JACKSON, MS--(Marketwire - Mar 11, 2013) - University of Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson, the leading scorer and 3-point shooter in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) this year, won the C Spire Howell Trophy Monday as the state's top male college basketball player while Mississippi State's Martha Alwal won the C Spire Gillom Trophy as the best female college basketball player.
In one of the closet votes in the 17-year history of the award, Henderson, a 6-foot-2 junior college transfer and Hurst, Texas native, edged out Rebel teammate and senior forward Murphy Holloway, Ole Miss' all-time leading rebounder, and Southern Miss senior guard and leading scorer Dwayne Davis for the award. Henderson led Ole Miss and the SEC in scoring (19.7 points per game), in three point field goals (121) and in free throw percentage (.877). He finished second in the nation in three-point goals.
"Marshall is a great shooter and he's had a tremendous year," said Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy, describing Henderson's long-range shooting prowess this year. "He's a special competitor with a passion for the game who truly cares and is a great teammate."
Mississippi State sophomore center Martha Alwal, a 6-foot-4 SEC All-Defensive team selection and Worthington, Minnesota native, led the team in scoring (12.1) and rebounding (9.7) and was third in free throw percentage at 78.9. Alwal, who recorded 16 double-doubles and 78 blocks for the Lady Bulldogs this season, beat out Ole Miss junior guard Valencia McFarland and Southern Miss junior guard Jamierra Faulkner for the award.
"Martha's a great person and an outstanding player," said Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer in describing Alwal's accomplishments. "She's been one of our team leaders with her scoring and rebounding and we depended on her defensive play -- altering and changing opponents' shots -- to help keep us in a lot of games."
Henderson and Alwal received the awards at a special luncheon sponsored by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and C Spire Wireless. Legendary former Ole Miss Lady Rebels head coach Van Chancellor, one of the most decorated head coaches in the history of women's collegiate and professional basketball, was the keynote speaker. A select group of 25 print and electronic news media representatives named the award winners.
The Howell Trophy presented by C Spire Wireless is named after Bailey Howell, a two-time All American at Mississippi State University and a six-time NBA All-Star who played on Boston Celtics world championship teams in 1968 and 1969. Howell, a 1977 inductee to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and the first male Mississippi player inducted in the National Basketball Hall of Fame, still holds nearly a dozen season and career records at Mississippi State University.
The Gillom Trophy presented by C Spire Wireless is named after Abbeville, Mississippi native Peggie Gillom-Granderson, Ole Miss' all-time leading scorer and rebounder. She has coached in the WNBA and the Olympics and recently retired after a seven-year stint as Associate Head Coach of the Lady Rebels basketball team at Ole Miss.
"There's definitely some NBA and WNBA-caliber talent among this year's C Spire Howell and Gillom Trophy award winners," said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire Wireless. "This has been another great year in terms of individual and overall performance and leadership among the basketball teams in our state," he added, noting that some of the teams led by this year's award finalists are likely headed to the NCCA tournament.
2013 marks the 17th anniversary of Outstanding Player Awards presentation. C Spire Wireless has served as title sponsor for 15 of those years since 1998. The Conerly Trophy in college football, the Howell Trophy in men's college basketball, the Gillom Trophy in women's college basketball and the Ferriss Trophy in college baseball comprise the four elements of the C Spire Wireless Outstanding Player Award series.
About C Spire Wireless
C Spire Wireless is a diversified wireless communications and technology services company passionately committed to helping customers by personalizing wireless services designed just for them. The company is the first wireless provider in the U.S. to personalize customers' experience by offering apps that fit who they are, services that anticipate their needs, and rewards for using their phone in new ways -- all with seamless ease and at amazingly fast speeds. This news release and other announcements are available at http://www.cspire.com/news/. For more information about C Spire Wireless and its products and services, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.