Texas Southern graduate student guard Ciani Cryor was named the SWAC Women’s Basketball 2019-20 Player of the Year and an All-SWAC First Teamer. Fellow graduate Niya Mitchell was named to the first team while junior Ataiya Bridges earned second team honors.
A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Cryor made an instant impact in her first season at TSU as this marks the third time in seven years that a TSU women’s basketball student-athlete has been named SWAC Player of the Year.
She led the league in scoring with 18.2 points per contest and finished first in the SWAC and fourth nationally in assists with 6.5 per game (183). Cryor was first in the conference and fourth in the nation in steals with 107 (3.8 spg). She was tied for fourth in the SWAC in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.4 ratio and a 4.8 average, tied for fifth in three-point field goals with an 1.8 average, seventh in free throw percentage with a 72 percent clip and 12th in rebounds per game with an average of 4.8. Cryor scored 20-plus points on 13 occasions and dished out six-plus assists in 15 contests.
Mitchell was a double-double machine this season as she averaged 16.1 points and 11.6 rebounds while recording 17 double-doubles. She also ranked sixth nationally in rebounding (5th offensive rebounding) and 14th in steals. The Bay City, Texas native shot 60 percent from the field as she shot 50 percent or better in 23 games.
Bridges served as the team’s first option off the bench was instant offense as the Lanett, Ala. native averaged 12.9 points. 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 steals while shooting 43 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free throw line. She scored 10-plus points in 21 games with a high of 28 versus Alabama State on March 2.
Led by Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, who returned to the TSU sidelines for her second stint this season, the Tigers conclude the 2019-20 season with a 20-10 record and a second-place finish. It was the most wins for the team since 2016-17.