BIG EAST Women's Basketball Awards Announced

BIG EAST Women's Basketball Awards Announced

Credit: AP

Louisville's Shoni Schimmel, left, battles Eastern Kentucky's LaRa'e Allen for a loose ball during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)



Posted on March 7, 2013 at 2:25 PM

The All-BIG EAST First Team spans student-athletes from eight schools and is highlighted by three players who were unanimous first team selections: Connecticut sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Notre Dame senior guard Skylar Diggins and USF senior guard Andrea Smith.

Syracuse senior guard Carmen Tyson-Thomas earned the BIG EAST Sixth Man Award and Connecticut senior guard Kelly Faris was chosen as the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year. Faris and DePaul sophomore guard Brittany Hrynko shared honors as the BIG EAST Most Improved Players. DePaul senior guard Anna Martin was selected for the BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award.

The awards were announced prior to the start of the 2013 BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters, held March 8-12 at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. The awards for the BIG EAST Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year will be revealed at a press conference on March 8 at the XL Center at 2 p.m. ET.

Carmen Tyson-Thomas played in 15 conference games and was second on the team in scoring with 11.2 points per game. She added 6.9 rebounds per game, which was also second on the team. Playing 22.8 minutes per game despite no starts, Tyson-Thomas dished out 25 assists and grabbed 22 steals. She was second on the team with 20-made 3-pointers and shot 36 percent from the floor for the season. Tyson-Thomas is the first Syracuse player to win the Sixth Man Award since its introduction as a league award in 2007-08.

Faris earned honors as the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and shared the title of 2013 BIG EAST Most Improved Player. Faris wrapped up conference play at 15th in the league in rebounding with 6.5 boards per game. She managed 2.8 steals per game in league play, which ranked fourth in the BIG EAST, and her 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio was third. Her 48.6 field goal percentage was seventh in league play. Faris is the third Connecticut player to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors and first since Ashley Battle in 2002-03. She is the second Husky to be named Most Improved, after Mel Thomas earned the honor in 2005-06.

Hrynko is the first DePaul player to earn Most Improved recognition. She was seventh in conference scoring with 16.3 points per game and fifth in assists (4.8 apg) and steals (2.7 spg). In her rookie campaign last season, Hrynko averaged 10.8 ppg and 1.9 steals per game. This year, Hrynko made 41 3-point field goals, while last year she made 30 in league play last year. 

Martin is the fourth DePaul player to receive the Sportsmanship Award and the second straight after Deanna Ortiz shared the honor last year. Martin, the 2012-13 team captain, is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. The guard averages a team –best 15.7 ppg. She has battled through injuries to both knees, missing nine games this year and becoming a “student coach” on the sidelines to remain a part of the team. She is a member of DePaul’s Captains’ Council, a participant in DePaul’s Student-Leader meetings and volunteers at Lincoln Park area grade schools basketball clinics. She also volunteers with Children of the Americas, Kentucky Community Centers and has participated in Misericordia Candy Days, Vincent DePaul Feed the Homeless Sandwich Drive, St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen and Sheffield Garden Walks. Martin was named the team’s MVP as a junior, after stepping up because three seniors were lost to season-ending injuries. She participated in DePaul’s Vincentian Heritage Tour in France and Sports Reach Ministries Mission Trip to Brazil.

Notre Dame leads the All-BIG EAST First Team with three selections, senior Skylar Diggins and juniors Natalie Achonwa and Kayla McBride. Diggins earned All-Conference honors all four years, taking spots in the First Team on her final three seasons. Achonwa and McBride are making their first appearances on the All-Conference teams.

UConn landed two players on the list in Mosqueda-Lewis and junior Stefanie Dolson. Mosqueda-Lewis was named to the Second Team last year as a freshman in 2012, while Dolson was named to the All-Freshman Team and Honorable Mention All-Conference as a sophomore. St. John’s also had two players on the list, with seniors Nadirah McKenith and Shenneika Smith named. Smith earned First Team honors last year, while McKenith was named to the Second Team. DePaul’s Hrynko made the First Team for the first time in her career, while senior Sugar Rodgers earned a spot for the fourth-straight year. Junior Shoni Schimmel makes her second-straight appearance on the First Team, while USF senior Andrea Smith makes her first. Syracuse senior center Kayla Alexander rounds out the 12-person team. Alexander returns to the First Team after making it as a sophomore and earning recognition on the Second Team last year.

The BIG EAST Player of the Year, BIG EAST Coach of the Year, BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be announced on Friday, March 8, prior to Session I at 2 p.m. ET. The awards press conference will be streamed live on




BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
Kelly Faris, Connecticut, Sr., G

BIG EAST Sixth Man Award
Carmen Tyson-Thomas, Syracuse, Sr., G

BIG EAST Most Improved Player
Kelly Faris, Connecticut, Sr., G
Brittany Hrynko, DePaul, So., G

BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award
Anna Martin, DePaul, Sr., G

All-BIG EAST First Team^
Stefanie Dolson, Connecticut, Jr., C
*Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Connecticut, So., F
Brittany Hrynko, DePaul, So., G
Sugar Rodgers, Georgetown, Sr., G
Shoni Schimmel, Louisville, Jr., G
Natalie Achonwa, Notre Dame, Jr., F
*Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame, Sr., G
Kayla McBride, Notre Dame, Jr., G
Nadirah McKenith, St. John’s, Sr., G
Shenneika Smith, St. John’s, Sr., G
*Andrea Smith, USF, Sr., G
Kayla Alexander, Syracuse, Sr., C

All-BIG EAST Second Team
Dayeesha Hollins, Cincinnati, R-Jr., G
Kelly Faris, Connecticut, Sr., G
Katherine Harry, DePaul, Sr., F
Anna Martin, DePaul, Sr. G
Antonita Slaughter, Louisville, Jr., G
Katherine Plouffe, Marquette, Jr., F
Symone Roberts, Providence, Sr., G
Brittany Morris, Seton Hall, Sr., G
Andrell Smith, USF, Sr., G
Laura Sweeney, Villanova, Sr., F

BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Bria Hartley, Connecticut, Jr., G
Breanna Stewart, Connecticut, Fr., F
Jewell Loyd, Notre Dame, Fr., G
Brianna Kiesel, Pittsburgh, So., G
Erica Wheeler, Rutgers, Sr., G

BIG EAST All-Freshman Team
Moriah Jefferson, Connecticut, Fr., G
*Breanna Stewart, Connecticut, Fr., F
Chanise Jenkins, DePaul, R-Fr., G
Brooklyn Pumroy, Marquette, Fr., G
*Jewell Loyd, Notre Dame, Fr., G
*Aliyyah Handford, St. John’s, Fr., G
Kahleah Copper, Rutgers, Fr., G
Brianna Butler, Syracuse, Fr., G
*Brittney Sykes, Syracuse, Fr., G
Alisia Jenkins, USF, Fr., F