Gillom and Howell Trophy Finalists


Gillom and Howell Trophy Finalists
By Rick Cleveland

[February 24, 2014]  Martha Alwal and Marshall Henderson, the reigning C Spire Gillom and Howell Trophy winners, are finalists again, but face stiff competition.

C Spire and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum jointly announce three finalists in each category (in alphabetical order):

First, the Gillom:

  • Alwal, Mississippi State;
  • Tia Faleru, Ole Miss; and
  • Jamierra Faulkner, Southern Miss.

The Howell:

  • Henderson, Ole Miss;
  • Jarvis Summers, Ole Miss; and
  • Neil Watson, Southern Miss.

The Gillom Trophy, named for Peggie Gillom, goes annually to the most outstanding female college basketball player in Mississippi. The Howell Trophy, named for Bailey Howell, goes to the most outstanding men’s player. The trophies will be presented Monday, March 3, at an 11:30 a.m. Awards luncheon at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

The finalists were selected by a state-wide panel of media who cover college basketball in Mississippi. The final vote will take place this week, a weighted vote (90 percent media, 10 percent fans). Beginning Tuesday morning at 9 o’clock and until Sunday, March 2, at 5 p.m., anyone can vote in the fan voting by going to

All six finalists bring impressive numbers to the table:

• Henderson, a senior guard from Hurst Texas, leads the SEC and ranks third in the nation in 3-pointers, making 4.5 per game. He ranks third in the league in scoring (19.5 ppg), fifth at free throw percentage (.818), eighth in steals (1.5/game) and 10th in 3-point FG percentage (.367).
• Summers, a junior guard from Jackson, has shown dramatic improvement this season over last, raising his scoring average (17.1 from 9.1), his field goal percentage (49.7 from 40.4), and his 3-point percentage (47.1 from 34.0). He is the only SEC player to rank in the top 10 in scoring and field goal percentage and also in the top 4 in assists.He ranks fourth in the league in assists with 3.8 per game.
• Watson is the distributor in a balanced scoring attack that has Southern Miss sitting at 23-5 and with a top 40 RPI. Watson leads the team with an 11.4 scoring average, leads Conference USA and is fourth in the country in free throw percentage at 93. 4 percent. He leads his team and is ranked seventh in Conference USA with 4.1 assists per game. He is only the second player in USM history with the combination of at least 1,00 points, 400 assists, 250 rebounds and 100 steals. .
• Alwal ranks in the top three in the SEC in field goal percentage, in the top 10 in scoring and in the top 10 in rebounding. She has set the MSU career record for blocks with 232. She averages 15.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, both helped by Sunday’s career 25-point, 23-rebound effort against Ole Miss.
• Faleru has averaged 17 points and 9.9 rebounds. She ranks No. 3 in SEC in scoring, No. 1 in rebounds. She is the only SEC player to rank in the top three in both categories. She has recorded 15 double-doubles this season, which leads the SEC and is 18th nationally. Ole Miss has played eight games against ranked teams and Faleru has scored in double figures in seven of the eight.
• Faulkner leads the nation in assists with 8.4 per game and set a career-high with 17 assists in a single game, the highest nationally this season. She ranks fifth nationally in steals with 3.1 per game. She leads Southern Miss in scoring with 17.2 points per game, and that goes up to 21 points per game in conference play. She is USM’s all-time leader in assists and steals and ranks No. 3 all-time in scoring. She is one of 30 players in the country to be chosen for the Senior Class Award, one of 22 named to the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List.

For tickets to the March 3 banquet, call 601 982-8264. Richard Williams, who guided Mississippi State to the Final Four in 1996, will be the featured speaker.

Rick Cleveland is a syndicated columnist and Executive Director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Museum. His email address is

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