GARLAND, Texas – In a vote of the conference coaches and sports information directors, Alcorn State junior guard Kiara Ruffin has been named the 2010-11 SWAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year,Prairie View A&M guard Siarra Soliz has been named SWAC Freshman of the Year; Southern senior forward Freda Allen has been named SWAC Defensive Player of the Year; Mississippi Valley State junior guard De’Kisha Fondon has been named SWAC Newcomer of the Year and Tonya Edwards of Alcorn State is the SWAC Coach of the Year, the league announced today.

Ruffin becomes the first Alcorn State player to earn SWAC Player of the Year since Cherea Wood took the honor in 2000-01. Ruffin leads the SWAC with 3.1 steals per game and ranks first in the league shooting .422 from beyond the arc. She is also second in the conference in free-throw percentage (.800) and third in the SWAC with 17.6 points per game. Ruffin was named SWAC Player of the Week three times this season and helped her team to a third-place finish in conference standings.

Soliz was a five-time SWAC Newcomer of the Week selection. She was second on the team and seventh in the SWAC with 12.7 points per game. Soliz was third in the league in free-throw percentage (.793) and helped her team to a 14-4 mark in SWAC play.

Allen has been a key leader in Southern’s defense as the Lady Jags forced a league-leading 2.71 turnovers per game. Southern is also the SWAC leader with 17.3 offensive rebounds per game anchored by Allen’s 7.7 rebounds per game. Allen pulled down five double-doubles this year and earned SWAC and HSRN National Player of the Week honors.

Tonya Edwards, Alcorn State

Fondon was a five-time SWAC Newcomer of the Week selection. She ranks sixth in the league with 2.08 steals per game and posted 13 double-digit point games this season. She is third highest on her team with 9.8 points per game.

Edwards becomes the first Alcorn State coach to earn SWAC Coach of the Year since Shirley Walker took the honor in 2004-05. Edwards has guided the Lady Braves to a third-place finish in SWAC standings with a 12-6 league mark, 13-14 record overall. Edwards is in her third year at Alcorn State and her teams have improved in the win column each year, from 5-26 her inaugural year to 8-20 last season.

2010-11 SWAC Women’s Basketball All-Conference Honors

Player of the Year: Kiara Ruffin, Alcorn State

Freshman of the Year: Siarra Soliz, Prairie View A&M

Defensive Player of the Year: Freda Allen, Southern

Newcomer of the Year: De’Kisha Fondon, Mississippi Valley State

Coach of the Year: Tonya Edwards, Alcorn State