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Ole Miss Guard Stefan Moody, Mississippi State's Victoria Vivians Win 2015 Awards as Magnolia State's Top Male, Female College Basketball Players


Moody Nabs Coveted C Spire Howell Trophy; Vivians Snags C Spire Gillom Trophy

Jackson, Miss., (March 9, 2015) – University of Mississippi guard Stefan Moody, the only player in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to rank in the league’s top 10 in scoring, three-point goals, free throws and steals this year, won the C Spire Howell Trophy Monday as the state’s top male college basketball player while Mississippi State guard Victoria Vivians won the C Spire Gillom Trophy as the best female college basketball player.

Moody, a 5-foot-10 junior from Kissimmee, Florida, edged out Southern Miss senior guard Chip Armelin and Delta State sophomore guard Devin Schmidt for the award. Moody is a two-time SEC Player of the Week, scored in double figures in 17 of 18 league games and led the SEC in free throw percentage and steals, averaging 1.9 a game.

Vivians, a 6-foot-1 Carthage, Miss. native, is the first freshman to win the award. She led the SEC in scoring averaging 15 points a game, second best in the nation, and pulled down 5.1 rebounds a game. She helped guide the team to one of its best seasons in school history, going 26-5 and 11-5 in league play. Vivians beat out two-time finalist and Ole Miss senior forward Tia Faleru and Southern Miss senior forward Tamara Jones for the award.

“Victoria has been a joy to coach, just an outstanding player, a great team mate and a tremendous competitor,” said Mississippi State Head Coach Vic Schafer, co-SEC Coach of the Year. “She led the SEC in scoring while drawing the opposition’s best defender every game. In our league, that’s a load and she’s had to do it as a 19 year old against 22 and 23 year olds. I’m so happy that she’s received this honor.”

Moody and Vivians received the awards at a special luncheon sponsored by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and C Spire. A select group of print and electronic news media representatives who cover basketball in Mississippi named the award winners.

“Stef Moody is an impact player that has taken college basketball and the SEC by storm this year,” said Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy, the winningest basketball coach in school history. “He’s been a privilege to coach and a guy who brings it each and every day. He’s gotten more and more comfortable in his role as one of our ‘go-to’ guys.”

For the second time in the history of the awards, Mississippi hoops fans had the opportunity to take part in the voting for the C Spire Howell and Gillom Trophies. Fan voting counted for 10 percent of the awards total. Schmidt won the fan vote for the men’s award and Vivians won the women’s fan vote.

The Howell Trophy presented by C Spire is named after Bailey Howell, a two-time All American at Mississippi State University and a six-time NBA All-Star who played on Boston Celtics world championship teams in 1968 and 1969. Howell, a 1977 inductee to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and the first male Mississippi player inducted in the National Basketball Hall of Fame, still holds nearly a dozen season and career records at Mississippi State University.

The Gillom Trophy presented by C Spire is named after Abbeville, Miss. native Peggie Gillom-Granderson, Ole Miss’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder. She has coached in the WNBA and the Olympics and recently retired after a seven-year stint as Associate Head Coach of the Lady Rebels basketball team at Ole Miss.

“There’s definitely some NBA and WNBA-caliber talent among this year’s C Spire Howell and Gillom Trophy award winners,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire. "This has been another great year in terms of individual performance and overall leadership among the basketball teams in our state,” he added, noting that several of the teams led by this year’s award finalists are likely headed to the NCCA tournament.

2015 marks the 19th anniversary of Outstanding Player Awards presentation. C Spire has served as title sponsor for 16 of those years since 1998. The Conerly Trophy in college football, the Howell Trophy in men’s college basketball, the Gillom Trophy in women’s college basketball and the Ferriss Trophy in college baseball comprise the four elements of the C Spire Wireless Outstanding Player Award series.

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