Ferenz is Big Sky MVP; Smith earns unanimous first-team honors


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.

Northern Colorado senior Savannah Smith/ by Brooks Nuanez

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
Mikayla FerenzGuardIdahoSenior
Taylor PierceGuardIdahoSenior
Savannah SmithGuardNorthern ColoradoSenior
Grace KenyonForwardIdaho StateSenior
Sidney RiellyGuardPortland StateSenior


Big Sky women’s basketball Second Team
Violet Kapri MorrowGuardEastern WashingtonSenior
Hannah FriendGuardSacramento StateJunior
Ashley BolstonGuardPortland StateSenior
Saylair GrandonGuardIdaho StateSenior
Jace HendersonForwardMontanaSenior


Big Sky women’s basketball Third Team
Kaleigh PaplowForwardNorthern ArizonaForward
Claire LundbergForwardMontana StateSenior
Oliana SquiresGuardMontana StateJunior
Ali MeyerForwardNorthern ColoradoSenior
J’aiamoni Welch-ColemanGuardWeber StateSenior


Big Sky women’s basketball  Individual Awards
Most Valuable PlayerMikayla FerenzIdaho
Newcomer of the YearClaire LundbergMontana State
Freshman of the YearGina MarxenIdaho
Defensive Player of the YearCourtney WestPortland State
Top ReserveUriah Howard

Desirae Hansen

Eastern Washington

Portland State


Big Sky women’s basketball Honorable Mention
Rebecca CardenasGuardSouthern UtahJunior
Krystal Leger-WalkerGuardNorthern ColoradoJunior
Kylie JimenezGuardPortland StateSophomore
Estefania OrsGuardIdaho StateJunior
Kennedy NicholasForwardSacramento StateJunior
Grace KirscherGuardEastern WashingtonFreshman


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