CSUN's Fluker Named Player of the Year
Big West Women's Basketball All-Conference Release
CSUN’s Channon Fluker parlayed a potentially historic season into a major honor as she was named the Big West Player of the Year. It was one of two major awards for the Matadors after a bounce back season.
In addition to Fluker CSUN claimed the Freshman of the Year in Eliza Matthews, following in the footsteps of Fluker who won the award a year ago. The Coach of the Year honor went to coach of the league’s top team as Jennifer Gross claimed her first career honor.
Fluker, a native of Pasadena, Calif., collected the second Player of the Year award in Matador history. She is also the third player in league history to be named Player of the Year the following season after being named Freshman of the Year. The sophomore is averaging 17.4 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game, tops in the Big West in all three categories. During conference play, Fluker was even better as she put up 18.2 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per outing. Fluker was a five-time Player of the Week honoree, upping her career accolades to seven which ties her for eighth all-time. In the current NCAA leaderboard, Fluker is fifth in the nation in double-doubles (19), fifth in offensive rebounds per game (5.0), third in total rebounds (360) and third in rebounds per game (12.0). Fluker had 10 games of 20+ points, two 30+ games, 19 double-figure rebound games and a string of seven consecutive double-doubles in during conference play. Fluker also is on the verge of a historic feat as she could be become just the second player in Big West history to lead the league in scoring, rebounding and blocks. The only other player to accomplish the feat is Genia Miller of Cal State Fullerton back in the 1990-91 season.
Matthews, who hails from Long Beach, Calif., earned a spot in the starting lineup for the Matadors and didn’t let it go. Matthews averaged 4.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and nearly an assist per game in 20.1 minutes per outing. During conference play, Matthews played in 15 games, all of them as a starter, and averaged 4.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists. She collected double-digit rebounds on five occasions this season and pulled down at least seven rebounds in four consecutive games. Matthews has also shown an ability to take care of the ball as she has recorded 11 assists and only three turnovers in 101 minutes over her last five games. She also had an impressive rebounding stretch just before conference play, averaging 12.0 rebounds over three contests including a career-best 14 boards against Penn.
Gross led UC Davis back to the top of the Big West with a school DI record 14 conference wins, the first regular season title under her watch and first for the program since 2009-10. The Aggies have won 10 straight games heading into the postseason, the longest streak for the program in their Division I history and longest since a 14-game run during the 1998-99 season. Gross has also developed some of the finest players in the league as the team has recorded a first-team All Big West selection in each of her six years on the sideline. The team is also one of the finest two-way clubs around as they lead the league in scoring, field goal percentage, three-point percentage and are tied for the lead in free throw shooting, while leading in scoring defense, field goal defense and three-point percentage defense.
The All-Big West first team has even class representation with two sophomores, two juniors and two seniors. Fluke, earning her second straight first team honor, and UC Davis’ Morgan Bertsch are the sophomores, UCD’s Pele Gianotti and Sarah Toeaina are the juniors and Cal Poly’s Hannah Gilbert and Long Beach State’s Anna Kim are the seniors. The rest of the All-Conference teams can be found in the link provided above.