Sammie Jensen Named GWC Newcomer of the Year
OREM, Utah – Utah Valley’s Sammie Jensen has been named the 2010-11 Great West Conference Newcomer of the Year. Jensen and Jenna Johnson were also named to the GWC All-Conference Second Team. The conference awards were announced March 8 by the league office.
“I’m really proud of both Sammie and Jenna,” UVU head coach Cathy Nixon said. “It is a reflection of the importance that they’ve played on our team all year. Sammie, from the first game through the last game, has been so consistent and I feel like she really deserves her award. I’m also happy for Jenna. For her to be able to come back from off-season surgery and have this type of season says a lot about her.”
Jensen, a sophomore forward that transferred from Snow College, led the conference in rebounding with 10.6 boards per night and finished the season averaging a double-double while she also tallied a team-high 13.7 ppg. Jensen also put up a conference-high 13 double-doubles on the year and was twice named a GWC Player of the Week. Jensen was a gamer all season long as she led the team in minutes played with an average of 34 per game. She also started all 27 games.
Johnson, a junior shooting guard out of Spanish Fork High School, was named a second team all-conference player this year after leading UVU in scoring in conference-only games with an average of 14.9 points per game. The 2009-10 all-conference honorable mention selection finished second on the team in scoring with 361 total points and an average of 13.4 points per night. Johnson led the Wolverines on the year in 3-point shooting making 45 and shooting at 38.5 percent from behind the arc.
NJIT’s Jessica Gerald, Houston Baptist’s Destini Texada and North Dakota’s Alyssa Wall joined Jensen and Johnson on the second team.
Chicago State’s Courtney Waldon was honored as the GWC Player of the Year, after leading her team to the Great West Conference championship.
Joining Waldon on the first team were her CSU teammate Tressa Beckel, Amber Hegge from South Dakota, Bianca Torre from Texas-Pan American and North Dakota’s Mallory Youngblut.
Jensen was also named to the GWC All-Newcomer Team. Joining Jensen on the All-Newcomer team were South Dakota’s Jodie Boss; Ce’Monay Newell from Texas-Pan American; UND’s Wall; and South Dakota’s Alexis Yackley.
Isiah Williams Named Great West Conference Player of the Year
OREM, Utah – Utah Valley junior guard Isiah Williams was named the 2010-11 Great West Conference Player of the Year and six other Wolverines also received honors in the league’s All-Conference announcement March 9 from Orem, site of the league’s tournament championship.
All five Utah Valley starters and Coach Dick Hunsaker were honored by the league after the Wolverines captured the 2010-11 Great West Conference Championship with an 11-1 mark in league play.
Williams was also named first-team All-Conference as well as earning the league’s Newcomer of the Year and a spot on the All-Newcomer Team. Ben Aird earned second team All-Conference and was on the newcomer team along with Williams. Jordan Swarbrick, Geddes Robinson and Holton Hunsaker all earned honorable mention All-Conference and Justin Baker was named the conference Sixth Man of the Year.
“It’s a great recognition for all the players’ hard work and achievement this season. It’s also rewarding to see our team’s success individually acknowledged,” said coach Hunsaker, who was named the GWC Coach of the Year.
Williams was named the GWC Player of the Week on Feb. 7 after scoring 33 in a win at Texas-Pan American and 24 in a victory at Houston Baptist two days later. Williams, a junior, ranks second in the league with 17.3 points per game.
Aird twice earned the Player of the Week award, winning in consecutive weeks (Feb. 21 & Feb. 28). He averaged 18.5 points in wins over South Dakota and North Dakota and then posted a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Houston Baptist. The freshman center averaged 14.8 points during Great West play.
Swarbrick averaged 11.4 points and hit a GWC-best 86.5 percent from the free throw line on the year. The senior is 12 points shy of becoming the fourth 1,000-point scorer in Utah Valley’s NCAA Division I history.
Robinson led the Great West in rebounds, averaging 9.3 overall and 11.3 during conference games. The junior recorded a school-record eight double-doubles during the season.
Hunsaker was the top free throw shooter during league play, making 51-of-55 for 92.7 percent. The freshman point guard averaged 11.0 points per game and leads UVU with 95 assists on the year.
Baker averaged 7.3 points and 5.1 rebounds off the bench to earn the sixth man award and scored a season-high 17 in a conference win over South Dakota. He upped his scoring average to 8.3 per game during Great West games.
For Dick Hunsaker, it’s the third conference Coach of the Year award that he has won in his career, in addition to also earning Division I Independent Coach of the Year in 2007. Hunsaker has a career record of 364-169 and is 167-96 in nine seasons at Utah Valley.