March 2, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Big Ten Conference office released the women's basketball postseason awards on Monday night, with five Spartan student-athletes taking home recognition. Junior Allyssa DeHaan highlighted the MSU selections, being named to the All-Big Ten Second Team by both the coaches and media.
DeHaan, who earns All-Big Ten honors for the third-straight season, is second on the team with 10.7 points per game, but leads the Spartans with 6.4 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and a 46.3% field goal percentage. DeHaan was picked to the first team by the media and to the second team by the coaches last season, and was a second team choice by both as a freshman. In all, it is the eighth consecutive season that a MSU student-athlete was been named to the first or second team.
DeHaan was also named to the All-Defensive Team, an honor she has also received in each of her three seasons in green and white.
Redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson was one of four Spartans to garner honorable mention All-Big Ten, as she was selected by both the coaches and media. Jefferson is the team's leading scorer at 11.0 points per game, while adding 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals, both third on the squad. Jefferson was also an honorable mention choice by both the coaches and media after the 2006-07 season as a sophomore.
Joining Jefferson on the coaches' ballot was sophomore Kalisha Keane, and on the media selections was sophomore Brittney Thomas and redshirt freshman Lykendra Johnson. Both Keane and Thomas earned honorable mention honors by the media last season.
Keane finished the regular season tied for third on the team with 10.7 points, while leading the team with 1.8 steals and placing second with 2.4 assists. Keane also knocked down 87.8% from the free throw line and a team-best 25 3-point field goals. Thomas, who was lost for the season six games ago with a torn ACL, leads the team with 3.2 assists, and also chipped in 6.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals.
Johnson, who was also an unanimous choice to the All-Freshman Team, ended the regular season averaging 6.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.8 blocks. She is the 11th Spartan to be named to the All-Freshman Team, including at least one in each of the last four seasons.
It is the fourth time in Michigan State history that five different Spartans were honored, and was the first time since 2004-05.
In addition, redshirt junior Lauren Aitch was Michigan State's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
Ohio State's Jantel Lavender was named Player of the Year by both the coaches and media, while her head coach, Jim Foster, was chosen as the Coach of the Year by both. Rounding out the individual awards, Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis was Freshman of the Year, the Buckeyes' Shavelle Little was the Defensive Player of the Year and Purdue's Brittany Rayburn was the Sixth Player of the Year.
The Spartans ended the Big Ten regular season at 13-5 in the conference and earned the No. 2 seed in this week's Big Ten Tournament. MSU will face the winner of No. 7 Wisconsin and No. 10 Northwestern on Friday morning at 11:30 a.m. at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.