Three Huskies Earn All-Pac-10 Basketball Honors

Feb. 28, 2002

Eugene, Ore. - Washington women's basketball team captains Loree Payne and Giuliana Mendiola were named to the 10-player All-Pac-10 Conference Team and Kristen O'Neill was selected to the All-Freshman Team when conference honors were announced Thursday night at the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament banquet. In addition, sophomore Andrea Lalum earned honorable mention all-conference recognition.

Sophomore guard Nicole Powell of Stanford was named the Player of the Year, guard Dee-Dee Wheeler of Arizona was selected as the Conference Freshman of the Year and Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year.

Mendiola, a sophomore guard from Lake Forest, Wash., earns All-Pac-10 distinction for the first time after receiving All-Freshman accolades a year ago. She leads the Huskies in assists (5.0 apg) and field goal percentage (.477), good for fourth and ninth, respectively, in the Pac-10. She is second on the team in scoring (12.0 ppg) and steals (36).

Payne, a junior guard from Havre, Mont., is a two-time All-Pac-10 selection. She leads the Huskies in scoring (14.1) and ranks ninth in Pac-10 scoring. She also paces UW in field goal percentage (.821), which ranks sixth among Pac-10 leaders.

O'Neill, a guard from Lynwood, Wash., is the eighth Husky ever to earn All-Freshman honors. She has started 20 of UW's 27 games, is shooting 44 percent from the field and 46 percent from beyond the arc. She ranks third in the Pac-10 in 3-point field goal percentage (.457).

Washington, a No. 2 seed in the inaugural Pac-10 postseason tournament that begins Friday, has a first round bye and will meet the winner of the Oregon-Washington State game. The Huskies are scheduled to play at 12 noon, Sat., March 2.

The complete Conference honors, as selected by the Conference's 10 head coaches, are listed below:

PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Nicole has been instrumental in leading No. 2 STANFORD to a 28-1 overall record and a perfect 18-0 mark in Pac-10 play. She is the second sophomore to ever earn Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, the other being Oregon's Shaquala Williams in 1999-2000. A two-time All-Pac-10 selection, Powell is the eighth Cardinal player to receive player of the year distinction. She finished the regular season as the Pac-10's leader in assists (6.10 apg) and defensive rebounds (7.10). She is second in the Conference in rebounding (9.3 rpg) and although just a sophomore, she has 525 career rebounds, good for 18th on Stanford's all-time list. She ranks first in Cardinal history in career rebounds per game (9.0), which is good for eighth on the Pac-10's all-time list. An all-around player, Powell's most impressive statistic may be her four career triple-doubles. She notched three of those this season and owns four of Stanford's all-time total of six. She has recorded four of the 10 triple-doubles in Pac-10 history, and owns the distinction as the only player ever to record more than one. Powell was a four-time Pac-10 Player of the Week selection this year. She is one of 20 finalists for the 2002 Naismith College Women's Basketball Player of the Year award.

PAC-10 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Dee-Dee Wheeler, a guard from Chicago, Ill., becomes just the second player in Wildcat history to be named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, joining Adia Barnes (1994-95) on that elite list. She leads Arizona in steals (54) and assists per game (3.4) and is the squad's second-leading scorer (12.6 ppg). Wheeler has reached double digits in scoring in 19 games this season, marking the highest number of double-digit performances for a Wildcat freshman since Elizabeth Pickney tallied 19 in her rookie season (1998-99). Among Pac-10 players, Wheeler ranks sixth in both steals (2.00 spg) and 3-point field goal percentage (.412), eighth in assists (3.41 apg) and 10th in field goal percentage (.475), three-point field goals made (1.48 avg) and assists/turnover ratio (0.95). She ranks 11th in the Conference in scoring (12.6 ppg) to lead all Pac-10 freshmen.

PAC-10 COACH OF THE YEAR
Tara VanDerveer, in her 15th-plus season on The Farm, has guided the Cardinal to a 28-1 overall record, a perfect 18-0 mark in Pac-10 play and a No. 2-national ranking. VanDerveer, who won her 10th Pac-100 title this season, has coached Stanford to 21 straight Pac-10 victories and the fifth 20-game winning streak in school history. The Cardinal's 28-1 record is the second-best in program history, while the unblemished Conference record marks the fourth time the Cardinal has run the table in league play, all under VanDerveer (1989, 1996, 1997, 2002). Stanford quickly moved from it's preseason AP ranking of No. 9 to No. 2, where it has held steady for the past four weeks. The Cardinal leads the Conference in 12 of 19 statistical categories. VanDerveer will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame this year and is one of 20 finalists for the 2002 Naismith Women's Basketball Coach of the Year award. The Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor is the fifth of her career.

ALL-PAC-10 TEAM
Ebony Hoffman, a sophomore forward from Harbor City, Calif., earns her first All-Pac-10 selection after being named to last year's Pac-10 All-Freshman team. She is one of the Pac-10's most dominating post players. Hoffman ranks third in the Conference in rebounding (9.0 rpg), steals (2.28 spg) and blocked shots (1.28) and eighth in scoring (14.3 ppg). She leads the Pac-10 in rebounding in Conference games (9.8 rpg).

Aisha Hollans, a sophomore guard from Berkeley, Calif., is a first time All-Conference selection. The sophomore guard leads the Women of Troy in scoring, averaging 17.0 points per game, good for fifth in the Pac-10. She paces Pac-10 guards in rebounding at 6.4 rpg.

Amanda Levens, a senior guard from Belvidere, Ill., is a two-time All-Pac-10 pick. She is the Pac-10's fourth-leading scorer, averaging 17.1 points per game. Levens is fifth in the Conference in assists (4.68 apg) and assist/turnover ratio (1.44). She also ranks 10th in free throw percentage (.777) and three-point field goal percentage (.362). Levens leads the Sun Devils in scoring and assists.

Giuliana Mendiola, a sophomore guard from Lake Forest, Wash., earns All-Pac-10 distinction for the first time after receiving All-Freshman accolades a year ago. She leads the Huskies in assists (5.0 apg) and field goal percentage (.477), good for fourth and ninth, respectively, in the Pac-10. She is second on the team in scoring (12.0 ppg) and steals (36).

Loree Payne, a junior guard from Havre, Mont., is a two-time All-Pac-10 selection. She leads the Huskies in scoring (14.1) and ranks ninth in Pac-10 scoring. She also paces UW in field goal percentage (.821), which ranks sixth among Pac-10 leaders.

Elizabeth Pickney, a senior forward from Houston, Texas, earns All-Pac-10 honors for the second consecutive season. She is Arizona's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 16.3 points and 8.0 boards per game (sixth and fifth, respectively, in the Pac-10). This season she became Arizona's all-time leader in blocked shots with 146 (No. 8 on the Pac-10 career chart). She also owns Arizona's all-time games started record with 111.

Nicole Powell, a sophomore guard from Phoenix, Ariz., is a two-time All-Pac-10 selection. She is just the second sophomore ever to earn Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, as well as the eighth Cardinal player. She finished the regular season as the Pac-10's leader in assists (6.10 apg) and defensive rebounds (7.10). She is second in the Conference in rebounding (9.3 rpg) and although just a sophomore, she has 525 career rebounds, good for 18th on Stanford's all-time list. She has posted four of the Pac-10's total 10 career triple-doubles and is the only player in Conference history to record more than one triple-double.

Felicia Ragland, a senior guard from Tulare, Calif., is a three-time All-Conference selection and was last season's Pac-10 Player of the Year. This season she is the Pac-10's most prolific scorer, averaging 20.0 points per game. She leads the Conference in steals (2.57) and three-point field goals made (2.25). Ragland leads the Beavers in scoring, rebounding and steals. She has notched a Pac-10-leading four 30- point games this season.

Shaquala Williams, a junior from Portland, Ore., earns All-Pac-10 honors for the second time in her career. After being named Pac-10 Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2000, she sat out last season rehabbing an ACL injury. This season Williams leads Conference in free throw percentage (.901) and is second in scoring (17.4 ppg). She paces the league in scoring in Pac-10 games (18.4 ppg).

Lindsey Yamasaki, a senior from Oregon City, Ore., garners All-Pac-10 recognition for the first time in her career. The senior guard/forward leads the Cardinal in scoring at 17.4 points per game, third in the Pac-10. She has scored in double figures in 26 out of Stanford's 29 games, including each of the last 15.

PAC-10 ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Kristen O'Neill, a guard from Lynwood, Wash., is the eighth Husky ever to earn All-Freshman honors. She has started 20 of UW's 27 games, is shooting 44 percent from the field and 46 percent from beyond the arc. She ranks third in the Pac-10 in 3-point field goal percentage (.457).

Kelley Suminski, a guard from Chester, N.J., has had an excellent freshman campaign for the Cardinal, starting 200 games at point guard. She ranks first in the Pac-10 in 3-point field goal percentage (.479) and is shooting a Pac-10 leading 93.9 percent from the foul line in Conference games. She ranks second in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (.883).

T'Nae Thiel, a forward from Weatherford, Texas, joins teammate Kelley Suminski on the All-Freshman team. Thiel has started 16 games this season and ranks 13th on the Pac-10 rebounding charts, pulling down 5.8 boards a game. She recorded career highs of 19 points (vs. Oregon 1/13) and 10 rebounds (vs. ASU 1/26).

Rachel Woodward, a forward from Murietta, Calif., has done well in her rookie season for the Women of Troy. The talented forward ranks 10th in the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (2.59 rpg) and 14th in scoring with 11.7 points per game. She has posted two double-doubles this season.

Dee-Dee Wheeler, a guard from Chicago, Ill., becomes just the second player in Wildcat history to be named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, joining Adia Barnes (1994-95) on that elite list. She leads Arizona in steals (54) and assists per game (3.4) and is the squad's second-leading scorer (12.6 ppg). She has reached double digits in scoring in 19 games this season.

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