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MAC Announces Women's Basketball Awards
CLEVELAND, OHIO -- The Mid-American Conference announced today the 2011-12 MAC Women's Basketball regular season awards. Highlighting the awards were the MAC Coach, Player and Freshman of the Year.
Eastern Michigan’s Tavelyn James was named MAC Player of the Year. James, Eastern Michigan's all-time leading scorer, is one of only 11 student-athletes in MAC history to reach 2,000 points. She also ranks third on the conference's career points list with 2,417, field-goals made (248) and three-pointers made (287). She leads the Eagles in scoring, with 24.4 points per game this season to date, while also ranking first on the team in field goals made, three-pointers made, free-throw made, steals and minutes played. She ranks second in the nation in scoring average, and also ranks among the top-40 in the country in free throw percentage (26th) and three-point field goals made (35th). The senior is broke the EMU women’s career scoring record against the University of Michigan, Dec. 11, and became the first player in Eastern’s history to score more than 500 points in three consecutive seasons. James also set the single-game record for three-point buckets with 10 triples against Kent State University, Feb. 11, which is also tops in a single-game for MAC-only tilts. She has been named MAC Player of the Week six times this season. James was also named the 2012 recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation's outstanding female collegian 5-feet-8-inches and under who has excelled both athletically and academically.
Northern Illinois’ Claire Jakubicek claimed this year’s MAC Freshman of the Year honors. Jakubicek is the second player in NIU history to receive MAC Freshman of the Year honors. One of the most impressive facts about Jakubicek getting so much respect from the league is that her season has been done since breaking her right foot against Ball State on Feb. 16. A compelling display of her impact, the Huskies lost each of their first four games before finally adjusting to life without Jakubicek and beating Western Michigan last Saturday in the first round of the MAC Tournament. She had scored double figures in nine of her last 10 games and had her scoring average at its highest point all season at 11.0 points per game. She had also hit 37 straight free throws. Among the MAC, Jakubicek’s 11.0 points per game ranks 16th, her 46.3 field goal percentage is ninth, and her 95.9 free throw percentage would lead the league by a wide margin had she not gotten hurt and fallen under the minimum attempts to qualify. Despite playing five less games than most of her teammates, Jakubicek still has the most games as top scorer (8) and third-most games as top rebounder (5). She still leads the team in scoring, field goal percentage, and free throw percentage. Her 5.1 rebounds per game rank second. Of her 24 games played, she scored in double figures 13 times, including a season-high 21-point effort against Chicago State on Dec. 11 in a 10-for-12 shooting day. She also had a season-best eight rebounds and five assists that day.
2012 Regular Season and East Division Champion Bowling Green’s head coach Curt Miller was named MAC Coach of the Year. Miller earns the MAC Coach of the Year award for a league-record sixth time, having won the honor in five consecutive years from 2005-09. Miller enters the MAC Tournament with a record of 258-90 (.741) in his head-coaching career, all with the Falcons and a 135-41 (.767) conference mark. After losing six seniors – including four starters – from last year’s team, Miller and Company had nine freshman and sophomores on the ‘11-12 roster. Only one player, junior Chrissy Steffen, had ever started a collegiate game prior to the season opener. But, Miller guided the Brown and Orange to a 14-2 MAC record and the program’s eighth consecutive division title. And, BGSU won the MAC’s overall regular-season title outright for the seventh time in those eight seasons.
Andola Dortch of Toledo and Jalisa Olive of Central Michigan were named Defensive Player of the Year and Sixth Player of the Year. Dortch becomes the first Rocket to garner defensive player of the year accolades. She has tallied at least three thefts on 10 occasions this season. She is also second on the squad in field goals made (117), minutes played (32.8 mpg) and free-throw percentage (69.3%, 104-of-150), third in three-point field-goal percentage (35.9%, 28-of-78) and three-point field goals made (28) and tied for fifth in overall rebounding (3.9 rpg). Dortch currently ranks third in the MAC in helpers, fifth in three-point field-goal percentage, sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.1), seventh in scoring, 10th in steals and 13th in free-throw percentage. Olive is currently third on the team with 152 and is averaging 1.7 per game. Against Ball State she scored the most points in a game by a Chippewa this year with 26 where she was 4-6 from the three-point line. She has scored in double figures five times this season. In nine games she recorded three or more steals, while in five games she had three or more assists. Olive is currently averaging 15.7 minutes per game and 5.1 points.
Joining James on the All-MAC First Team was Bowling Green forward Alexis Rogers, Buffalo guard Brittany Hedderson, Miami guard Courtney Osborn and Ohio guard Tenishia Benson.
Along with Dortch, Akron forward Sina King, Bowling Green point guard Jessica Slagle, Bowling Green guard Chrissy Steffen and Toledo center Yolanda Richardson were all named to the Second Team All-MAC.
Receiving Third Team All-MAC honors were Eastern Michigan’s guards Paige Redditt and Natachia Watkins, Miami forward and guard Kirsten Olowinski and Maggie Boyer and Toledo guard Courtney Ingersoll.
Rounding out the All-MAC Honorable Mention were Akron guard Taylor Ruper, Central Michigan forwards Taylor Johnson and Crystal Bradford, Kent State forward Diamon Beckford and Western Michigan guard Maria Iaquaniello.
Leading the All-MAC Freshman team was Jakubicek along with Bowling Green’s Jasmine Matthews, Central Michigan’s Crystal Bradford, Jessica Green and Jasmine Bracey.
The 2012 MAC Women's Basketball Tournament continues Wednesday, March 8 as the remaining eight teams travel to Cleveland. Games get underway at 12:00 p.m.
First Team All MAC
Alexis Rogers, Bowling Green, Forward
Brittany Hedderson, Buffalo, Guard
Tavelyn James, Eastern Michigan, Guard
Courtney Osborn, Miami, Guard
Tenishia Benson, Ohio, Guard
Second Team All MAC
Sina King, Akron, Forward
Jessica Slagle, Bowling Green, Point Guard
Chrissy Steffen, Bowling Green, Guard
Andola Dortch, Toledo, Guard
Yolanda Richardson, Toledo Center
Third Team All-MAC
Paige Redditt, Eastern Michigan, Guard
Natachia Watkins, Eastern Michigan, Guard
Kirsten Olowinski, Miami, Forward
Maggie Boyer, Miami, Guard
Courtney Ingersoll, Toledo, Guard
Taylor Ruper, Akron, Guard
Taylor Johnson, Central Michigan, Forward
Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan, Guard/Forward
Diamon Beckford, Kent State, Forward
Maria Iaquaniello, Western Michigan, Guard
Jasmine Matthews, Bowling Green, Guard
Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan, Guard/Forward
Jessica Green, Central Michigan, Guard
Jasmine Bracey, Central Michigan, Center
Claire Jakubicek, Northern Illinois, Forward
Defensive Player of the Year: Andola Dortch, Toledo, Guard
Sixth Player of the Year: Jalisa Olive, Central Michigan, Guard
Freshman of the Year: Claire Jakubicek, Northern Illinois, Forward
Player of the Year: Tavelyn James, Eastern Michigan, Guard
Coach of the Year: Curt Miller, Bowling Green