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NSU sweeps top men's hoops individual honors
NSU sweeps top men's hoops individual honors

After sweeping through the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular season with an unbeaten record, the Norfolk State basketball team swept the two most prestigious conference postseason awards on Sunday.

NSU guard Pendarvis Williams was named Player of the Year and Anthony Evans Coach of the Year, officials announced on the eve of the MEAC men's and women's tournaments, which begin today at Scope.

Spartans senior Rob Johnson, who averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds, was named to the All-MEAC third team. NSU's Rashid Gaston, named MEAC Rookie of the Week four times this season, was on the all-rookie team.

Hampton's Keiara Avant was named MEAC women's Player of the Year. The 5-foot-11 senior from Chesapeake's Indian River High averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds.

Hampton's David Six was named women's Coach of the Year.

A junior from Philadelphia, Williams averaged 14.1 points and 4.6 rebounds while making 81 percent of his free throws and 40.7 percent of 3-pointers.

The Spartans are 21-10, have won 15 in a row and went 16-0 in MEAC play this season despite losing four starters from last season.

Williams said Evans recruited him by saying, "come to Norfolk State and help me turn the program around."

Williams helped him to do just that, Evans said.

"I'm so proud of Penny and everything he's done to help this program win," Evans said. "He played so well. People focused on trying to shut him down. He certainly deserves this award."

A Brooklyn native in his 10th season at Norfolk State, including six as head coach, Evans has compiled a 99-92 record at NSU.

He transformed the program largely with players recruited from the Northeast, most of them overlooked by larger schools.

NSU was the only school to offer a scholarship to Kyle O'Quinn, who led the Spartans to the MEAC tournament title and an NCAA tournament upset over Missouri last season. NSU was the first Division I school to offer Williams a scholarship.

Joining Williams on the first team were guard Jeremy Ingram and forward Stanton Kidd from North Carolina Central, Morgan State forward DeWayne Jackson and Bethune-Cookman forward Adrien Coleman.

Hampton's Deron Powers, a 5-foot-11 guard from Williamsburg who led the Pirates with an 11.9-point average, was named Rookie of the Year. North Carolina A&T's Austin Witter was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Avant led Hampton to a 25-2 overall record and 16-0 mark in the MEAC. Joining Avant on the first team were Hampton teammate Nicole Hamilton, Jasmine Grice of Florida A&M, JaQuayla Berry of North Carolina A&T and Saadia Doyle of Howard.

Norfolk State's Rachel Gordon, a junior from Woodbridge, was named to the second team. South Carolina State's Trinese Fox, a senior from Suffolk's Nansemond River High, was a third-team pick.

Hampton's Alyssa Bennett was named Defensive Player of the Year and North Carolina A&T's Eboni Ross was named Rookie of the Year.

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