MSU

Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan (15) shoots a layup past Clemson forward Tylar Bennett. McCowan, who had a stellar senior season, carrying Mississippi State to the first SEC Tournament title in school history, was selected to The Associated Press women’s All-America first team.

Mississippi State's Teaira McCowan led the way for the Bulldogs on Monday as the Associated Press rolled out its annual women's basketball All-America team.

McCowan was voted to the first team, while senior teammates Jazzmun Holmes and Anriel Howard were honorable mention selections.

A third-team AP pick last season, McCowan has earned All-American honors from five outlets so far this season.

Other first-team picks: UConn's Napheesa Collier, Iowa's Megan Gustafson, Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu and Louisville's Asia Durr. Voting was done before the NCAA Tournament by the 28-member national media panel that votes on the AP Top 25 each week.

McCowan had a stellar senior season, carrying Mississippi State to the first SEC Tournament title in school history and earning most outstanding player honors in the process. She averaged 17.8 points, 13.5 rebounds and blocked 2.4 shots a game.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of her. It's been a work in progress for her to where we are today," Bulldogs coach Vic Schaefer said. "She's going to graduate in four years, she was marginally eligible when she came to us. I'm proud of that. I'll be in front row when she walks that stage.

"Her development as a young lady as well as a basketball player is like something I haven't seen. She's deserving of being an All-American. ... I love the kid to death, she's made me a better coach, father, a husband."

Holmes led the nation in assist/turnover ratio this year (4.81) while dishing 202 assists, shattering State’s previous single-season record. She finished her career in second in Bulldog history with 476 assists.

Howard averaged 16.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while collecting a dozen double-doubles and scoring in double figures 30 times. A senior transfer from Texas A&M, she closed her career as the No. 6 active rebounder in the nation with 1,303 career boards.

The AP's second team: Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale, Baylor's Kalani Brown, California's Kristine Anigwe, Stanford's Alanna Smith and Iowa State's Bridget Carleton.

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