Three Lady Raiders Named to All-Conference USA Team

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Three Middle Tennessee standouts who impacted the team’s run to the No. 2 seed in the metroPCS C-USA Championship, and a 20-win season, have been voted to all-conference teams as announced by the league office Sunday.

Alex Johnson and Ty Petty were voted first team All-Conference USA, and Abbey Sissom earned a spot on the All-Defensive team. Teams are selected by a panel consisting of the league’s head coaches and media members. The first and second teams include eight players each, while the all-defensive team features six.

“It’s so difficult to make all-conference teams, especially in C-USA where there are so many talented players, so all three of our young ladies should really appreciate this tremendous honor,” Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Insell said.

Petty earned all-conference honors for the second straight season after putting together a dynamic senior season. Petty is the only player to lead C-USA in three categories, and she ranks in the Top 10 of seven. Petty is sixth in the league in scoring (17.2), and leads C-USA in assists (5.9), free-throw percentage (.854) and minutes (38.0). She is third in 3-point field goal percentage (.394), sixth in 3-point field goals per game (2.3) and seventh in steals (1.9).

Petty currently has 167 assists, which is third on the single-season list. She set the single-season record with 195 last season. Petty also has 521 career assists, which is second all-time at Middle Tennessee.

“Ty has put together a tremendous senior season, and she’s not finished,” Insell said. “She’s a great all-around player, and she is one of the best leaders you will find. Ty Petty is our only senior, and she has led this team the right way all season. She impacts the game in so many ways.”

Johnson did not suffer a sophomore slump following her breakout freshman campaign that culminated with the C-USA Freshman of the Year. The stellar forward is second in C-USA in scoring with 21.1 points per game, which is also 13th nationally. Johnson in third in C-USA and 34th nationally for field goal percentage (.545).

Johnson also ranks third in C-USA in free-throw percentage (.814). She is 11th nationally for free throws made with 156.

Johnson has scored double figures in every game this season. She has scored 20-plus points in 14 games, and she has four games with 30-plus points. With 605 points this season, Johnson is currently 13th on the single-season scoring list at Middle Tennessee. She became the 31st member of the program’s 1,000-point club at Florida Atlantic Saturday, becoming just the third sophomore to achieve the feat.

“Alex Johnson has been consistent all season and a great force offensively,” Insell said. “What’s most impressive, to me, is that Alex has faced double- and triple-teams all season and she finds ways to get it done. Alex is a very smart person and her basketball IQ is high. She uses that intelligence on the court. I just can’t say enough good things about her.”

Sissom was voted to the all-defensive team after turning in a strong season for the Lady Raiders. Regarded as the team’s top perimeter defender, Sissom generally draws the assignment of defending the opposition’s top offensive guard.

During one stretch late in the season, Sissom guarded Jennie Simms (ODU), Ciara Gregory (Charlotte) and Kendall Noble (WKU) in succession and held each below their scoring average.

Additionally, Sissom has proven to be a consistent offensive threat and one of the top long-range shooters in C-USA. She has produced 13 double-figure scoring games. Sissom leads C-USA and ranks 17th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.429). That mark is currently tied for sixth best for a single-season.

Sissom also is third in C-USA for 3-point field made per game (2.4), third in assist-turnover ratio (2.0), fourth in minutes played (36.2) and 11th in assists (4.0).

“Abbey Sissom has worked hard on the defensive part of her game, and you see the results,” Insell said. “Hard work usually pays off, and the work Abbey has put into becoming a better defensive player has allowed her to have positive results and help the team. On top of that, she’s also had a solid season on the offensive end. Abbey excels on both ends of the court, and she has worked hard to elevate her game this season.”

Conference USA will announce winners of specialty awards Monday.

All-Conference USA First Team
Grace Hunter, Charlotte | So., Raleigh, North Carolina
*Ty Petty, Middle Tennessee | Sr., Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Alex Johnson, Middle Tennessee | So., Murfreesboro, Tennessee
**Jennie Simms, Old Dominion | Sr.,
Brittanny Dinkins, Southern Miss | Sr., Miami, Florida
Loryn Goodwin, UTSA | R-Jr., Cypress, Texas
Ivy Brown, WKU | Jr., Hodgenville, Kentucky
**Kendall Noble, WKU | R-Sr., Hazard, Kentucky

All-Conference USA Second Team
**Lefty Webster, Charlotte | Sr., Norfolk, Virginia
Kierra Anthony, LA Tech | So., New Iberia, Louisiana
Shayna Gore, Marshall | So., Logan, West Virginia
Destinee Young, Old Dominion | R-Jr., Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Jasmine Goodwine, Rice | Sr., Killeen, Texas
Sparkle Taylor, UTEP | Sr., Flint, Michigan
Tesha Smith, UTSA | Sr., San Antonio, Texas
*Tashia Brown, WKU | Jr., Lake Park, Georgia

Conference USA All-Defensive Team
Nyilah Jamison-Myers, Charlotte | R-Jr., Orangeburg, South Carolina
Lefty Webster, Charlotte | Sr., Norfolk, Virginia
Abbey Sissom, Middle Tennessee | Jr., Woodbury, Tennessee
Destinee Young, Old Dominion | R-Jr., Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Brittanny Dinkins, Southern Miss | Sr., Miami, Florida
**Kendall Noble, WKU | R-Sr., Hazard, Kentucky

Conference USA All-Freshman Team
Alexis Gordon, FIU | Palm Bay, Florida
Ashley Saintegene, Marshall | Lauderdale Lakes, Florida
Shonte Hailes, Southern Miss | Quitman, Mississippi
Miyah Barnes, UAB | Memphis, Tennessee
Rachael Childress, UAB | Florence, Alabama
*Repeat Selection