ATLANTA - Saint Xavier University sophomore guard/forward Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) was one of just four NAIA (Division I & II) women's basketball players nationwide to be named a finalist for the 2013 State Farm®/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NAIA Player of the Year award presented by State Farm and the WBCA. The award is given out annually to the top player in each of five WBCA membership divisions (NCAA Divisions II, III, NAIA, junior/community college and high school), while the State Farm Wade Trophy is presented annually to the NCAA Division I player of the year. The winners are announced during the third annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 8, in New Orleans as part of the WBCA National Convention. Stuut joins Westmont College senior forward Tugce Canitez, Northwestern College senior forward Kendra DeJong and Oklahoma City University senior forward Lauren Gober as the NAIA national finalists.
"Congratulations to Tugce, Kendra, Lauren and Morgan on being named finalists for the 2013 State Farm/WBCA NAIA Player of the Year," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass."These women have dedicated a lot of time and effort to developing their game over the years and have helped lead their team to an accomplished season.I wish each of these women the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show in New Orleans."
Stuut was named the 2012-13 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Women's Basketball Player of the Year and was one of just 10 players named to the 2013 WBCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team. She finished second in the conference in scoring averaging 17.8 points per game and led the league in rebounding averaging 11.3 boards a game. Stuut finished the season ranked No. 4 nationally in rebounds per game and No. 16 in points per game. Saint Xavier finished the 2012-13 campaign with a 25-7 overall record and finished in a four-way tie for second place in the highly competitive CCAC with a 17-5 mark. The Cougars finished the regular season ranked No. 18 in the final NAIA Top 25 Poll and qualified for the second round of the 2013 NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championships last week.
The State Farm/WBCA NAIA Player of the Year is selected by the seven-member WBCA NAIA Player of the Year Committee, which consists of one WBCA-member coach from each of the six WBCA NCAA Division III Regions and the committee chair. Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls.
Click here to see the official release posted by the WBCA.