Women’s Basketball Duo Picks Up SEC Postseason Accolades
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – (Release) Ole Miss women’s basketball’s Shakira Austin (First-Team All-SEC) and Angel Baker (Sixth Woman of the Year) have been honored by the league’s coaches after a stellar 2021-22 regular season as the SEC announced its yearly conference awards Tuesday. For the second straight season, Austin finds her name on First-Team All-SEC being the eighth Rebel to earn consecutive honors and the first since Tia Faleru did so in 2014 & 2015. Austin built off of a dominant junior year to carry that momentum into her senior campaign, as the 6-5 forward from Fredericksburg, Virginia, has been key for Ole Miss at both ends of the court. The Wooden Award Late Season Top-20 member paces the Rebels averaging 15.0 points, 8.9 rebounds while adding 1.5 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.9 blocks per game after starting in all 29 contests during the regular season. As one of the best centers in the nation, the Lisa Leslie Award Top-10 Finalist is one of seven active players in Division I with 1,500 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. She currently leads the SEC in active rebounds with a total of 1,038 and eclipsed the 200-career block mark this season, sitting at a total of 232. With nine double-doubles on the year, Austin has reached the double-digit point mark in 21 games and recorded eight 20-point performances. The productivity for Austin increased once SEC play hit, averaging 16.1 points, 9.3 rebounds points per game while shooting at an efficient 47.2 percent clip from the field. Some of her best work occurred against conference foes with a season-high 26 points against Tennessee, along with 16 rebounds against Arkansas to set an SJB Pavilion record. For the first time in program history, a Rebel has been named as the SEC Sixth Woman of the Year with Baker earning the distinction. In her first year donning a Rebel uniform after transferring to Ole Miss after three seasons at Wright State, Baker was not afraid to make some noise appearing as a reserve in 20 out of her 27 games. Off the bench, Baker came in to score in double-figures 11 times, including four 20-point outings. A season-high 24 points against Texas Tech at the West Palm Beach Invitational led to her earning Ole Miss’ only SEC Weekly honors of the season, garnering SEC Co-Player of the Week accolades on Dec. 28. The Indianapolis product ranks third on the team in points adding 10.2 per game and has been clutch from beyond the arc with 22 triples. In her second game as a Rebel, Baker put on a show against MVSU shooting 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Her 80% clip from three was the highest by a Rebel with five or more attempts since Shandricka Sessom went 5-of-6 for 83.3 percent against Delaware State in 2017. Ole Miss (22-7, 10-6 SEC) heads into this week’s SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, following its best finish in conference play since 1993-94 as the No. 4 seed. The Rebels await the winner of game four to face off against in the quarterfinals on Friday (March 4) at approximately 2:25 p.m. CT on SEC Network. First Team All-SEC Kiara Smith Florida Jenna Staiti Georgia Rhyne Howard Kentucky Khayla Pointer LSU Shakira Austin Ole Miss Aliyah Boston South Carolina Destanni Henderson South Carolina Jordan Horston Tennessee Second Team All-SEC Brittany Davis Alabama Amber Ramirez Arkansas Aicha Coulibaly Auburn Que Morrison Georgia Alexis Morris LSU Anastasia Hayes Mississippi St Aijha Blackwell Missouri Hayley Frank Missouri Zia Cooke South Carolina Tamari Key Tennessee All-Freshman Team Samara Spencer Arkansas Jersey Wolfenbarger Arkansas Alberte Rimdal Florida Jada Walker Kentucky Denae Carter Mississippi State Sara Puckett Tennessee Sacha Washington Vanderbilt Iyana Moore Vanderbilt All-Defensive Team Kiara Smith Florida Que Morrison Georgia Aliyah Boston South Carolina Tamari Key Tennessee Jordyn Cambridge Vanderbilt Coach – Dawn Staley Player – Aliyah Boston Defensive Player – Aliyah Boston Freshman – Samara Spencer Sixth-Woman – Angel BakerScholar-Athlete – Mikayla Coombs
Evelyn Van Pelt
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.