March 31, 2009
STORRS, Conn. -
University of Connecticut women's basketball players Maya Moore (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W. Va.) were named to the Associated Press All-America First Team, which was released on Tuesday afternoon. Tina Charles (Jamaica, N.Y.) also earned Second Team honors.
Moore and Montgomery are just the third set of UConn players to earn a spot together on the First Team. Svetlana Abrosimova and current UConn assistant coach Shea Ralph did it in 2000, while Kara Wolters and Jennifer Rizzotti made the top team in 1996. Tennessee is the only other team to put a pair on the first team.
Moore, who was only the second freshman in NCAA Division I women's basketball history to be recognized as an Associated Press First Team All-America selection last season, was named the 2009 BIG EAST Player of the Year earlier this season. She is also the first player in BIG EAST history to win the award in each of her first two collegiate seasons.
The sophomore received 225 points and was the only unanimous choice among the 45-member national media panel that votes in the weekly Top 25. The voting was done before the start of the NCAA tournament.
Moore currently leads the Huskies in scoring (19.1 ppg) and rebounds (8.9 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 35 of 36 games this season and has put together a team-high 16 double-doubles.
She was previously recognized this season as a first-team ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-America and was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. Montgomery, who earned Third Team honors a year ago, joins Moore on the AP All-America First Team. She is the 2009 recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as well as the BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award.
This season Montgomery became the first-ever "active" player to be inducted into the "Huskies of Honor" and 11th player overall on Feb. 15 as she staked her claim as one of the best guards in the nation and has continued to flourish in her fourth consecutive season as a starter, and third as team captain in the Connecticut backcourt.
She is one of only three players in Connecticut history to tally 1,500 points and 500 assists in a career and is the only player in program history to rank in the top-10 in points (1,924), assists (618), steals (259) and three-pointers (249).
During her storied career at Connecticut, Montgomery has been integral in leading the team to a 136-11 ledger that includes a trip to the NCAA Women' s Final Four, four NCAA Regionals, four BIG EAST regular season titles and three BIG EAST Tournament crowns.
Montgomery has registered 145 career starts, 137 of which have been consecutive - the most by any player nationally and the most in UConn program history.
Joining Moore and Montgomery on the first team are Oklahoma's Courtney Paris, Maryland's Kristi Toliver and Louisville's Angel McCoughtry.
The second team included Auburn's DeWanna Bonner, Stanford's Jayne Appel, Maryland's Marissa Coleman, Ohio State's Jantel Lavender and UConn's Charles.
Charles has been a key factor for the Huskies' success in the frontcourt, averaging 16.4 ppg and 8.4 rpg. She has 69 blocks on the season and is shooting a team-best 61.5% from the floor. Earlier this season Charles, as well as Moore and Montgomery, were unanimous selections for the All- BIG EAST First Team.
The third team included California's Ashley Walker, Pittsburgh's Shavonte Zellous, Rutgers' Epiphanny Prince, Duke's Chante Black and Middle Tennessee State's Alysha Clark.