LakePoint, Ga. – After helping lead the women’s basketball team to their best season in years, Lipscomb’s Loren Cagle was named the ASUN Player of the Year, as announced by the league offices on Thursday.
It is the first time in program history that a player as taken home the honor.
“It says a lot about where she’s come in four years, how she represents us on the floor and off the floor, and her ability to maintain poise and composure through a lot of minutes and playing through a lot of pain,” Lipscomb women’s basketball head coach Greg Brown said.
The senior point guard led the ASUN in both points with 17.6 per game and assists with 4.2 per contest to earn the first all-conference slot for a Lady Bison in four years.
Lipscomb has not seen someone on the All-Conference First-Team since Courtney Boynton’s back-to-back selections in 2004 and 2005.
“It’s always good to see a player rewarded for their effort, especially an award like that where it’s coming from the other coaches in the league to show that type of respect for her,” Brown said. “I’m excited for her and for the program.”
Her scoring average surges up to 18.1 points per game in conference play, including a career-high 31 point outburst at North Florida, the highest single-game scoring mark for an ASUN player this season.
Cagle not only leads the ASUN in points and assists, but she is 10th in rebounds at 5.5 per game, the highest ranking for a guard. She is the only player in the conference to rank in the top 10 for all three categories.
“I think that made her unique this year was the stat lines,” Brown said. “The rebounds, the assists, the steals, the blocked shots, it was all those things from that position and not just a scoring title. I think those are completely different things.”
On defense, the Nashville native leads her team and is third in the ASUN with 2.1 steals per game. She also has the third highest defensive rebounding average in the league at 5.1 per contest.
Although Cagle scores at a high volume, she still does it at an efficient clip. She ranks second in the ASUN in three-point percentage at 39 percent, 12th in field goal percentage at 42 percent, and 11th from the free throw line at 71 percent.
During the season, the point guard won a program career-record four ASUN Player of the Week awards, tied for the highest number in the league with Stetson’s Brittney Chambers.
She has scored in double-figures in all but three games this season, including 20-plus points 11 times. She has dished out three or more assists 22 times on the year, and she has grabbed four or more rebounds 23 times this season.
“In as much of an individual award as it is, it shows a lot about the team,” Brown said. “From setting screens to getting her open to finishing plays. I thought Lauren Rau and Lexi Manos did a great job of helping take the pressure off her this year by being able to distribute the ball and bring it down.”
Cagle was also voted onto the ASUN All-Academic team for the second year in a row.
The Interdisciplinary Teaching: K-6 major has compiled a 3.60 GPA off the court to become only the second two-time All-Academic honoree in program history.
“That shows how focused and hard-working she is on and off the court,” Brown said. “One thing about the program is that we have several players that fit that mode. As a team they take great pride in their academics. Obviously, they’re student-athletes first, and this is another example of that. It also shows the strong support from Dr. Garner and Grace Ann.”
Emily Kmec also voted onto the six-person All-Freshman team. After redshirting last season, the Indiana native came back this year as one of the strongest freshmen in the league.
“Emily had to fight through several things,” Brown said. “She brought a lot to the table with her ability to stretch the floor for us. As she continues to get healthy and stronger, she’s going to bring even more.”
Kmec started every game for the Lady Bisons, and is the team’s second-leading scorer at 8.5 points per game.
The sharpshooter has hit three or more three-pointers 11 times this season and four or more three-pointers seven times, both team-highs. She has also grabbed four or more rebounds 17 times.
“It shows how hard she worked to come back off that knee injury,” Brown said. “It’s great to see her rewarded for that work, and the time she put in the training room just to get herself back to being able to play.”
Kmec is the first Lady Bison to land on the All-Freshman team since the 2014-15 season.
Lipscomb opens the ASUN Tournament at home as the No. 4 seed against the 5-seeded USC Upstate Spartans on Friday at 7 p.m.