2018-19 Pac-12 women’s basketball media awards announced
LAS VEGAS - A panel of Pac-12 women’s basketball media members who cover the league agreed with the league’s coaches voting OREGON’s Sabrina Ionescu the Pac-12 Player of the Year for the second-straight year, CALIFORNIA’s Kristine Anigwe the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and UTAH’s Dre’Una Edwards the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. The media also agreed with the coaches in voting OREGON STATE’s Aleah Goodman the first-ever recipient of the Pac-12 Sixth Player of the Year. For its Pac-12 Coach of the Year, the media voted UCLA’s Cori Close.
Junior Sabrina Ionescu (Walnut Creek, Calif.) repeats as Pac-12 Player of the Year after winning the honor last season. She has recorded a NCAA-record seven triple-doubles this season, ranking in the top 25 in the country in nine statistical categories, including second in total assists (242), third in assists per game (8.1) and eighth in three-point percentage (.444). She has led the Ducks to a second-straight Pac-12 regular-season title and a second-consecutive No. 1 seed. Featured on every national player of the year watch list, she is also a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, presented to the nation’s top point guard, an honor she won last season. Ionescu was also named a finalist for the Dawn Staley Award. The Pac-12 media voted Ionescu Pac-12 Player of the Week twice this season and was twice selected USBWA National Player of the Week, and was an ESPNW National Player of the Week once.
Senior Kristine Anigwe (Phoenix, Ariz.) is the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year after ranking second in the Pac-12 in blocks per game (1.7), while recording career-bests with 23.1 points per game and a NCAA-best 16.4 rebounds per game. She is three blocks from becoming the 13th player in Pac-12 history to record 200 blocks. She earns a spot on the media’s All-Pac-12 team for the fourth-consecutive season while earning a spot on the All-Defensive team for the second time in her career. Anigwe’s final campaign has been historic, recording a double-double in every game this season, including a 30-point, 30-rebound performance on the final day of the regular season, tying the Pac-12 single-game rebounding mark. On all the national player of the year watch lists, she is a finalist for the Lisa Leslie Award, presented to the nation’s top center. The media voted Anigwe Pac-12 Player of the Week five times this season, was selected ESPNW National Player of the Week twice and was tabbed USBWA National Player of the Week on Tuesday.
Utah’s Dre’Una Edwards (Las Vegas, Nev.) was voted Pac-12 Freshman of the Year by the Pac-12 media. Before suffering a season-ending injury on Feb. 22, the media voted her Pac-12 Freshman of the Week six times. She started in 26 games, averaging 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. She was fourth in the Pac-12, and first among rookies, in field goal percentage (54.0) and is sixth in blocks per game (1.12). Edwards helped Utah post its first 20-win campaign since 2012-13 and win nine Pac-12 game which is a team record. In her first-career collegiate game at Nevada, she tallied 16 points and 15 rebounds, en route to seven double-doubles on the season.
The first year of the award, sophomore Aleah Goodman (Milwaukie, Ore.) is averaging 10.7 points per game coming off the OSU bench, shooting 42.3 percent from the floor and 42.3 percent from long range in 24.9 minutes of playing time. She has been even better in league games, contributing 11.9 ppg to rank among the top 25 in the Pac-12 in the category, while also averaging 28.2 minutes per game. She caused a key turnover in the final seconds in the upset win of Oregon, also netting 22 points in the 67-62 OSU victory. She was the ESPNW National Player of the Week on Feb. 25, helping the Beavs record a top-three finished in the Pac-12 for the sixth-straight year.
UCLA head coach Cori Close has mentored the Bruins to a remarkable turnaround. After the team started league play at 2-4, it closed out the season winning 10 of its last 12 to claim a top-four seed in the Pac-12 Tournament for the fourth year in a row. During that span, the Bruins posted three wins over top-25 teams eventually entering the Associated Press’ top 25 for the final two weeks of the regular season. In her eighth season, Close is the second Bruin coach to win the media’s coach of the year honor in the 10 year history. At 19-11 on the season and 12-6 in league play, the Bruins have posted at least 19 wins five years in a row and posted double-digit league wins four years in a row.
The media also selected a 15-member All-Pac-12 team, a five-member All-Defensive team and a five-member All-Freshman team.
It is the 10th year of the Pac-12 media awards and are in addition to the Conference awards voted on by the league coaches, which were announced on Tuesday. The panel includes local and national media members.
2019 Pac-12 Media All-Pac-12:
Kristine Anigwe, California; DiJonai Carrington, Stanford; Ruthy Hebard, Oregon; Borislava Hristova, Washington State; Megan Huff, Utah; Kianna Ibis, Arizona State; Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon; Aari McDonald, Arizona; Minyon Moore, USC; Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA; Mikayla Pivec, Oregon State; Satou Sabally, Oregon; Destiny Slocum, Oregon State; Alanna Smith, Stanford; Kiana Williams, Stanford.
2019 Media All-Defensive Team:
Kristine Anigwe, California; Aliyah Mazyck, USC; Aari McDonald, Arizona; Minyon Moore, USC; Alanna Smith, Stanford.
2019 Pac-12 Media All-Freshman Team:
Lindsey Corsaro, UCLA; Dre’Una Edwards, Utah; Dru Gylten, Utah; Lacie Hull, Stanford; Cate Reese, Arizona.
The 2019 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament gets underway this week, March 7-10, heading to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for the first time. The winner claims the Conference’s NCAA automatic bid. To follow the tournament with the latest news, notes, photos and videos, and to buy tickets, visit www.pac-12.com/womenstourney.