The UConn women’s basketball team ranked in the regular season conference honors this past weekend including Player of the Year honors.
Junior guard Katie Lou Samuelson won the Player of the Year honor for the second straight year after sharing the award with teammate Napheesa Collier last season. Samuelson leads UConn’s stellar offense with 18.3 points per game and leads the nation with a 49.3 three-point field goal percentage. Samuelson also has 92 assists on the season and 33 steals. She is a finalist for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award which goes to the nation’s top shooting guard and a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy.
This is the 21st time in program history that UConn has showcased the conference player of the year and the fifth straight year that a UConn player has won the honor.
UConn’s Kia Nurse brought home the defensive player of the year honor after tallying 38 steals in the regular season. UConn led the conference in scoring defense, (52.8 ppg) rebounding defense, (31.7 rpg) scoring margin, (37.4) and blocks per game (5.2). Nurse averages 14.5 points-per-game on 54.4 from the field.
One of UConn’s newer additions, Azurá Stevens, won two awards; Sixth Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. Stevens was 12th in the conference in scoring with 14.6 points per game and ninth in rebounding with 7.3 per game. She also named the American Player of the Week this past Tuesday Feb. 27.
The Most Improved Player of the Year Award went to Temple’s Tanaya Atkinson. Last year, Atkinson was named the Sixth Player of the Year. During this regular season, she led the conference in scoring, averaging 21.0 points-per-game. Atkinson is also the league’s second best rebounder with 9.3 per game and collected the league’s second highest double-doubles total with 16.
The First Team All-Conference Team was also named with four UConn starters named to the squad. The full team list is junior Napheesa Collier, senior Kia Nurse, junior Katie Lou Samuelson, senior Gabby Williams, senior Maria Jespersen, junior Kitija Laksa, and senior Tanaya Atkinson. Samuelson was the only unanimous selection to the All-Conference First Team.
UConn’s Azurá Stevens was named to the Second Team All-Conference Team while sophomore Crystal Dangerfield was named to the Third Team All-Conference Team.
Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.