Gooch wins Sun Belt Conference’s defensive player of the year for second straight season; Noble named freshman of the year

Western Kentucky junior forward Chastity Gooch

Western Kentucky junior forward Chastity Gooch

Western Kentucky junior forward Chastity Gooch has been named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, the league announced today.

Redshirt freshman guard Kendall Noble has also been named Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year.

Gooch earned a spot on the all-conference first team, along with the league’s player of the year, Arkansas State sophomore guard Aundrea Gamble. The other first-teamers were Troy’s Joanna Harden, Arkansas-Little Rock’s Taylor Gault and Louisiana-Monroe’s Ashleigh Simmons.

Gooch is averaging 17.9 points and 8.8 rebounds, along with 41 total assists, 42 blocks and 41 steals. She’s the second player in league history to win defensive player of the year in back-to-back seasons.

Noble followed her freshman award with a spot on the all-conference second team. She’s WKU’s first freshman of the year since Arnika Brown in 2007-08.

Noble’s averaging 10.4 points and 4.6 rebounds this season but is averaging 14.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.2 steals in league play. She is the only freshman in the nation averaging at least 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals per game against conference competition.

WKU sophomore guard Micah Jones made the all-conference third team. It’s the first time the Lady Tops have had three players selected to the all-conference teams since 2004-05.

WKU redshirt freshman guard Kendall Noble

WKU redshirt freshman guard Kendall Noble

Arkansas State’s Brian Boyer was named coach of the year.

The full all-conference teams and awards are available below:

2014 Sun Belt All-Conference Teams

First Team All-SBC

Aundrea Gamble (Arkansas State, RS-So., G)

Chastity Gooch (WKU, Jr., F)

Joanna Harden (Troy, Sr., G)

Taylor Gault (UALR, Jr., G)

Ashleigh Simmons (UL Monroe, Sr., F)

Second Team All-SBC

Jane Morrill (Arkansas State, Sr., F)

Ashley Ezeh (Texas State, Sr., C)

Desherra Nwanguma (UT Arlington, Sr., C)

Kendall Noble (WKU, Fr., G)

Ashley Beverly-Kelley (Troy, So., G)

Third Team All-SBC

Kendra Long (Georgia State, Sr., G)

Taylor Ford (UALR, Sr., G)

Brooklyn Arceneaux (UL Lafayette, So., G)

Meghan Dunn (South Alabama, Sr., G)

Micah Jones (WKU, So., G)

2014 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year

Aundrea Gamble (Arkansas State, RS-So., G)

2014 Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year

Chastity Gooch (WKU, Jr., F)

2014 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year

Kendall Noble (WKU, Fr., G)

2014 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year

Brian Boyer, Arkansas State

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