On Tuesday, the 5-foot-5 East Tennessee State guard became the first player in Southern Conference history to win the league’s defensive player of the year and freshman of the year awards in the same year.
Also for the Bucs, senior Tianna Tarter gained All-SoCon first-team recognition. Haynes-Overton was voted to the second team in addition to making the all-freshman team, while senior Malloree Schurr received the Ann Lashley Inspiration Award.
ETSU averaged a conference-best 11.4 steals per game during the regular season, and Haynes-Overton anchored that accomplishment. She led the league and ranked fourth in all of NCAA Division I with 3.9 steals per game — and her total of 102 is an ETSU single-season record.
The Nashville product set a single-game program record with 11 thefts on Nov. 29 before teammate Tarter matched that mark four days later. The 11 steals are the most in a single game in the SoCon this season.
Haynes-Overton became ETSU’s first SoCon defensive player of the year honoree in the award’s 11-year history.
Averaging 14.3 points per game to lead all freshmen, Haynes-Overton was twice named SoCon player of the week. Her 51-percent shooting clip from the floor in conference games ranked sixth best in the league.
She is just the second Bucs player to be named the SoCon’s freshman of the year, joining DeShawne Blocker in 1991-92. Siarre Evans is the program’s only other freshman of the year recipient, doing so in the Atlantic Sun Conference (2006-07).
Entering the category of a three-time, first-team all-conference performer, Tarter tops ETSU in scoring at 17.9 points per contest. The Science Hill alum has amassed 518 points, 141 rebounds, 127 assists and 84 steals this season, becoming the Bucs’ career leader in made free throws (422) along the way.
Moreover, the 5-6 guard ranks fourth in career scoring at ETSU with 1,866 points. Tarter and Haynes-Overton were identically honored on teams picked by the coaches and media.
The Ann Lashley Inspiration Award is presented to a SoCon women’s basketball player or coach who, when challenged by a life-altering situation, used grace, perseverance, dedication and determination to face the event and serve as a role model to give hope and inspiration to others in similar situations.
Schurr is a two-sport athlete, playing both softball and basketball. In the spring of 2015, Schurr lost her father — a person she considered as her best friend. After basketball season, she went home for a week in Texas, but on her flight back to Johnson City to begin softball season, her father passed away.
Schurr used softball as an outlet to cope with the stress and grief and showed tremendous strength during such a difficult and life-changing time.