OGDEN, Utah (March 11, 2019) – With the women’s basketball regular season coming to an end and the teams heading to Bosie for the basketball championships, the Big Sky Conference announced it’s 2019 All-Conference teams Monday morning as voted on by the league’s coaches.
Idaho emerged as the 2018-19 regular season champions after battling back and forth with the top three teams in the league. It took until the final two weeks of the season for the Vandals to emerge at the top of the standings but their top spot wasn’t solidified until the final day of the season.
The Vandals were able to rise to the top behind the play of this year’s Big Sky Most Valuable Player, Mikayla Ferenz. The senior guard helped Idaho have the most potent offense in the conference, an attack that averaged 77.8 points per game. Ferenz is ranked second in the conference in scoring at 22.5 points. Known for shooting from long range Ferenz is also ranked third in three-point shots made with 101 on the season. Ferenz became the leading scorer in Big Sky women’s basketball history and ended the regular season with 2,371 career points.
Idaho’s Taylor Pierce also joins Ferenz as a first team all-conference selection this year. Pierce is the national leader in three-pointers made this season and she is averaging 4.5 per game. Pierce is tied for third in scoring in the conference with 19.1 points per game.
UNC’s Savannah Smith guided the bears to a 20-9 record this season and a No. 2 seed at the conference tournament. Smith, last season’s Big Sky MVP, put up outstanding numbers on her way to a first-team selection. Smith leads the conference in scoring this season and averages 23.6 points a game. The six-time player of the week selection eclipsed the 30+ point mark eight times this season.
Smith, Ferenz, and Pierce were unanimous first-team honorees.
Idaho State’s Grace Kenyon and Portland State’s Sidney Rielly rounded out the first team selections.
ISU’s Kenyon finish the regular season ranked ninth in the conference in scoring and rebounding with an average of 13.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. She also finished the season ranked in the top 10 in blocked shots (1.0) and defensive rebounds (5.2) per game. Kenyon was an instrumental part of Idaho State’s defensive play. The Bengals defense finished at the top of the conference and only gave up on average 58.4 points per game this season.
PSU’s Rielly helped earn Portland State a No. 4 seed at the Big Sky Tournament. Rielly is ranked seventh in the conference in scoring and is averaging 14.6 points a game. Rielly was the offensive leader this season for the Vikings and also boasted the fourth best three-point shooting percentage in the conference this season at 40.8 percent.
The rest of the season awards went to Montana State’s Claire Lundberg who was named the Newcomer of the year, Gina Marxen was named the Freshman of the Year, Courtney West was named Defensive Player of the Year, and Uriah Howard and Desirae Hansen were both named Co-Top Reserve of the Year.
|Big Sky women’s basketball First Team|
|Savannah Smith||Guard||Northern Colorado||Senior|
|Grace Kenyon||Forward||Idaho State||Senior|
|Sidney Rielly||Guard||Portland State||Senior|
|Big Sky women’s basketball Second Team|
|Violet Kapri Morrow||Guard||Eastern Washington||Senior|
|Hannah Friend||Guard||Sacramento State||Junior|
|Ashley Bolston||Guard||Portland State||Senior|
|Saylair Grandon||Guard||Idaho State||Senior|
|Big Sky women’s basketball Third Team|
|Kaleigh Paplow||Forward||Northern Arizona||Forward|
|Claire Lundberg||Forward||Montana State||Senior|
|Oliana Squires||Guard||Montana State||Junior|
|Ali Meyer||Forward||Northern Colorado||Senior|
|J’aiamoni Welch-Coleman||Guard||Weber State||Senior|
|Big Sky women’s basketball Individual Awards|
|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|
|Top Reserve||Uriah Howard|
|Big Sky women’s basketball Honorable Mention|
|Rebecca Cardenas||Guard||Southern Utah||Junior|
|Krystal Leger-Walker||Guard||Northern Colorado||Junior|
|Kylie Jimenez||Guard||Portland State||Sophomore|
|Estefania Ors||Guard||Idaho State||Junior|
|Kennedy Nicholas||Forward||Sacramento State||Junior|
|Grace Kirscher||Guard||Eastern Washington||Freshman|