March 6, 2006
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
Seniors Ambrosia Anderson of BYU and Kim Smith of Utah were selected as the Mountain West Conference women's basketball Co-Players of the Year for 2005-06 as chosen by the nine head coaches, the league announced Monday. Newcomer of the Year honors went to Wyoming's Megan McGuffey, while the Cowgirls' Hanna Zavecz was chosen as the Defensive Player of the Year. BYU's Jeff Judkins, who led the Cougars to their first MWC regular-season title, earned his first Coach of the Year honor.
Smith earns her fourth consecutive Player of the Year award, while Anderson was selected as an honorable mention performer last year. Smith led the league in scoring (20.4 rpg) and rebounding (18.4 ppg) during the conference slate, while Anderson was second in scoring (16.7 ppg) over the MWC schedule.
Seven seniors, three juniors and five sophomores make up this year's all-MWC team. New Mexico had three players honored on the team, while BYU, TCU, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming each had two players apiece. Air Force and Colorado State each had one player honored.
Joining Anderson and Smith on the all-MWC first team are repeat selections Sherry McCracklin of UNLV and Shona Throburn of Utah. New Mexico's Dionne Marsh and Wyoming's Hanna Zavecz earned first-team honors for the first time.
Natasha Lacy of TCU, Katie Montgomery of New Mexico, Dani Kubik of BYU and Sheena Moore of UNLV comprise the second-team. Moore was a second-team selection last year, while the other three athletes are first-time selections.
Five different schools represent the third-team selections. TCU's Adrianne Ross, New Mexico's Abbie Letz, Colorado State's Melissa Dennett, Air Force's Alecia Steele and Wyoming's Jodi Bolerjack were all-MWC third-team honorees. Steele's honor marked the first time an Air Force player was named to a MWC all-conference team.
Judkins earned his first Coach of the Year award after leading BYU to its first MWC crown.
First Team All-Mountain West Conference
^Ambrosia Anderson, BYU, Sr., 6-2, F
^**Kim Smith, Utah, Sr., 6-1, F
Dionne Marsh, New Mexico, So., 6-1, F
*Shona Thorburn, Utah, Sr., 5-11, G
* Sherry McCracklin, UNLV, Sr., 6-2, F
Hanna Zavecz, Wyoming, So., 6-0, F
Second Team All-Mountain West Conference
Natasha Lacy, TCU, Jr., 5-10, G
Katie Montgomery, New Mexico, Jr., 5-10, G
Dani Kubik, BYU, Jr., 6-3, C
Sheena Moore, UNLV, Sr., 5-7, G
Third Team All-Mountain West Conference
Adrianne Ross, TCU, So., 5-8, G
Abbie Letz, New Mexico, Sr., 6-1, G
Melissa Dennett, Colorado State, Sr., 6-2, F
Alecia Steele, Air Force, So., 6-0, F
Jodi Bolerjack, Wyoming, So., 5-9, G
Honorable Mention All-Mountain West Conference
Mallary Gillespie, BYU, So., 5-10, G
Erin Hicks, Wyoming, Sr., 5-9, G
Michelle Strawberry, San Diego State, Sr., 5-10, F
Ashley Davis, TCU, Jr., 6-0, F
Lorie Butler-Rayford, TCU, So., 5-11, F
Melinda Johnsen, BYU, Jr., 5-10, G
Jennie Keele, BYU, Jr., 5-10, G
Co-Players of the Year: Ambrosia Anderson, BYU and Kim Smith, Utah
Newcomer of the Year: Megan McGuffey, Wyoming
Defensive Player of the Year: Hanna Zavecz, Wyoming
Coach of the Year: Jeff Judkins, BYU
*--Two Time First-Team Selection
**--Four Time First Team Selection
Note: McCracklin was a First-Team Selection in 2003-04 and in 2005-06. She did not play in 2004-05.
Ambrosia Anderson (BYU) - Co-Player of the Year, First Team All-MWC
BYU's Ambrosia Anderson earns her first MWC Player of the Year and first-team award as she helped lead the Cougars to the MWC regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the MWC tournament, their highest ever. Anderson ranks second in the league in scoring (16.7 ppg) over the conference season.
Kim Smith (Utah) - Co-Player of the Year, First Team All-MWC
Kim Smith earns her fourth straight MWC Player of the Year and first-team award. She is the only player in MWC history to earn four straight honors. She led the league in scoring (20.4 ppg), rebounding (8.4 rpg) and field goal percentage (57.0 percent) and over the MWC schedule. In her senior year, she is first all-time in the MWC in scoring (2,165), rebounding (946), field goals made (785) and free throws made (383).
Dionne Marsh (New Mexico) - First Team All-MWC
After being named the MWC Tournament MVP in 2005, New Mexico's Dionne Marsh is a first-team selection this season as she helped lead New Mexico to a tie for third place in the MWC standings and a No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. Marsh was third in scoring (15.6 ppg) and tied for fourth in blocked shots (1.06 bpg) in conference play.
Shona Thorburn (Utah) - First Team All-MWC
Thorburn, last year's Co-Player of the Year, again sits on the first team after helping Utah to a second-place finish in the MWC. She led the league in assists (7.00 apg) and was seventh in steals (1.81 spg) during the conference slate. She eclipsed 1,500 career points earlier this season and also ranks second all-time in the MWC in assists.
Sherry McCracklin (UNLV) - First Team All-MWC
UNLV's Sherry McCracklin returned from injury last season to spark UNLV's offense this season. She was fourth in the league in rebounding (7.4 rpg) and eighth in scoring (13.8 ppg). McCracklin is now second all-time in the MWC for rebounds (877) and third for block shots (127).
Hanna Zavecz (Wyoming) - First Team All-MWC
Wyoming's Hanna Zavecz helped the Cowgirls to their first 20-win season since 1989-90 and a No. 5 seed in the MWC Tournament. She was ninth in the league in scoring (13.7 ppg) and seventh in rebounding (7.6 rpg). She led BYU with 21 double-figure scoring games this season.