Funda Nakkasoglu named Mountain West women’s basketball Freshman of the Year

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Utah State freshman guard Funda Nakkasoglu was named the 2015 Mountain West Women’s Basketball Freshman of the Year, becoming the first Aggie women’s basketball player to earn Freshman of the Year honors, as announced by the conference on Monday.

Along with the Freshman of the Year accolade, Nakkasoglu earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors, as well as being named to the all-Freshman Team. Nakkasoglu is the first USU freshman to earn all-conference honors since Danyelle Snelgo was named to the Western Athletic Conference all-Freshman Team in 2006.

Additionally, Nakkasoglu was named the College Sports Madness Freshman of the Year for the Mountain West, announced by the organization Monday.

Nakkasoglu has been having a stellar debut campaign for the Aggies this season. Averaging 17.1 points per game, she is having the best freshman season by an Aggie in known history, topping all-time scoring leaders Jennifer Schlott and Devyn Christensen, who averaged 3.7 and 2.0 points per game as freshmen.

Heading into tournament play, Nakkasoglu leads the team and ranks 78th nationally in scoring. With her 17.1 average, she ranks second among all freshmen at the Division I level, trailing Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell who averages 24.7 points per game. Among her Mountain West competitors, Nakkasoglu ranks third in scoring, third in assists (4.6 apg), fourth in free throw percentage (.789), eighth in field goal percentage (.393) and third in minutes played (34.2 mpg). Nakkasoglu has scored in double-digits 24 times so far this season, the most times an Aggie freshman has done so. Of those 24 games, she has surpassed the 20-point mark 10 times, scoring a career-best 28 points in the 60-59 loss at New Mexico.

With 478 points so far this season, Nakkasoglu ranks fifth on the USU single-season scoring list, the highest rank of any freshman in Aggie history. Her 17.1 points per game average ranks eighth all-time. She has tallied 129 assists on the year, enough to tie for seventh place. From the free throw line, Nakkasoglu is 131-of-166, ranking sixth on both the single-season free throw attempts and made free throw lists. On the year, she is shooting 39.4 percent (157-of-398) from the field, 32.4 percent (33-of-102) from three and 78.9 percent (131-of-166) from the free throw line.

New Mexico head coach Yvonne Sanchez was named Coach of the Year, while Colorado State senior Gritt Ryder and Fresno State senior Alex Sheedy were named Co-Players of the Year and Nevada senior Mimi Mungedi was named Defensive Player of the Year. Wyoming junior Jordan Kelley was the Newcomer of the Year, while Fresno State senior Raven Fox was named Sixth Person of the Year.

The Aggies are the ninth seed in the upcoming Reese’s Mountain West Basketball Championships, taking on eighth-seeded San José State on Monday, March 9 at 3 p.m. (MT). The winner will take on top-seeded Colorado State on Tuesday, March 10 at 1 p.m. (MT).

All games at the 2015 Reese’s Mountain West Basketball Championships are streamed on the Aggie Digital Network in conjunction with the Mountain West Digital Network except the championship game, which will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network. Fans can watch the streaming by going http://www.utahstateaggies.com/videos/.

Fans can follow USU women’s basketball on Twitter, @UtahStateWBB, on Instagram, @USUWBasketball, as well as on Facebook, at USUWBB. Aggie fans can also follow Utah State Athletics on Twitter.com, @USUAthletics, on Instagram, @USUAthletics and on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

Aggie women’s basketball tickets will be available by contacting the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435) 797-0305 or at 1-888-U-STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for more information or visit the Utah State athletics web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.

2014-15 All-Mountain West Honors

First-Team All-Mountain West

Name, Yr., Pos., School

All-Mountain West Team

!Deanna Weaver, Sr., G/F, Boise State

!Ellen Nystrom, So., G, Colorado State

!Gritt Ryder, Sr., G, Colorado State

Alex Sheedy, Sr., F, Fresno State

Mimi Mungedi, Sr., C, Nevada

!Antiesha Brown, Sr., G, New Mexico

!1Ta’Rea Cunnigan, Sr., G, San José State

!Alana Cesarz, Sr., F, UNLV

Danielle Miller, Sr., G, UNLV

Marquelle Dent, Jr., G, Wyoming

!&^Kayla Woodward, Sr., F, Wyoming

Honorable Mention

Jimi Blagowsky, Sr., G, Air Force

Erimma Amarikwa, Jr., F, San Diego State

Funda Nakkasoglu, Fr., G/F, Utah State

All-Defensive Team

Ellen Nystrom, So., G, Colorado State

Raven Fox, Sr., G, Fresno State

!Mimi Mungedi, Sr., C, Nevada

Antiesha Brown, Sr., G, New Mexico

Danielle Miller, Sr., G, UNLV

Marquelle Dent, Jr., G, Wyoming

All-Freshman Team

Bego Faz Davalos, Fr., C, Fresno State

Cherise Beynon, Fr., G, New Mexico

McKynzie Fort, Fr., G, San Diego State

Nikki Wheatley, Fr., G, UNLV

Funda Nakkasoglu, Fr., G/F, Utah State

Co-Player of the Year: Gritt Ryder, Sr., G, Colorado State; Alex Sheedy, Sr., F, Fresno State

Defensive Player of the Year: Mimi Mungedi, Sr., C, Nevada

Freshman of the Year: Funda Nakkasoglu, G/F, Utah State

Newcomer of the Year: Jordan Kelley, Jr., G, Wyoming

Sixth Player of the Year: Raven Fox, Sr., G, Fresno State

Coach of the Year: Yvonne Sanchez, New Mexico

! 2013-14 All-MW/Defensive team selection

& 2012-13 All-MW/Defensive team selection

^ 2011-12 All-MW/Defensive team selection

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Posted in USU