellis posted 16 games this season with three or more blocks and averaged 3.19 blocks for the season, which ranks seventh in the NCAA. She had a career high 10 blocks earlier this season setting a Mitchell Center record. Additionally, she averaged 13.8 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game for the No. 5 seeded Jaguars.

All-Sun Belt First Team

  • Ronjanae DeGray, Little Rock (Junior, Forward, Odessa, Texas)
  • Jas Adams, Coastal Carolina (Senior, Guard, Winston-Salem, N.C.)
  • Chyna Ellis, South Alabama (Senior, Center, Cordova, Tenn.)
  • Rebekah VanDijk, UTA (Senior, Center, Nazareth, Texas)
  • Taeler Deer, Texas State (Senior, Guard, Houston, Texas)

All-Sun Belt Second Team

  • Akasha Westbrook, Arkansas State (Junior, Guard, Malvern, Ark.)
  • DJ Williams, Coastal Carolina (Sophomore, Guard, Moreno Valley, Calif.)
  • Toshua Leavitt, Texas State (Junior, Guard, Nixa, Mo.)
  • Kayla Robinson, Troy (Sophomore, Guard, Clyo, Ga.)
  • Amber Rivers, Troy (Sophomore, Forward, Birmingham, Ala.)

All-Sun Belt Third Team

  • Bayley Plummer, Appalachian State (Sophomore, Center, Thomasville, N.C.)
  • Monique Townson, Little Rock (Senior, Guard, Kansas City, Mo.)
  • Keanna Keys, Little Rock (Graduate, Forward, Sumrall, Miss.)
  • Simone Fields, Louisiana (Senior, Forward, San Antonio, Texas )
  • Crystal Allen, UTA (Senior, Guard, Fort Worth, Texas)

Sun Belt Player of the Year

  • Taeler Deer, Texas State (Senior, Guard, Houston, Texas)

Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year

  • Chyna Ellis, South Alabama (Senior, Center, Cordova, Tenn.)

Sun Belt Freshman of the Year

  • Savannah Jones, South Alabama (Freshman, Guard, Ocean Springs, Miss.) 

Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year

  • Sky'Lynn Holmes, Troy (Junior, Forward, Mount Pleasant, Texas)

Sun Belt Coach of the Year

  • Joe Foley, Little Rock


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