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USM’s Brittanny Dinkins won Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year today. A four year starter at USM, Dinkins took it a new level this year, leading the league in total steals with 100 and in steals average with more than three per game.
A proud coach, Joye Lee McNelis can be proud of herself as well for winning CUSA Coach of the Year for the second time in four seasons. After being picked to finish eighth in the league’s pre-season poll, the Lady Eagles made a joke of those predictions by securing the number three seed in the conference tournament. “Those awards are very nice and I’m very humbled that the coaches would vote for me, but the truth of the matter is coaches never make a shot. We don’t. It is truly about the players. They’re the ones that have given us the opportunity to win 21 games, and I have a great coaching staff that works extremely hard. So you’re not ever as good as an individual is, you’re only as good as the people that surround you,” said McNelis.
Those people were especially important to McNelis this season after being sidelined with a benign form of adenocarcinoma last month. She’ll have surgery to remove the upper left lobe of her lung on March 22nd.

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