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NCAA WBB: Sparkle Taylor named All-Conference USA, second team

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IRVING, Texas (CBS4) - Senior Sparkle Taylor has been voted to the 2017 All-Conference USA second team, it was announced by the league office Sunday afternoon. It is the first such honor for Taylor, who previously in her career had been recognized as the 2016 C-USA Sixth Player of the Year.

“Conference USA has an extremely talented pool of players,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “To be selected as an all-conference player is a high honor and a great award. I’m proud of Sparkle. I look forward to us playing next week.”

Taylor has put together one of the finest seasons in program history. She has amassed 539 points this year, the fourth-most points ever by a Miner in a campaign. The Flint, Mich., native reached double figures in scoring 25 times, including 14 contests with 20+ points. That is the most such tilts by a Miner since Kayla Thornton (16, 2013-14).

Taylor is second in C-USA in field goals attempted (460), third in field goals made (212), fourth in points/game (18.0), sixth in free throws made (113), seventh in free throws attempted (146), 11th in free-throw percentage (77.4) and in defensive boards/game (4.4) and 13th in rebounding (6.3).

Nationally she is 27th in field goals made, 36th in field goals attempted, 59th in points/game, 81st in free throws made, 106th in free throws attempted, 128th in field-goal percentage and 173rd for free-throw percentage.

Taylor was named the C-USA Player of the Week (2/20) after a historic performance. She scored 34 points against both North Texas (2/16) and Rice (2/18) to become the first player in program history to post back-to-back 30+ point games. Prior to those performances, no Miner had scored that many points in a league game in 26 years (Holly Russ, 35 vs. San Diego State-1/19/91) and tied as the sixth-highest scoring output in program history.

Taylor and the rest of the Miners will return to action at the 2017 C-USA Championships Presented by MetroPCS. UTEP will be the 11th seed and match-up with sixth-seed Old Dominion in in an opening-round contest at 8 p.m. MST/9 p.m. CST in Birmingham, Ala. Wednesday.

The entire All-Conference USA teams, All-Freshman team and All-Defensive team are listed below. Voting was conducted by league coaches, sports information directors and designated media members.

All-Conference USA First Team

Grace Hunter, Charlotte | So., Raleigh, North Carolina

*Ty Petty, Middle Tennessee | Sr., Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Alex Johnson, Middle Tennessee | So., Murfreesboro, Tennessee

**Jennie Simms, Old Dominion | R-Sr., Accokeek, Maryland

Brittanny Dinkins, Southern Miss | Sr., Miami, Florida

Loryn Goodwin, UTSA | Jr., Cypress, Texas

Ivy Brown, WKU | Jr., Hodgenville, Kentucky

**Kendall Noble, WKU | R-Sr., Hazard, Kentucky

All-Conference USA Second Team

**Lefty Webster, Charlotte | Sr., Norfolk, Virginia

Kierra Anthony, LA Tech | So., New Iberia, Louisiana

Shayna Gore, Marshall | So., Logan, West Virginia

Destinee Young, Old Dominion | Sr., Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Jasmine Goodwine, Rice | Sr., Killeen, Texas

Sparkle Taylor, UTEP | Sr., Flint, Michigan

Tesha Smith, UTSA | Sr., San Antonio, Texas

*Tashia Brown, WKU | Jr., Lake Park, Georgia

Conference USA All-Defensive Team

Nyilah Jamison-Myers, Charlotte | R-Jr., Orangeburg, South Carolina

Lefty Webster, Charlotte | Sr., Norfolk, Virginia

Abbey Sissom, Middle Tennessee | Jr., Woodbury, Tennessee

Destinee Young, Old Dominion | R-Jr., Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Brittanny Dinkins, Southern Miss | Sr., Miami, Florida

**Kendall Noble, WKU | R-Sr., Hazard, Kentucky

Conference USA All-Freshman Team

Alexis Gordon, FIU | Palm Bay, Florida

Ashley Saintegene, Marshall | Lauderdale Lakes, Florida

Shonte Hailes, Southern Miss | Quitman, Mississippi

Miyah Barnes, UAB | Memphis, Tennessee

Rachael Childress, UAB | Moulton, Alabama

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