Feb. 29, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - Florida Atlantic University women's basketball senior captain Teri Stamps has been named the Sun Belt Conference's (SBC) Defensive Player of the Year, and sophomore forward Chenise Miller has earned second-team all-conference honors for their regular-season performances. The awards, voted by league coaches and media, were announced on the verge of the league's championship tournament this weekend in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
FAU had its most successful season since joining the SBC, posting a 16-11 overall record and finishing second in the conference's East Division with an 11-5 mark. Those 11 league wins are the most by the Owls by SBC history.
Stamps becomes the first women's basketball player to receive a specialty SBC award, and Miller is FAU's highest all-conference selection in SBC history.
"We are extremely happy that Teri and Chenise have been recognized for the hard work they've displayed on the court throughout this exciting season," said Chancellor Dugan, FAU's head women's basketball coach. "Both players are very deserving of this recognition. Hopefully, they can continue this success and be named to the conference's all-tournament team next week."
Stamps was assigned the task of defending the opposing team's best backcourt player. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native held FIU's Jerica Coley, the nation's No. 2 scorer, to a season-low 12 points in FAU's 51-49 victory on February 4. She followed it up by holding the University of Denver's Kaetlyn Murdoch, the SBC's co-Preseason Player of the Year, to eight points below her season average. That contributed to another home court victory for the Owls on February 8.
Thanks to Stamps' defensive play, FAU won five conference games by two or fewer points. Offensively, the guard averaged eight points a game, highlighted by a 22-point effort in a Senior Day win over Troy University on February 25.
"Our conference really values defense and that makes Teri being named the top defensive player so special - for her and the program," said Dugan. "Teri credits her strong defensive play to the help she gets from her teammates each day in practice. Postseason honors have a team principle as well. When you are successful as a team, some of the individuals get the recognition that they deserve."
Miller played a key role in FAU's nine-win improvement by leading the team in scoring (10.5 points per game), rebounding (7.4 rebounds per game) and blocked shots (24). The Oak Park, Michigan native was the only player on the team to record a double-double performance this season. In fact, she had three double-double games - all in SBC action - against the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (10 points/10 rebounds on December 31), Western Kentucky University (18 points/12 rebounds on January 25) and University of North Texas (17 points/10 rebounds on February 11).
"We have a balanced team and you have to respect the entire team on the offensive end. However, it was nice to have a strong scoring threat in the post, like Chenise," said Dugan. "When the going got tough and we needed a basket, especially in our conference games, we try to go inside and usually we look for Chenise on either side of the block."
As the SBC's No. 2 East Division seed, FAU received a first-round bye for the conference tournament. The team will play the winner of the Saturday, March 3 University of North Texas and Troy University match-up on Sunday, March 4, at 3:45 p.m. Live audio and statistics of all postseason games can be found at www.fausports.com.
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