Women's Basketball Team Awards Announced

SEATTLE - Senior Giuliana Mendiola (Lake Forest, Calif.) was named the Big Dawg honoree for the fourth-straight year, highlighting the team awards presentation at the Husky women's basketball banquet at the Don James Center on the University of Washington campus, Wednesday evening.

Mendiola, who earned Kodak/WBCA and Associated Press All-America honorable mention acclaim for the second-straight year, led the Huskies in scoring (21.3 pts.), rebounding (6.5) and assists (5.5). Mendiola earned the Big Dawg honor as a result of a season-long tally for on-court performance. Among her many accolades, Mendiola, a three-time first-team All-Pac-10 selection, set Washington single-season records for scoring (661 points) and assists (172).

Mendiola was a triple-winner at the banquet, honored also as the Kayla Burt Most Inspirational Player. The award was named for Burt beginning last year. For the fourth-straight year, Mendiola was also named the Lion's Club Assists leader. She broke her own single season assists record this year en route to setting a new Washington career record (612).

Sophomore guard Nicole Castro (Darwin, Australia) received the KKNW Radio 1150 Outstanding Defensive Player Award. Castro came off the bench in 30 games and proved the Huskies with tenacious defense.

The freshman trio of Jill Bell (Bellevue, Wash.), Cheri Craddock (Oakland, Calif.) and Maggie O'Hara (Boise, Idaho) shared Most Improved Player honors. Bell came back after redshirting last year, and ranked second on the team in rebounding with 6.4 boards per game. Bell started nine of 31 games and was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention team. Craddock was a walk-on who originally came to Washington on a track scholarship. When Washington lost two players to injury, Craddock gave up her redshirt year to aid the Huskies. O'Hara provided valuable post play for UW, coming off the bench in 30 games.

The 101 Scholar Award went to senior Andrea Lalum (Bozeman, Mont.). Lalum earned Verizon Academic All-America District VIII first-team honors, while also being named to the Pac-10 All-Academic second-team. She has a 3.33 grade point average and is majoring in law, society and justice.

The Coaches' Award went to the senior class of Sarah Keeler (Pendleton, Ore.), Lalum, Giuliana and Gioconda Mendiola (Lake Forest, Calif.). This group of seniors led Washington to four-straight postseason appearances including a pair of NCAA Tournament berths and two trips to the WNIT.

Student assistant coach Kayla Burt (Arlington, Wash.) was honored as the Tyee Sports Council Community Service Award winner.

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