LSU’s Danielle Ballard named state’s player of the year _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Mississippi Lady Rebels guard Erika Sisk (5) steals the ball from LSU Lady Tigers guard Danielle Ballard (32), Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, at LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

It came down to the final of 24 ballots to determine the state’s top women’s college basketball coach.

How close was the vote in the selection of the 2015 Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-Louisiana Women’s College Basketball team? If the last vote had gone a different direction, the possibility of an unprecedented four-way tie existed.

As it was, DoBee Plaisance of Nicholls, the co-Coach of the Year in the Southland Conference, won the state honor with seven votes while Lisa Stockton of Tulane and Garry Brodhead of UL-Lafayette finished with six votes. The co-coaching combo of Northwestern State’s Brooke and Scott Stoehr received the other five votes.

In the voting for other special honors, Danielle Ballard of LSU, a WBCA honorable mention All-American, won Player of the Year honors, while Kolby Morgan of Tulane was the choice for Freshman of the Year.

Louisiana Tech’s Brandi Wingate was selected Newcomer of the Year for first-year non-freshmen in Louisiana.

Plaisance led Nicholls to a 13-5 record and third place in the SLC, the most wins in conference in school history. Nicholls’ 17 wins were the program’s second-highest win total. The Colonels have a school record three straight winning seasons and four straight seasons with double-figure wins.

Ballard, a junior, posted 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds a game for the Lady Tigers, earning first-team All-SEC and All-SEC defensive team honors. She also averaged 2.9 assists and 2.9 steals as she was ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in steals, points, rebounds and assists.

Morgan, a freshman from New Orleans, averaged 12.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in earning third-team All-American Athletic Conference honors. She was second among all freshmen in The American in scoring and 12th overall. Morgan was the first Tulane freshman to be selected to an all-conference team.

Wingate was named the Conference USA Sixth Player of the Year for the Lady Techsters, averaging 9 points and 4.9 rebounds. She scored in double figures 13 times.

Joining Ballard on the first team were four first-team league selections: Allison Baggett of McNeese, Whitney Frazier of Louisiana Tech, Kourtney Pennywell of LSU-Shreveport and Janelle Perez from Northwestern State.

Baggett was first-team All-SLC and fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game to go with 2.6 rebounds a contest.

Frazier was a first-team All-Conference USA choice with averages of 14.8 points and 7.1 rebounds.

Perez, also first team in the Southland, averaged 15.2 points and 3.5 assists a contest.

Pennywell, who was player of the year in the Red River Athletic Conference, was also an NAIA All-American and runner-up in the voting for state player of the year. She averaged a double double for the Lady Pilots with 22.5 points and 11.7 rebounds a game.

The second team consisted of Sharnice Brooks of ULM, Kendra Coleman of Southern, Raigyne Moncrief of LSU, Jenny Nash of Nicholls and Janeicia Neely of Loyola. The third team was Randy Brown of UNO, Whitney Gathright of Xavier, Kolby Morgan of Tulane, Kelia Shelton of Louisiana Tech and Keke Veal of Louisiana-Lafayette.