CSUN's Fluker Repeats As Player of the Year
Big West Women's Basketball All-Conference Release
CSUN’s Channon Fluker turned in another dominant season for the Matadors, resulting in Big West Player of the Year accolades for the second consecutive season.
Fluker wasn’t the lone back-to-back winner as UC Davis head coach Jennifer Gross repeated as league’s Coach of the Year. The final major award went to UC Irvine as Jordan Sanders won the Freshman of the Year accolade.
Fluker, a native of Pasadena, Calif., is the fifth player in league history to repeat as Player of the Year. The last occurance happened recently as Brittany Crain of UC Riverside won the honor in 2015 and ‘16. The junior was again the dominant post player in the league, ranking third in the league in scoring (18.9) and first in rebounding (12.2), blocks (2.7), double-doubles (19) and free throws made (144). On the NCAA leaderboard, the center ranks ninth in rebounds (353), seventh in rebounds per game (12.2) and 15th in blocks per game (2.7) and total blocks (78). Fluker is also prominently featured on the NCAA active career leaders chart as she ranks 82nd in scoring (1,510), 13th in rebounds (1,014) and fifth in double-doubles (52). Fluker also won five Big West Player of the Week honors this season, and became just the ninth player in league history to cross the 1,000 rebound mark. In conference play, Fluker averaged 18.1 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and shot 77.3% from the foul line in 15 games.
Sanders, who hails from Springfield, Mo., was a key cog in the resurgence of the UCI program this season. Just the second Anteater to claim Freshman of the Year accolades, she averaged 10.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 29 games, all of them starts. Against conference opposition, Sanders was even better, averaging 12.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals while shooting 55.9% from the floor. Sanders recorded 15 double-figure scoring games on the season, including a career-high 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting in a win over Cal Poly. Her scoring is a big part of the UCI attack as the club is 12-1 when Sanders scores in double figures. She joins select company in program history, joining Jazmyne White as the only Freshmen of the Year winners.
Gross led UC Davis to back-to-back Big West titles, the first time since 2007-09 that a program has won consecutive outright Big West titles. The Aggies equaled their program record for conference wins (14) and are one win shy of tying the school record for victories (25) set last season. The team has also won its last 14 home games against Big West foes and this season became the quickest to 20 wins in program Division I history. Under Gross, UCD has now posted back-to-back 20 win seasons for the second time in program DI history and the first since the 2009-11. The squad has also clinched its second straight postseason appearance, earning at least a bid to the WNIT. Gross is now the first coach to win back-to-back Coach of the Year awards since UC Santa Barbara legend Mark French accomplished the feat in 1999-01.
The All-Big West first team features three players making return appearances led by Fluker’s third showing. UC Davis junior Morgan Bertsch and Hawai’i senior Sarah Toeaina are both making their second appearances on the league’s All-Conference list. Joining the trio is Cal Poly senior Dynn Leaupepe, UC Irvine junior Morgan Green and UC Santa Barbara senior Drew Edelman. A complete breakdown of all the All-Conference lists can be found in the link above.
2017-18 Big West Player of the Year
Channon Fluker, CSUN
2017-18 Big West Freshman of the Year
Jordan Sanders, UC Irvine
2017-18 Big West Coach of the Year
Jennifer Gross, UC Davis