Harper Named SoCon Defensive Player of the Month

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference announced its February athletes of the month for baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s lacrosse, rifle, softball, men’s and women’s tennis and wrestling Thursday, highlighting excellence among student-athletes during the month.

Air Force’s Trent Harper averaged 6.0 ground balls per game and won 60 percent of his faceoffs in February. Harper opened his season with 10 ground balls against No. 2/1 Duke, also scoring a goal and going 16-for-26 in faceoff opportunities. In a snowy contest against No. 4/4 Denver a week later, he grabbed two ground balls and caused a turnover and went 9-for-18 in faceoffs against three-time All-American and 2017 Tewaaraton Award finalist Trevor Baptiste, holding Baptiste in single-digit faceoff wins for the first time in his career. The junior from Birmingham, Alabama, then closed his month with six ground balls in back-to-back contests, doing so in an 8-7 win over Marist and then again, adding a caused turnover, against Cleveland State. Harper was 12-for-19 in faceoffs against Marist and 11-for-17 against Cleveland State.

Others nominated: Dixon Smith (Jacksonville) and Blake Goodman (Richmond)

Harper and the Falcons are lined up for a pair of non-conference games on the road against Michigan and Detroit Mercy, Mar. 9 and 11, respectively. The Falcons will be meeting the Wolverines and Titans for the fourth and fifth time, respectively. Air Force remains unbeaten in both series.