LOS ANGELES - University of Connecticut women’s basketball dynamic trio of Breanna Stewart (North Syracuse, N.Y.), Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas) and Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook, Ill.) have been placed on the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20, as announced on Wednesday.
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.
Jefferson, who is averaging 14.0 points in 31.6 points per game this season, has continued to be the Huskies’ fearless leader at point. In total, she tops the team in assists (132) and steals (70) and is one of seven Huskies shooting over 50.0 percent from the floor (58.8). This season, she passed Maya Moore to rank third on UConn’s all-time steals list with 328 career thefts. She is only the third Husky to record 500 career assists and 300 career steals. The Texas native has tallied her third-straight season with at least 100 assists and led the Huskies to a 85-60 victory over Temple on Sunday afternoon, tying her career-best 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting to go along with eight assists and eight steals. Her 5.7 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio averages are the best in the American Athletic Conference.
Stewart is putting up a team-best 19.9 points per game average, which places second in the conference. She also ranks in the top-10 in nine other categories, including field goal percentage (.591), assists per game (4.2), free throw percentage (.828) and blocks per game (3.4). This season, the senior forward has tallied 13 20-point games and has reached double figures in 23 of UConn’s 24 outings. Stewart currently checks in at No. 2 on the Huskies’ all-time scoring list with 2,417 points and also stands third all-time in total blocks (366).
Tuck joined Stewart and Jefferson to combine for 53 points in UConn’s 66-54 win against then-ranked No. 2 South Carolina on Feb. 8. The redshirt-junior is averaging 13.7 points and 5.6 rebounds this season and has tallied double figures in scoring in 14 games. In her first time back on the court after sitting out three weeks due to injury, Tuck tallied 11 points and pulled down five rebounds for the Huskies against Tulane on Feb. 3. She ranks third in The American with a 2.14 assist-to-turnover ratio and 51.0 field goal percentage.
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). Connecticut’s Breanna Stewart 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.