C Spire and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum announced the finalists for the 2014 C Spire Howell and Gillom Trophies this week. C Spire will present the trophies March 3 at an 11:30 a.m. awards luncheon at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Richard Williams, former head basketball coach at Mississippi State University and the second most winningest coach in school history, will be the featured speaker.
The Gillom Trophy, named in honor of Peggie Gillom, goes annually to the most outstanding female college basketball player in Mississippi. The Howell Trophy, named for Bailey Howell, goes to the most exceptional men's player.
This year's finalists include the last season's Howell and Gillom winners, Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson and Martha Alwal of Mississippi State.
Each award has two other finalists vying for the trophy: Tia Faleru of Ole Miss, Jamierra Faulkner of Southern Miss, Jarvis Summers of Ole Miss and Neil Watson of Southern Miss.
A statewide media panel that covers college basketball in Mississippi selected the finalists.
Marshall Henderson can make the impossible shot possible at any moment. He is third in the nation in three-point shooting with 4.5 shots per game and is third in scoring in the SEC with 19.8 points per game. Marshall ranks in the SEC's top 10 for free throw percentage with .818, steals with 1.5 per game, and for three-point field goal percentage with .367.
The Ole Miss offense is benefiting from Jarvis Summers' improvement from the previous season. The junior guard from Jackson raised his scoring average from 9.1 points a game to 17.1 points per game this season. He also raised his field goal percentage from 40.4 to 49.7 and his three-point percentage from 34.0 to 47.1. He ranks fourth in the SEC in assists with 3.8 per game.
It is hard to stand out on a team that does everything well—from defending to rebounding—but Southern Miss player Neil Watson's leadership on the court is invaluable. He leads the team with 11.5 points per game. He also leads C-USA and is fourth in the nation in free throw percentage with 93.4 percent. The guard also leads the team in assists and is seventh in the conference at 4.1 per game. Watson is only the second player in USM history to amass 1,000 points, 400 assists, 250 rebounds and 100 steals.
Martha Alwal is the career leader in blocks at Mississippi State with 232. She also ranks among the top in scoring percentage, scoring, and rebounding in the SEC. Alwal averages 15.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. She hopes to win the Gillom award for the second year in a row.
Tia Faleru averages 17 points and 9.9 rebounds for Ole Miss. She is the only player in the SEC to rank in the top three in scoring and rebounding. Faleru is third in scoring and first in rebounding in the conference. She also has 15 double-doubles, the most in the SEC and 18th in the country.
Jamierra Faulkner averages 8.4 assists per game—the highest average in the nation. She also ranks fifth nationally with 3.1 steals per game. Faulkner is an all-time leader in steals and assists for the Lady Golden Eagles and is third in program history in scoring. She also leads USM in scoring at 17.2 points per game this season.
For the first time, fans can help decide who wins the Howell and Gillom Trophies. Until Sunday, March 2, at 5 p.m., anyone can vote by visiting csopavoting.com.
The final media vote will take place this week.
For tickets to the 2014 C Spire Gillom/Howell Trophy March 3 banquet, call 601-982-8264 or visit msfame.com.