Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame names finalists for the Howell and Gillom Trophies

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 6:10 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame officially announced the three finalists for the 2023 Howell Trophy and the 2023 Gillom Trophy on Thursday.

The Howell Trophy is awarded to the best men’s college basketball player in the Magnolia State while the Gillom Trophy is given to the most outstanding women’s college basketball player in Mississippi.

Southern Miss guard and former Ole Miss basketball player Austin Crowley, Mississippi State forward Tolu Smith, and Ole Miss guard Matt Murrell were named as the three finalists for the yearly coveted award.

Crowley has led the Golden Eagles in scoring, averaging 16.4 points a game in his first year in Hattiesburg, and has been an integral piece to Southern Miss’ historic turnaround season. After winning just seven games last year, the Golden Eagles have won 24 games so far in the 2022-2023 season, just two games away from tying an NCAA record for the biggest turnaround in wins and losses across two seasons.

Smith spearheads the once No. 15 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs offensively, averaging 14.9 points a game and 8.4 rebounds all while shooting 58.7% percent from the field. Smith also anchors an aggressive, stout Bulldogs’ defense that allows just over 59 points a game, the seventh-best scoring defense in the country.

Despite the Rebels’ down season, Murrell has been a shining light for Ole Miss when available this season, averaging 14.7 points per contest and averages 1.2 steals a game.

The three finalists for the Gillom Trophy are Ole Miss guard Angel Baker, Southern Miss guard Dom Davis, and Mississippi State center Jessika Carter.

Baker has been a catalyst in one of Ole Miss women’s basketball’s best seasons in program history, winning 20 games so far this season, and sweeping the Bulldogs in regular season play. She averages 15.1 points a game on 44% shooting, along with 5.7 rebounds.

Davis leads the Golden Eagles in scoring, dropping 17.4 points a game, and has contributed to a Southern Miss team that has won 12 conference games for the first time since the 2016-2017 season.

Senior Mississippi State forward Jessika Carter was the final nominee for the Gillom Trophy. She averages 14.8 points a game and 7.6 rebounds per contest. The Bulldogs currently have a 19-8 record heading into the latter stages of the regular season.

The trophies will be presented to the voted winners on March 6 at the Golden Moon Casino at Pearl River Resort.

Visit the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame website here to read more information.

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