LOS ANGELES – University of Connecticut women’s basketball standouts Breanna Stewart (North Syracuse, N.Y.), Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas) and Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook, Ill.) have earned a spot on the Wooden Award Midseason Top-20, as announced on Friday.
The list is chosen by a poll of national women’s college basketball media members. The 40th annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s. The men’s and women’s Wooden All-American Teams will be honored during the ceremony, as well as the 2016 Legends of Coaching Award, which will be presented to Tubby Smith, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Texas Tech. The event will take place the weekend of April 7-9, 2016.
The Huskies’ three selections marked the most for any team. South Carolina, Ohio State and Maryland each had two student-athletes placed on the list. In total, three Huskies, Stewart (2015), Maya Moore (2009, 2011) and Tina Charles (2010) have won the prestigious award.
Stewart has churned out a team-best 19.3 points per game average and ranks in the top-10 in the American Athletic Conference in rebounding (8.1), field goal percentage (56.6), assists per game (4.1), free throw percentage (80.7), three-point field goal percentage (42.9) and blocks per game (2.9). She currently stands third on the Huskies’ all-time scoring list with 2,230 points and at No. 3 all-time in total blocks (329). On Dec. 9, she became the only player in NCAA history to reach the 300-block, 300-assist plateau. The North Syracuse native also checks in at sixth all-time with 970 rebounds.
Jefferson, who is averaging 13.4 points in 32.4 minutes per game this season, continues to be one of UConn’s most consistent scoring options. In total, she leads the team in assists (78) and steals (36) and is one of six Huskies shooting over 50.0 percent from the floor (54.1). Jefferson’s 5.6 assists and 2.6 steals per game averages stand second in The American. She provided the spark in UConn’s 86-46 victory over Memphis on Wednesday night, notching 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting to go along with three assists and two steals.
Tuck is the second-leading scorer for the Huskies with 15.6 points per outing, which checks in sixth in conference. The redshirt-junior has been impressive this season, reaching double figures in 12 games, including a season-high 22 points and career-best 12 rebounds against USF on Jan. 10. Tuck cemented her place in UConn history after becoming the 41st Husky to join the 1,000-point club after dropping 17 points against Maryland on Dec. 28. She is fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (54.6) and fifth with 3.6 assist per game.
About the Wooden Award
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (‘79), Michael Jordan (‘84), Tim Duncan (‘97), Candace Parker (‘07 and ‘08), Kevin Durant (‘09), Maya Moore (‘09 and ‘11), Trey Burke (‘13) and Doug McDermott (‘14). Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky won the 2015 Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s and Breanna Stewart of Connecticut won the 2015 Wooden Award.
Fans can follow the candidates en route to the Wooden Award presentation and get the latest news throughout the season by liking the Wooden Award Facebook page or following @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact Ernest Baskerville at 213-630-5231 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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