SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – University of Connecticut point guard Moriah Jefferson(Glenn Heights, Texas) has been named to as one of five finalists for the 2015 Nancy Lieberman Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Friday. Candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making abilities and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.
Since its inception in 2000, three Huskies have taken home the award a total of six times. UConn point guards earned the honors in the first five consecutive years of its existence, with Sue Bird earning the award its first three years (2000-2002) and Diana Taurasi receiving the accolades in the subsequent two years after Bird (2003, 2004). Renee Montgomery was the last Husky to net the award in 2009.
The Selection Committee for the Nancy Lieberman Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. The list will be narrowed down to fifteen and then a final five by mid-March. The Lieberman Award winner will be announced during the WBCA Award Show in Tampa, Florida at the Women’s Final Four.
Jefferson, who became the first Husky since Kelly Faris in 2012-13 to earn the league’s Most Improved Player accolade, has enjoyed a strong junior campaign. The Texan is averaging 12.0 points in 27.7 minutes through 33 games this season en route to a spot on the All-Conference First Team. In total, she ranks first on the team in assists (159) and steals (88) and is one of seven Huskies shooting over 50.0 percent from the floor (58.1). She provided a spark in UConn’s 87-62 victory over No. 1 South Carolina on Feb. 9, notching 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go along with a game-high six assists.
Jefferson’s 2.6 steals per game regular season average was tops in the American Athletic Conference. In February, she was selected to the Wooden Award Late Season Top-20 List.
In three conference tournament games, Jefferson tallied 56 points to go along with 20 assists en route to a selection on the All-Tournament squad.
The 2015 Lieberman Award winner will be announced during the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Award Show in Tampa, Florida at the Women’s Final Four. For more information on the 2015 Nancy Lieberman Award, log onto www.pointguard.org.
The winners of the 2015 American Athletic Conference Championship, UConn will await seeding and pairing for the 2015 NCAA Tournament.