HARTFORD, Conn. (March 6, 2009) University of Connecticut sophomore Maya Moore (Lawrenceville, Ga.) has been selected as the 2009 BIG EAST Player of the Year, according to a vote by the league's head coaches.
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma was honored as the 2009 Co-BIG EAST Coach of the Year with Villanova's Harry Perretta.
Moore, who became the first freshman (male or female) in BIG EAST Conference history to be recognized as the league's player of the year in 2008, is also the first player in BIG EAST history to win the award in each of her first two collegiate seasons.
Moore is the first back-to-back winner of the honor since Diana Taurasi (2003, 2004) and the fifth in BIG EAST Conference history.
Moore enters the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament leading the Huskies in scoring (18.9 ppg) and rebounds (9.1 rpg). Previously this season she became the fastest player in UConn history to reach 1,000 career points - taking just 55 games. In addition, she has registered double-figure points in 29 of 30 games this season and has put together a team-high 14 double-doubles.
She was previously recognized this season as a first-team ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-America and was the only underclassman named to the All-BIG EAST First Team.
Auriemma was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year for the second straight season and the eighth time in his career after leading the Huskies to their 17th BIG EAST regular season title and a perfect 30-0 regular-season mark, including a 16-0 mark in the league.
Over his 24-year career, Auriemma has guided the Huskies to a total of 31 BIG EAST Championship (17 regular season, 14 BIG EAST), 20 NCAA Tournament appearances, nine Final Fours and five national championships. He has also earned a total of 17 National Coach of the Year honors.
UConn tips off play at the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament on Sunday, March 8 when it faces either South Florida, Marquette or Cincinnati in the quarterfinal round beginning at 2:00 p.m. (ET) at the XL Center in Hartford.