(L-R): Ola Makurat, Keyen Green, Iva Ilic and Audrey Rettstatt all won Big South Conference awards on Tuesday.
Liberty post player Keyen Green was honored as Big South Women's Basketball Freshman of the Year on Tuesday, while also earning a spot on the second team All-Big South roster. Fellow Lady Flames Iva Ilic and Ola Makurat joined Green on the Big South All-Freshman Team, with Audrey Rettstatt earning Big South All-Academic Team recognition.
High Point's Emma Bockrath was named Big South Player of the Year, while Campbell took home both the Coach of the Year (Ronny Fisher) and Defensive Player of the Year (MaKala Rouse) awards. Presbyterian's Janie Miles was voted Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Green is Liberty's fifth Big South Freshman of the Year in program history and the team's first since Kristal Tharp in 2001-02. She is also the first Lady Flames freshman to earn All-Big South honors since Devon Brown was a first team All-Big South honoree as a redshirt freshman in 2009-10.
Green, Ilic and Makurat are Liberty's second trio to make the Big South All-Freshman Team in the same season. Tharp, Katie Feenstra and Stephanie Walker were all part of the 2001-02 Big South All-Freshman Team.
A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Green has earned a significant amount of hardware during her first season as a Lady Flame. She became the first eight-time Big South Freshman of the Week in conference history, earning the award on Dec. 5, Jan. 2, Jan. 9, Jan. 16, Feb. 6, Feb. 13, Feb. 20 and Feb. 27. Green was also named to the all-tournament teams at the Navy Classic (Dec. 3-4) and Cavalier Classic (Dec. 28-29).
Green leads the Big South in rebounding (8.0 rpg), offensive rebounding (3.6 rpg) and double-doubles (8), while ranking second in field goal percentage (58.8), fourth in blocked shots (1.0 bpg) and ninth in scoring (12.3 ppg). The nation's fifth-leading rebounder among freshmen, Green has recorded five 20-point games this season.
Ilic paces the Lady Flames and all Big South freshmen with 40 three-pointers made. The Koprivnica, Croatia native ranks fourth among conference freshmen in assists (2.0 apg) and fifth in scoring (7.3 ppg). She has scored in double figures seven times, including a career-high 17 points during a Jan. 10 victory over Presbyterian.
Makurat earns her second award in as many days after being named Big South Freshman of the Week on Monday. She ranks third among Big South freshmen in rebounding (5.1 rpg) and sixth in scoring (6.8 ppg). A native of Sierakowice, Poland, Makurat averaged 10.6 ppg and 7.4 rpg during the regular season's final five games. She notched a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) against Charleston Southern on Feb. 17 and scored a career-high 19 points versus UNC Asheville on Feb. 27.
Rettstatt, the Lady Flames' lone senior, owns a 3.88 GPA as an exercise science major and is on track to graduate in May. The three-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll member has scored in double figures six times this season, highlighted by a double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds) versus Charleston Southern on Feb. 17. A native of Galena, Ohio, Rettstatt has been a clutch performer for the Lady Flames this season. She hit the game-winning three-pointer against Radford on Feb. 7 and put Liberty ahead for good during the fourth quarter of Saturday's win over Campbell in the regular-season finale.
Green, Ilic, Makurat and Rettstatt will receive their awards prior to the Lady Flames' first game at this weekend's Big South Women's Basketball Championship at the Vines Center. No. 4 seed Liberty (13-16) will face No. 5 seed Charleston Southern (17-12) in the quarterfinal round, Friday at 2 p.m.
2016-17 Big South Conference Women's Basketball Award Winners
First Team All-Conference Emma Bockrath, G, So., High Point Chatori Major, G, Sr., UNC Asheville Destinee Walker, G/F, So., Radford Jayda Worthy, F, Jr., Radford Erica Williams, G/F, Sr., Winthrop
Second Team All-Conference Kaylah Keys, G, Sr., High Point Keyen Green, F, Fr., Liberty Summer Price, G, Jr., Campbell Cortney Storey, G, Jr., Presbyterian Ke'Asia Jackson, G, So., Charleston Southern
Honorable Mention All-Conference Alyssa Mann, G, R-Sr., Charleston Southern Tierra Huntsman, G, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb MaKala Rouse, G, Jr., Campbell Janayla White, F, Jr., Radford KJ Weaver, C, Sr., UNC Asheville
All-Freshman Team Keyen Green, F, Liberty Khiana Johnson, G, Radford Ola Makurat, G/F, Liberty Iva Ilic, G, Liberty Camryn Brown, G, High Point
All-Academic Team Brianna Cribb, G/F, Sr., Campbell Alyssa Mann, G, R-Sr., Charleston Southern Alexus Hill, G, Jr., Gardner-Webb Lindsey Edwards, G/F, So., High Point Audrey Rettstatt, G/F, Sr., Liberty Micaela Ellis, G, Jr., Longwood Janie Miles, G, Jr., Presbyterian Rachael Ross, C, Sr., Radford Chatori Major, G, Sr., UNC Asheville Naima Jackson, G, Jr., Winthrop
Player of the Year Emma Bockrath, G, So., High Point
Freshman of the Year Keyen Green, F, Liberty
Defensive Player of the Year MaKala Rouse, G, Jr., Campbell
Coach of the Year Ronny Fisher, Campbell
Scholar-Athlete of the Year Janie Miles, G, Jr., Presbyterian
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