March 7, 2013
FRISCO, Texas - The Southland Conference, as part of its year-long 50th Anniversary commemoration, has announced its All-Decade Women's Basketball Team from the 2000s. A total of 20 student-athletes make up the 2000s All-Decade Team with at least one player from seven member institutions during that period.
Ogunoye (Cedar Hill, Texas) finished her UTA career as the school's second all-time leading scorer (1,639), third in rebounding (828) and third in blocked shots (117) and became the first player to lead the team in scoring in all four years. She was a four-time all-Southland Conference performer and was named to the first team as a junior and senior. She was also twice named to the SLC all-Tournament team and became the first UTA women's basketball player named to the Academic all-SLC Team.
Wallace was the first Maverick to be named the Southland Conference player of the year in 2006 and was the 2005 SLC Tournament MVP. She was a selection to the 2005-06 Preseason first-team All-SLC and her UTA career as the all-time leading scorer with 1,751 points
In addition to the selection of the 20 all-decade players, one of the picks, Monica Gibbs (2005-09) of Texas-San Antonio, was selected as the Player of the Decade.
Gibbs was a three-time all-conference selection, a three-time all-tournament team pick, the 2009 Southland Player of the Year, 2006 Freshman of the Year and tournament most outstanding player in 2008. Gibbs, a Stillwater, Okla., native, is also only one of two players to earn the player of the year and defender of the year award in the same season, having done so in 2009. During her time at UTSA, Gibbs led the Roadrunners to a share of the 2009 regular-season conference title and to two tournament championships in 2008 and 2009, giving UTSA its only trips to the NCAA tournament as a Southland member. Gibbs led the conference in assists in both 2008 (195) and 2009 (221), and ranks third all-time in the Southland with 693 career assists. Gibbs' 24 free throws attempted against Texas State in 2009 ranks the most by any player in a game, and her 833 free throw attempts in her career still tops the conference. She is the only player in Southland history with multiple triple-doubles, having recorded three at UTSA to go along with her 21 double-doubles, which ranks in the top 10. Gibbs appears in the top 10 in conference career categories six times, including free throws made (465), assists, assists average (5.6), games played (123), double-doubles and triple-doubles. Gibbs played professionally in Europe for the Amicale Steesel for a season before becoming a high school basketball coach in San Antonio.
Gibbs is joined on the all-decade team by two other Roadrunners with first-team all-conference selection and tournament Most Valuable Player in 2009 forward Onika Anderson (2007-09) and two-time first-team all-conference center Nikki Hendrix (2001-04).
Stephen F. Austin leads all teams with six all-decade members headlined by 2007 Player of the Year Charity Egenti (2005-07). Four-time all-conference forward LaToya Mills (2002-06) and three-time all-conference guard Nathesia Wright (1999-03) join Egenti along with forwards Chaquita Davison (2000-04) and Shawnta Johnson (1998-00) and guard Nikki Carr (2003-08).
Northwestern State has five players selected to the all-decade team with three-time first-team all-conference selection and the 2004 Player of the Year La'Terrica Dobin (2001-04). The Lady Demons' guard helped Northwestern win the 2004 conference tournament on her way to earning MVP honors. Alongside Dobin for Northwestern is a trio of guards with Kia Converse (1997-01), Diamond Crosby (2001-05) and Angela Davidson (2000-04) and forward Amanda Bennett (2001-05).
Texas State had two members represented on the team. For the Bobcats, forward Tori Tolbert (2001-05), a three-time first-team all-conference and the 2003 and 2005 Southland Player of the Year, and guard/forward Joyce Ekworomadu (2004-08), the 2008 Player of the Year, earn the honors.
Louisiana-Monroe and Lamar both have one player to earn all-decade recognition with forward Nina Randle (2001-05) for the Warhawks and guard Shawnta Vanzant (2000-01) for the Lady Cardinals.
The 2000s all-decade team consists of eight conference players of the year, one of whom was a repeat honoree, seven conference tournament MVPs, four freshmen of the year, three newcomers of the year and two defenders of the year.
The Head Coach of the Decade honor goes to UTSA's Rae Rippetoe-Blair, who is in her 13th season at the helms after joining the Roadrunners for the 2000-01 season. Rippetoe-Blair led the Roadrunners to 11 Southland tournament appearances, including back-to-back tournament wins in 2008 and 2009. She won the regular season in 2003 and 2009 and led UTSA to a school-record 24 victories in 2009. She was named the Southland Coach of the Year in 2003, 2008 and 2009 and selected as the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) Coach of the Year in 2009. Rippetoe-Blair, who is the winningest coach in UTSA history, has coached four newcomers of the year, two freshmen of the year, two student-athletes of the year, one player of the year and one defender of the year. She has also had 25 players receive all-conference honors, seven of whom were first-team selections. While in the Southland, Rippetoe-Blair posted a 200-147 overall record with a 136-74 mark in conference play.
In the last two weeks, the Southland Conference has announced the All-Decade Teams for the 1980s and 1990s.
To best assess the candidate pool for the all-decade team, the Southland Conference developed a metric that analyzed numerous elements of a student-athlete's performance and value within the league at the time. Most notably, the Conference honored `real-time" factors such as all-conference selection by coaches and a player's statistical performance among his peers at the time. Further, other components of selection including a player's effort toward helping her team win a championship or finish near the top of the conference, whether she earned individual honors from the league and if she participated in postseason tournaments.
Southland Conference 2000s All-Decade Women's Basketball Team
Player of the Decade:Monica Gibbs, Texas-San Antonio, 2005-09 Coach of the Decade:Rae Rippetoe-Blair, Texas-San Antonio
Player School SLC Years Pos. Hgt. Hometown Onika Anderson Texas-San Antonio 2007-09 F 5-10 Pine Bluff, Ark. Amanda Bennett Northwestern State 2001-05 F 5-11 Simpson, La. Nikki Carr Stephen F. Austin 2003-08 G 5-6 Hawkins, Texas Kia Converse Northwestern State 1997-01 G 5-8 Napoleonville, La. Diamond Cosby Northwestern State 2001-05 G 5-8 Shreveport, La. Angela Davidson Northwestern State 2000-04 G 6-0 Leesville, La. Chaquita Dilworth Stephen F. Austin 2000-02 F 6-0 Temple, Texas La'Terrica Dobin Northwestern State 2001-04 G 5-4 Bossier City, La. Charity Egenti Stephen F. Austin 2005-07 F/C 6-3 Lagos, Nigeria Joyce Ekworomadu Texas State 2004-08 G/F 5-9 Coppell, Texas Monica Gibbs Texas-San Antonio 2005-09 G 5-8 Stillwater, Okla. Nikki Hendrix Texas-San Antonio 2001-04 C 6-0 Ardmore, Okla. Shawnta Johnson Stephen F. Austin 1998-00 F 5-11 Fresno, Calif. LaToya Mills Stephen F. Austin 2002-06 F 6-0 Houston, Texas Rola Ogunoye Texas-Arlington 2001-05 F 6-0 Cedar Hill, Texas Nina Randle Louisiana-Monroe 2001-05 F 5-11 Covington, la. Tori Talbert Texas State 2001-05 F 6-2 Boerne, Texas Shawnta Vanzant Lamar 2000-01 G 5-6 Del City, Okla. Terra Wallace Texas-Arlington 2003-07 G 5-7 Round Rock, Texas Nathesia Wright Stephen F. Austin 1999-03 G 5-10 Arlington, Texas