Cooke, Henderson Named to The Dawn Staley Award Watch List

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina guard Zia Cooke and junior Destanni Henderson earned spots on the Dawn Staley Award Midseason Watch List, The Phoenix Club of Philadelphia announced today. They are among 16 student-athletes in the running for the award, which recognizes the player who exemplifies the skills that Staley possessed throughout her career – ball handling, scoring, ability to distribute the basketball and will to win.

Named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Top 10 earlier this week, Cooke is the Gamecocks’ leading scorer who ranks 11th in the SEC with 16.2 points per game after hitting double-figure points in 13 of the Gamecocks’ 16 games this season, including three 20-point outings. Her 1.6 made 3s per game are 15th-best in the league and include four games of 3 or more made from outside the arc. She is shooting a team-best 42.4 percent from long range, and she is second on the team in assists (2.2). In South Carolina’s seven games against ranked opponents, she was the team’s top scorer in four of those games to average 13.9 points against ranked foes.

Henderson is the high-paced engine that makes the Gamecocks go, especially in transition. She leads the SEC and ranks among the nation’s top 20 in assists per game (5.9) and has eight games of seven or more assists, including her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 assists against then-#22/23 Georgia. She is scoring 11.7 points per game on 44.2 percent shooting, including 39.0 percent from 3-point range. Henderson has scored 44.6 percent of her 11.7 points per game on the fast break, and she has assisted on another 3.8 fast-break points per game.

The Phoenix Club of Philadelphia will name four finalists in mid-March, and the winner will be announced on NCAA Women’s Final Four weekend.

No. 2/1 South Carolina will step out of conference play for its next game, traveling to No. 3/5 UConn for a 7 p.m. tipoff on Mon., Feb. 8.

Continue to check and the team’s social media accounts (@GamecockWBB) for the most up-to-date information on the women’s basketball season.

2021 The Dawn Staley Award Late Season Watch List

Paige Bueckers, UConn
Caitlin Clark, Iowa
Zia Cooke, South Carolina
Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas
Dana Evans, Louisville
Dyaisha Fair, Buffalo
Arella Guirantes, Rutgers
Anastasia Hayes, Middle Tennessee State
Destanni Henderson, South Carolina
Cierra Hooks, Ohio Univeristy
Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
Kionna Jeter, Towson
Ashley Joens, Iowa State
Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse
Aari McDonald, Arizona
Madi Williams, Oklahoma

Categories: Local Sports, Sports, USC Gamecocks