Four Wildcats Earn All-SEC Honors

March 3, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Four University of Kentucky women's basketball players were honored by the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday afternoon, as sophomore point guard Makayla Epps was named First-Team All-SEC, senior guard Jennifer O'Neill was named Second-Team All-SEC and Sixth Woman of the Year, sophomore guard Linnae Harper was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team, and freshman forward Alexis Jennings was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.

O'Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) becomes the first player in SEC history to be awarded Sixth Woman of the Year in back-to-back seasons. The 5-foot-6 guard, who was the Co-Sixth Woman of the Year last season, ranks second on the team and ninth in the league in scoring with 14.2 points per game. In league games only, O'Neill is ninth in scoring (13.4), eighth in free-throw percentage (.783), eighth in 3-pointers made (1.7) and 15th in assists (2.7). She has scored in double figures 24 times this season, including four 20-point games.

Epps (Lebanon, Ky.) earns her first-career SEC postseason honor, becoming the first UK player to be named to the All-SEC First Team since A'dia Mathies in 2013. Epps assumed the point guard role after starting point guard Janee Thompson (Chicago) suffered a season-ending leg injury at South Carolina on Jan. 11. In 12 games as the floor general, Epps is averaging a team-high 16.5 points per game to go along with 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Overall this season, she averages 14.3 ppg which leads the team and ranks eighth in the SEC. For league-games only, she is tops in the SEC with 15.1 ppg, while ranking second in FG percentage (.413), eighth in assists (2.9), ninth in free-throw percentage (.750), and sixth in minutes played (33.6). Epps is currently on the Nancy Lieberman Award watch list, given annually to the nation's top point guard.

Jennings (Madison, Ala.) was named to the All-Freshman Team after averaging 7.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game overall and 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in conference play. The 6-2 forward/center scored in double figures in seven of the UK's first nine SEC games, including 21 points in the Wildcats' SEC opener at Alabama. She was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on two different occasions.

Harper (Chicago) becomes the fourth different UK player since 2010 to be named to the SEC All-Defensive Team, joining Victoria Dunlap (2010, 2011), A'dia Mathies (2011, 2012) and Samarie Walker (2013). Harper has earned a reputation as being one of the best rebounding guards in the nation. Standing at just 5-8, she is averaging a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game, and is just one of four players in the NCAA at 5-8 or smaller to average at least 7.0 rpg. She has pulled down eight or more rebounds 12 times and all six of her double-doubles have come this season. Harper is UK's third-leading scorer with 11.4 points per game and she averages a team-high 2.0 steals per game, which ranks eighth in the SEC. Her 57 steals are the 16 more than the next-closest player.

The Wildcats begin SEC Tournament play Thursday, March 5 in Verizon Arena in Little Rock, Ark., as the No. 6 seed and will face vs. either No. 11 seed Vanderbilt or No. 14 seed Alabama at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET.

Additional information on the tournament, including game times and online ticket links, can be found at www.secsports.com.

First Team All-SEC

Makayla Epps, Kentucky

Danielle Ballard, LSU

Tia Faleru, Ole Miss

Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina

Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina

A'ja Wilson, South Carolina

Cierra Burdick, Tennessee

Isabelle Harrison, Tennessee

Courtney Walker, Texas A&M

Second Team All-SEC

Jessica Jackson, Arkansas

Jennifer O'Neill, Kentucky

Jordan Frericks, Missouri

Martha Alwal, Mississippi State

Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State

Alaina Coates, South Carolina

Jordan Jones, Texas A&M

Courtney Williams, Texas A&M

All-Freshman

Haley Lorenzen, Florida

Mackenzie Engram, Georgia

Alexis Jennings, Kentucky

A'Queen Hayes, Ole Miss

Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State

Morgan Williams, Mississippi State

A'ja Wilson, South Carolina

Rebekah Dahlman, Vanderbilt

All-Defensive

Linnae Harper, Kentucky

Danielle Ballard, LSU

Martha Alwal, Mississippi State

Alaina Coates, South Carolina

Jordan Jones, Texas A&M

Co-Coaches of the Year: Vic Schaefer, Mississippi State / Dawn Staley, South Carolina

Player of the Year: Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina

Freshman of the Year: A'ja Wilson, South Carolina

Defensive Player of the Year: Jordan Jones, Texas A&M

6th Woman of the Year: Jennifer O'Neill, Kentucky

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina