COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston is a finalist for Naismith Women's Defensive Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. Boston is the only Gamecock all-time to be a finalist for this award, and she is the lone underclassman among this year's four finalists.
Boston was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and, earlier this month, earned a spot on the Associated Press All-America Second Team. The 6-foot-5 forward finished the season ranked 11th in the country in total blocks (86) and 21st in blocks per game (2.61). Her 86 blocks are a South Carolina freshman record and rank fourth overall in program history. She swatted 10 shots in her college debut against Alabama State, tying for the most by an SEC freshman in league history and the overall South Carolina single-game record. Boston's presence alone in the lane helped the Gamecocks hold opponents to just 33.3 percent shooting, which ranked fourth in the nation.
The First-Team All-SEC selection was also a powerful rebounder as her 9.4 rebounds per game set a South Carolina freshman record. Her 25 rebounds against Arkansas (Jan. 9) were the program's freshman record and the second-most by any Gamecock all-time. It included 15 defensive rebounds, which were also a program freshman record. She record 13 double-doubles this season, adding two more double-digit rebound games to that total.
Boston played the biggest in big games. She tied for the lead in scoring in the team's 14 games against ranked opponents with 13.0 points per game to go with her 10.9 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. Boston also averaged a double-double against SEC foes, averaging 13.1 points and 10.3 rebounds in those outings.