Player of year McCarty leads all-league list

As­ton, Tay­lor and Holmes also earn hon­ors from Big 12.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Rick Cantu rcantu@states­man.com

Brooke McCarty was named the Big 12’s women’s player of the year Wed­nes­day, the first Longhorn to re­ceive that honor since the league was formed in 1996.

And although Texas fin­ished sec­ond be­hind con­fer­ence cham­pion Bay­lor in the reg­u­lar sea­son, the Longhorns swept most of the league’s ma­jor awards in a vote of league coaches.

McCarty, a ju­nior guard, has be­come the Longhorns’ leader on the court, lead­ing the team in scor­ing (14.1 points per game), min­utes per game (33.7), 3-point­ers (68) and as­sists (105).

She’s sec­ond in the Big 12 in 3-point shoot­ing per­cent­age and in as­sist-to-turnover ra­tio.

The Longhorns (23-7, 15-3 Big 12) are pre­par­ing for this week’s con­fer­ence tour­na­ment.

“It’s a bless­ing,” McCarty said Wed­nes­day. “I feel there are mul­ti­ple peo­ple from the Big 12 who could have got­ten this.

“It’s a tes­ta­ment to my team­mates and my coaches. They re­ally pushed me this year.”

Karen As­ton was voted the Big 12’s coach of the year, ju­nior for­ward Bri­anna Tay­lor was se­lected as the league’s de­fen­sive player of the year and Joyner Holmes is the fresh­man of the year. Ariel Atkins, a ju­nior, joined McCarty and Holmes on the league’s 10-player first team. Se­nior for­ward Kelsey Lang was named hon­or­able men­tion, and Holmes head­lined the league’s all-fresh­men team.

As­ton, in her fifth sea­son, has helped Texas re-es­tab­lish it­self a na­tional con­tender. She’s 111-53 with the Longhorns, and this is the third time the Longhorns, who are ranked 12th na­tion­ally, have gone 15-3 in Big 12 play.

Holmes has be­come a dom­i­nant force in her first sea­son, win­ning Big 12 fresh­man of the week hon­ors seven times. That in­cluded a streak of five weeks in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary.

“When you get any awards, whether it’s a player’s award or a coach’s award, it re­flects on your whole pro­gram,” As­ton said. “It re­flects on how hard ev­ery­one has to work to be suc­cess­ful. I’m enor­mously proud of our play­ers, and I told sev­eral of them it’s a prod­uct of hard work.”

DEBORAH CANNON / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Guard Brooke McCarty leads UT in four sta­tis­ti­cal cat­e­gories.

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