ABILENE - Abilene Christian freshman Suzzy Dimba and senior Renata Marquez Tuesday were announced as Southland Conference honorable mentions after leading the Wildcats to an impressive 18-12 record in their first year of NCAA D-I membership.
Dimba also was one of just five student-athletes - and the only first-year player - tabbed to the conference's all-defensive team. Joining the Lubbock (Coronado HS) native on this squad were all-conference first team selections Porsha Roberts (Stephen F. Austin), Gia Ayers (Lamar), Emani White (Nicholls) and Courtney Duever (Central Arkansas).
Dimba finds herself in elite company as Roberts additionally was named Defensive Player of the Year and Duever was voted by the league's head coaches and sports information directors as the Southland Conference Player of the Year.
Freshman of the Year went to Duever's Sugar Bear teammate, Brianna Mullins, while Texas A&M-Corpus Christi claimed Newcomer of the Year Jasmine Shaw and Coach of the Year Royce Chadwick.
In an extraordinary season that included 11 double-doubles, Dimba finished the 2013-14 season ranked sixth in the Southland Conference in rebounding (9.1 per game), fifth in blocked shots (1.4) and tied for 13th in steals (1.5). She also averaged 6.7 defensive boards per game and finished 25th in scoring with 11.3 points per game.
Dimba's career highs from this past season included a 23-point performance vs. conference co-champion Lamar and a pair of 16-rebound efforts against the Cardinals of Lamar (Jan. 23) and Incarnate Word (March 8). She also blocked a season high five shots in her team's comeback victory at UIW on Feb. 13.
Dimba finished fourth on ACU with 338 points through 25 starts and her 272 total rebounds were the most recorded by a Wildcat in a single season since Jody Meyer pulled down 303 in 2009-10.
Marquez' exceptional season saw her finishing among the Southland Conference's top-20 leaders in scoring (10th / 14.8 ppg), rebounding (19th / 5.9), assists (7th / 3.9) and steals (4th / 1.9). And in her Senior Day game Saturday against Incarnate Word, the Conroe, Texas (Willis HS), native left to a standing ovation after contributing 15 points, five rebounds and six assists through 39 minutes of action in a 90-79 win.
Marquez - who last season was a second team all-Lone Conference selection - finished her Wildcat career with 1,285 career points, 598 rebounds and 298 assists. She also started 94 of her 108 career games, including the final 66 straight covering the end of her sophomore season (2011-12) through the end of her senior season. And with 39 starts this season, her minutes played totaled 1,003.
In her final year as a collegiate player Marquez recorded career season highs in nearly every possible category, including 443 (14.8) points, 177 (5.9) rebounds, 116 assists and 57 steals. She also made 44.1 percent of her 358 field goal attempts and 34.6 percent of her 185 3-point attempts. Marquez ranked sixth in the Southland with 2.2 3-pointers made per game and 15th in 3-point field goal percentage.
During a mid-February game against Arlington Baptist, Marquez scored a career-high 32 points on 12 of 24 shooting and eight three-pointers that tied ACU's individual single-game record.
Marquez reached double figures in scoring 23 times this season and posted five double-doubles that raised her career total to 13. Her collegiate resume also includes 14 games with 10 or more rebounds, 16 contests with five or more assists, and five games with five or more steals. She recorded a career high eight steals in a blowout win at New Orleans on Jan. 9.
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