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Women's Basketball

Santiago Highights Women's Basketball All-Conference Selections as Player of the Year

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Cal Poly standout Kristina Santiago claimed top honors as the 2009-10 Big West Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, highlighting the league’s annual list of all-stars and award selections. UC Irvine's Jazmyne White won the Freshman of the Year, while UC Davis' Sandy Simpson came away with the Coach of the Year honor.

Santiago is the first Cal Poly player in the history of the Big West to come away with the Player of the Year award and the first player from a team other than UC Riverside or UC Santa Barbara to win the honor since the 2005-06 season. Santiago had a superb season in leading the Mustangs to an 18-10 record and the #2 seed in the Big West Tournament. She leads the conference in scoring (19.9) and steals per game (2.39), is tied for the lead in total steals (67), ranks second in rebounding (8.5) and field goal percentage (.547), while tying for second in double-doubles (9). In conference play, Santiago was even better, upping her already impressive numbers to 20.9 points, 10.0 rebounds, 53.6% shooting from the field and 2.75 steals per outing. The Santa Maria, Calif., native, who earned her second consecutive first team All-Big West nod, scored in double figures in every game this season, pulled down double-digit rebounds in nine outings and has scored at least 10 points in 60 of her last 65 games. The 6-1 forward also won Big West Player of the Week honors on three occasions this season and established a new career-high with 34 points in the Mustangs’ overtime home win over Cal State Fullerton.

White becomes the first Anteater in league history to claim the conference’s top rookie award. The Ontario, Calif., native averaged 4.8 points and 6.8 rebounds on the season, the latter figure ranking third in the Big West. The forward also blocked 18 shots and ranked ninth in the Big West with 1.52 steals per outing. White also picked up a double-double against Seattle (12/5) with 11 points and 11 rebounds, scored a career-best 13 points to go along with eight rebounds November 23 against Cal State Bakersfield and hustled her way to 74 offensive rebounds, third in the conference. White was a consistent presence in the lineup, starting 19 of her 29 games and averaging 25.4 minutes per game.

Simpson, in his 13th season at the helm of the UC Davis program, led the Aggies to its best season as a member of Division I. UCD enters the Big West Tournament with a record of 20-9, the first 20-win season in its short DI history, and as Big West regular season champion for the first time. On the court, the Aggies are the league’s top defensive team, allowing just 60.0 points per outing and recording 332 steals for an average of 11.45 a game. By virtue of its Big West regular season crown, UC Davis has also assured itself of a spot in the postseason as it would receive the league’s automatic bid into the WNIT should it falter in the Big West Tournament. The postseason appearance would be the second for the program in three seasons as a member of Division I.

The first team All-Big West list is led by Santiago and UC Davis’ Paige Mintun, both of who are appearing on the headling all-star list for the second consecutive season. Joining them on the prestigious ledger are a pair of all-around threats in Long Beach State’s Karina Figueroa and UC Riverside’s Alyssa Morris. Cal State Fullerton scoring machine Megan Richardson and the league’s leading double-double producer Mikah Maly-Karros round out the first team selections. The complete All-Big West teams are available via the link above:
Player School Year Position Hometown
Karina Figueroa Long Beach State Senior Guard Corona, Calif.
Mikah Maly-Karros UC Irvine Sophomore Forward Manhattan Beach, Calif.
+Paige Mintun UC Davis Junior Post Valley Center, Calif.
Alyssa Morris UC Riverside Junior Junior Fresno, Calif.
Megan Richardson Cal State Fullerton Sophomore Guard Manhattan Beach, Calif.
+Kristina Santiago Cal Poly Junior Forward Santa Maria, Calif.
Player School Year Position Hometown
Jasmine Erving Cal State Northridge Sophomore Center Santa Ana, Calif.
Emilie Johnson UC Santa Barbara Sophomore Guard Loomis, Calif.
Heidi Heintz UC Davis Junior Junior Spokane, Wash.
Rhaya Neabors UC Riverside Junior Forward Pomona, Calif.
Mekia Valentine UC Santa Barbara Junior Forward/Center Greensboro, N.C.
Player School Year Position Hometown
Rachel Clancy Cal Poly Senior Guard Limerick, Ireland
Amber Cox UC Riverside Senior Forward Perris, Calif.
Haylee Donaghe UC Davis Senior Wing Atascadero, Calif.
Eliza Dy Pacific Sophomore Guard Chino Hills, Calif.
Brittany Lange Cal Poly Senior Guard Simi Valley, Calif.
Jasmine Scott Cal State Fullerton Senior Guard Sacramento, Calif.
Lauren Sims Long Beach State Senior Guard Fullerton, Calif.
Jade Smith-Williams UC Irvine Junior Guard San Leandro, Calif.
Christina Thompson Pacific Sophomore Center Sacramento, Calif.
Katrina Thompson Cal State Northridge Senior Guard/Forward Sylmar, Calif.
Ally Wade Long Beach State Senior Forward Yorba Linda, Calif.
Meagan Williams UC Santa Barbara Senior Guard Sacramento, Calif.
+ - Two-time All-Big West First Team selection
Player School Year Position Hometown
Erica McKenzie Pacific Freshman Guard Sparks, Nev.
Janelle Nomura Cal State Northridge Freshman Guard Honolulu, Hawai’i
Mya Olivier Cal State Fullerton Freshman Forward Laguna Beach, Calif.
Sweets Underwood UC Santa Barbara Freshman Forward Compton, Calif.
Jazmyne White UC Irvine Freshman Forward Ontario, Calif.

2009-10 Big West Player of the Year

Kristina Santiago, Cal Poly

2009-10 Big West Freshman of the Year

Jazmyne White, UC Irvine

2009-10 Big West Coach of the Year

Sandy Simpson, UC Davis