Pac-12 announces women’s basketball honors

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a vote of the league’s 12 women’s basketball head coaches, OREGON STATE senior Jamie Weisner was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Year, it was announced today on the Pac-12 Networks’ Pac-12 Sports Report, making her the first OSU player to win the honor in 15 years. The coaches also voted CALIFORNIA’s Kristine Anigwe the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, making her the first Golden Bear to claim the honor in a decade. OSU senior Ruth Hamblin was also tabbed the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row and ARIZONA STATE head coach Charli Turner Thorne was also picked the John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year, the second time she has won the honor in her career and first time since 2001.

In addition to the coaches honors being announced, the Conference office also selected Hamblin the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The award, which is presented in each of the 23 sports the Pac-12 sponsors, was established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline. 

The Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament takes place this week, March 3-6, in Seattle at KeyArena. Tickets are available for purchase at pac-12.com/tickets.

PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jamie Weisner, Sr., G, Oregon State

Senior guard Jamie Weisner (Clarkston, Wash.) is the first OSU player to win the Conference’s player of the year honor since Felicia Ragland was voted Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2001. It is the fourth citation for the program and Weisner is the third Beaver to earn the honor after Tanja Kostic won the award in 1995 and 1996. Weisner ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with a 17.0 points per game average, and her .478 shooting percentage is sixth and tops among Pac-12 guards. Her 87.7 percent shooting from the free throw line also ranks eighth in the country. Voted the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Feb. 22, she is the seventh player in OSU history to surpass 1,500 points and currently ranks in the top 50 in Pac-12 history in scoring, tallying over 1,600 career points. Her most impressive performances have come in Oregon State’s biggest games of the year, tallying 12 of 18 points in a comeback win at Stanford, helping OSU snap a 29-game losing streak to the Cardinal. She also had 25 points against Arizona State and UCLA this season, as the Beavers also claimed a second-straight Pac-12 regular-season title, sharing it with the Sun Devils. Weisner is named to the All-Pac-12 team for the second-straight year, also earning honorable mention all-defensive team honors.

PAC-12 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Kristine Angiwe, F, California

Kristine Anigwe (Phoenix, Calif.) is the first Golden Bear to win the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award since Alexis Gray-Lawson won the award in 2006. Anigwe was voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week a Conference-record eight times, winning the recognition in seven of the first nine weeks of the season. Second in the Pac-12 in scoring with a 20.3 points per game average, she is the second-highest scoring freshman in the country and ranks in the top-30 among all players. In the Pac-12, she also ranks sixth in rebounding (8.9 rpg), second in field goal percentage (.563), sixth in free throw percentage (.741) and 10th in blocks (1.14 bpg). Her 11 doubles-doubles this season are also tied for fourth in the Conference. Nationally, she ranks 20th in the country in field goal shooting, and her 149 free throws made and 201 free throw attempts are the 14th- and 11th-most in Division I women’s basketball this season. She is the 18th player in Conference history to be named All-Pac-12 as a freshman.

PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PAC-12 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Ruth Hamblin, Sr., C, Oregon State

Senior center Ruth Hamblin is the first-ever Beaver to be voted the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in the nine-year history of the award, becoming the third player in Pac-12 history to earn the honor multiple times. She joins the ranks of former All-American Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike and WNBA and former Arizona State star Briann January. Now a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree, Hamblin is leading the Conference and ranks eighth in the country with 3.41 blocks per game. One of two players in Pac-12 history with multiple 100-block seasons, she is on the verge of becoming the only player in league history to record triple-digit block seasons three times, as she enters the Pac-12 Tournament with 99 stuffs on the year. The NCAA’s active career leader in blocks, her presence in the paint has the Beavers limiting opponents to just 51.0 points per game on the season, the lowest opponent scoring average in the Conference and seventh in the nation. With Hamblin leading the way, OSU is also tied for first in the country with a 6.6 blocks per game average. A third team Associated Press All-American last year, she averages 11.4 ppg and 9.0 rpg, which ranks 20th and fifth in the Pac-12, respectively. Hamblin needs just eight blocks to tie the Conference’s all-time record.

Off the court, Hamblin has been equally as impressive, posting a 3.85 grade point average while majoring in mechanical engineering. She is one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, also earning a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 team. Last year, she was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-American third team and recently helped to build and launch a rocket 21,750 feet into the air as part of a class project.

JOHN R. WOODEN PAC-12 COACH OF THE YEAR
Charli Turner Thorne, Arizona State

In her 19th season at the Sun Devil helm, head coach Charli Turner Thorne earns the Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor after leading ASU to a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title and a top-10 national ranking for most of the season. It is the second time in her career she earns the award, the last time coming in 2001, the only other year the Sun Devils have won the regular-season Conference crown. ASU has won 16 Pac-12 games this season, tying a program record, and is 25-5 heading into the postseason. It is the team’s third-straight 20-win season and fourth in five years. Turner Thorne is the second-winningest coach in Pac-12 history and has won over 400 games in her 22 seasons as a head coach. This season, an ASU-record three Sun Devils have been named to the All-Pac-12 team (Sophie Brunner, Elisha Davis and Katie Hempen) and Davis was one of five players named to the All-Defensive Team.

[Related: Pac-12 Networks' Mary Murphy talks Charli Turner Thorne's strong season]

The Conference Coach of the Year honor was renamed in honor of the late John R. Wooden, former legendary UCLA coach, during the 2010-11 campaign.

ABOUT THE PAC-12 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletics accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in voting for the award.

A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12’s 23 sponsored sports: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, beach volleyball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, men’s rowing, women’s rowing, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track & field, women’s track & field, women’s volleyball, and wrestling. The award was first established during the 2008-09 academic year. 

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