Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Sophomore Guard Takes Gillom Trophy; Ware, Weatherspoon Were Finalists for Howell Trophy

It was the least surprising news of the Monday. That does not make repeating as winner of the Gillom Trophy any less rewarding for Victoria Vivians and Mississippi State.

Sophomore Vivians capped her second regular season in college basketball with recognition as the best female player in Mississippi. She was presented the trophy during a Monday ceremony at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, having been selected from nominees representing all four-year college programs in the state.

She was voted ahead of fellow finalists from Ole Miss and Delta State. Vivians now has a matching set of these Trophies, having won it as a true freshman in 2015 after averaging 14.9 points and leading Coach Vic Schaefer’s squad to the NCAA Tournament.

As a sophomore Vivians has raised her scoring to 17.2 points. And, her team is headed back to the NCAAs after tying for second place in the Southeastern Conference standings, the program’s highest-ever finish.

The Bulldogs are coming off a runner-up finish at the SEC Tournament in Jacksonville, where regular season champions South Carolina took a 66-52 final. State defeated Vanderbilt and Tennessee to teach the finals, giving Schaefer’s squad a 26-7 record. Vivians was the dominant Dog as usual, averaging 22 points to be named All-Tournament.

It matched Vivians’ recognition last week as first-team All-SEC.

The NCAA tournament field, with seedings and sitings, will be announced next Monday.

Also at the MSHOF today, Bulldog men Gavin Ware and Quinndary Weatherspoon were finalists for the Howell Trophy.

Coach Ben Howland and the Bulldogs are headed to this week’s SEC Tournament in Nashville. They will play as the #11 seed against #6 Georgia, in Thursday’s late game.

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