TAMPA, Fla. — A day after leading her team to its third-straight NCAA National Championship game, University of Connecticut junior guard Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas) was selected as the winner of the 2015 Nancy Lieberman Award, as announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame selection committee on Monday.
Now in its fifteenth year, the award recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. Jefferson becomes just the fourth Husky player to win the award and first since Renee Montgomery in 2008-09.
“Moriah Jefferson has been an incredible asset to the UConn Huskies and we are pleased to honor her with this prestigious award,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Her play mirrors the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman and the many exceptional point guards who have received this award over the years.”
The Husky point guard became the first Husky since Kelly Faris in 2012-13 to earn the conference’s Most Improved Player accolade when she earned the distinction on March 6 . The guard has enjoyed a stellar junior campaign, averaging 12.4 points in 28.4 minutes per game. In total, she ranks first on the team in assists (186) and steals (96) and is one of six Huskies shooting over 50.0 percent from the floor (59.6). During Connecticut’s five-game NCAA Tournament run, Jefferson has averaged 14.6 points and is shooting an incredible 68.4 (30-of-44) from the field.
The original watch list of 30 candidates was narrowed to 15 and then five before Jefferson was selected as the recipient of the award by a premier selection committee made up of top college basketball personnel including Hall of Famers, media members, head coaches and sports information directors appointed by the Hall of Fame.
Jefferson and the Huskies will compete for their third-consecutive national championship when they challenge Notre Dame at Amalie Arena on Tuesday, April 7 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.