JACKSON, Miss. – Ole Miss junior forward Tia Faleru has been named one of three finalists for the 2014 C Spire Wireless Gillom Trophy it was announced Monday (Feb. 24) by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Faleru is joined by Martha Alwal from Mississippi State and Jamierra Faulkner from Southern Miss.
The award, presented annually to the top female collegiate basketball player in Mississippi, is named after former Ole Miss great Peggie Gillom. Gillom is Ole Miss’ leading scorer and rebounder and served as an associate coach at Ole Miss for seven years. In addition, Gillom has spent time as an Olympic and WNBA coach.
Faleru has flourished throughout her junior season. The Ozark, Ala., native leads the Rebels in both rebounding and scoring averaging 17.0 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game. She leads the SEC in rebounding and is ranked No. 3 in scoring. Faleru is the only player in the league ranked in the top three in both scoring and rebounding. The junior has tallied 15 double-doubles on the year and has reached double-figure rebounds in 16 games in 2013-14. She has tallied career highs in points (31 vs. Kentucky), rebounds (16 vs. Washington State and Kentucky) as well as free throws made (15 vs. Kentucky) this season. Faleru is also closing in on the 1,000 point mark and needs just 66 more points to become Ole Miss’ 26th 1,000-point scorer.
The trophy will be presented Monday, March 3, at an 11:30 a.m. Awards luncheon at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Richard Williams, who guided Mississippi State to the Final Four in 1996, will be the featured speaker. For tickets to the March 3 banquet, call 601-982-8264.
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). Fan voting, which is available for the award for the first time, will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. CST and end on Sunday, March 2 at 5 p.m. By visiting C Spire’s new fan voting website, www.csopavoting.com, fans can vote for their favorite college basketball player by simply providing an email address and name, or connecting through Facebook or Twitter. Once an account is created, the voting can begin and fans can choose their first, second and third place winners. Fans will be able to vote via Facebook, Twitter and text messaging and can submit up to three votes per day during the week-long voting period.
Ole Miss will close out the regular season this week. The Rebels will travel to Missouri on Thursday for a televised contest on Fox Sports Midwest that will air locally on Sports South. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. CT from Missouri’s Mizzou Arena. The Rebels return home on Sunday (March 2) to take on Auburn in the regular season finale. Ole Miss will honor seniors Valencia McFarland, Kenyotta Jenkins and Diara Moore. Tip is set for 2 p.m.
For all Ole Miss women’s basketball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWBB, Facebook at Ole Miss WBB and on Instagram at Ole Miss_WBB. Fans can also follow Ole Miss women’s basketball head coach Matt Insell on Twitter at @minsell.