BIG EAST Announces Regular-Season Award Winners

Official BIG EAST Release

NEW YORK – Liz Stratman and Daress McClung were each honored by the BIG EAST Conference on Wednesday afternoon as the league office announced regular-season awards for the 2013-14 women's basketball season. Stratman became the just the second player during Head Coach Beth Couture's tenure to be named Defensive Player of the Year and McClung was tabbed Second Team All-BIG EAST.

Stratman was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year after a vote from the conference head coaches. The junior center led the BIG EAST with 70 blocked shots, a total that moved her into fifth-place all-time at Butler for most blocks in a single-season. Stratman averaged 2.6 blocked shots per game during the regular season which landed her 21st in the NCAA. She has blocked two or more shots in 17 of Butler's 29 games this season.

Stratman recorded a career-high eight blocked shots in a road game at Seton Hall this season which moved her into a tie for third at Butler for most blocked shots recorded in a single-game. She has blocked five shots in a game four times this season and has reached a block total of four on five occasions.

A well-rounded game allowed Stratman to be named one of just three BIG EAST players to make the honorable mention all-conference team. She was second leading scorer on the team, averaging 13.2 points per game and was also second in rebounds with a 6.6 average. Stratman recently scored a career-high 28 points at Seton Hall, helping the Bulldogs secure the No. 6 seed in the upcoming BIG EAST Tournament.

Stratman scored 20 points or more in five games this season and eclipsed 10 rebounds or more on seven occasions. She ended the regular season with five double-doubles, four of which came against BIG EAST opponents.

The conference office also announced that Daress McClung was voted onto the All-BIG EAST Second Team for her outstanding play during the regular season. McClung served as the team leader for Butler in points (15.4) and rebounds (6.8). She missed five games this year with a foot injury, but came back strong to help Butler in many statistical categories.

McClung heads into the BIG EAST Tournament ranked second on the team with a 47.2 field goal percentage. She also ranks second on the squad in blocked shots (28), and third on the team in steals (33). The senior has six double-double performances to her credit, with two coming against BIG EAST foes.

McClung reached double figure scoring totals in 21 of her 24 games played. She eclipsed 20 points or more six times and scored a season-high 24 points at Seton Hall on 10-of-17 shooting. Additional season-high marks for McClung includes 12 rebounds vs. UIC, five assists vs. Seton Hall, four blocked shots vs. St. John's and six steals vs. Seton Hall. The versatile McClung could play guard or forward in the Butler lineup. She recorded 10 or more rebounds seven times, rejected two or more shots seven times and came up with three steals or more in five games this season.

Stratman, McClung and the rest of the Bulldogs enter the 2014 BIG EAST Women's Basketball Tournament on a three-game winning streak, their longest of the season. The Bulldogs will return to the court on Sunday, March 9 with a rematch against Creighton in the tournament quarterfinals. 

BIG EAST Coach of the Year
Doug Bruno, DePaul

BIG EAST Player of the Year
Marissa Janning, Creighton

BIG EAST Sixth-Man Award
Caroline Coyer, Villanova

BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
Liz Stratman, Butler

BIG EAST Most Improved Player
Tabatha Richardson-Smith, Seton Hall

BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award
Eugeneia McPherson, St. John's

BIG EAST Freshman of the Year
Natalie Butler, Georgetown^ 

All-BIG EAST First Team
Marissa Janning, Creighton^
Brittany Hrynko DePaul^
Jasmine Penny, DePaul^
Katherine Plouffe, Marquette^
Aliyyah Handford, St. John's^
Ka-Deidre Simmons, Seton Hall
Devon Kane, Villanova

All-BIG EAST Second Team
Daress McClung, Butler
McKenzie Fujan, Creighton
Sarah Nelson, Creighton
Natalie Butler, Georgetown
Andrea White, Georgetown
Alexis Harris, Providence
Tabatha Richardson-Smith, Seton Hall 

All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Megan Rogowski, DePaul
Liz Stratman, Butler
Amber Thompson, St. John's 

BIG EAST All-Freshman Team
Jessica January, DePaul^
Natalie Butler, Georgetown^
Faith Woodard, Georgetown^
Sarah Beal, Providence^
Jade Walker, St. John's
Sidney Cook, Seton Hall
Maddison Blackwell, Xavier

^unanimous selection