INDIANAPOLIS – Hours before tipoff at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the 2016 national championship game, University of Connecticut senior point guard Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas) was tabbed as the winner of the 2016 Dawn Staley Award, as announced by the award committee on Tuesday.
The award is giving to the most outstanding collegiate guard in the nation; a player who exemplifies the skills that Staley possessed during her career; ball handling, scoring, her ability to distribute the basketball and will to win.
The Huskies’ fearless leader at the helm is the first in program history to win the award.
Jefferson became the sixth-ever Husky to be chosen as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year when she earned the accolade on March 3. The Associated Press All-America First Team selection has enjoyed a stellar senior campaign, averaging 12.6 points in 30.5 minutes per game. In total, she leads the team in assists (199) and steals (94) and is one of six Huskies shooting over 50.0 percent from the floor (55.7). During Connecticut’s five-game NCAA Tournament run, Jefferson has averaged 12.4 points, 6.4 assists and 2.2 steals while shooting 60.0 percent from the field.
On Sunday, Jefferson won the Nancy Lieberman Award for the second-straight year. She also became the second Husky to ever be named the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year, joining Stefanie Dolson, who received the honor in 2013-14.
Jefferson was also tabbed as a USBWA, WBCA and Senior CLASS Award All-American last week.
The Glenn Heights, Texas native joined Jennifer Rizzotti as the only Huskies to tally 600 career assists and 300 career steals on Feb. 27. She notched her third consecutive season with at least 150 assists on her way to helping UConn win its third-straight American Athletic Conference Championship.
With 654 career assists, Jefferson surpassed Diana Taurasi (648) to become the all-time leader in program history with seven helpers in UConn’s national semifinal win over Oregon State on Sunday.
Jefferson and the Huskies will compete for their fourth-straight national championship when they challenge Syracuse at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday, April 5 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.