June 19, 2012
WACO, Texas - Baylor's Brittney Griner, Teresa Noyola of Stanford University and Keilani Ricketts of the University of Oklahoma have been named the top three finalists for the 36th Annual Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Honda Cup.
For the first time in the award's history, it will be announced live on television. In conjunction with the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Title IX, ESPNU will cover the festivities Saturday, June 23 at 2:00 p.m. Central.
"The Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) is pleased to announce Brittney, Teresa and Keilani as the top three finalists for the Honda Cup. They have proven they are the best of the best, and are wonderful examples of excellence in women's collegiate athletics. We are looking forward to honoring them as part of the live broadcast on ESPNU of the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the Honda Cup," said Jean Lenti Ponsetto, CWSA Chairwoman of the Board and Athletics Director at DePaul University.
Griner, a 6-foot-8 center who is only the second woman to dunk in NCAA tournament play, led the Baylor women's basketball team to a historic 40-0 season and the 2012 NCAA Div. I Women's Basketball Championship. Griner, who received the John R. Wooden Award and was named the 2012 AP Player of the Year, averaged 23.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and a national high 5.2 blocks per game this season, setting a Big 12 women's scoring record. The junior also became the first women's collegiate player to score more than 2,000 points and block more than 500 shots and needs just 65 blocks to become the all-time block shot leader. In Baylor's 80-61 NCAA title victory over Notre Dame, Griner had 26 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.
Noyola, a senior midfielder, scored the game-winning goal in Stanford's 1-0 victory over Duke University for the 2012 NCAA Div. I Women's Soccer Championship. Noyola was also named a first-team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, becoming only the second Stanford player to receive three consecutive first-team honors. Stanford finished the season undefeated, and Noyola's squad amassed a four-year record of 95-4-4. Noyola had 15 assists for the year and 60 in her college career, the second highest in Stanford history. She was also selected as the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Ricketts, who pitched her Oklahoma squad to its first appearance in the Women's College World Series in seven years, was honored as the College Softball Player of the Year and has been named to the USA Softball national team for 2012. The junior southpaw struck out 12 batters to lead the Sooners to a 4-1 victory over the University of Alabama in the opening game of the Women's College World Series. Going into the series, Ricketts was second in the nation in pitching with an ERA of .99, second in hits allowed per seven innings with 3.76, second in total strikeouts with 433, and second in strikeouts per seven innings at 11.
Griner, Noyola and Ricketts emerged as the CWSA's "Best of the Best" on the Road to the 2012 Honda Cup that included Honda Sports Award winners in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. They will be joined at the live broadcast of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. by Honda Division II Athlete of the Year, Kari Daughtery of Ashland University, Honda Division III Athlete of the Year, Stacey Hagensen of Pacific Lutheran University, and the 2012 Honda Inspiration Award Winner, Elena Delle Donne of the University of Delaware.