Several players with ties to the state received Pac-12 women’s basketball honors for the 2020-21 regular season Monday.
Guard Charlisse Leger-Walker of Washington State was selected Pac-12 freshman of the year and made the 15-player all-conference team in voting by coaches.
Leger-Walker leads the Pac-12 in points scored (407) and is second in scoring average at 19.4. She has a dozen games with at least 20 points, which leads the conference.
“I feel very privileged and honored to be recognized,” said Leger-Walker, who is from New Zealand. “Obviously, that isn’t what I play for, but it’s cool to get recognized by people outside of your team. This award kind of represents the type of success we’re having as a team this year. It’s been a great first season, for me personally and for the team.
“A lot of learning curves and a lot of successes along the way. A lot of history this year as well, and it’s been really cool to be a part of.”
Leger-Walker is the second player in program history to be named Pac-12 freshman of the year, joining Alke Dietel, who won the award in the 1997-98 season.
Stanford junior Lacie Hull, a graduate of Central Valley High in Spokane Valley, was selected sixth player of the year. Her twin and Cardinal teammate, Lexie Hull, was named to the all-conference squad for the second time.
Stanford senior Anna Wilson, a former standout for Bellevue High, was voted co-defensive player of the year. She is the sister of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
Arizona’s Aari McDonald, who started her college career at Washington, was named player of the year and shared defensive-player-of-the-year honors with Wilson.
Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer is Pac-12 coach of the year for the 16th time. This season, the Hall of Famer surpassed Tennessee legend Pat Summitt to become the winningest coach in NCAA Division I women’s history. VanDerveer has 1,116 career victories.
Washington junior forward Haley Van Dyke was honorable mention for both the all-conference and all-defensive teams.
WSU senior Krystal Leger-Walker, Charlisse’s sister, received honorable mention for the all-defensive team.
Utah sophomore Brynna Maxwell, who is from Gig Harbor, received honorable mention for the All-Pac-12 team.
California’s Dalayah Daniels, a former standout at Garfield High in Seattle, got honorable mention for the all-freshman team.
Texas A&M rises to 2nd in AP poll
Texas A&M moved up to No. 2, its highest ranking ever in the Associated Press women’s poll, a day after winning its first Southeastern Conference regular-season title.
The Aggies (22-1) beat then-No. 5 South Carolina on Sunday to win the conference title and then moved up a spot in the Top 25.
Texas A&M has reeled off 10 consecutive victories since its overtime loss at Louisiana State.
The Aggies snapped a seven-game losing streak in games against South Carolina on Sunday.
Connecticut remained at No. 1.
North Carolina State fell to third, with Stanford fourth.
Ranked Pac-12 teams other than the Cardinal are No. 9 UCLA, No. 11 Arizona and No. 19 Oregon.
West Coast Conference regular-season champion Gonzaga moved from 21st to No. 18.
Monday top-10 games
• Olivia Nelson-Ododa had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead top-ranked UConn past visiting Marquette 63-53 in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Aaliyah Edwards added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Huskies (21-1 overall, 18-0 Big East), who ended the regular season without a conference loss for the eighth straight year.
Camryn Taylor scored 19 points to lead Marquette (17-5, 14-4), which will be the No. 2 seed in this weekend’s Big East tournament.
• NaLyssa Smith scored 23 points and No. 6 Baylor used a dominant third quarter to build a lead, then had to fight off a late rally by host Texas to earn a 64-57 victory that locked up sole possession of the Big 12 title for the Bears.
Baylor had already clinched a least a share of the program’s 12th conference championship and 11th in a row.