Replica edition News Obituaries Best of Siloam Springs Winners Newsletters Sports Distribution Locations Business Opinion Religion Photos Special Sections Contact Us

Stephens a unanimous first team selection; Smith, Sanders honored

by JBU Sports Information | March 15, 2023 at 9:25 a.m.

For the first time in her career, John Brown senior Tarrah Stephens landed on the All-Sooner Athletic Conference first team after finishing second in the league in scoring, while junior Natalie Smith returned to the third team and sophomore Emily Sanders also qualified for the third team, the conference office announced Feb. 22.

Stephens finished as the runner-up in Player of the Year voting and was named to the All-Defensive team after ending the year among the league's top five in defensive rebounds (5.3), blocks per game (1.1) and steals per game (1.9).

After starting all 28 games for the Golden Eagles (20-8) this season, Stephens averaged 19.3 points per game in her fourth year, finishing just shy of the league's scoring title (Zyunn Cormier, UNT Dallas, 19.6) but also finishing ninth in the nation with 540 total points.

The three-time SAC Player of the Week selection was a two-time All-Sooner Athletic second team pick after earning SAC Freshman of the Year in 2020. A native of Wyandotte, Okla., Stephens finished the 2023 regular season with six double-doubles, shot 52 percent from the floor (203 of 390) and surpassed the 20-point scoring mark on 11 occasions – including a season-best 34-point outburst at Langston (Okla.) in January.

Sanders also started all 28 games in the 2023 season, en route to averaging 10.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists. The Bentonville product finished in the league's top 10 with 85 assists and a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Sanders, who shot 44 percent from the floor (97-of-220) and 87 percent from the charity stripe (33-of-38), was selected for the third team for the first time in her career.

John Brown's second-leading scorer, Smith, also started all 28 contests and scored 11.1 points per games, averaging a league-leading 2.7 triples per game.

Named to the third team last season as well, Smith – also from Bentonville – drained 76 triples to lead the Sooner Athletic and check in at eleventh in the nation. She shot 38 percent (76 of 201) from behind the arc and also averaged 3.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per night.

After a 31-point outing at Southwestern Assemblies of God (Texas), Smith earned her first SAC Player of the Week honors. Through the final six games of the season, Smith averaged 18.7 points per game.

  photo  Smith
  photo  Stephens
More News



Print Headline: Stephens a unanimous first team selection; Smith, Sanders honored


Sponsor Content


Recommended for you