Women's basketball team announces awards, Blair Bowens selected team MVP
Mar 24, 2009
John P. Hendrix Leadership Award to
Lyons, Frank Porter Award to Bowens
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Blair Bowens was named the Most
Valuable Player and also won the Frank Porter Award and Foul
Shooting Award Monday night when the Tennessee Tech women’s
basketball team announced its 2008-09 awards at the team’s
annual Awards Dinner.
Head coach Amy Brown also presented the John P. Hendrix Leadership
Award to Meagan Lyons, the Best Defensive Player Award to Allison
Price and the Academic Award to Rachel Whittle as all four of the
team’s seniors were among the players who accepted
Junior Vivian Nwosu and freshman Simone Rutledge shared the Most
Improved Player honor.
The program also featured a highlight video and comments from the
senior players and team managers.
Bowens, a senior from Tuscumbia, Ala., led Tech in scoring and
ranked eighth in the Ohio Valley Conference with 15.2 points per
game on her way to earning second-team all-OVC honors. She ranked
among OVC leaders in 3-point percentage, 3-pointers made, free
throw percentage, steals and minutes played.
“Blair has been a great ambassador for Tennessee Tech
women’s basketball, and the Frank Porter Award is in
recognition of her overall contributions to the team, both on and
off the floor,” Brown said. “She was more visible in
the community her junior and senior years.”
At the free throw line, Bowens shot a team-best 73.1 percent,
including 80.6 percent in OVC games.
“Foul shooting is a very important aspect of the game, and
many times it’s the difference in winning and losing,”
Brown said. “Blair was our most consistent foul shooter in
The MVP honor, voted on by the players, reflected Bowens’
overall contributions to the team.
“When you have the type of year that Blair had, offensively,
defensively and at the free throw line, your teammates notice
that,” Brown said. “She was the player they looked to
on the floor for the big shots or to handle the ball in the final
“She carried our offense on her shoulders for a majority of
our games, and she is very deserving of this award,” Brown
Bowens is only the third guard to earn the team's MVP award in the
past 23 years, joining Taunya Lovelace in 1995 and Kendall Cavin in
Lyons, a senior from Greeneville, Tenn., accepted the John P.
Hendrix Leadership Award after ranking second on the team in
scoring and 11th in the OVC with 10.3 points per game. She also
ranked fifth in the league in steals and was among OVC leaders in
field goal percentage and assists.
“Meagan was a four-year starter and she made a great name for
herself, not only on our team but in the conference and around the
nation,” Brown said. “She showed her leadership by
example. Every day she played hard, in practice and in games, and
we will miss her tenacity.
“She wasn’t a vocal leader, but she led by example and
gave the team guidance by how hard she played,” Brown
The Academic Award, presented by Assistant Athletic Director Lance
Jasitt, went to Whittle, a senior biology major from Hubbard, Tex.,
who posted a 3.51 GPA during her final season. A two-year member of
the team, Whittle was hampered by injuries and limited to just
seven games in 2008-09.
“It was courageous of Rachel to try to play for the last two
years with painful knees,” Brown said. “It showed the
great passion she had for the game, and she had that same passion
in her academics. She has her sights set on being a dentist. She
plans to further her academic endeavors and go on to dental school,
and there’s no question that she will be
Price, a senior point guard from Atlanta, won the Best Defensive
Player Award for the second consecutive year. She ranked fourth in
the OVC in assists and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio.
“Allison was a mainstay in our defense, and she always had to
guard the toughest opponent at the guard spot,” Brown said.
“She gave us that kind of effort on defense, while also
running our basketball team on the other end of the floor. She did
a great job throughout her career, and especially this year, and we
will certainly miss her presence next year.”
Nwosu and Rutledge shared the Most Improved Player Award, each in
their first season on the floor for the Golden Eagles. Nwosu, a
junior from San Antonio, began her career this season after sitting
out one year following a transfer. Rutledge is a freshman from
“The Most Improved Player award goes to someone who, from the
beginning of the season until the end, shows tremendous
progress,” Brown said. “With Vivian, that was something
that was seen not only by her teammates, but also the community and
“When Vivian was playing her best basketball, we were winning
games,” Brown said. “She was willing to do whatever was
needed to be successful, from the first of August right through our
last game at Eastern Illinois.”
Nwosu finished the year averaging 8.9 points and 3.9 rebounds in
conference play. Rutledge was a key contributor off the bench, and
averaged 1.7 points and 1.3 rebounds against the OVC.
“Simone came in and just worked hard at learning what
dedication means in every area of her life, including
basketball,” Brown said. “She was another player who
was willing to do whatever it takes, and she was never satisfied
with where she was. She always wanted to improve, and that was
evident from the beginning of the year to the end.”