Two Southern Poly women earn All-American honors
by Adam Carrington
March 24, 2013 12:29 AM | 1449 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Southern Poly women’s basketball coach Laquanda Dawkins will miss senior Ashlie Billingslea next year but at least Sarah Ogoke is returning for another season.

Billingslea, a senior point guard who started her collegiate career at South Carolina, was named to the NAIA Division I All-American second team after leading the Hornets to a 25-6 record and a berth to the NAIA national tournament.

Ogoke, a junior guard from Sugar Land, Texas who played at Pittsburgh before transferring to Southern Poly last season, was named to the All-American third team.

“(Billingslea) has been a coach’s dream and I don’t want to see her graduate, but I know that things have to come to an end,” Dawkins said. “Sarah, we’ll get her back.”

Although Southern Poly came up short against No 8-ranked Vanguard in the first round of the NAIA tournament March 13 in Frankfort, Ky., falling

82-76 to the Lions, both Billingslea and Ogoke came had one of their better performances of the season.

Billingslea ended her career with 28 points, four assists and four steals in a game that was decided in Vanguard made five of its last six free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Ogoke finished with a double-double of 25 points, 12 rebounds and added five steals.

As the only returning player this season, Billingslea started all 31 games for the Hornets this season.

The two-time all-Southern States Athletics Conference player, maintained a 47.2 field-goal percentage while averaging 18.4 points and four rebounds. She also led the SSAC with 107 total steals.

“She has been our leader all year long,” Dawkins said of Billingslea. “She has been able to step up and lead the team on and off the court. She is a natural leader.”

Ogoke, a 5-foot-9 guard, can be just as dangerous inside the paint as she is on the perimeter. She led Southern Poly in scoring with 18.9 points a game — the second best in average in the SSAC — and pulled down 9.6 rebounds. She was also recognized by the conference as the Newcomer of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

“Sarah was a surprise this year,” Dawkins said. “From a guard’s standpoint, she rebounded well and did a great job.”

Ogoke is expected to be one of 10 seniors on the Southern Poly squad next season, along with Erica Turner and senior Arnissa Galloway.

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