IRVING, Texas – Texas A&M’s Danielle Gant (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Takia Starks (Houston, Texas) headlined the 2007-08 Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Conference Women’s Basketball First Team as announced by the league office Friday. The honors were voted on by the league’s head coaches, with coaches not allowed to vote for their own players.
Gant, a 5-foot-11 junior combination guard/forward, averaged a team-leading 7.7 rebounds and 15.2 points per game which ranked ninth and seventh-best among league leaders respectively. A two-time Big 12 Player of the Week selection, she turned in five double-doubles this season including a recent 21-point and 12-rebound outburst in a 14-point upset of No. 10 Oklahoma (73-59) in the team’s regular season finale on March 6. It also marked her eighth 20-point game of the season. Gant has scored in double figures in 24 of her last 25 games and ranked fifth-best in the league in field-goal percentage (.530), second in free-throw percentage (.795), third in steals (2.3 avg) and second in offensive rebounds (4.1 avg). She has registered 1,061 career points to date which ranks 12th all-time in the A&M record books. Last year, she garnered All-Big 12 Second Team honors along with a spot on the inaugural Big 12 All-Defensive Team and was the recipient of the inaugural Big 12 Sixth Man Award.
Starks, a 5-foot-8 shooting guard, averaged a team-leading 17.2 points per game which ranked fourth-best among Big 12 scoring leaders this season. She earned her second career honor on the All-Big 12 First Team and became the 19th player in school history to record 1,000 career points (1,333) which currently ranks fifth all-time in the A&M annals. A 2008 Naismith Trophy and John R. Wooden Award candidate, Starks reached double figures in 28 of 29 games played with seven 20-point outings. She also ranked 11th-best in the league in field goal percentage (.438), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.372), ninth in three-pointers made (1.9 avg) and fourth in minutes played (34.5).
Joining Gant and Starks on the All-Big 12 awards list was senior combination guard/forward Morenike Atunrase (Shreveport, La.) and senior point guard A’Quonesia Franklin (Tyler, Texas). Franklin received second team honors as she led the Aggies and the Big 12 for the fourth-straight season with an impressive 2.07 assist-to-turnover ratio which ranks 14th nationally. She averaged 4.8 assists per game which ranked second best in the league. She and Starks were named preseason All-Big 12. Franklin became the 20th player in school history record 1,000 career points (1,046) which is tied for 13th all-time.
Atunrase earned the Big 12 Sixth Man Award after playing in 21 games of the season as the Aggies’ first player off the bench. She averaged 9.3 points per game which ranked third-best on the team and 4.2 rebounds which was fifth. After missing the season’s opening nine games while recovering from surgery in October to correct a non-healing stress fracture in her right tibia, she had a break out performance with a season-high 24 points against Baylor on March 1. Atunrase scored in double figures in eight contests and recorded a blocked shot in 15 of 21 games this season. She is A&M’s all-time leading shot blocker (170).
Kansas State head coach Deb Patterson was chosen as Big 12 Coach of the Year leading the Wildcats to their second-ever conference title. Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris earned her second consecutive Big 12 Player of the Year honor along with Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year recognition. Texas Tech’s Dominic Seals was voted Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and Oklahoma’s Danielle Robinson garnered Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
2007-08 PHILLIPS 66 ALL-BIG 12 CONFERENCE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL AWARDS
Coach of the Year:
Deb Patterson (Kansas State)
Player of the Year:
Courtney Paris (Oklahoma)
Newcomer of the Year
Dominic Seals (Texas Tech
Freshman of the Year
Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma)
Defensive Player of the Year
Courtney Paris (Oklahoma)
Sixth Man Award
Morenike Atunrase (Texas A&M)
All-Big 12 First Team (alphabetical by school)
Rachel Allison (Baylor), Angela Tisdale (Baylor), Jackie McFarland (Colorado), Kimberly Dietz (Kansas State), Shalee Lehning (Kansas State), Kelsey Griffin (Nebraska), Courtney Paris (Oklahoma), Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State), Danielle Gant (Texas A&M) and Takia Starks (Texas A&M)
All-Big 12 Second Team (alphabetical by school)
Alison Lacey (Iowa State), Marlies Gipson (Kansas State), Brittainey Raven (Texas), A’Quonesia Franklin (Texas A&M) and Dominic Seals (Texas Tech)
All-Big 12 Honorable Mention (alphabetical by school)
Jessica Morrow and Jhasmin Player (Baylor), Brittany Spears (Colorado), Danielle McCray (Kansas), Alyssa Hollins (Missouri), Danielle Page (Nebraska), Ashley Paris and Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma), Danielle Green, Maria Cordero and Taylor Hardeman (Oklahoma State), Carla Cortijo and Ashley Lindsey (Texas)
Big 12 All-Defensive Team (alphabetical by school)
Rachel Allison (Baylor), Yvonne Turner (Nebraska), Courtney Paris (Oklahoma), Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma) and Danielle Gant (Texas A&M)
Big 12 All-Rookie Team (alphabetical by school)
Brittany Spears (Colorado), Kelsey Bolte (Iowa State), Krysten Boogaard (Kansas), Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma) and Dominic Seals (Texas Tech)