Horizon League Postseason Awards Highlighted by Buck, Borseth
By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Coming off a weekend that saw the Green Bay women’s basketball team capture its 16th-consecutive Horizon League regular season title, five Phoenix were recognized by the conference office for their contributions throughout the season.
Highlighting the honorees was freshman Tesha Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) who was named the Freshman of the Year, while head coach Kevin Borseth was tabbed as the Coach of the Year and sophomore Kaili Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) earned All-League Second Team honors. Additionally, Buck and classmate Mehryn Kraker (West Allis, Wis.) were named to the All-Freshman Team while junior Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) garnered All-Defensive Team accolades.
Player of the Year honors went to Wright State junior Kim Demmings, while UIC sophomore Ruvanna Campbell was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year and Youngstown State senior Monica Touvelle the Sixth Player of the Year.
A four time freshman of the week honoree, Buck has started all 28 games for the Phoenix this season to become the first true freshman to start since Sarah Eichler during the 2009-10 season. Averaging 10.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals, Buck currently leads the team in both assists and steals per game, and is the top freshman in the conference in each category but rebounding.
In 16 Horizon League contests, Buck is averaging a team-leading 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game in addition to 10.8 points.
At Wright State on February 27, Buck recorded her first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a career-high 43 minutes played to help guide the Phoenix to a 79-72 overtime triumph. Three of her top career performances have come during the conference season, including finishing with 20 points against UIC (1/8), dishing out seven assists at Detroit (2/1) and totaling two blocks against Valparaiso (2/3), all in winning efforts for the Phoenix.
Borseth was named the conference coach of the year for the eighth time in his 11 seasons at Green Bay, and first in his second stint with the program. Coaching one of the youngest starting lineups in his career with the Phoenix, Borseth led his squad to an overall record of 20-8 and 13-3 in the Horizon League, taking home the regular season title for the 11th time in his career and 16th consecutive season in the program’s history. He also reached the 20 win plateau for the 10th time at the helm of the Phoenix with a win over Detroit on Saturday. Earlier this season Borseth recorded his 250th win at Green Bay as the Phoenix topped William and Mary on November 29, and his 11-year record with the Phoenix now stands at 264-73 overall and 153-16 in conference action.
Playing her first full season after missing the majority of her freshman campaign with an injury, Kaili Lukan currently leads the team averaging 11.4 points while adding 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. She started the conference season with a bang, posting 20+ point performances in four of the first five games, including a career-high 25 against Milwaukee on January 11. Lukan has 10+ point performances in 17 games this season including nine against conference foes.
Lukan was named the Horizon League Player of the Week after posting 23 points, four assists and two steals against Wright State on January 25. Earlier in the season she recorded her first career double-double with a 14 point, 10 rebound effort against South Dakota State, and was also named the TD Bank Classic Tournament MVP after averaging 12.5 points, 4.5 rebound and 1.5 steals against Siena and host Vermont.
Joining Buck on the All-Freshman team was Kraker, who in her first full season on the court after redshirting last season is averaging 9.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.8 steals per game. She started in 27 of 28 games this season, missing just one contest due to injury. A three-time freshman of the week honoree, she most recently took home the award this week after averaging 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the final weekend of competition against Oakland and Detroit.
In Horizon League play, Kraker averaged 10.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.9 steals and a team-best 0.6 blocks per game in 16 contests.
Against Detroit on Saturday, Kraker recorded her first career double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Earlier this season she posted a career-high 30 points at Detroit (2/1), becoming the first Phoenix to achieve the feat since Julie Wojta during the 2011-12 campaign. At Milwaukee on February 15 she dished out a career-high six assists and forced two steals in 35 minutes.
A defensive standout all season, Megan Lukan helped the Phoenix limit opposition to just 58.7 points per game and 37.8 percent shooting from the floor. Both marks are the lowest in the conference, while the scoring defense mark stands 30th in the nation. Lukan currently ranks second on the team with 1.5 steals per game while grabbing 87 rebounds on the defensive end, with 62 of those coming during the Horizon League season.
Top seed Green Bay opens up the Horizon League Tournament on Wednesday, welcoming either No. 8 Detroit or No. 9 Valparaiso to the Kress Events Center at 7 p.m.
2014 HORIZON LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS
Player of the Year: Kim Demmings, Wright State
Freshman of the Year: Tesha Buck
Defensive Player of the Year: Ruvanna Campbell, UIC
Sixth Player of the Year: Monica Touvelle, Youngstown State
Coach of the Year: Kevin Borseth
All-League First Team
Kim Demmings, Wright State (Jr., G)
Ruvanna Campbell, UIC (So., F)
Heidi Schlegel, Youngstown State (Jr., F)
Imani Gordon, Cleveland State (Jr., F)
Ivory James, Wright State (Sr., G)
Angela Rodriguez, Milwaukee (Sr., G)
Rachel Story, UIC (Sr., G)
Senee Shearer, Detroit (Sr., G)
Kaili Lukan, Green Bay (So., G)
Bethany Watterworth, Oakland (Sr., F)
Tesha Buck, Green Bay
Mehryn Kraker, Green Bay
Jenna Hirsch, Youngstown State
Megan Galloway, Detroit
Khayla Livingston, Cleveland State
Ruvanna Campbell, UIC (So., F)
Megan Lukan, Green Bay (Jr., G)
Terri Bender, UIC (So., G)
Kim Bee, Oakland (Sr., F)
Tay’ler Mingo, Wright State (Jr., G)