Three Spartans Earn All Big Ten Honors
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- The Big Ten women's basketball coaches and a 22-member media panel have selected Michigan State senior forward Liz Shimek as a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection. Since the inception of the separate coaches and media panels in 1996, Shimek is only the second Spartan to earn consensus first-team honors (Kristen Rasmussen; 1999-2000). Kisha Kelley (1994-95), Paula Sanders (1996-97), Maxann Reese (1998-99; 1999-2000) and Kristin Haynie (2004-05) were all first-team picks by the coaches.
In addition to Shimek, senior guard Lindsay Bowen was a consensus second-team selection and junior guard Victoria Lucas-Perry was a consensus honorable mention selection. Forward Aisha Jefferson was named to the All-Freshman Team. Shimek was also named an honoree for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, which is given to one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.
In conference play, Shimek led the Big Ten in rebounds (8.5 pg) and offensive rebounds (3.5 pg) and was eighth in scoring (14.9 ppg). Overall, she was tied for first in rebounds with 8.4 pg, fourth in scoring with 17.2 ppg and fifth in field-goal percentage at 53.2 percent.
Shimek has earned All-Big Ten honors all four years of her career. Her freshman season, she was named Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year along with Bowen and was an honorable mention selection by the media. In 2003-04, she garnered third-team honors by the coaches and was again an honorable mention selection by the media. Last season, Shimek was a consensus second-team pick.
Shimek's outstanding senior season has placed her on many national player of the year watch lists, including the Wooden Award, the Naismith Award and the Wade Trophy. The All-America candidate earned Big Ten Player of the Week accolades four times this season, a school record, and was named the WBCA National Co-Player of the Month in December after averaging 22.9 points and 9.1 rebounds.
Bowen has also earned All-Big Ten accolades all four years at MSU. This marks the second straight season she has been named a consensus second-team selection; she was a consensus honorable mention pick her freshman year and a second-team honoree by the coaches and honorable mention choice her sophomore year. This season in Big Ten action, Bowen was second in assists with 4.4 pg and 17th in scoring with 11.6 ppg. In all games, she's third in the conference in free-throw percentage at 91.5 percent.
This is the first time in Lucas-Perry's career that she has earned All-Big Ten honors. Lucas-Perry ranked 24th in conference play with 10.5 ppg and was fourth in 3-point field-goal percentage at 43.8 percent. She was third on the team with 4.7 rebounds a game.
Jefferson came on strong in the second half of the season to land on the All-Freshman Team. The Dayton, Ohio, native started the last 11 games of the year and averaged 7.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg during conference play. She scored a career-high 20 points vs. Iowa on Feb. 16.
Ohio State junior center Jessica Davenport was named the Big Ten Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. OSU's Jim Foster was named Coach of the Year by both the coaches and media, and Iowa's Megan Skouby was the consensus Freshman of the Year.
The Michigan State women's basketball team is the No. 4 seed in this week's Big Ten Tournament and will play fifth-seeded Iowa in the quarterfinals Friday, March 3. Tipoff will be 25 minutes after the 12 p.m. ET game.
Courtesy of MSU