New Orleans, LA (A-State) – Arkansas State redshirt senior guard Aundrea Gamble has been named the Sun Belt Conference Student-Athlete of the Year, while senior forward Khadija Brown-Haywood was named to the First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference. Senior guard Brittney Gill earned third-team accolades, while head coach Brian Boyer was named the league’s Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career, the conference announced Tuesday afternoon.
Gamble, who also was named First-Team All-Conference, is the first player in Sun Belt history to win the Student-Athlete of the Year award three times. She ranked first in the league with a 1.7 assist to turnover ratio and finished second with an 18.4 points per game average. Her 4.7 assists per game also ranked second in the conference, while she enjoyed her best season defensively by averaging 2.0 steals per night.
The McKinney, Texas native also holds the unique honor as being one of just two players in the nation to average better than 18 points, four assists and shoot over 50 percent from the field on the year. The only other player in the nation with those numbers is UConn’s Breanna Stewart.
Gamble is one of just seven active Division I players to have over 1,600 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists in a career. She has two, 30-point plus games this year to give her eight for her career, second most in school history, and also owns the most SBC Student-Athlete of the Week awards in A-State history with seven.
For her career, the All-American candidate ranks fourth on the all-time points list (1,845) and is fourth with 450 assists. She also ranks as the school’s all-time leader with 423 made free throws. Her career 18.8 points per game ranks 13th among all active NCAA Division I players, while her 4.6 assists per game average is sixth among all active players.
Brown-Haywood, who is also an All-America candidate, enjoyed a career season to help the Red Wolves march through their historic season. She led the league with 9.3 rebounds per game and averaged 17.4 points per night, third most in the conference. She ranks 24th in the nation with an average of 7.0 defensive rebounds per game and also ranks 38th among all Division I players with 12 double-doubles on the year.
The Centralia, Ill., native shined in Sun Belt Conference play where she upped her scoring to 18.4 points per game and pulled in 9.7 rebounds per contest. Brown-Haywood also provided a spark from beyond the arc, knocking down 53 of 67 made 3-point field goals on the year in league games. She is also the only player in the nation (men’s or women’s) to rank in the top-3 in conference games in both rebounding and 3-point field goal percentage.
The First-Team All-Conference award is the first for Brown-Haywood in her career, after she earned third-team honors as a junior. She captured three SBC Student-Athlete of the Week awards in 2015-16 and topped 30 points in a game twice, including a new career 31 against Appalachian State on March 5.
For her career, Brown-Haywood needs 42 more points to become the 23rd player in school history to surpass 1,000 points in A-State history and has already become the 22nd player in school history to collect 500 rebounds.
Gill was named Third-Team All-Conference for the first time in her career after setting career-highs in nearly every offensive and defensive category. Her scoring average rose by nearly two points to 7.4 points per night, while she also set highs in field goal (40.3) and free throw percentage (77.0)
The Pine Bluff, Ark., native set a career-high in steals (53) and is poised to become just the 15th player in school history with 150 career steals. Defensively, the Red Wolves’ scheme begins with Gill who brings energy and excellent skills defending the opposition’s best ball handler. Her ability to pressure the ball all up the court and deny her player to make a clean pass has been the catalyst for A-State defensively this season. She also uses her quickness to recover from a help side position and prevent her offensive player from getting a clean shot off.
Boyer has guided Arkansas State to the best season school history and has earned his fourth career Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year honors in the process. The Red Wolves have won a school record 25 games and went on an 18-game winning streak to start conference play, which was the fifth longest in the nation at the time.
The Red Wolves’ also won a conference record 19 games in league play and did in dominating fashion by winning 17 SBC games by double-digits. A-State has lost just four games this season, none of which have been by double-digits, and have not trailed by more than 10 points in any game this season.
Boyer, who is in his seventeenth season at A-State, is also just three wins shy of 300 for his career.