UT Arlington’s Van Dijk Named SBC Freshman of the Year
By UT Arlington Athletics Department
Posted on March 10, 2015, March 10, 2015

Articles UTA Sports

UT Arlington freshman center Rebekah Van Dijk was named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, the league announced on Tuesday.

Van Dijk, one of just two players in the conference averaging a double-double, earned the program 's fourth Freshman of the Year award in UTA history, and the first since 2008 in the Southland Conference.

"It is just a tribute to her and her hard work and coachability," UT Arlington coach Krista Gerlich said. "She is a great teammate and her teammates love her so they just want to feed her the ball. She just works hard and wants to do it right. I am just excited that she got recognized for her contribution this year."

The freshman, from Nazareth, Texas, was also selected to the All-Sun Belt second team. UTA did not have a selection in the SBC Preseason All-Conference teams released in November.

Van Dijk 's 15 double-doubles this season rank first in the nation for a freshman and are 17th overall. Van Dijk averaged 13.2 points per game and 10.4 rebounds a game. Her 298 rebounds are seventh all-time in UTA single-season history.

Arkansas State redshirt-junior Aundrea Gamble became the sixth student-athlete in Sun Belt Conference women 's basketball history to earn back-to-back Player of the Year awards while UALR head coach Joe Foley earned his third Sun Belt Coach of the Year award, the conference office announced on Tuesday.

The individual awards and all-conference teams were released following a vote by the league 's head coaches and a selected media panel.

Trojan senior Ka 'Nesheia Cobbins earned the Defensive Player of the Year award. Cobbins helped lead UALR to one of its best seasons in the Sun Belt as the Trojans finished the regular season as the top defensive team in the league while ranking second in the NCAA in points allowed (50.4). Cobbins has been tasked with defending the opponent 's top perimeter scorer in addition to her 5.0 assists per game and 1.9 steals per game.

Gamble led Arkansas State to a school record tying 21 wins this season while leading the conference in points with a 19.1 scoring average through the regular season. She ranks second in assists at 5.1 per game.

She captured three Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week awards this year, including becoming the first league player since 2009-10 to win the award in back-to-back weeks. Earlier this season, Gamble became the 22nd player in A-State history to surpass 1,000 points.

UALR 's Foley earned his third Sun Belt Women 's Basketball Coach of the Year award after leading the Trojans to its first outright Sun Belt regular season title and the tournament 's top overall seed. His Trojans went 25-4 overall and posted 18 wins in conference play. The 18 wins tied a Sun Belt record for most conference wins in a season while the 25 total wins broke a UALR school record.

The Trojans led the conference in scoring defense, allowing 50.4 points per game while averaging 63.9 points per game on offense.

Joining Gamble on the All-Conference First Team were UALR 's Taylor Gault, Appalachian State 's Maryah Sydnor, and the Troy duo of Ashley Beverly-Kelley and Ronita Garrett.

Gault 's honor was the third of her storied career at UALR as she was previously named to the 2011-12 and 2013-14 All-Conference First Teams. In 2011-12, Gault was also named the league 's Freshman of the Year.

Sydnor earned Appalachian State 's first All-Sun Belt honor after a campaign that saw the senior average 17.6 points per game, good enough for third in the league, along with 8.8 rebounds per game.

Troy 's duo of Beverly-Kelley and Garrett helped pace the Trojans squad this year which posted 20 wins on the season and earned the No. 3 seed, their highest ranking since joining the Sun Belt. The tandem averaged 33.7 of Troy 's 77.3 points per game or 44% of the Trojans ' offense. Garrett led the Sun Belt in double-doubles with 21 averaging 16.0 points per game and 11.3 rebounds. Beverly-Kelley finished second in scoring with a 17.7 average.

The 2015 Sun Belt Conference Women 's Basketball Championship begins on Wednesday, March 11 at 11:30 a.m. CT with the tip-off of first round games taking place at the Lakefront Arena. All games of the tournament will be carried by ESPN3. The championship game will tip at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday .

Highlights, News, Sports, UT Arlington