(Editor’s Note: Big Sky Conference Media Release)
RENO — After an exciting finish to the regular season, the Big Sky Conference announced its 2018 All-Conference teams Sunday morning as voted on by the league coaches.
The competition for the top seed was fierce as six out of 12 Big Sky teams finished with 10 or more conference wins. in the end, it was Northern Colorado who emerged from the pack as the outright Big Sky regular season champion with a conference mark of 15-3.
UNC was able to overcome adversity this season behind the leadership of this year’s Big Sky Most Valuable Player Savannah Smith. The junior leads the Bears and ranks fifth in the Big Sky in points (17.7) assists (3.6) and steals (2.0). Smith was a steady leader for UNC all season. She displayed her ability to come through in the clutch when she hit a step-back 3-pointer as time expired to defeat Weber State, while guiding the Bears to a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
Joining Smith on the first team was Eastern Washington’s Delaney Hodgins. The senior from Pasco, Wash.,
set the Big Sky’s single-game scoring record by pouring in 46 points on Northern Arizona in the last game of the regular season. Delaney Hodgins currently ranks third all-time in Big Sky history in scoring with 2,105 career points.
Idaho, the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Big Sky Tournament, boasts a trio of 1,000-point scorers with junior Mikayla Ferenz headlining the group as the Vandals only first team all-conference selection. Ferenz has been a human highlight reel this year as the guard piled up seven 30-plus point performances during the season.
Weber State has been the big surprise so far this year as the Wildcats enter the tournament as the fourth seed after being picked in the preseason coaches’ poll to finish 10th. One of the reasons behind Weber State’s rapid improvement is the play of graduate transfer Larryn Brooks. the guard currently ranks third in the Big Sky in scoring (20.1) and was tabbed the Big Sky’s Newcomer of the Year for her immediate impact.
Capping off this year’s first team was North Dakota forward Lexi Klabo. Klabo is a constant double-double threat, averaging 18.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
As for the rest of the awards, Portland State’s Kylie Jimenez was named the Freshman of the Year, Northern Colorado’s Kianna Williams was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year, while Idaho State’s Estefania Ors earned the Top Reserve honor.
The first session of the Big Sky Championship will begin on Monday (March 5) at 12:05 p.m. Fans can stream all the action at the Big Sky’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships for free on Pluto TV and Watch Big Sky. Additionally, the women’s semifinals and championship game will be aired on Eleven Sports.
#BigSkyWBB First Team
Savannah Smith Guard Northern Colorado Junior
Delaney Hodgins Forward Eastern Washington Senior
Mikayla Ferenz Guard Idaho Junior
Larryn Brooks Guard Weber State Senior
Lexi Klabo Forward North Dakota Junior
#BigSkyWBB Second Team
Savannah Scott Guard Northern Colorado Senior
Geri McCorkell Forward Idaho Senior
Brooke Blair Guard Idaho State Senior
Ashley Bolston Guard Portland State Junior
Grace Kenyon Forward Idaho State Junior
#BigSkyWBB Third Team
Hannah Caudill Guard Montana State Senior
Violet Kapri Morrow Guard Eastern Washington Junior
Olivia Lucero Guard Northern Arizona Senior
Sidney Rielly Guard Portland State Junior
Hannah Friend Guard Sacramento State Sophomore
#BigSkyWBB Special Awards
Most Valuable Player
Savannah Smith, Northern Colorado
Newcomer of the Year
Larryn Brooks, Weber State
Freshman of the Year
Kylie Jimenez, Portland State
Defensive Player of the Year
Kianna Williams, Northern Colorado
Estefania Ors, Idaho State
#BigSkyWBB Honorable Mention
Taylor Pierce Guard Idaho Junior
McKenzie Johnston Guard Montana Sophomore
Delany Junkermier Guard Montana State Senior
Fallyn Freije Forward North Dakota Junior
Emily Drake Guard Weber State Junior