Herd’s Beeman, Caldwell earn top SBC honors

Published 11:54 pm Monday, March 4, 2024


Marshall Sports Media

NEW ORLEANS – Marshall Women’s Basketball garnered two of the top Sun Belt Conference Awards with senior guard Abby Beeman being named as the SBC Player of the Year while first-year head coach Kim Caldwell won the SBC Coach of the Year award.

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 Marshall was one of only two teams to win multiple specialty awards, as announced by the league on Monday afternoon.

 In addition to the specialty awards, Beeman was named as an SBC First-Team selection while teammate Breanna Campbell was tabbed as an SBC Third-Team honoree.

 In 29 games this season, Beeman has scored in double figures in all but two games while averaging nearly 17 points per game (16.8). Abby reached 2,000 points for her career in a 97-85 victory over Coastal Carolina on Jan. 20.

 More than just a scorer, the Ridgeley, West Virginia native is averaging 6.2 assists per game this season, a number which is top in the conference, and 6th in the NCAA DI. Her 179 assists were 35 more than the next closest player in the conference. 

 The 5-foot-4 guard leads the team in rebounds with 5.8 per game. In total, Beeman has secured five double-doubles and a program-record two triple-doubles, including a 15-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist performance against ODU on Jan. 13.

 “I’m unbelievably proud of Abby, she deserves this honor,” Caldwell said. “I always love it when the players who work the hardest get the reward. Abby lives in the gym, she studies film and she is our leader. She’s one of the most competitive players I have ever coached. She is the heart and soul of this team and a huge part of our success. She is so well rounded and fun to watch. I am blessed to coach her, players like her don’t come around very often. She’s special!”

 Picked ninth in the preseason poll, Caldwell led the Herd to the regular season championship in her first season as head coach in Huntington. The Herd leads the league in scoring offense (85.3 PPG), scoring margin (13.9), team field goal percentage (43%), and turnover margin (23.6). The team finished the regular season 17-1, and won 21 of its last 23.

 “Kim is truly phenomenal,” Marshall Director of Athletics Christian Spears said. “As a coach, she captures our student-athletes’ intellect, running a system that is engaging and energizing but requires understanding. She has us playing with relentless passion and purpose while also getting everyone involved in practice and competition.  In her first year, she did exactly what we believed she would do – honor her family, represent our community and give us a team that we could all rally behind.  Congratulations to Kim and her staff!”

 In her one season with the Herd, Campbell has made a major impact on the Thundering Herd since coming from Glenville State. The Largo, Florida guard has played in 28 games, averaging just under 15 points per game while scoring in double-figures in 21 contests. Campbell set her Marshall highs twice in 29-point performances – first in front of family in her home state of Jacksonville, Florida and again in the team’s 106-95 victory over Georgia Southern. Campbell has scored over 400 points this season with more than 100 rebounds.

 “I am excited for Bre, as a new player in this league to come in and get on an all conference team is remarkable,” Caldwell added. “She is as tough as they come and deserves everything she gets. She shows up each day and earns it. I am thankful to be her coach and hope she has more awards in store for her as we head to Pensacola.”

  2024 Sun Belt Women’s Basketball End-of-Year Awards

 Coach of the Year: Kim Caldwell, Marshall

Freshman of the Year: Crystal Henderson, Georgia State [FR | G | Marietta, Ga.]

Newcomer of the Year: Daisha Bradford, ULM [SR | G | Mobile, Ala.]

Player of the Year: Abby Beeman, Marshall [GR | G | Ridgeley, W.Va.]

Defensive Player of the Year: Kaye Clark, Old Dominion

Sixth Woman of the Year: Katlyn Manuel, ULM [JR | F | Lawtell, La.]

2024 Sun Belt Women’s Basketball All-Conference Teams

 First Team

Abby Beeman, Marshall [GR | G | Ridgeley, W.Va.]

Izzy Higginbottom, Arkansas State [JR | G | Batesville, Ark.]

Tai’Sheka Porchia, Troy [SR | F | Camden, Ark.]

Terren Ward, Georgia Southern [SR | G/F | Jesup, Ga.]

Domonique Davis, Southern Miss [SR | G | DeRidder, La.]

 Second Team

Daisha Bradford, ULM [SR | G | Mobile, Ala.]

Peyton McDaniel, James Madison [R-SO | G | Birdsboro, Pa.]

Faith Alston, App State [SR | G | Centerville, Va.]

Ja’Mia Hollings, Troy [SR | F | West Point, Miss.]

Kseniia Kozlova, James Madison [R-JR | C | Moscow, Russia]

 Third Team

Breanna Campbell, Marshall [SR | G | Largo, Fla.]

Makayia Hallmon, Troy [SR | G | Coushatta, La.]
En’Dya Buford, Old Dominion [SR | G | Memphis, Tenn.]

Mikyla Tolivert, Georgia State [JR | G | Melbourne, Fla.]

Melyia Grayson, Southern Miss [R-JR | C | Hattiesburg, Miss.]