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Demons basketball player named Southland Conference student-athlete of year for second straight season
Apr 13, 2013 | 191 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Northwestern State starting guard Gary Stewart has been named the Southland Conference Men's Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year, the league office announced Tuesday in conjunction with the release of the men's basketball all-academic teams.

Stewart, the 2011-12 male winner of the Southland's Steve McCarty Citizenship Award for outstanding community service and campus leadership, carries a 3.52 grade point average as a psychology major.

A junior from Vidalia, Stewart started the final 27 games for a Northwestern State team that led the nation in scoring during the regular season and finished with an 80-points per game average and 23 wins, tying for the second-most victories in a season in 100 years of basketball at Northwestern State.

He helped the Demons (23-9) claim their third Southland tournament title in their seventh SLC Finals appearance with a 68-66 win over Stephen F. Austin, giving Northwestern a return trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Demons notched their second victory in three meetings with regular-season champion SFA, as each game was decided in the final 10 seconds with the combined margin of victory for both teams only seven points.

Stewart averaged 5.4 points per game and had a season-best 19 points in a 100-88 win at Central Arkansas, which was one of six double-figure scoring games this season. Stewart averaged 2.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 18 minutes of action per game.

Stewart, a two-time Southland all-academic selection, is the first Demons' men's basketball player to be named Student-Athlete of the Year.

There was one automatic selection on the all-academic teams with Oral Roberts guard Mikey Manghum, who earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All-District 7 Team. The remaining nine all-academic honorees were selected by a vote of the league's head coaches, sports information contacts and academic advisors.

The all-academic teams are voted on by the head coaches, sports information directors and academic advisors from each Southland Conference university. Student-athletes must possess a 3.0 cumulative GPA, have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution and participated in at least 50 percent of the team's competition to qualify for the all-academic squad.
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