April 5, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A day before the Women's Basketball Final Four tips off in Nashville, Tenn., the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) revealed its Division I All-America honorees. Five BIG EAST players were among the 42 WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team Honorable Mentions for the second highest total among all Division I conferences. Creighton's Marissa Janning, DePaul's Brittany Hrynko and Jasmine Penny, Marquette's Katherine Plouffe and St. John's Aliyyah Handford were the BIG EAST players recognized on Saturday.
Fourteen different leagues were represented, with nine boasting multiple selections. The Big 12 and Southeastern Conference tied for the lead with six honorees apiece, followed by the BIG EAST's five nods. The Atlantic Coast, American Athletic and Big 10 all collected four certificates, followed by the Pac-12 (three), Mid-American (three) and Conference USA (two). For the full list of honorees, click HERE.
Janning, the BIG EAST Player of the Year, led the league in scoring at 17.6 points per game. The sophomore guard was one of eight conference players to eclipse the 30-point mark this season and one of just four to do it on multiple occasions. Her free-throw percentage (85.5) ranks 37th nationally, while her minimal miscues as floor general helped the Bluejays finish 19th among all Division I squads in least number of turnovers per game.
Hrynko and Penny, who led DePaul to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, were unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team selections this season. Penny is the 12th-most accurate shooter in the nation, making 58.0 percent of her field goal attempts, and led the Blue Demons in total points (568) and averaged 15.8 points per game. Hrynko is among the national leaders in assists (31st, 5.6 APG) and steals (45th, 2.39 SPG), and was named an Honorable Mention All-American by the Associated press earlier this week. She averaged 12.5 points per game during her junior season.
Plouffe, a unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team honoree, led the Golden Eagles with her averages of 17.1 points, 10.2 rebounds this season. Her rebounding average ranks 36th nationally and helped MU to the second-highest rebounding margin among all Division I squads. She was one of two BIG EAST players to average a double-double, along with unanimous Freshman of the Year Natalie Butler. Plouffe's career totals of 1,551 points and 973 rebounds are the most among all active league players.
Handford, a unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team selection, is the Red Storm's leading scorer (16.7 PPG) and set the program scoring standard for points by a sophomore (567). Her 567 points this season rank 98th among all Division I players this season entering the final week of play.
Despite going from 15 to 10 teams this season, the BIG EAST had at least five WBCA All-America Honorable Mention selections for the fourth consecutive season. Six BIG EAST players were recognized last season, representing five different schools.