ROCK HILL, S.C. --- The South Atlantic Conference has announced its 2017-18 All-Conference selections for women's basketball, and Tusculum had two honorees as junior guard Sydney Wilson and junior forward Kasey Johnson were each selected honorable mention All-SAC in voting by the league's 11 head coaches.
Wilson also claimed the SAC statistical championship for three-pointers made per game as the Pioneers finished 16-11 overall and qualified for the SAC Championship tournament for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Tusculum finished in sixth place in the league with an 11-9 record, and made a 9 1/2-game improvement over the team's 2016-17 overall record of 6-20.
Wilson led the Pioneers in scoring during the regular season at 14.1 points per game, ranking her ninth in the conference. Wilson led the SAC with 2.7 three-pointers per game (36th-best in Division II) and made 72 total three-pointers during the season. The 5-9 shooting guard from Greensboro, North Carolina started the final 18 games for the Pioneers and scored in double figures in 17 of them, including the final 12 in a row, and averaged 15.0 points per game as a starter. Wilson was second on the Pioneers in free-throw shooting at 77.0 percent, which ranked her ninth in the final SAC regular-season statistics. In conference games only, Wilson was the league's seventh leading scorer at 14.5 points per game and increased her three-pointers per game average to 2.8 per contest.
Wilson made at least one three-pointer in 26 of the Pioneers' 27 games, and reached double figures 24 times. She scored a career-high 26 points at Wingate on Dec. 16, while netting 23 points at Carson-Newman on Feb. 14 and 22 at Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 24. Wilson hit a career-high six three-pointers in back-to-back games against Wingate (Dec. 16) and Mars Hill (Jan. 3), and on Feb. 19 against Wingate became the eighth player in school history to sink 100 career three-pointers. Wilson made four or more three-pointers in a game eight times and had two or more in a game 19 times this season.
A three-year starter for the Pioneers, Wilson is averaging 11.0 points per game and 2.4 rebounds per contest in 72 career games (54 starts). Wilson will enter her senior season with 795 career points and eighth on the career three-pointers list with 107. Wilson also has 111 career steals after setting a career-high this season with 44 thefts.
Johnson, who was named honorable mention All-SAC for the second straight season, started every game at power forward for the Pioneers and averaged 12.2 points per game (14th in the SAC) and 6.5 rebounds per game (10th in the SAC) during the regular season. Johnson had a streak of 12 straight games in double figures, and connected for a career-high 42 three-pointers in 95 attempts to rank third in the SAC in three-point percentage at 44.2 percent. Johnson's three-point percentage is the sixth-best in a single season by a Pioneer and best since the 2008-09 season, and included a 14-game stretch to end the season in which she went 26-for-46 (56.5 percent) from long range.
The 6-foot Greensboro, North Carolina product posted three double-doubles during the season, including 20 points and 14 rebounds in a win at Lenoir-Rhyne on Jan. 6 and 14 points and 10 boards at Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 24. Johnson also posted 13 points and 12 rebounds as the Pioneers defeated Queens on Dec. 2, and had four other games with double figures in points and at least eight rebounds. Johnson had a run of 22 consecutive made free throws over a six-game span in late January, including 10-for-10 against Newberry on Jan. 13, and finished the season at 72.2 percent from the foul line.
Johnson will begin her senior season needing 76 points to become the 17th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points, and is ranked third in career three-point field-goal percentage (43.8 percent, 67-for-153) and seventh in career rebounding average (6.6 per game). Johnson also ranks 11th in program history in overall field-goal percentage at 48.3 percent.
Marta Miscenko of Wingate and Haris Price of Carson-Newman were named SAC Co-Players of the Year, with Qua Hines of Lincoln Memorial capturing Freshman of the Year honors. Alexis Dillard of Anderson was the inaugural winner of the SAC Defensive Player of the Year award, and Carson-Newman's Mike Mincey was honored as Coach of the Year after leading the Eagles to the SAC regular-season championship.