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AMES — Iowa State’s Bridget Carleton earned her reputation early on in her career.
For about an hour every day, the sophomore guard gets into the Sukup Basketball Complex and gets to work. Carleton puts up shots and works on ball handling, all on her own volition.
Carleton’s work ethic, 6-foot-1 frame and skill helped her become an All-Big 12 first team selection Wednesday. The Chatham, Ontario, native is averaging 15.6 points and 5.7 rebounds this season, is fifth in the Big 12 in scoring and leads the nation in free throw percentage (93.8).
“Before the season I didn’t really set any specific goals to achieve,” Carleton said. “I wanted to play the best I can and if that came with it, then that came with it. Obviously as the season went on I got more comfortable and started playing better so I’m just thankful for all the coaches recognizing that.
“It’s just a huge honor and I’m excited for it.”
She was one of five unanimous selections by Big 12 coaches, joining Kalani Brown (Baylor), Alexis Jones (Baylor), Brooke McCarty (Texas) and Tynice Martin (West Virginia).
Carleton was one of 10 members on the All-Big 12 first team, with senior forward Seanna Johnson noticeably omitted. Johnson, who was selected to the All-Big 12 preseason team, was announced as an honorable mention selection with junior point guard Jadda Buckley.
“I was actually really shocked to hear she wasn’t on that (first team),” Buckley said. “She’s a phenomenal player. She’s had an amazing career too, not just at Iowa State but in the conference overall so that’s kind of shocking.
“I know that will just motivate her to even go off in the tournament and NCAAs and all that.”
Johnson ranks fourth in the Big 12 this season in points (15.7) and rebounds (8.3). She’s ninth in Iowa State history in career points (1,612) and third in rebounding (1,037).
As Iowa State heads to the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City as the No. 5 seed — where it faces Kansas State on Saturday at 11 a.m. — Johnson will try to channel any frustration she has into helping the Cyclones (18-11) make a postseason run.
“We still have games to play so I think this is still a little motivation, especially for me and Jadda,” Johnson said. “It’s not over yet for us and the Big 12 tournament is a chance to keep winning games so I think we’ll go down there and play our hardest.”
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