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Clark on Naismith Trophy watch list

She is one of three players from the Sun Belt to be listed

December 22, 2008 · Athletic Communications

ATLANTA, Ga. - Middle Tennessee junior forward Alysha Clark has been listed as one of 50 players nationally on the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T early season watch list it was announced recently by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Clark, who has helped spearhead an 8-4 start for the Blue Raiders, joins a player each from North Texas and Western Kentucky as three representatives from the Sun Belt Conference.

The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's player of the year. AT&T is the presenting sponsor for the sixth straight year and the watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous season and expectations for the 2008-09 college basketball season.

Clark, who has two Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week honors to her credit during the opening five weeks, paces the Lady Raiders with 23.8 ppg and her 8.4 rpg also lead the squad. She is coming off a 31-point, 10-rebound effort in MT's 82-46 Sun Belt opening win over Troy Saturday for her fourth double-double as a Blue Raider and 42nd of her career.

The Mt. Juliet, Tenn., native has also topped the 30-point plateau in games this season at No. 2 Oklahoma (31 points) and in Middle Tennessee's win at LSU (career-high 37 points).

The Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow the pool to the top 30 players for eligibility on the final ballot in March. AT&T will allow fans to participate in the voting for this year's winner with text message fan voting accounting for an unprecedented 25 percent of the final results. It ranks as the highest percentage for a national college basketball award.

The accolade will be presented and awarded to the winner at the 2009 NCAA Women's Final Four in St. Louis, Mo., April 5-7.

Middle Tennessee has won its last three games and will next play at 2 p.m. Sunday when it travels to Cookeville, Tenn., to face Tennessee Tech in the final non-conference contest of the campaign.

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