Feb. 27, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Big Ten Conference released its postseason awards Monday night, as three members of the Michigan State women's basketball team were honored. Seniors Lykendra Johnson and Porsche Poole were named All-Big Ten Second Team, while newcomer Kiana Johnson was selected to the All-Freshman Team.
In head coach Suzy Merchant's five seasons at MSU, the Spartans have had a Big Ten best 17 all-conference selections.
L. Johnson earns All-Big Ten honors for the fourth-straight season, becoming the sixth Spartan to accomplish that feat, joining Lindsay Bowen, Allyssa DeHaan, Kalisha Keane, Liz Shimek and Brittney Thomas. L. Johnson and Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis are the only two Big Ten student-athletes to be honored each of the last four seasons.
L. Johnson was a second team selection by the media and a third team choice by the conference's coaches. Entering the Big Ten Tournament, she is second in the conference in rebounds with 8.9 and nine double-doubles, while leading with 3.2 offensive boards. L. Johnson is second on the team and 25th in the Big Ten with 10.7 points, while leading the Spartans with 1.8 steals (11th in the Big Ten) and 1.2 blocks (seventh in the conference). A captain for the second straight season, she is one of two Spartans to start all 29 games.
On Sunday, L. Johnson became the second Spartan and the 13th Big Ten player to top 1,000 career points and 1,000 rebounds. In addition, she is one of four players in Big Ten history to accomplish 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 steals and 100 blocks. In Michigan State history, L. Johnson is second in rebounds (1,001) and offensive rebounds (396), third in blocks (139), fifth in steals (220), sixth in starts (113), seventh in double-doubles (26), 10th in games (128,) and 11th in points (1,206) and minutes (3,303).
L. Johnson was also the team's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner.
Poole was recognized for her breakout senior season, earning second team honors from the Big Ten coaches and third team accolades from the media. It is the first time in her career that she earned postseason conference honors.
Poole has increased her scoring average in each of her four seasons, including a team-best 13.6 mark this season, ranking her 15th in the Big Ten. Her +7.5 point increase from last season is the second largest in MSU history and the fourth largest in the Big Ten this season. Poole is also averaging career highs in rebounds, assists and steals. She is second on the team and 12th in the conference with 3.6 assists, while also adding 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals. In addition, she is second on the team and 12th in the conference, shooting 46.3% from the field.
Poole increased her play in conference games, finishing the Big Ten schedule, ninth in scoring (15.4) and assists (3.8), and eighth in field goal percentage (47.6%). Over the last nine games, she has been even more impressive, averaging 19.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.9 steals. Those point and assist numbers are second in the conference during the span.
K. Johnson is the first Spartan since 2008-09 (Lykendra Johnson) to be named to the five-member All-Freshman Team, voted on by the coaches.
K. Johnson has appeared in all 29 games, starting 25 of them. She leads the team in assists (4.1), which is seventh in the Big Ten, assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6), which is third, and steals (1.8), which is 11th in the conference. K. Johnson is also fourth in points with 7.4.
Among Big Ten freshmen, she is first in steals and assist-to-turnover ratio, second in assists and sixth in points. On the national scene, she is second among freshmen in assist-to-turnover ratio and 10th in assists. K. Johnson is quickly climbing the MSU freshman assist list, currently third with 118, only 15 assists out of second and 25 away from the school freshman record.
K. Johnson improved all her numbers in conference games, finishing the 16-game schedule tied for second in the Big Ten in assists (4.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7).
Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis was named Big Ten Player of the Year by both the coaches and media. Joining Prahalis on the All-Big Ten First Team is her teammate Tayler Hill, Nebraska's Jordan Hooper, and Penn State's backcourt of Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas. Rounding out the major awards, OSU's Amber Stokes was Defensive Player of the Year, Minnesota's Rachel Banham was Freshman of the Year, Illinois' Adrienne GodBold was Sixth Player of the Year, and Penn State's Coquese Washington was Coach of the Year.
For the complete Big Ten release, including the All-Big Ten teams, click here.
The Spartans tip off the 2012 Big Ten Tournament on Thursday, facing Indiana at approximately 8:25 p.m. on Big Ten Network.