Women's Basketball All-Conference Team Announced

March 4, 2012

2012 All-C-USA Women's Basketball Teams

Three of the nation's best inside threats and one of the most dangerous point guards in Division I women's basketball highlight the list of honorees named to the 2012 Conference USA All-Conference teams, the league announced today. For the first time, eight players captured first-team honors and eight more were tabbed as second-team All-C-USA picks as voted on by the league's coaches, sports information directors and a select media panel.

Rice forward JESSICA KUSTER repeats her All-C-USA first team and All-Defensive team honors from a year ago. The 6-2 forward from San Antonio delivered all season for the Owls, as she is one of only two C-USA players that accounted for a double-double on the year. She ranked second in the league in scoring with an average of 17.1 points per game and first in rebounding with 10.8 per contest, a figure that ranks 11th nationally. Kuster produced 12 double-doubles and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds against UTSA.

Memphis senior JASMINE LEE also came into the season shouldering high expectations. The 6-2 post from Bessemer, Ala., ranked 25th nationally and second in C-USA in rebounding with 10 boards per game. Lee joins Kuster as the only other double-double producer by averaging 15.2 ppg. She scored more than 20 points in seven league games and was named the C-USA Player of the Week twice.

Memphis teammates BRITTANY CARTER and NICOLE DICKSON were key cogs in the Tigers' second-place league finish. The duo ended the year with All-C-USA second team accolades. Carter averaged 13.5 points despite being hobbled with an ankle injury. Dickson drained a team-high 48 3-pointers and dished out 73 assists.

Few Division I teams can claim they have an all-conference first teamer and all-defensive selection coming off the bench. But UTEP senior GLORIA BROWN did exactly that and stormed to the forefront as one of C-USA's best. The 6-2 forward from Philadelphia was among the league leaders in blocks (2.9), field goal percentage (.521), rebounding (8.8) and scoring (11.5). She averaged almost 20 minutes per game, all coming off the bench.

Miner forward KAYLA THORNTON had a breakout sophomore season and was among the league leaders in offensive rebounds per game (3.1) and free throw percentage (.740). The All-C-USA second teamer also started every game for UTEP.

Guard JAMIERRA FAULKNER is a huge reason why Southern Miss is steamrolling its way into the postseason after going 7-1 in February. The 5-6 sophomore led the league and ranked fourth nationally in assists, dishing out 7.3 per game. She also ranked third in the conference in scoring with 16.7 ppg. The West Palm Beach, Fla., native had five double-doubles this season and had five games scoring at least 20 points.

Faulkner's teammate, TANECKA CAREY, made an immediate impact as a junior transfer, averaging 15.2 points and shooting 31.9 percent from the floor for All-C-USA second team accolades. Southern Miss boasted two of the top five scorers in the league this season.

UCF's AISHA PATRICK cemented herself as one of the school's greatest guards with a standout senior season. The 5-9 guard from Rockledge, Fla., now ranks second in school history in steals (281), third in rebounds (814), fourth in assists (354) and seventh in points (1,183). This season, Patrick averaged 14 points per game and 8.7 rebounds, both among the top 10 totals in C-USA for first team honors.

Junior guard TALEYA MAYBERRY had the difficult task of leading the Tulsa rebuilding project. The 5-6 junior was simply electric, finishing among the top 10 in scoring and assists as the Golden Hurricane went from last place in 2011 to sixth this season. The hometown Tulsa product became the eighth player in school history to score more than 1,000 points in February and had double-digit scoring totals in 21 out of 26 games. This is Mayberry's first All-C-USA first team honor.

Senior guard ROXANNA BUTTON was easily Houston's brightest star this season. The 5-8 senior from Coppell, Texas, racked up a league-high 17.8 points per game and averaged 38 minutes per game, earning her first team merits. Button also shot 31.6 percent from 3-point range, which was among the league's leaders. Button also she finished fourth in school history with 147 made free throws this season.

Tulane's OLIVIA GRAYSON stormed out of the gate and earned player of the week honors in November, December and January. The 5-8 junior carried that high level of play through the regular season and led the Green Wave in points per game (13.7), field goals (136), free throws (98), assists (97) and steals (64). Grayson also finished second in C-USA in free throw percentage (.797) while teammate BRETT BENZIO finished first in field goal accuracy (.543) for All-C-USA second team merits. She also averaged 9.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game to earn a place on the All-C-USA Defensive Team.

As for the second-team all-conference selections, UAB junior AMBER JONES, who finished 10th in scoring, became just the 13th player in school history to score 1,000 points. Teammate KARISMA CHAPMAN, who also earned All-Defensive Team honors, also ranked among the top 12 in points, steals and blocks.

SMU's AKIL SIMPSON ranked second in C-USA in field goal percentage (.528) and was among the league leaders with 12.2 points against league foes. This is Simpson first All-C-USA second team honor.

Tulane's 3-point specialist DANIELLE BLAGG highlights the All-C-USA Freshman team, followed by Nitesha Pierce (Southern Miss) and Amanda Lawson (Houston). Shay Weaver (Marshall) and Christal Porter (Rice) were also honored for their play after their first season at the Division I level.

Memphis' RAMSES LONLACK repeats her honor on the All-C-USA Defensive team. Lonlack finished the year with 53 steals. Kuster, Brown, Benzio and Chapman were also honored for their defensive exploits.

Memphis led all schools with three All-Conference selections, while Southern Miss, Tulane, UAB and UTEP each produced two. Players from eight different schools comprise the first team. Tulane is the only school to have a first team selection, second team selection and all-freshman team member and an all-defensive team honoree.

C-USA specialty awards will be announced on Monday while the 2012 basketball championship gets underway on Wednesday, March 7 at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse in Memphis, Tenn. For ticket information call 901-678-2331 or log onto www.gotigers.com.

All-C-USA First Team
Roxana Button, Sr., G, Houston
Jasmine Lee, RS-Sr., P, Memphis
Jessica Kuster, So., F, Rice
Jamierra Faulkner, So., PG, Southern Miss
Olivia Grayson, Jr., G, Tulane
Taleya Mayberry, Jr., G, Tulsa
Aisha Patrick, Sr., G, UCF
Gloria Brown, Sr., F, UTEP

All-C-USA Second Team
Brittany Carter, RS-Sr., G, Memphis
Nicole Dickson, Jr., F, Memphis
Akil Simpson, So., F, SMU
Tanecka Carey, Jr., G, Southern Miss
Brett Benzio, Sr., C, Tulane
Karisma Chapman, So., F, UAB
Amber Jones, Jr., G, UAB
Kayla Thornton, So., F, UTEP

All-Freshman Team
Amanda Lawson, F, Houston
Shay Weaver, G, Marshall
Christal Porter, F, Rice
Danielle Blagg, G, Tulane
Nitesha Pierce, F, Southern Miss

All-Defensive Team
Ramses Lonlack, Sr., G, Memphis
Jessica Kuster, So., F, Rice
Brett Benzio, Sr., C, Tulane
Karisma Chapman, So., F, UAB
Gloria Brown, Sr., F, UTEP



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