ALLEN - A year later, Kiara Wright is still the best player in the Lone Star Conference.
The senior from Pittsburg, Texas received her second straight LSC Player of the Year and LSC Defensive Player of the Year awards Tuesday night, and backed them up with her 57th career double-double in the opening game of the LSC Championship on Wednesday.
Wright led the LSC in both scoring - 20.7 points per game - and rebounding - 12.7 - during the regular season. And not just by a little - she averaged 5.8 points more than Midwestern State's Andrea Carter, the league's second-leading scorer. The TexAnn leads the second-leading rebounder, Breanna Harris of Texas A&M-Commerce, by 3.1 boards per game.
She leads a TexAnn team that is ranked third in the South Central Region and carried the second seed into the LSC Championship. She scored 10 points in the opening three and a half minutes of Wednesday's tournament opener, and Tarleton went on to rout TAMUC 84-55 (see related story).
Wright is three double-doubles shy of Tarleton's school record. She has the most double-doubles and is the career scoring and rebounding leader in the school's 19-year NCAA era.
Wright didn't have to look far to find a familiar face among the other top award winners at Tuesday's LSC awards banquet at Allen's Courtyard Marriott. Teammate Kathy Thomas was named the league's newcomer of the year.
Thomas averaged 10.3 points and 3.3 steals per game as a junior point guard. The transfer from the University of Iowa had 12 points on Wednesday.
Stephenville product Brianna Bledsoe, a senior guard, was named second-team all-conference, while Shanae Lowrance was picked for the league's all-academic team.
Bledsoe averaged 12 points, 4.8 boards and 3.5 assists during 16 regular-season conference contests. She posted the third double-double of both her senior season and career Wednesday, collecting 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Lowrance averaged 8.2 points in the regular season and was second in the league with 1.4 blocked shots per game. The senior from Rockwall earned the academic recognition with 3.57 grade point average as a biomedical science major. She scored 13 points Wednesday, all in the first half.