INDIANAPOLIS – With their team set to compete for the 2016 National Championship later tonight, University of Connecticut women’s basketball standouts Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas) and Breanna Stewart (North Syracuse, N.Y.) were chosen as two of four finalists for the 2016 Honda Sports Award for women’s basketball, as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards on Tuesday.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 40 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2016 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on June 27, 2016 in Los Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The Honda Sport award winner for basketball will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Stewart, who has won the award for the past two seasons, was selected as the Associated Press, USBWA, and WBCA National Player of the Year during the Huskies' trip to the Final Four.
Stewart is UConn’s all-time blocks leader with 412 career rejections and ranks second on the all-time scoring list with 2,652 points. The North Syracuse, N.Y. native made NCAA history on Dec. 9 as the only player to reach 300 career blocks and 300 career assists. She is also the seventh NCAA Division I women’s player with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 assists, 200 steals and 200 blocks. She is also the only player to be named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player three times.
While in Indianapolis, Stewart has been selected as the Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy and Senior CLASS Award recipient. She is the only athlete – male or female – in the history of the Naismith Trophy to win four total awards after nabbing three in college and one in high school.
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 Glenn Heights, Texas native 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.
Earlier today, Jefferson became the first Husky in program history to win the Dawn Staley Award. The senior point guard also won the Nancy Lieberman Award for the second-straight year and became the second Husky to ever be named the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year.
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.
The Husky duo were both named USBWA, WBCA, Senior CLASS Award and AP All-Americans.
Connecticut is 150-5 since Stewart and Jefferson joined the team in 2012-13 and have advanced to the national championship game in all four seasons and won three national championships.