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Sunday July 5th, 2015 3:45AM

Pair of Piedmont basketball players named USA South rookies of week

By staff
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- A pair of Piedmont College basketball players have been named USA South Rookies of the Week after their performances in two games each with Gabby Arencibia of the Lady Lions and Brian Edwards of the Lions each earning the conference recognition. For each, the honor is the first in their respective careers as Edwards becomes the second Lion to earn the Rookie of the Week honor joining teammate Chase England who won the same award on November 25th while Arencibia is the first Lady Lion to take a USA South weekly award this season.

Edwards' honor comes on the heels of one of the best freshman performances in recent memory as he went for 31 points in a 98-94 loss to Transylvania University at the school's own tourney, the Don Lane Classic in Lexington, Ky. The Gillsville native shot ten for 15 from the field in that matchup with the tourney hosting squad from Transylvania which has made two straight appearances in the NCAA National Tournament.

A freshman guard for first-year Head Coach Greg Neeley, Edwards became the first Lion to score 30-plus points in a game since teammate Jessie Jenkins did so more than two years ago in a 102-66 win over Free Will Baptist Bible College on Dec. 3, 2011. The youngster also tied for the team lead in rebounds that night with his seven boards.

Arencibia receives her award after helping the squad to a 2-0 showing last week notching wins over local rival Toccoa Falls College as well as inter-state foe Birmingham Southern College with each victory completing a two-game season sweep of the opponents. In a 50-point dominating victory over Toccoa Falls College, Arencibia led her team in scoring over the Eagles tallying 14 points while also adding a pair of assists and a steal to her stat line.

The freshman guard from Hiwassee then followed up that Toccoa performance with a 12-point day against Birmingham Southern in a 17-point win on the road. Arencibia blocked one shot and accumulated three asissts and two boards in the victory over the Panthers as well to help move her Lady Lions to a 6-2 start on the season.

The Lady Lions return to the court on Dec. 31 when they play host to the nation's 11th ranked team in the Emory Eagles who come to Demorest for a 2 p.m. New Year's Eve tip off. The Lions get back in action when they travel to Emory for a Jan. 3 contest set to tip off at 7 p.m. on the campus of the Atlanta-based institution.
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