CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Campbell's MaKala Rouse has been named the 2017 Big South Women's Basketball Defensive Player of the Year while Camel head coach Ronny Fisher was tabbed the league's Coach of the Year.
Rouse becomes the second player in program history to earn the conference's top defensive honor after Keira Gaines won the award in 2014. The junior guard headlines the Camel defensive unit that has owned the top scoring defense in NCAA Division I for the past 12 weeks. Opponents are scoring just 48.1 points per game against Campbell this season.
Rouse, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, ranks third in the conference in total steals with 58. That's an average of 2.0 steals per game, which stands fourth in the league. Rouse ranks second on the team in blocks (16) and third in defensive rebounds (90).
Offensively, Rouse is Campbell's second leading scorer with 8.8 points per game. She has increased her scoring average by nearly six points this season, up from her career average of 3.1 points per game. Rouse has recorded 12 double-figure scoring efforts and leads the team in assists (2.8 per game, 6th BSC).
Fisher earned the program's fourth conference coach of the year selection and became a two-time honoree after earning the award in 2013 at Presbyterian. He led the Camels to the second-largest turnaround in program history. Campbell improved from 12 regular season victories overall and seven in league play last season to 21 overall and 13 conference wins this season. Both totals matched program records.
Fisher's Camels were predicted to finish eighth in the league according to the Big South preseason coaches poll. Campbell defied expectations and finished second in the conference, just one game back from the top spot. Fisher is the sixth coach in league history to earn top honors in his first year at a new school and the second coach to win the award at two different institutions.
Price is the 26th Camel in program history to receive all-conference honors. The Beaverdam, Virginia native is the team's leading scorer at 12.9 points per game, which ranks seventh in the Big South. Price has recorded 21 double-figure scoring efforts, including six 20-point performances. She scored a season-high 23 points versus VCU.
The junior guard is ranked fifth in the Big South in three-pointers per game (1.6) and sixth in three-point percentage (.331). Price's overall field goal percentage (.410) stands 10th in the league. She also averaged 18.3 points per game between six games from January 17-February 4. Price was a 2015 all-freshman team selection.
Cribb currently owns a 3.64 GPA as an exercise and sports science major with a pre-occupational therapy concentration. On the court, the senior forward leads the team and ranks 10th in the Big South in rebounding with 6.2 boards per game. Cribb has taken on an expanded roll this season, as she has seen her minutes per game increase to 28.5 from just 5.9 last season.
The Aransas Pass, Texas native has also increased her scoring production to 6.9 points per game this season from 1.1 last season. She has six double-figure scoring efforts, four double-figure rebounding efforts and two double-doubles. Cribb was named to the 2016 Big South Presidential Honor Roll.
High Point's Emma Bockrath was named the 2017 Big South Player of the Year. Liberty's Keyen Green was tabbed the Freshman of the Year while Janie Milles was selected as the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The Camels will begin play in the 2017 Big South Championship as the No. 2 seed in the quarterfinal round on Friday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m. Campbell will face the winner of Thursday's first round game between seventh-seeded UNC Asheville and 10th-seeded Longwood.
The semifinals are set for Saturday, March 11 with the finals on Sunday, March 12. The winner will receive the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Big South Championship will take place at the Vines Center on Liberty's campus in Lynchburg, Virginia.