Evans captures second straight Player of the Year honor; Wiles one of three unanimous First Team selections
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Evans becomes first player to receive First Team All-Conference honors all four years in A-Sun history


MACON, Ga. (March 2, 2010) - Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) and TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) continued adding more accolades to their resumes on Tuesday afternoon as the Atlantic Sun announced its 2009-10 all-conference winners, but for the pair of seniors, the biggest achievement will hopefully be securing the Lady Bucs' third straight NCAA Tournament appearance this upcoming weekend in Macon, Ga. 


Evans joined an elite group in the conference after being only the sixth player to receive multiple player of the year honors and the first to take home first team all-conference accolades all four seasons. For the second straight year, Wiles - a preseason all-conference selection - backed it up on the court after joining her teammate as a unanimous first team candidate.


"Siarre and TaRonda have meant so much to this program, so for them to be unanimous first team all-conference is a great honor," added head coach Karen Kemp. "These two players have really changed the image of Lady Buccaneer basketball, and hopefully we will have them in the Blue and Gold uniform for a couple more weeks. It has been a joy to watch them mature both on and off the court over the years, and they are two of the top players to come through this program."


After being named Preseason Player of the Year back in October, Evans let her game do the talking on the court after averaging 15.6 points and a league-leading 11.0 rebounds per game this season. Evans, who has been hobbled by a sore knee for the majority of conference play, also tallied 18 double-doubles in 2009-10 - moving her career total to 51. The Sport Management major ranks fifth in the country in double-doubles and 11th in rebounding (11.0); while recording 26 double figure scoring games - propelling her running total to 99. Evans also joined an elite group at ETSU this season after becoming only the third Lady Buccaneer player to reach 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career back on Feb. 11 against Mercer. The Griffin, Ga. native currently ranks fifth all-time at 1,745 points and third in rebounding with 1,076 boards.   


"Siarre is one of the best players I have ever coached and to win back-to-back player of the year honors is quite an achievement," added Kemp. "She is an outstanding young lady and has been a great role model while being at ETSU."


Meanwhile, Wiles has made huge leaps over her playing career, as she went from averaging 5.0 points per game as a freshman, to becoming the leading scorer in the A-Sun at 18.0 points as a senior. The silky smooth scorer became the 17th player in ETSU history to reach the 1,000-point club after finishing with a game-high 26 points at Arkansas back on Nov. 22. Now, Wiles finds herself sixth on the all-time scoring charts with 1,448 career points. This season, Wiles ranks 39th in the country in scoring and 14th in 3-point field goal percentage (44.4).  Like Evans, Wiles continues to score at ease, as she has posted 27 games in double figures - including a game-high 30 at Vanderbilt back in December.  


"TaRonda has really matured as a player since her freshman year, and she has played a huge part in our success," added Kemp. "She is one of the best shooters to come through here in quite some time and she is going to give it her all each time she steps out on the court."     


Despite being honored by the league coaches and SIDs, both Evans and Wiles know the season won't complete without winning the Lady Bucs' third straight tournament title this weekend.


"Winning these awards are not a big deal for me, I'd rather trade these honors for another trip to the NCAA Tournament," added Evans.


Just like Evans, Wiles' goal wouldn't be completed until the Lady Bucs win a third straight conference tournament title.


"It's nice to be recognized by the league as one of the top players in the conference, but like Siarre said, winning a championship and going back to the NCAA Tournament is my number one goal," said Wiles. "Both Siarre and I want to end our careers on a strong note and getting back to the NCAAs would make a perfect finish."   


Taking home Defensive Player of the Year honors was Mercer's Courtney Ford; while USC Upstate's Tee'Ara Copney was named Freshman of the Year. Upstate also took home Coach of the Year honors after Tammy George led the Spartans to a 20-win season.


The Lady Bucs kick off the 2010 General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament with their noon tip against #8 Stetson on Wednesday inside Mercer's University Center.


For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.