Lewis University sophomore Mariyah Brawner-Henley (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) has been named the 2014 Great Lakes Valley Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year, the conference announced on Tuesday (March 4).
She is the first Flyer since Darcee Schmidt (2007) and is the fourth in program history to receive this honor, joining Julie Fruendt (co-1984) and Mary Moskal (2006).
"Mariyah has made a bigger turn-around from her freshman to her sophomore year than anyone I've ever coached," Lewis head women's basketball coach Lisa Carlsen said. "She worked so hard in preparation to improve her skill set, as well as get her body into collegiate shape which put her in position to have a year like this.
"She is a great player but an even better teammate and person."
Along with Brawner-Henley, junior Jess Reinhart (Normal, Ill./Bloomington Central Catholic) and redshirt sophomore Jamie Johnson (South Holland, Ill./Marian Catholic) were also named to the All-GLVC First Team. This is the most Flyers on the First Team since the 2007 when Moskal and Schmidt were named.
"They are all very deserving of this honor," Carlsen said. "It's not just a tribute to their basketball skill set, but how diligent they all are in their preparation, individually and as leaders of this team, every single day that makes them impact players."
Brawner-Henley, who was twice named GLVC Player of the Week this season, wrapped up the regular-season leading the conference in scoring (18.3 ppg) and rebounds (12.4 rpg). She paces the nation with 22 double-doubles in 26 contests this season while sitting third in the country on the boards. Brawner-Henley tallied a career-high 31 points against Purdue Calumet (Dec. 7) and pulled down a league and career-high 18 rebounds against Indianapolis (Jan. 30).
Johnson, who was named to the GLVC All-Defensive Team, is second on the team and sixth in the conference in scoring, averaging 16.5 points-per-game. She is third in the league in assists, dishing 4.3 helpers-per-game.
Reinhart, a two-time All-GLVC First Team selection, averaged 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds-per-game this season. She is fifth in the conference in rebounding and 10th overall in scoring.
The Flyers take on Truman State in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 Deaconess GLVC Women's Basketball Championship Tournament on Thursday (March 6) at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. Tip-off is set for 6 PM.
Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.
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