Minnesota’s women’s basketball team had two individual honorees when the annual Big Ten conference awards were announced Tuesday.
Junior forward Jamie Broback was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team and senior guard Shannon Bolden was named All-Defensive Team.
“It’s nice to know that our hard work this season has paid off,” Bolden said.
Broback led the Gophers in scoring in 12 games, averaging 14.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
She scored her 1,000th career point last week and likely will continue to work her way up on Minnesota’s all-time scoring list; she’s now 16th.
“It’s a great honor for Shannon and I,” Broback said. “But right now I think our goals are a lot bigger than just individual honors.”
Bolden has been the Gophers defensive stopper since her sophomore year and almost always is assigned to guard the opponent’s best player.
Coach Pam Borton said she was disappointed Bolden wasn’t named Defensive Player of the Year.
“As coaches we’re always biased toward our own players,” Borton said. “Shannon’s probably one of the best defensive players in the country.”
Rest of Big Ten awards
The 2005-2006 All-Big Ten First Team was identical for both the coach and media selections: Ohio State junior center Jessica Davenport, Purdue junior guard Katie Gearlds, Michigan State senior forward Liz Shimek, Iowa senior guard Crystal Smith and Indiana senior guard Cyndi Valentin.
Davenport, the only unanimous selection, averaged 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds in being named Player of the Year for the second-straight season.
Buckeyes coach Jim Foster repeated as Coach of the Year after leading Ohio State to its second-straight Big Ten title.
Iowa’s 6-foot, 6-inch center Megan Skouby was named Freshman of the Year, while Ohio State senior forward Debbie Merrill was Defensive Player of the Year.
Gophers likely to face Indiana
After earning the third seed in this week’s Big Ten Tournament, Minnesota earned a first-round bye and won’t play until Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Gophers will take on the winner of Thursday’s game between sixth-seed Indiana and 11th-seed Michigan, which likely will be the Hoosiers, as the Wolverines are winless in conference play.
Minnesota played Indiana at home Thursday, winning 65-58.
“It’s a good draw for us,” Borton said. “We’re extremely familiar with (Indiana) Ö We played well both times we played them.
“At this time of the year everybody in the Big Ten knows each other like the back of their hand. They might know us better than we know ourselves sometimes.”
Reddy named tennis Player of the Week
Senior Minnesota women’s tennis player Nischela Reddy was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Tuesday.
Reddy went undefeated in four matches last weekend in Columbia, Mo. In singles play, Reddy won a pair of straight-sets matches against Nuria Lozano of Montana State and Hana Kraftova of Missouri.
Reddy and her doubles partner Ida Malmberg improved their record on the season to 7-1 with wins over doubles teams from Montana State and Missouri.