CU Trio Earn Big 12 Honors
BOULDER ? University of Colorado sophomore guard/forward Brittany Spears has been named to the 2009 All-Big 12 Conference second team while senior center Kara Richards received honorable mention and freshman guard Alyssa Fressle earned All-Rookie team accolades by a vote of league coaches the conference announced on Monday.
Spears becomes the eighth different CU player to be named on one of the Big 12's all-conference teams and the fifth to be named to the second team. She CU's 13th overall selection to one of the all-league squads. Spears was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection in 2008 and was also named to the All-Rookie team.
A native of Pasadena, Calif., Spears leads Colorado and ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring at 18.1 points per game. She recently became just the seventh different player in team history (11th overall) to go over 500 points in a season and needs just 21 more to become CU's 22nd player to reach 1,000. Spears has eight double-doubles this season, five of which have come during Big 12 play. She has the league's highest single-game scoring output this season, recording 36 against UMass during the Coors Classic.
Spears ranks among the Big 12's best in nearly every statistical category. Besides her scoring achievements, she is also second in minutes (35.6 mpg), seventh in rebounding (7.8 rpg), eighth in steals (1.9 spg), ninth in 3-point percentage (.323) and blocks (1.1 bpg) and 12th in free-throw percentage (.714), field-goal percentage (.431) and 3-pointers made (1.5 3mpg).
Richards is Colorado's 11th player to earn honorable mention status to the annual All-Big 12 team. The Buffaloes have had at least one player earn honorable mention six out of the last seven seasons.
Richards, a native of Graham, Texas, paces the Buffaloes in field-goal percentage at 56.9 percent, currently the second best average in the Big 12. She's also among the Big 12 leaders in rebounding, 10th at 7.3 per game, and scoring,12th at 13.2 per contest. Richards has been especially tough down the stretch, averaging a team-best 19.8 points and 8.8 rebounds over the last five games. She has three of her five career double-doubles in the last six games.
Fressle is the second Colorado player to be named to the Big 12 All-Rookie team in the four-year existence of the award, following Spears' All-Rookie honor last season. She is just the third CU freshman to earn any kind of Big 12 postseason honor joining Spears and Linda Lappe, who was an honorable mention pick in 1999.
A native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., Fressle leads all Big 12 freshmen in steals (1.8 spg), assists (3.4 apg) and minutes played (31.3 mpg) and is third in scoring at eight per game. She is Colorado's leader in assists and will be the first freshman to top the Buffs in that category since Lappe in 1998-99. Overall on the Big 12 charts, she ranks seventh in assists and 10th in steals and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.9).
Fressle was also named Big 12 Rookie of the Week on Monday, her first honor and the first weekly league honor for the Buffaloes this season. She averaged 11 points, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals and two rebounds while hitting 50 percent from the field (9-of-18) in CU's two games last week. She had 12 points and dished out four assists with two steals, two rebounds and a blocked shot against Nebraska. Fressle added 10 points with three steals and two rebounds against Kansas State.
Colorado finished the regular season at 11-17 and will be the No. 12 seed in the upcoming Big 12 Championship, March 12-15, at the COX Convention Center in Oklahoma City. The Buffaloes will play No. 5 seed Kansas State in a first round game on Thursday, March 12, at 10 a.m. MDT.