Coach Foley, 3 Trojans earn Sun Belt Conference honors

Coach Joe Foley

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Coach Joe Foley was named the Sun Belt Conference’s Coach of the Year for the 2017-18 season, while three Trojans also earned Sun Belt Conference honors. Ronjanae DeGray was named to the All-Sun Belt First Team, while and Keanna Keys and Monique Townson were named to the All-Sun Belt Third Team. 

Foley’s Coach of the Year award is his fifth as the Trojans’ head coach. He previously won the award in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017. The 2017-18 season was a big one for Foley as he became the Sun Belt’s all-time winningest coach, earned his 750th career win, earned his 300th win as the Trojans’ head coach, and coached in his 1,000th career game.

Foley’s Trojans won the Sun Belt Conference Regular Season Championship with a 17-1 conference record for the second consecutive year. On Saturday, Foley tallied his fourth consecutive 20-win season at Little Rock and 11th as the Trojans’ head coach. Foley now has 27 20-win seasons in his 31 seasons as a collegiate head coach.

DeGray’s All-Sun Belt First Team honor is the first of her career. During the regular season, the junior led Little Rock with 13.9 points per game while tallying a 51.8 field-goal percentage and 5.6 rebounds per game. In Sun Belt play, DeGray averaged 16 points with a 53.2 field-goal percentage and 6.2 rebounds per game. DeGray led Little Rock in scoring on 10 different occasions throughout the season and tallied double figures in all but five games. DeGray scored at least 10 points in all but one Sun Belt Conference game.

Keys’ All-Sun Belt Third Team honor is the first of her career as the graduate student averaged 8.9 points per game with a 53.0 field-goal percentage and 5.1 rebounds per game. In conference action, Keys averaged 9.7 points with a 57.0 field-goal percentage and 5.0 rebounds per game. Keys’ field-goal percentage for the season and in conference play were second-best in the league. Keys shot 42.9 percent or better in all but one Sun Belt contest.

Like Keys, this is Townson’s first All-Sun Belt Third Team honor. The senior led Little Rock with 4 assists per game and 1.8 steals per game while tallying 7.7 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game. In Sun Belt play, Townson had 8.4 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, 4 assists per game and 1.4 steals per game. For her career, she has the best free-throw percentage of any player to wear a Little Rock uniform at 80.7 percent.

Little Rock will get back to action on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference Championship and will face either No. 8 Arkansas State or No. 9 Appalachian State as the No. 1 overall seed. Opening tip is 11:30 a.m. at Lakefront Arena on ESPN3.

All-Sun Belt First Team
Ronjanae DeGray, Little Rock (Junior, Forward, Odessa, Texas)
Jas Adams, Coastal Carolina (Senior, Guard, Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Chyna Ellis, South Alabama (Senior, Center, Cordova, Tenn.)
Rebekah VanDijk, UTA (Senior, Center, Nazareth, Texas)
Taeler Deer, Texas State (Senior, Guard, Houston, Texas)

All-Sun Belt Second Team
Akasha Westbrook, Arkansas State (Junior, Guard, Malvern, Ark.)
DJ Williams, Coastal Carolina (Sophomore, Guard, Moreno Valley, Calif.)
Toshua Leavitt, Texas State (Junior, Guard, Nixa, Mo.)
Kayla Robinson, Troy (Sophomore, Guard, Clyo, Ga.)
Amber Rivers, Troy (Sophomore, Forward, Birmingham, Ala.)

All-Sun Belt Third Team
Bayley Plummer, Appalachian State (Sophomore, Center, Thomasville, N.C.)
Monique Townson, Little Rock (Senior, Guard, Kansas City, Mo.)
Keanna Keys, Little Rock (Graduate, Forward, Sumrall, Miss.)

Simone Fields, Louisiana (Senior, Forward, San Antonio, Texas )
Crystal Allen, UTA (Senior, Guard, Fort Worth, Texas)

Sun Belt Player of the Year
Taeler Deer, Texas State (Senior, Guard, Houston, Texas)

Sun Belt Defensive of the Year
Chyna Ellis, South Alabama (Senior, Center, Cordova, Tenn.)

Sun Belt Freshman of the Year
Savannah Jones, South Alabama (Freshman, Guard, Ocean Springs, Miss.)

Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year
Sky’Lynn Holmes, Troy (Junior, Forward, Mount Pleasant, Texas)

Sun Belt Coach of the Year
Joe Foley, Little Rock

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