Four Mountaineers Earn All-Big 12 Honors


By Katie Kane for WVUsports.com
March 07, 2013 11:43 AM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team had four players earn 2012-13 Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Conference honors, Thursday, as announced by the league office.

Junior Christal Caldwell is one of 10 named to the All-Big 12 First Team. As WVU’s season scoring leader, the Charlotte, N.C., native, averages 12.9 points per game and 13.7 points per league contest, the ninth-highest scoring average of all league players. Caldwell has led WVU in scoring 12 times this season, including seven Big 12 outings, and is solely responsible for 22.1 percent of the Mountaineers’ scoring in Big 12 games.

Others to join Caldwell on the first team are the Big 12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Brittney Griner, Baylor’s Odyssey Sims, Iowa State’s Hallie Christofferson and Chelsea Poppens, Kansas’ Angel Goodrich, Kansas State’s Brittany Chambers, Oklahoma’s Aaryn Ellenberg, Oklahoma State’s Toni Young and Texas Tech’s Chynna Brown.

Senior Ayana Dunning was named to the All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Team. Dunning is the Mountaineers’ leading rebounder for the second-consecutive season, averaging 6.1 rebounds per game. The Columbus, Ohio native, has led WVU’s rebounding efforts 11 times and scoring six times this season. Dunning is the Mountaineers’ second-leading scorer for the season with 10.2 points per game.

Junior Jess Harlee was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. The Bel Air, Md., native, is among only four others to earn the honor. Alongside Harlee, Griner, Sims, Texas’ Imani McGee-Stafford and Texas Tech’s Monique Smalls are also named to the All-Defensive Team.

Harlee averaged 1.8 steals per league game, the seventh-highest average of all Big 12 players. Harlee was the second-leading scorer for WVU off the bench as she averaged 4.5 points per game and led the Mountaineers in rebounding six times this season. Harlee suffered a season-ending knee injury in the final regular-season game at Texas.

Guard Bria Holmes is named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team, alongside Baylor’s Alexis Prince, Oklahoma State’s Brittney Martin, McGee-Stafford and TCU’s Zahna Medley. Holmes averages 12.9 minutes per game and is WVU’s leading scorer off the bench with 6.0 points per game. The New Haven, Conn., native has led the Mountaineers in scoring four times this season and recorded a career-best 18 points in the win at No. 24/23 Iowa State.

Caldwell, Dunning, Harlee and Holmes make up the first all-conference honor awards for West Virginia as it closes out its inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference. WVU finished the regular season with a 17-12 overall record and a 9-9 mark in the league, finishing in sixth place. As the No. 6 seed, WVU earned a bye in the Big 12 tournament and will face the No. 3-seeded Oklahoma at 9:30 p.m., on Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The game will air live nationally on FOX Sports Net.



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