Izzy Higginbottom garners several Sun Belt awards in first year with Arkansas State

Izzy Higginbottom had 19 pts but Arkansas State women's basketball fell to Old Dominion
Izzy Higginbottom had 19 pts but Arkansas State women's basketball fell to Old Dominion(Source: KAIT)
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 2:02 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 27, 2023 at 8:46 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (KAIT) - Batesville’s finest wrapped up an impressive first season with Arkansas State women’s basketball. Sophomore Izzy Higginbottom took home the Sun Belt’s Newcomer of the Year award and landed on the All-Sun Belt Second Team, the conference announced Monday.

The Missouri transfer played in 26 games this season, starting 22, leading the Red Wolves in scoring at 15.5 points per game. She also led the team in assists (90) and steals (50). Izzy was the only player in the Sun Belt to rank top 10 in the conference in points, assists and steals, and she is the first Red Wolf to put up that stat line in a season since Aundrea Gamble and Khadija Brown-Haywood both did it in 2015-16.

Higginbottom did all of this while dealing with a foot injury for most of the year, but that didn’t slow her down much. She opened the season scoring 10-plus points in 11 straight games, the longest A-State streak since Jane Morrill had 15 straight to open the 2012-13 season. After hitting a bit of a cold spell in January, the former Pioneer had a red-hot finish over her last nine games of the season, averaging 19.9 PPG, scoring over 20 in four of those games.

Izzy also thrived from the charity stripe, shooting 89 percent from the line (second in the SBC, top 15 nationally). In Sun Belt play, that number rose to 93 percent, leading the entire conference.

Izzy is the first A-State player to be named the Sun Belt’s Newcomer of the Year since Tanisha Johnson did it in 1999.

Higginbottom and the Red Wolves will compete in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Tuesday at 2:00 pm against ULM in Pensacola, Fla. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+.

2023 Sun Belt Women’s Basketball End-of-Year Awards

Coach of the Year: Zenarae Antoine, Texas State

Freshman of the Year: Kelsey Thompson, South Alabama

Newcomer of the Year: Izzy Higginbottom, Arkansas State

Player of the Year: Kiki Jefferson, James Madison

Defensive Player of the Year: Emma Merriweather, ULM

Sixth Woman of the Year: Peyton McDaniel, James Madison

All-Conference Teams

First Team

Kiki Jefferson, James Madison

Da’Nasia Hood, Texas State

Terren Ward, Georgia Southern

Domonique Davis, Southern Miss

Aja Blount, Coastal Carolina

Second Team

Makayia Hallmon, Troy

Roshala Scott, Marshall

Kennedy Taylor, Texas State

Amari Young, Old Dominion

Izzy Higginbottom, Arkansas State

Third Team

Ja’Mia Hollings, Troy

Lanay Wheaton, Louisiana

Tai’Sheka Porchia, Troy

Deaja Richardson, Coastal Carolina

Emma Merriweather, ULM