ATLANTA (April 2, 2016) – Moriah Jefferson of the University of Connecticut is the 2016 WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today.
The Defensive Player of the Year award honors the best defensive collegiate Division I women's basketball player. All Division I conference defensive players of the year are eligible to be nominated for the award. A selection committee makes the final decision on the winner. If a conference does not select a defensive player of the year, the conference representative can nominate one player to be considered.
"Moriah played an incredibly valuable role for her team on the defensive end of the floor this season. Defense is about determination, intensity, effort, and teamwork. Moriah is an outstanding student-athlete who has embodied these characteristics at the highest level,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “Moriah has been a consistent defensive force for her team, and has caused nightmares for opposing coaches and players. We celebrate Moriah and appreciate her contribution to her team as well as to the game of women’s basketball.”
Jefferson has enjoyed a stellar senior campaign as the anchor for the UConn defense. During the regular season, Jefferson produced a league-leading 2.7 steals per game as well as a 2.91 assist-to-turnover ratio average. On the year, she leads the American Athletic Conference in steals (93) and assists (192). Jefferson has played an integral defensive role for the top-ranked Huskies only allowing their opponents to score a national-low 48.2 points per outing.
On Feb. 27, the Glenn Heights, Texas, native tallied her 600th career assist and 300th career steal. She also helped lead UConn to their third-straight AAC Championship, posting 22 points, 16 assists and seven steals through three conference tournament games.
Jefferson was the sixth-ever Husky to be named AAC Defensive Player of the Year, and earned her third consecutive appearance on the all-conference first team. She was also selected as a finalist for the Dawn Staley Award, and for the second-straight year a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which she won in 2015.
About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game in all of its aspects as a sport for women and girls. For more information about the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.