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For the second consecutive season, Florida State senior forward Natasha Howard (Waite) has earned All-ACC First Team honors as selected by the Blue Ribbon Panel, announced on Tuesday by the league.

The first-team honor that comes in arguably the top conference in women’s college basketball adds another piece of history for the Toledo native. Howard’s selection to the 2013-14 All-ACC First Team makes her the first Seminole in the ACC era (1992-Present) to earn multiple first team honors. Last season, she was chosen for the first team by the Blue Ribbon Panel and second team by the ACC head coaches.

“Natasha has been spectacular this season,” FSU coach Sue Semrau said. “I’m so proud of the way she has worked to make herself one of the best players in the country. Natasha is very deserving of all the recognition that she gets because of how dedicated she is to the game, and it’s been a pleasure to watch her lead us this season. Her will to win and unselfish play have been critical to our team’s success.”

Howard joins only two players in FSU women’s basketball history in making multiple all-conference first teams. FSU Athletics Hall of Famers Bev Burnett (1988, 1989) and Wanda Burns (1990, 1991) garnered first-team selections as members of the Metro Conference.

HowardACC2
Florida State center Natasha Howard
shoots. (FSU photo by Mike Olivella)

Howard’s all-conference pick is the 40th time an FSU player has earned all-ACC accolades, which includes rookie team selections.

Howard has enjoyed a senior season for the ages, averaging 21.2 points, 9.3 rebounds while shooting 60.3 percent. According to the latest NCAA statistics, Howard is one of just six players in the nation shooting above 60 percent from the floor.

The Toledo, Ohio, native recently earned a spot on the ACC Women’s Basketball Championship All-Tournament Team. In FSU’s second-round matchup against Miami, she recorded her 40th career double-double with 30 points and 16 rebounds in an important 72-67 overtime victory. She followed that up with 29 points on 14-of-22 shooting facing constant double teams against No. 1 seed Notre Dame.

Howard’s 21.2 points per game average puts her in a spot to possibly finish with the highest single-season scoring average in school history. She is currently third behind FSU Athletics Hall of Famers Bev Burnett (21.3 pts.) and Sue Galkantas (21.6 pts.).

In ACC play, Howard raised her numbers by averaging 23.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and shooting 58.6 percent from the floor. Her All-America caliber season has been highlighted by her versatility, sitting in the Top five in the ACC in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, steals per game (2.1), blocked shots per game (2.3) and offensive rebounds per game (3.7).

Howard’s selection to the ACC All-Defensive Team marks the second of her career. She joins an elite list of multiple all-defensive team honorees at FSU in Brooke Wyckoff (2000-01), Alicia Gladden (2005-07) and Jacinta Monroe (2009-10). Gladden is the only Seminole to earn three selections to the ACC All-Defensive Team.

Howard leads Florida State with 74 blocked shots this year, currently the fifth-most in a season at FSU. Her 65 steals are also the 16th-most by a Seminole in a single season. For her career, Howard is only three rebounds away from becoming the all-time leader at FSU. With her 1,027 career boards, she is on the verge of passing Seminole legend Sue Galkantas (1980-84) and her 1,029 rebounds.

A Senior CLASS Award finalist and candidate for the Wade Trophy, Howard has enjoyed an extraordinary final year at Florida State. She is the only player in the conference who ranks in the Top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, steals and blocked shots.

Unbeaten Notre Dame, which will enter this week’s ACC Women’s Tournament as the No. 1 seed, led the way with three total selections. The Fighting Irish guard tandem of senior Kayla McBride and sophomore Jewel Loyd were voted to the first team, while senior forward Natalie Achonwa is a second-team honoree.

Four first-team players from last season are repeat selections this year in two-time ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas of Maryland, Duke junior Elizabeth Williams, Howard and Georgia Tech senior Tyaunna Marshall. Duke’s Tricia Liston, a second-team selection in 2013, was named to this year’s All-ACC first team.

Rounding out the 10-member first team are North Carolina freshman Diamond DeShields, NC State senior Markeisha Gatling and Wake Forest junior Dearica Hamby.

Joining Notre Dame’s Achonwa on the second team are NC State senior Kody Burke, Georgia Tech freshman Kaela Davis, Syracuse sophomore Brittney Sykes and Virginia Tech senior Uju Ugoka.


More all-conference

Howard earned more all-conference accolades when it was announced she earned both Head Coaches’ All-ACC First Team honors as well as a selection to the ACC All-Defensive Team, announced Monday by the conference.

An All-ACC First Team, Second Team, Freshman Team and Defensive Team were voted on by the league’s 15 head coaches. The All-ACC First Team and Freshman Teams mirror that of the Blue Ribbon Panel All-ACC selections, which were announced on March 4.

“These are two more awards that are indicative of how special of a season Natasha has had,” Semrau said. “What she has done for our team this year, both offensive and defensively, puts this season among the best for an individual in school history. We have leaned on her all season and she continues to come through for us. She is someone who put in hours and hours of work in the offseason and now she is enjoying the fruits of her labor.”

ACC Champion Notre Dame and ACC Tournament runner-up Duke led the way with three total selections each. The Fighting Irish’s guard tandem of sophomore Jewell Loyd and senior Kayla McBride earned first team honors, while senior forward Natalie Achonwa earned second team accolades. Blue Devils’ senior guard Tricia Liston and junior center/forward Elizabeth Williams were selected to the first team, while sophomore guard Alexis Jones earned second team honors.

Three first-team players from last season are repeat selections this year in Alyssa Thomas of Maryland, Duke’s Williams and Georgia Tech senior Tyaunna Marshall. Duke’s Liston and Florida State’s Howard, both second-team selections on the coaches team in 2013, were named to this year’s All-ACC First Team.

Rounding out the 10-member first team are North Carolina freshman Diamond DeShields, NC State senior Markeisha Gatling and Wake Forest junior Dearica Hamby.

Joining Notre Dame’s Achonwa and Duke’s Jones on the second team are Georgia Tech freshman Kaela Davis, Syracuse sophomore Brittney Sykes and Virginia Tech senior Uju Ugoka.

Florida State awaits its NCAA Tournament fate with the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Show on Monday, March 17, at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

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