Feb. 27, 2012
PARK RIDGE, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced the women’s basketball All-Conference teams and individual award winners on Monday. Ohio State’s Samantha Prahalis was named Big Ten Player of the Year by the conference coaches and media. Prahalis’ award marks the eighth consecutive year a Buckeye has been tabbed Player of the Year.
Minnesota’s Rachel Banham was honored with the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award by the coaches and media, while Penn State head coach Coquese Washington received the nod from her peers and the media as conference Coach of the Year. Ohio State’s Amber Stokes earned Defensive Player of the Year accolades from the conference coaches, while Illinois’ Adrienne GodBold earned the Sixth Player of the Year award from the coaches.
Prahalis led the Big Ten in assists and was second in scoring, averaging 20.4 points and 6.5 assists per game en route to her first Player of the Year award. She picked up four conference Player of the Week honors this season, pushing her career total to eight. The Commack, N.Y., native has recorded 889 assists in her career, just four away from becoming the Big Ten’s all-time leader in the category.
Washington earns top billing among Big Ten coaches after guiding Penn State to the conference crown for the first time in her tenure. The Lady Lions put together a 23-5 overall record, marking their second consecutive 20-win season, and a 13-3 conference ledger under her tutelage. The award is the fifth in Penn State history and the first by a Lady Lion coach since Rene Portland earned top honors in 2004.
Banham led all Big Ten freshmen with 16.1 points per game, which ranked seventh in the conference, en route to the Freshman of the Year award. The Golden Gopher newcomer earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors five times this season and is an All-Big Ten second-team pick. Banham is the second player in Minnesota history to win Freshman of the Year honors, following Janel McCarville in 2002.
Stokes picks up Defensive Player of the Year laurels after starting all 29 games this season for the Buckeyes, continually drawing one of the opposing team’s top perimeter players. She was part of an Ohio State defense that limited opponents to 38 percent shooting on the season. It is the fourth time a Buckeye has won the award and the first since 2009.
GodBold becomes the first Illini to earn Sixth Player of the Year honors. The junior has appeared in 28 games and is the team’s fourth-leading scorer and rebounder at 9.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest. She is second on the team in steals and blocks at 1.9 and 1.0 per game, respectively.
The coaches and media also selected three All-Big Ten teams, while the coaches also picked five-player All-Freshman and All-Defensive teams. Prahalis was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media. She is joined by Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper, Ohio State’s Tayler Hill and Penn State’s Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas on the coaches’ and media first teams. The complete All-Big Ten teams can be found on the PDF at the top of the page.
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 list of honorees can also be found on the PDF at the top of the page.