WILMINGTON,NC (UNCW Sports)–UNCW senior guard Lacey Suggs has been named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Suggs headlines a group of three UNCW student-athletes receiving recognition from the CAA as the league announced its awards on Tuesday prior to the start of the CAA Championship. Redshirt senior guard GiGi Smith earned Third-Team All-CAA honors, while senior guard Ahyiona Vason was named to the CAA’s All-Defensive Team.
The Seahawks, 9-20 overall and 6-12 in the CAA, begin their quest for the program’s first CAA title on Wednesday, Mar. 11, when they face the College of Charleston at 2 p.m. in the opening game of the tournament at Elon University’s Schar Center.
Suggs, the fourth UNCW player to receive the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, holds a 3.71 grade point average in Exercise Science, with a double minor in Business and Health. The White Lake, N.C., product has started 28-of-29 games for Coach Karen Barefoot this season and ranks second on the team with a 12.7 scoring average.
After appearing in just three games as a freshman, Suggs has become a starter and team captain for the Seahawks over the last three years. She became the 17th player in school history to score 1,000 career points when she bucketed 18 points against Northeastern on Feb. 28. She enters the CAA Championship with 1,045 career points, the 15th-highest total on the all-time list.
Smith, from Norfolk, Va., earns her second consecutive All-CAA honor after being named to the Second Team last season. The Seahawks’ leading scorer with a 14.4 ppg average, Smith has started 24-of-29 games during her final campaign, collecting 21 double-digit scoring efforts.
Smith has scored 20 or more points seven times this season, including a career-high 32 points in an overtime loss to Drexel on Jan. 5. She also posted her first double-double in the regular season finale at Delaware on Saturday, scoring 18 points and grabbing a season-high 10 rebounds.
Smith, who transferred from Old Dominion prior to the 2017-18 season, has racked up 864 points in 59 games at UNCW. She recorded the 1,000th point of her college career on Dec. 19 against Catawba and has scored 1,242 points in 123 career games.
A native of Montgomery, Ala., Vason paces the Seahawks and ranks seventh in the CAA with 54 steals in 28 games this season while ranking third on the team with a 9.6 ppg clip. She recorded a career-high seven steals against William & Mary and added six thefts at Presbyterian on Dec. 4.
In addition, Vason has reached double figures in scoring 14 times this season, including a season-high 23 points against Charleston on Feb. 23 in a 74-50 victory.