March 18, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. – The accolades continue to come in for Ole Miss women’s basketball players Valencia McFarland and Tia Faleru as both earned All-SEC AP Honors it was announced on Tuesday (March 18). Faleru was a first-team selection, while McFarland earned honorable mention accolades. The honorable mention accolade is McFarland’s second AP All-SEC honor as she took home second-team accolades following her sophomore season. Faleru earns All-AP honors for the first time in her career.
McFarland, an Edwards, Miss., native picks up her third postseason accolade after earning All-SEC second team honors and College Sports Madness fourth-team honors. The senior guard scored her 1,500th career point, becoming one of just seven players in program history to score 1500 points. McFarland concluded her career with 1,655 points and graduates as the No. 6 scorer at Ole Miss. McFarland scored 20 or more points on 15 occasions this season and closed the season with double figures in each of Ole Miss’ last nine games.
McFarland joins former Ole Miss great Armintie Price as the only Rebels to lead their team in steals in four consecutive years and is one of five players with 1,000 points and 500 assists. McFarland is also a two-time finalist for the C Spire/Gillom Trophy, awarded to the top women’s basketball player in Mississippi.
Faleru had a breakout season in 2013-14 under the direction of first-year head coach Matt Insell. Faleru, an All-SEC and College Sports Madness second-team selection, led the Rebels and SEC in rebounding with 9.4 boards per game while scoring 16.4 points per contest. The Ozark, Ala., native recorded an SEC-best 15 double-doubles and scored in double figure on 23 occasions.
Faleru posted a career-night against Kentucky with a career-best 31 points and 16 rebounds against the Wildcats, recording the first 30-point game for a Rebel since Kayla Melson in 2009-10. Faleru, Co-SEC Player of the Week on Nov. 25, enters her senior season needing just 33 points to become Ole Miss’ 26th 1,000-point scorer.
COMPLETE AP ALL-SEC HONORS
*u-Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina, G, 5-9, So.
Isabelle Harrison, Tennessee, C, 6-3, Jr.
Meighan Simmons, Tennessee, G, 5-9, Sr.
Courtney Walker, Texas A&M, G, 5-8, So.
*t-Martha Alwal, Mississippi State, C, 6-4, Jr.
*t-Christina Foggie, Vanderbilt, G, 5-9, Sr.
*t-Tia Faleru, Ole Miss, F, 6-1, Jr.
Theresa Plaisance, LSU, F, 6-5, Sr.
Bri Kulas, Missouri, F, 6-1, Sr.
Aleighsa Welch, South Carollina, F, 6-0, Jr.
Jaterra Bonds, Florida, G, 5-7, Sr.
Tyrese Tanner, Auburn, G-F, 6-1, Sr.
Shacobia Barbee, Georgia, G-F, 5-10, So.; Alaina Coates, South Carolina, C, 6-4, Fr.; Jessica Jackson, Arkansas, F, 6-3, Fr.; Valencia McFarland, Ole Miss, G, 5-4, Sr.; Jennifer O'Neill, Kentucky, G, 5-6, Jr.; DeNesha Stallworth, Kentucky, F, 6-3, Sr.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Meighan Simmons, Tennessee
COACH OF THE YEAR: u-Dawn Staley, South Carolina
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Alaina Coates, South Carolina
*The U stands for unanimous and the t is there as there was a tie for the last spot on the first team.
For all Ole Miss women’s basketball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWBB, Facebook at Ole Miss WBB and on Instagram at Ole Miss_WBB. Fans can also follow Ole Miss women’s basketball head coach Matt Insell on Twitter at @minsell.