Alwal named top female basketball player in Mississippi

Mississippi State sophomore and former Worthington Trojan Girls Basketball player Martha Alwal earned the title of the state of Mississippi’s top female college basketball player Monday when she was chosen the winner of the C Spire Gillom Trophy at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
Alwal became the second Bulldog to win the award, joining Alexis Rack who won the trophy following the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Quoting Alwal: "I'm really excited. I worked really hard, so I'm excited I won the award. It's big for the program. This award is bigger than me. It goes out to my teammates because I wouldn't have won it without them. It also goes out to my coaches because of the support they have shown me this season. I'm just really happy to win this great award."

Alwal finished the season the SEC leader with 16 double-doubles, 10 in conference play. She also topped the league with 9.7 rebounds per contest, the highest average since LaToya Thomas in 2001-02, and her 292 rebounds are the fourth-most in a season by a Bulldog.

Alwal rated second in the conference with 2.6 blocks per game. Her 78 blocks rate third in Mississippi State University history, and her 160 career blocks are 20 blocks short of tying the school record.

The Worthington native paced Mississippi State with 12.1 points per game, and she capped the campaign with a 78.9-percent free-throw percentage, fourth-best in the Southeastern Conference.

Quoting Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer: "I'm really happy for our program and for Martha. Obviously it's an individual award, but as Martha said, it's a reflection of a lot of hard work put in not just by her, but her team. I know she shares this award with our program and our team. It will be a great challenge to her to go into the offseason and better herself. She's seen her improvement from one season to the next, now let's see if she can make that next step and improve that much more in the next season."

The winner was selected by a vote of print, radio and television media in the state, and the award was presented at a luncheon at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on Monday.

Information from this story was provided by the Mississippi State University Athletic website at www.hailstate.com

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