East Carolina head coach Heather Macy was tabbed Conference USA Coach of the Year and junior forward Kristine Mial earned the league's Sixth Player of the Year award for her contributions off the bench. The conference office announced the specialty awards on Monday.
In her third season at the helm of the ECU women's basketball program, Macy has led the Pirates to a 21-8 overall record and a No. 2 seed in the upcoming tournament. The 20-win season and highest-ever seeding for ECU comes on the heels of the Pirates being chosen to finish 11th in the conference preseason polls after concluding the 2011-12 campaign with a 12-19 overall record and a 5-11 C-USA mark.
This is Macy's first C-USA Coach of the Year honor and her fourth-career coach of the year award after having garnered the honor at Pfeiffer in 2006-07 and winning the awards on two separate occasions at Francis Marion (2007-08 and 2008-09).
Mial has been a major contributer off the bench for the Pirates after sitting out the first 10 games of the season due to an injury. Since her return, the Springfield, Va., native has averaged 9.3 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per contest, while adding 19 steals. She led the Pirates in scoring on three occasions and scored in double-figures half a dozen times. Mial notched a career-best 20-point performance at Houston and recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds against Southern Miss.
Both the Coach and Sixth Player honors are a first for the East Carolina program as a member of Conference USA.
The Pirates will face the winner of the No. 7 seed Memphis and No. 10 seed Southern Miss game on Thursday, March 14. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. (ET) at the Tulsa Convention Center.
2012-13 CONFERENCE USA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SPECIALTY AWARDS TEAMS
Player of the Year
Keena Mays, Jr., G, SMU
Freshman of the Year
Briahanna Jackson, G, UCF
Defensive Player of the Year
Jessica Kuster, Jr., F, Rice
Sixth Player of the Year
Kristine Mial, Jr., F, East Carolina
Newcomer of the Year
Keena Mays, Jr., G, SMU
Coach of the Year
Heather Macy, East Carolina
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