Missouri State senior guard Brice Calip, junior forward Jasmine Franklin and head coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton received Missouri Valley Conference specialty awards Thursday, with Calip winning Player of the Year, Franklin honored as Defensive Player of the Year, and Coach Mox picking up Coach of the Year accolades for the second consecutive season.
Missouri State’s 10th Jackie Stiles Player of the Year winner and first since Tyonna Snow in 2016, Calip leads the MVC and ranks eighth nationally with a 2.94 assist-to-turnover ratio, on pace for Missouri State’s single-season record. The Sapulpa, Okla., native leads the Lady Bears in scoring (13.4 points/game), assists (4.3) and steals (2.3), ranking second in the MVC in the latter two categories.
Franklin is MSU’s second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year and seventh overall after Calip won the award last season and is also a first-team all-Valley selection. She leads the MVC in total (9.5) and defensive (6.7) rebounds per game and ranks second in the league at 2.3 steals per contest. The Fayetteville, Ark., native has eight double-doubles on the year, averages 12.0 points on the offensive end of the court and has helped MSU hold its opponent under its season scoring average in 20 of 22 games.
Agugua-Hamilton is the first MSU coach to win consecutive coach of the year honors since Cheryl Burnett did so in the Gateway Conference in 1991 and 1992 and has guided Missouri State to a 20-2 overall record and the program’s first ever unbeaten conference (16-0) and road (11-0) records.
The Lady Bears have been ranked in every Coaches Poll this season and 12 weeks by the AP, winning back-to-back MVC regular season titles for the first time since 2004 and 2005. The Missouri State defense is having a historic season at 56.8 points allowed on average, on pace for second in school history.
The No. 17/21 Lady Bears take the No. 1 seed to the MVC Tournament for the 12th time in school history, opening play at 11 a.m. Friday, March 12, against the winner of Thursday’s game between No. 8 Southern Illinois and ninth-seeded Indiana State. The tournament takes place at TaxSlayer Center in Moline, Ill.