UNCASVILLE, Conn. – After leading the No. 1 University of Connecticut women’s basketball team to its 22nd regular season conference title, Husky head coach Geno Auriemma has been tabbed as the American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, as announced by the league on Friday. In addition, senior forward Breanna Stewart (North Syracuse, N.Y.) was chosen as the conference’s Player of the Year.
Auriemma earned his third-straight and 13th overall Coach of the Year honor after leading UConn to a 29-0 overall record in the regular season. The Huskies finished conference play with a spotless 18-0 record, defeating league opposition by an average of 45.6 points per game. Connecticut clinched The American’s regular season title outright on Feb. 24 with an 88-41 win over SMU at Gampel Pavilion.
Over the course of 31 season at UConn, Auriemma was named Coach of the Year in the former Big East a total of 10 times and garnered National Coach of the Year recognition seven times. Auriemma has led the Huskies to a record 10 national championships and owns the record for consecutive Final Four appearances with eight. In total, he has overseen 16 Husky trips to the Final Four.
Stewart, who is the 12th Husky to be named the conference Player of the Year, is the first Connecticut player since Kerry Bascom in 1988-91 to win three-straight Player of the Year honors. The North Syracuse, N.Y. native’s accomplishment marks the program’s 20th conference player of the year nod for a Husky in the last 28 years.
At 19.6 points per game, Stewart is second in the conference and also ranks in the top-five in field goal percentage (57.9), assists/game (4.1), rebounds/game (8.6), blocks/game (3.4) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6). This season, the senior forward has posted 15 20-point performances and has reached double figures in 28 of UConn’s 29 games.
The senior is UConn’s second-best all-time scorer with 2,508 points and stands second on the all-time blocks list with 385 rejections. Stewart is just 12 blocks away from passing Rebecca Lobo (396) to become UConn’ all-time blocks leader.
The Huskies will kick off postseason action on Saturday, March 4 when it faces the winner of East Carolina/Cincinnati in the quarterfinals of the 2016 American Athletic Conference Championship at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app with radio coverage on the UConn/IMG Radio Network.
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