IRVING, Texas — Baylor junior NaLyssa Smith has been named the Big 12 women’s basketball player of the year after leading the No. 6 Lady Bears in scoring and rebounding as they won their 11th regular-season conference title in a row.
Lady Bears guard DiJonia Carrington, a graduate transfer from Stanford, won two individuals awards in a vote by the league’s 10 coaches revealed Wednesday: She was named the league’s top sixth player and its newcomer of the year.
Oklahoma State senior forward Natasha Mack, the league’s top rebounder at 12.3 a game, was named the defensive player of the year and Iowa State’s Lexi Donarski the top freshman.
Oklahoma State’s Jim Littell was tabbed the Big 12 coach of the year after the Cowgirls, picked in preseason balloting to finish eighth, set a program record with 13 conference wins and tied West Virginia for second in the regular-season standings. It is Littell’s second time in his 10 seasons being recognized as the league’s top coach, the other coming in 2016.
Smith is averaging 17.2 points and 9.2 rebounds a game for the Lady Bears, while also ranking second in the Big 12 with her 53.3% field goal percentage. Carrington came off the bench in 22 of 23 games and was second on Baylor’s team at 13.3 points per game.
Donarski, averaging 13.1 points, is the first Iowa State player in 23 years to earn freshman of the year honors.
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