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Warley Tabbed BSC Defensive Player of Year

March 10, 2011
|  High Point, N.C.
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Avery Warley was voted Big South Defensive Player of the Year and made the first team All-Big South roster.

Liberty redshirt junior Avery Warley was voted 2010-11 Big South Defensive Player of the Year and joined redshirt sophomore teammate Devon Brown on the first team All-Big South squad. The duo highlighted the Lady Flames' honorees at the Big South Conference Women's Basketball Awards Ceremony, held at the University Center in High Point, N.C., Thursday evening.

Additionally, the Lady Flames' Emily Frazier made the Big South All-Freshman team, while senior guard Rachel McLeod was included on the Big South All-Academic team.

Charleston Southern senior guard Katie Tull was voted Big South Player of the Year, while Radford's Tajama Abraham Ngongba took home Big South Coach of the Year honors. Dequesha McClanahan of Winthrop won the Big South Freshman of the Year award, and Coastal Carolina's Katie White was tabbed Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Warley is the first Lady Flame to be honored as Big South Defensive Player of the Year since Roli-Ann Nikagbatse won the inaugural award in 2005-06. The center anchored a Liberty defense which paces the Big South Conference in both scoring defense (53.4 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.347). No conference team has scored more than 62 points against the Lady Flames this season.

Warley ranks second in the Big South in defensive rebounds (6.2 rpg) and seventh in blocked shots (1.0 bpg), leading the Lady Flames in both categories. During the season, she became just the fourth Liberty player ever to reach the 100-blocked shot mark for her career. One of those rejections came during the closing stages of Liberty's Jan. 24 contest against Coastal Carolina, helping the Lady Flames seal a four-point win.

Warley, a native of Washington, D.C., also finished second behind Tull in the voting for Big South Player of the Year while making the first team All-Big South roster for the second year in a row. This is the ninth time in conference history that Liberty has boasted a pair of first team All-Big South honorees.

Warley, this season's only four-time Big South Player of the Week, tops the conference in rebounds (10.7 rpg), field goal percentage (.605) and double-doubles (16). She became the first Lady Flame since the 1992-93 season to post a 20-rebound game, nabbing 20 boards against Gardner-Webb on Feb. 12 and pulling down 21 caroms at Charleston Southern on Feb. 28. Warley is also averaging a career-high 11.4 ppg, giving her a chance to become Liberty's first player since Katie Feenstra in 2004-05 to average a double-double.

Like Warley, Brown is also a part of the first team All-Big South squad for the second consecutive year. After missing the season's first seven games due to injury, she has returned to form, pacing the Lady Flames in both scoring (14.1 ppg) and three-pointers made (32). The Waynesboro, Va., native ranks fifth on the Big South scoring list and eighth in three-pointers. Twice this season, Brown scored a Liberty season-high 27 points.

Frazier's inclusion on the All-Freshman team makes it three years in a row that Liberty has had an All-Freshman honoree. The Magnolia, Texas native has started 26 games as the Lady Flames' point guard and tops the team with 76 assists. That is the most assists by a Liberty freshman since Allyson Fasnacht had 87 helpers in 2004-05. The two-time Big South Freshman of the Week also notched a Liberty season-high six steals at Coastal Carolina on Feb. 26.

McLeod, a senior from Houston, Texas, owns a 3.32 cumulative grade-point average as a communications major. She started 10 games for the Lady Flames this season and her 121 career appearances tie her with Moriah Frazee for fifth place in program history. McLeod needs just 18 more points to reach 500 for her career.

Liberty, which claimed its 12th Big South regular-season title with a 14-2 conference record, will enter this weekend's Advance Auto Parts Big South Women's Basketball Championship as the No. 1 seed. The Lady Flames will face No. 8 seed Coastal Carolina in the quarterfinal round Friday at noon. The entire tournament will be hosted at the Millis Center in High Point, N.C.

2010-11 Big South Conference Women's Basketball Award Winners

First Team All-Conference
Katie Tull, Charleston Southern
Avery Warley, Liberty
Da'Naria Erwin Spencer, Radford
Dominique Hudson, Gardner-Webb
Devon Brown, Liberty

Second Team All-Conference
Monique Hudson, Gardner-Webb
Kelsey Wasmer, Charleston Southern
Shamia Brown, High Point
Kendall Shepard, UNC Asheville
Sydnei Moss, Coastal Carolina

All-Freshman Team
Dequesha McClanahan, Winthrop
Cheyenne Parker, High Point
Karlee Taylor, Presbyterian College
Emily Frazier, Liberty
Catrina Green, Gardner-Webb

Academic All-Conference
Kelsey Wasmer, Charleston Southern
Katie White, Coastal Carolina
Brianna Dillard, Gardner-Webb
Mackenzie Maier, High Point
Rachel McLeod, Liberty
Amanda Mills, Presbyterian College
Grace Blaylock, UNC Asheville
Kaylyn Crosier, Radford
Lacey Lyons, Winthrop

Player of the Year
Katie Tull, Charleston Southern

Defensive Player of the Year
Avery Warley, Liberty

Freshman of the Year
Dequesha McClanahan, Winthrop

Coach of the Year
Tajama Abraham Ngongba, Radford

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Katie White, Coastal Carolina