Four Named To College Sports Madness All-Big West Women's Hoops Teams
Stockton, Calif. – College Sports Madness named four Pacific women's basketball players to its 2011-12 All-Big West Conference teams, announced Tuesday, Mar. 6. Juniors Kendall Rodriguez and Ashley Wakefield were second-team selections while junior Erica McKenzie and sophomore Gena Johnson were third- and fourth-team picks, respectively.
Rodriguez led Pacific in scoring (12.8) and rebounding (7.8). The junior forward from La Habra recorded six double-doubles on the year, scoring 20 or more points four times and grabbing 10 or more rebounds eight times. Additionally, she led the way with 18 double-digit scoring efforts. A force on both sides of the court, Rodriguez harassed opposing players into 42 steals while forcing numerous turnovers that do not show up in the box score. Captaining the team on the court, she showed her leadership where it mattered most, hitting 81-percent of her free throw attempts to pace the Tigers.
Wakefield, a guard from Santa Clarita, finished second on the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game and second in rebounding with 6.7 boards per game. The junior notched three double-doubles highlighted by a 24-point, 13-rebound outing against San Diego. She connected on more than 50-percent of her field goal attempts and added 39 assists, good for an average of 2.2 helpers per game. Arguably the team's best perimeter defender, the Santa Clarita native averaged 1.7 steals per game.
Pacific's sharp-shooter from distance, McKenzie left her mark on every team the Tigers played throughout the year. Leading the conference from behind the arc, the junior guard posted 2.5 three-pointers made in the regular season while hitting at an impressive 36.3-percent clip. She finished the regular season with 69 made three-pointers, including seven against Florida (12/9), five against then-No. 4 UConn (11/15), five against CSU Northridge (1/14) and five in the Tigers' comeback win at Nevada (11/30). For the year, McKenzie was third on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game while starting all 28 games for the Tigers. She led Pacific with 85 assists and ranks fourth in the league in assists-turnover ratio.
In her first year as the Tigers' point guard, Johnson showed an explosiveness that Pacific's opponents were unable to contain. The sophomore made a smooth transition from her role as a wing last season, recording averages of 9.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists this year. She played extremely well down the stretch, averaging 16.3 points on 61-percent shooting in the Tigers' final four games of the season. The Elk Grove native attempted a team-leading 118 free throws. A force on the defensive side, Johnson blocked a team-best 38 shots, good for first in the Big West, and notched 40 steals.
The Tigers will open their quest for a Big West title with a quarterfinal game at UC Davis on Tuesday, Mar. 6, at 7 p.m.