By Elaine Stockdale
Liz Smith grabs a defensive rebound against Eastern Illinois in Missouri’s first round loss in the WNIT on March 20, 2013 at Mizzou Arena.
On April 14, the Missouri women’s basketball team held its annual end of season banquet. Awards were given out to players who had an outstanding season. Farewells for Missouri seniors Sydney Crafton, Liz Smith and Liene Priede were also made.
Smith won the Most Improved Player Award for her impressive forward jump in statistics since the 2011-12 season. The Johnson Community College transfer went from 1.6 rebounds per game to 5.3, and 1.5 points per game to 7.5 this season.
Smith also received the Dr. Joan Rutherford Award and Defensive Player of the Year award. Smith recorded 114 defensive rebounds and 25 blocks for the season. The Dr. Joan Rutherford Award recognizes her for her hard work as a student-athlete. In March, Smith was also awarded the 2013 Women’s Basketball Community Service Award by the Southeastern Conference. The award recognizes her dedication in helping the community. She was also awarded the Missouri’s Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year award.
Morgan Eye also grabbed numerous awards. Eye received the Three Point Specialist Award. She set the record for most 3-pointers made (112) in the SEC for the season. She also broke Missouri’s single game record for 3-pointers made (11). The record was formerly held by Alyssa Hollins ,who set it in the 2007-08 season.
Eye also won the Free Throw Award, finishing the season as leader for percentage (79 percent) at the free throw line. The sophomore hit 19 of 24 free throw attempts.
Bri Kulas was awarded the Board Award finishing the season with an average of 6.5 rebounds per game. The junior was also nominated for All-SEC Second Team in March and lead the team in points (440) and rebounds (209) this season.
Sophomore Bree Fowler was named NSCA All-American 2013 Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year for success in the weight room. Fowler dedicated herself to improving her strength and conditioning. She can bench press 160 pounds and can squat 300 pounds.
Missouri also recognized the whole team for its efforts to finish off the season with significant improvements and developments in the program. Missouri made it to post season for the first time since 2006-07 season and had a home record of 14-5. It was Missouri’s first season in the SEC and the team recorded 263 three-pointers, the most in the SEC by any team for the season. The previous SEC record was 248.