MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2012
Crystal Bell named A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year
Bell earned JU's first A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year honor Play Video
Bell earned JU's first A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year honor
Senior Crystal Bell was a headache all season for opponents and was recognized as the Atlantic Sun Conference Defensive Player of the Year on Monday.

Bell, who was also named second team all-conference, earns the program’s first defensive honor after posting an A-Sun best and JU single-season record in steals with 81. She also ranked ninth in the league in blocks (28).

Overall, Bell’s all-conference honors are the first for the Dolphins since Ashley Williams and Virginia Gregoire earned first team accolades in 2007-08.

“Crystal is very deserving of this award,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “She was a spark for our defense the way she was able to create turnovers at the drop of a hat. It is a great honor not only for her but for our team as a whole.”

This season, Bell forced at least one steal in 26 of 29 contests, including four or more on 12 occasions. She tied a JU single-game record with seven steals against Lipscomb on Jan. 2. In the career lists, she ranks fifth all-time with 136 steals. Bell also posted a career-best three blocks in three contests with the last coming in the win at USC Upstate (2/11).

Offensively, the Fort Pierce native led the Dolphins with a 13.4 scoring average (sixth in the A-Sun) and is second in rebounds at 7.3 per contest. Since Nov. 29, Bell has scored more than 16 or more points nine times. She also had five double-doubles, tied for second-highest on the team.

Bell scored a season-high 22 points in the win at East Tennessee State on Feb. 9 to complete the Dolphins first sweep over the Lady Bucs. She also recorded 20 points and six steals in the double overtime loss at Stetson (1/7) as well as 19 points in victories vs. Mercer (2/18) and Lipscomb (1/2).

The Dolphins will compete in the General Shale Brick A-Sun Tournament as the No. 6 seed on Thursday against No. 3 seed Belmont in Macon, Ga. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN3.com.