PARK RIDGE, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced the women’s basketball All-Conference teams and individual award winners on Monday. Penn State’s Maggie Lucas was named Big Ten Player of the Year by the conference coaches and media. Northwestern’s Maggie Lyon was honored with the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award by the coaches and media. Penn State head coach Coquese Washington received the nod from media as conference Coach of the Year, while Nebraska’s Connie Yori was chosen by her peers. Illinois’ Adrienne GodBold earned Defensive Player of the Year accolades from the conference coaches, while Iowa’s Melissa Dixon earned the Sixth Player of the Year award from the coaches.
Lucas’ award marks the fourth time a Lady Lion has been tabbed Player of the Year, and the first since Kelly Mazzante won back-to-back honors in 2003 and 2004. Lucas leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.470) and is third in the Big Ten in scoring, averaging 20.5 points per game. The junior has recorded 280 three-pointers in her career, just 14 away from moving into second place on the Big Ten’s career three-point field goals list. Lucas was named first-team All-Big Ten for the second time, including a unanimous selection by the coaches.
Washington earns top billing among media for the second consecutive season after guiding Penn State to the conference crown for the second time in as many years. The Lady Lions put together a 24-4 overall record, marking their third consecutive 20-win season, and a 14-2 conference ledger. The award is the sixth in Penn State history.
Yori was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the coaches after guiding Nebraska to a 22-7 overall record and 12-4 mark in conference action, including a 10-game win streak in conference play. The award marks the third conference coach of the year honor for Yori and the first for a Nebraska women’s basketball coach in the Big Ten.
Lyon led all Big Ten freshmen with 12.8 points and 1.5 steals per game, en route to the Freshman of the Year award. The Northwestern newcomer was also second and third, respectively, among freshmen in rebounds (4.0) and assists (2.88) per game. She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week four times this season and is an All-Big Ten honorable mention honoree. Lyon is the first player in Northwestern history to win Freshman of the Year honors.
GodBold picks up Defensive Player of the Year laurels after tying for second in the conference in steals per game (3.4), as she continually faced one of the opposing team’s top perimeter players. She was part of an Illinois defense that limited opponents to 29 percent shooting from three-point range on the season. GodBold is the first Illinois standout to earn Defensive Player of the Year accolades.
Dixon becomes the second Hawkeye to earn Sixth Player of the Year honors, following Megan Skouby in 2008. The sophomore has appeared in all 30 games and is the team’s third-leading scorer at 10.3 points per game in all contests. She leads the Hawkeyes in three-pointers per game at 2.4 per outing. In conference games, Dixon led Iowa in points per game with 12.3 tallies per contest.
The coaches and media also selected All-Big Ten teams, while the coaches also picked five-player All-Freshman and All-Defensive teams. Lucas is joined by Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper, Ohio State’s Tayler Hill and Penn State’s Alex Bentley on the coaches’ and media first teams. Illinois’ Karisma Penn was named first-team All-Big Ten by the media, while Minnesota’s Rachel Banham was a first-team honoree by the coaches.
The Big Ten also recognized 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.The complete All-Big Ten teams, as well as a list of other honorees, can be found in the attached PDF.