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Natasha Howard Named to All-ACC First Team

By: FSU Sports Information
By: FSU Sports Information

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – For the second consecutive season, Florida State senior forward Natasha Howard has earned All-ACC First Team honors as selected by the Blue Ribbon Panel, announced on Tuesday by the league.

The first-team honor that comes in arguably the top conference in women’s college basketball adds another piece of history for the Toledo, Ohio, native. Howard’s selection to the 2013-14 All-ACC First Team makes her the first Seminole in the ACC era (1992-Present) to earn multiple first team honors. Last season, she was chosen for the first team by the Blue Ribbon Panel and second team by the ACC head coaches.

“Natasha has been spectacular this season,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I’m so proud of the way she has worked to make herself one of the best players in the country. Natasha is very deserving of all the recognition that she gets because of how dedicated she is to the game, and it’s been a pleasure to watch her lead us this season. Her will to win and unselfish play have been critical to our team’s success.”

Howard joins only two players in FSU women’s basketball history in making multiple all-conference first teams. FSU Athletics Hall of Famers Bev Burnett (1988, 1989) and Wanda Burns (1990, 1991) garnered first-team selections as members of the Metro Conference.

Howard’s all-conference pick is the 40th time an FSU player has earned all-ACC accolades, which includes rookie team selections.

A Senior CLASS Award finalist and candidate for the Wade Trophy, Howard has enjoyed an extraordinary final year at Florida State. She is the only player in the conference who ranks in the Top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, steals and blocked shots.

Howard is on pace to average the highest amount of points per game at Florida State since Burnett averaged 21.3 points in the 1987-88 season. In conference play she has taken her game to another level when the competition has been even tougher, averaging 23.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 58.2 percent from the floor.

This season, Howard has four games of 30 points or more, all in ACC play. According to the latest NCAA statistics, the only other players with four or more 30-point games against conference competition are FIU’s Jerica Coley (6), Baylor’s Odyssey Sims (5) and UT-Martin’s Heather Butler (4).

The hard-working senior ranks in the NCAA Top 50 in several categories, including field goal percentage (sixth), scoring (23rd), blocks per game (30th), points per game (30th) and double-doubles.

Unbeaten Notre Dame, which will enter this week’s ACC Women’s Tournament as the No. 1 seed, led the way with three total selections. The Fighting Irish guard tandem of senior Kayla McBride and sophomore Jewel Loyd were voted to the first team, while senior forward Natalie Achonwa is a second-team honoree.

Four first-team players from last season are repeat selections this year in two-time ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas of Maryland, Duke junior Elizabeth Williams, Howard and Georgia Tech senior Tyaunna Marshall. Duke’s Tricia Liston, a second-team selection in 2013, was named to this year’s All-ACC first team.

Rounding out the 10-member first team are North Carolina freshman Diamond DeShields, NC State senior Markeisha Gatling and Wake Forest junior Dearica Hamby.

Joining Notre Dame’s Achonwa on the second team are NC State senior Kody Burke, Georgia Tech freshman Kaela Davis, Syracuse sophomore Brittney Sykes and Virginia Tech senior Uju Ugoka.

The ACC will announce its Player, Freshman and Coach of the Year as selected by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Wednesday, March 5. The Defensive and Sixth Player of Year will also be announced that same day.

For more information on Florida State women's basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).

Blue Ribbon Panel All-ACC Team
First Team All-ACC
Diamond DeShields, Fr., G, North Carolina
Markeisha Gatling, Sr., C, NC State
Dearica Hamby, Jr., F, Wake Forest
Natasha Howard, Sr., F, Florida State
Tricia Liston, Sr., G, Duke
Jewell Loyd, So., G, Notre Dame
Tyaunna Marshall, Sr., G, Georgia Tech
Kayla McBride, Sr., G, Notre Dame
Alyssa Thomas, Sr., F, Maryland
Elizabeth Williams, Jr., C/F, Duke

Second Team All-ACC
Natalie Achonwa, Sr., F, Notre Dame
Kody Burke, Sr., F, NC State
Kaela Davis, Fr., G, Georgia Tech
Brittney Sykes, So., G, Syracuse
Uju Ugoka, Sr., F, Virginia Tech

Blue Ribbon Panel All-Freshman Team
Lexie Brown, Fr., G, Maryland
Kaela Davis, Fr., G, Georgia Tech
Diamond DeShields, Fr., G, North Carolina
Allisha Gray, Fr., G North Carolina
Adrienne Motley, Fr. G, Miami


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