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Tuesday February 9th, 2016 6:54AM

Burson named Coach of the Year; Hill tabbed as Player of the Year

By staff reports
UNG women's basketball head coach Buffie Burson and standout forward Mimi Hill have each collected one of the elite year-end honors from the Peach Belt Conference as Burson was named co-Coach of the Year while Hill garnered the league's Player of the Year distinction. Stephanie Huffman also represented North Georgia as a second team All-Conference selection.

Fifteen players were selected to the team by the league's head coaches with the top five named to the first team, the next five to the second team and following five on the third team.

Hill is in the midst of one of the most extraordinary seasons in PBC women's basketball history. The senior forward from Gainesville, Ga., leads the PBC in scoring with 24 points per game which is on pace to be tied for the third-highest single-season average in league history. She also leads the conference in free throw percentage and is eighth in rebounding and blocks. A two-time PBC Player of the Week, Hill scored 30 or more six times this season including a season-best 37 against Georgia Southwestern in the regular-season finale. She had eight double-doubles on the season. She is the second Nighthawk to be named the PBC Player of the Year after Jaymee Carnes claimed the award in 2011-12.

Buffie Burson was named the PBC Coach of the Year in North Georgia's first season as a part of the PBC in 2005-06 and now has her second honor. Now in her 20th season at North Georgia, Burson's Nighthawks have been the only PBC team to be nationally ranked for the past six weeks, rising as high as No. 19 in the nation. UNG is also fourth in the latest NCAA regional poll and are the top scoring team in the Peach Belt. At 21-5 overall, 15-4 in PBC play, the Nighthawks have their highest overall win total since the 05-06 season.

Huffman is the team's second leading scorer (4.1 ppg) and top rebounder (9.3 rpg). The junior guard also ranks first on the team in steals with 31. Huffman collected nine double-doubles from her guard position. Her 9.3 rebounds per game ranks sixth in the PBC.

The Nighthawks enter this week's PBC Championship Tournament as the No. 2 seed out of the West Division and will take on USC Aiken (East No. 3) on Thursday, March 6 at 3 p.m. in the Lumpkin Center on the campus of Columbus State.
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