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Courtesy: Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

Gibbs, Rippetoe-Blair named Southland Conference Player and Coach of the Decade on Thursday

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics
Release: 03/07/2013
Courtesy UTSA Athletics
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FRISCO — Former Southland Conference Player of the Year Monica Gibbs and head coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair were named the Southland’s 2000s All-Decade Player and Coach of the Decade, respectively, the league office announced on Thursday.

Joining them as members of the All-Decade Team are former Roadrunners Onika Anderson and Nikki Hendrix.

“I’m very happy and proud to see Monica, Nikki and Onika honored,” said Rippetoe-Blair, who is in her 13th season with the Roadrunners. “Monica was one of the best players that UTSA and the Southland has ever seen, which is why her number now hangs in the rafters. All three were great competitors who left a lasting mark on the program and it was my privilege to coach them.

“Without their help, along with the time and effort of countless players, coaches and athletics staff, I would not be able to earn this honor. I’m very proud of the program that we have built over the years and look forward to many more successful seasons in the future.”

Gibbs, a four-year letterwinner from 2005-09, owns school records for most career assists (693), rebounds (990), triple-doubles (three) games played (123) and games started (113) along with the single-season record for assists (221/2008-09). The Stillwater, Okla., native ranks fourth in school history with 1,460 points and helped guide UTSA to 62 wins in her career, including a school-record 24 as a senior in 2008-09. Gibbs also is one of just six players in program history with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds and the only player to top 1,400 points and 900 boards.

She helped UTSA produce back-to-back Southland Tournament Championships (2008-09) and NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in program history. Gibbs was named the Southland Tournament’s Most Valuable Player in 2008 after averaging 14 points, eight assists and 6.7 rebounds to go along with a pair of double-doubles. In her final campaign, she became the first player in league history to earn Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors. After leading the Roadrunners to their second conference tournament crown in as many seasons in 2009, Gibbs and UTSA became the first No. 15 seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament to push a second seed to overtime, when it eventually fell to Baylor, 87-82. In 2006, she became the third Roadrunner to be named Freshman of the Year and took home second-team all-conference laurels as a sophomore before earning first-team awards in her final two seasons.

The winningest coach in UTSA history, Rippetoe-Blair amassed 176 of her 214 wins during the 2000s, including 126 triumphs in Southland action. She was named the league’s Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2008 and earned both the conference and Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year plaques in 2009. The Ardmore, Okla., native guided the Roadrunners to two regular-season (2002-03/2008-09) and two conference tournament titles (2008-09) and the first two NCAA Tournament appearances in school annals. She mentored 22 all-conference selections during the decade, including seven first-teamers, the 2009 Player and Defensive Player of the Year (Gibbs), four Newcomers of the Year, two Freshmen of the Year, a pair of Southland Student-Athlete of the Year honorees and two ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District recipients.

Meanwhile, Anderson, a two-year letterwinner from 2007-09, finished her career with 800 points and 579 rebounds in just 59 games (13.6 ppg/9.8 rpg). She ranks 19th on the school’s all-time scoring chart, while her 579 rebounds rank seventh all-time. The Pine Bluff, Ark., native holds single-season records for rebounds (351/2008-09) and rebounding average (10.6/2008-09) and her career .527 field goal percentage ranks second all-time. On Feb. 21, 2009, Anderson scored 19 points and pulled down a career-best 23 rebounds, which was just one off the school-record, to help the Roadrunners defeat Sam Houston State. After helping lead UTSA to its first-ever conference tournament crown and earning second-team all-conference honors in 2008, she averaged 17.3 points and 12 rebounds en route to being named the 2009 Southland Tournament Most Valuable Player following her first-team selection.

Hendrix, a three-year letterwinner from 2001-04, tallied 1,122 points and 435 rebounds in 78 games (14.4 ppg/5.6 rpg). The first first-team All-Southland performer in program history, she ranks 10th on UTSA’s career scoring chart and 15th on the career rebounds list. As a sophomore in 2001-02, Hendrix averaged 12 points and 5.1 rebounds and shot 44 percent from the field to earn Southland Newcomer of the Year honors. She followed that up with back-to-back first-team all-conference nods and capped her career by averaging 17.7 points and seven boards in 2004.

The Southland previously has announced the All-Decade Teams in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s as part of its 50th anniversary commemoration.

To best assess the candidate pool for the all-decade team, the Southland developed a metric that analyzed numerous elements of a student-athlete’s performance and value within the league at the time. Most notably, the conference honored ‘real-time” factors such as all-conference selection by coaches and a player’s statistical performance among her peers at the time. Further, other components of selection including a player’s effort toward helping her team win a championship or finish near the top of the conference, whether she earned individual honors from the league and if she participated in postseason tournaments.

Southland Conference 2000s All-Decade Women’s Basketball Team

 Player School Years Played
Position Hometown
 Onika Anderson UTSA 2007-09 F
Pine Bluff, Ark.
 Amanda Bennett
Northwestern State
2001-05 F Simpson, La.
 Nikki Carr Stephen F. Austin
2003-08 G Hawkins, Texas
 Kia Converse
Northwestern State 1997-2001 G Napoleonville, La.
 Diamond Crosby
Northwestern State 2001-05 G Shreveport, La.
 Angela Davidson
Northwestern State 2000-04 G Leesville, La.
 Chaquita Dilworth
Stephen F. Austin 2000-02 F Temple, Texas
 La’Terrica Dobin Northwestern State 2001-04 G Bossier City, La.
 Charity Egenti
Stephen F. Austin 2005-07 F/C Lagos, Nigeria
 Joyce Ekworomadu
Texas State
2004-08 G/F Coppell, Texas
 Monica Gibbs
UTSA 2005-09 G Stillwater, Okla.
 Nikki Hendrix
2001-04 C Armore, Okla.
 Shawnta Johnson
Stephen F. Austin 1998-2000 F Fresno, Calif.
 LaToya Mills
Stephen F. Austin 2002-06 F Houston, Texas
 Rola Ogunoye
UT Arlington
2001-05 F Cedar Hill, Texas
 Nina Randle
Louisiana-Monroe 2001-05 F Covington, La.
 Tori Talbert
Texas State
2000-05 F Boerne, Texas
 Shawnta Vanzant
Lamar 2000-01 G Del City, Okla.
 Terra Wallace
UT Arlington
2003-07 G Round Rock, Texas
 Natesia Wrights Stephen F. Austin
1999-2003 G Arlington, Texas
Player of the Decade: Monica Gibbs, UTSA (2005-09)
Coach of the Decade: Rae Rippetoe-Blair, UTSA

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