UI’s Ferenz named Big Sky MVP

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OGDEN, Utah — Idaho senior Mikayla Ferenz was selected Big Sky Most Valuable Player, fellow senior Taylor Pierce was voted to All-Big Sky first team while Gina Marxen earned Idaho’s first Freshman of the Year award.

The awards were voted on by the 10 Big Sky women’s basketball head coaches.

Ferenz and Pierce were unanimous first-team honorees. Violet Kapri Morrow of Eastern Washington was named to the All-Big Sky second team. Grace Kirscher, a freshman from Sandpoint High, earned honorable mention honors, and Uriah Howard shared top reserve of the year honors.

Idaho’s Jon Newlee was named Coach of the Year.

Ferenz is the first player in program history to become a three-time all-conference selection. Idaho and the Big Sky’s all-time leading scorer finished conference play averaging 23.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. She shot 46.4 percent from the field and made 3.48 3-pointers per game, which is good for eighth best in the nation. Ferenz ranks in the top 10 in five NCAA statistical categories. This is Ferenz’s as well as the program’s, first Big Sky MVP honor.

Marxen, Idaho’s point guard, shot the 3 ball at a 46.4-percent clip. In conference play, she averaged 9.9 points per game and 4.2 assists.

Pierce, the Big Sky all-time leader in 3s, averaged 21.5 points per game with most of those points coming from behind the arc. She leads the nation in 3-point field goals with 132 and 3-point field goals made per game with 4.55. She has led the conference in 3-point shooting since the start of the conference season. Pierce finished the conference shooting 42.3 percent from 3 and 41.9 percent from the field.

Idaho opens Big Sky tournament play today at 11 a.m. PDT in Boise against Northern Arizona.

Morrow scored in double digits in 25 out of 27 games this season, including over 20 points in nine contests. In an overtime victory at Montana State, Morrow poured in 37 points which is third all-time in program history for points in a single game.

Morrow ranks seventh on EWU’s all-time scoring list with 1,291 career points.

Kirscher, who averaged 10.6 points per game, averaged 1.8 3-pointers per game on 35.9 percent accuracy to total 51 on the year to lead the team. She also led the team in scoring in seven games this season and had 15 games in double figures, including two 20-point performances.

She scored a career-best 22 points at Southern Utah where she was 6-for-6 from 3-point range. She also ranks in the top 10 in several statistical categories for a freshman in EWU history, including points (5th, 306), points per game (5th, 10.6), three pointers (2nd, 51), three-point attempts (1st, 142) and field goals (6th, 113).

Howard averaged 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game off of the bench this season.

In his 11th year at the helm of the Idaho Vandals women’s basketball program, head coach Newlee nets his first Big Sky Coach of the Year honor as leader of the Vandals, his third career in the league, after leading the Vandals to 16 wins and a league title. The award were voted on by the Big Sky women’s basketball head coaches.

Newlee has led Idaho to 19-10 overall record and 16-4 in conference play to earn the overall No. 1 seed at the conference tournament.

2019 Big Sky All-Conference


FIRST TEAM — Savannah Smith, Northern Colorado; Taylor Pierce, Idaho; Mikayla Ferenz, Idaho; Grace Kenyon, Idaho State; Sidney Rielly, Portland State.

SECOND TEAM — Violet Kapri Morrow, Eastern Washington; Hannah Friend, Sacramento State; Ashley Bolston, Portland State; Saylair Grandon, Idaho State; Jace Henderson, Montana.

THIRD TEAM — Kaleigh Paplow, Northern Arizona; Claire Lundberg, Montana State; Oliana Squires, Montana State; Ali Meyer, Northern Colorado; J’aiamoni Welch-Coleman, Weber State.

HONORABLE MENTION — Rebecca Cardenas, Southern Utah; Krystal Leger-Walker, Northern Colorado; Kylie Jimenez, Portland State; Kennedy Nicholas, Sacramento State; Estafania Ors, Idaho State; Grace Kirscher, Eastern Washington.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER — Mikayla Ferenz, Idaho

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR — Claire Lundberg, Montana State

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR — Gina Marxen, Idaho

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Courtney West, Portland State

CO-TOP RESERVE — Uriah Howard, Eastern Washington; Desirae Hansen, Portland State

COACH OF THE YEAR — Jon Newlee, Idaho

WSU’s Franks, Elleby

earn All-Pac-12 honors

SAN FRANCISCO — Washington State senior Robert Franks was named first team All-Pac-12 and CJ Elleby was named to the All-Freshman Team, commissioner Larry Scott announced Monday.

Franks leads Washington State and the Pac-12 and ranks 18th in the nation with 22.1 points per game. He’s adding a league seventh-best 7.4 rebounds per game. He is currently tied for eighth on WSU’s single-season scoring list with 575 points and 14th in career scoring with 1,341 career points. Last season Franks was named the Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year.

Elleby is second among Pac-12 freshmen in scoring with 14.9 points, ranking 11th in the league. He’s ninth in rebounding with 7.0 rebounds per game. Elleby already has the WSU freshman single-season scoring record with 462 points, having broken Steve Puidokas’ record from 1974. Elleby is also second amongst WSU freshman for rebounding (218), sixth for assists (94), and sixth for steals 31).

Franks is the first Cougar to earn All-Pac-12 first team honors since DaVonté Lacy in 2015.

Elleby becomes the first Cougar to be named to the five-man All-Freshman Team since Reggie Moore in 2010.

The 11th-seeded Cougars play No. 6 Oregon in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena.


FIRST TEAM — Sedrick Barefield, Sr., G, Utah; Tyler Bey, So., G/F, Colorado; Bennie Boatwright, Sr., F, USC; Zylan Cheatham, Sr., F, Arizona State; Robert Franks, Sr., F, Washington State; Jaylen Nowell, So., G, Washington; KZ Okpala, So., F, Stanford; Matisse Thybulle, Sr., G, Washington; Tres Tinkle, Jr., F, Oregon State; McKinley Wright IV, So., G, Colorado.

SECOND TEAM — Luguentz Dort, Fr., G, Arizona State; Jaylen Hands, So., G, UCLA; Remy Martin, So., G, Arizona State; Stephen Thompson, Sr., G, Oregon State; Kris Wilkes, So., G, UCLA.

HONORABLE MENTION — Noah Dickerson, F, Washington; Louis King, F, Oregon; Nick Rakocevic, F, Stanford; Josh Sharma, F, Stanford.

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM ¤— Timmy Allen, F, Utah; Moses Brown, C, UCLA; Luguentz Dort, F, Arizona State; CJ Elleby, F, Washington State; Louis King, F, Oregon.

HONORABLE MENTION — Brandon Williams, G, Arizona.

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM — Zylan Cheatham, Sr., F, Arizona State; Luguentz Dort, Fr., G, Arizona State; Kylor Kelley, Jr., F, Oregon State; Matisse Thybulle, Sr., G, Washington; Kenny Wooten, So., F, Oregon.

HONORABLE MENTION — Moses Brown, C, UCLA: McKinley Wright IV, G, Colorado

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