Photo: Mississippi State Guard Myah Taylor (#1) during the game between the Ole Miss Rebels and the Bulldogs at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville. (Austin Perryman/Mississippi State University)
Mississippi State women’s basketball placed two on the 2022 Nancy Lieberman Award Preseason Watchlist, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday. Myah Taylor of Olive Branch earned the honor for the second consecutive season, while one of State’s newest members, Anastasia Hayes, also made the prestigious list.
Honoring the nation’s best point guards, Taylor and Hayes are two of just 20 total players selected to the 2022 Nancy Lieberman Award watchlist. The pair is one of just two sets of teammates honored and two of just four SEC players to earn the honor.
Taylor, who was a finalist for the award last season, is coming off a career year in 2020-21 where she averaged a career-best 9.9 points per game, 3.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, which ranked fifth in the SEC a season ago.
During her junior campaign, Taylor posted a 2.36 assist-to-turnover ratio, the fourth-best average in the SEC. Taylor recorded at least five assists in eight games in a shortened season while scoring in double-figures 11 different contests.
Hayes, who enters her first season in Starkville, was one of the nation’s most prolific scorer’s last season, averaging 26.5 points per game, the second-best scoring average in America. She was named Conference-USA’s Player of the Year while earning the second-straight First Team All-C-USA honor of her career.
While leading Middle Tennessee to a 17-8 record, she averaged 5.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game. She ranked 13th nationally in steals (69) and 19th in assists (128) while leading all of Division I in free throws attempted (265) and free throws made (169).
Hayes eclipsed the 30-point margin in six different games with a career-best 42-points against UAB on Jan. 30, 2021. In 2018, at Tennessee, Hayes was named the SEC’s Sixth Woman of the Year.
College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2022 Nancy Liberman Point Guard of the Year Award will be narrowed to 10 and then in late February to just five. In March, the five finalists will be presented to Ms. Lieberman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee, where a winner will be selected.
The winner of the 2022 Nancy Lieberman Award will be presented on a to-be-determined date, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five.
DeSoto County News Service – News Release