Courtesy of Wichita State Athletics
10:34 AM CDT, March 13, 2013
For the first time in more than a decade, two Wichita State women’s basketball players are represented on the All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team. Senior Jessica Diamond and sophomore Alex Harden populated the 2012-13 first team for WSU. Harden also made the All-Defensive Team.
Diamond is a repeat on the first team, the first Shocker to do so since Angela Buckner in 2002-03 and 2003-04. A member of the preseason all-conference team as well, Diamond led WSU in overall scoring at 12.0 ppg. Her .870 free throw percentage includes a Shocker record of 36-straight made free throws earlier this year. She has handed out 82 assists against 57 turnovers while adding 44 steals and 15 blocked shots. Her 2.2-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in conference games leads the league.
Harden was an all-freshman performer in the MVC last year and blossomed during conference play this season. The sophomore leads the Shockers in several categories during MVC games including points (13.6), rebounds (5.1), assists (80), steals (32) and blocked shots (21). She reached double figure scoring in 14 of the last 16 games of the regular season.
Diamond and Harden are the first Shocker teammates on the First Team since Buckner and Jennifer Kaczka in 2001-02. This is the fourth time in school history more than one Shocker has made the First Team.
A key component of a Shocker defense that is on a record-setting pace, Harden led WSU with 49 steals and 32 blocked shots. She was third in the league in blocked shots per game (1.1) and eighth in steals per game (1.6). Her efforts have helped WSU hold 17 opponents to 55 points or less as the Shockers are on the cusp of setting a new school record for scoring defense (currently 53.9 ppg).
Harden gives WSU a player on the All-Defensive Team for the third straight year. That hadn’t happened since LaTeesha Hill was a three-year member of the team from 1997-2000. Haleigh Lankster represented the Shockers each of the last two seasons, winning Defensive Player of the Year last year.
The league’s specialty awards (Coach of the Year, etc.) will be released Thursday.
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