Pacific Women's Basketball Roberts Named Coach Of The Year As All Five Tiger Starters Earned All-Conference Honors For Women's Basketball
On the heels of winning the program's first Big West regular season title, head coach Lynne Roberts was named the Big West Coach of the Year for the first time in her career at Pacific as the post-season honors were announced by the conference office. Additionally, the Pacific women's basketball team was well represented on the all-conference teams as all five of Pacific's starters took home the individual honors.
For just the second-time in program history, two Tigers earned first team honors as seniors Kendall Rodriguez and Erica McKenzie were named to the top team. Joining their senior leaders, junior Gena Johnson and sophomore Kendall Kenyon earned second team honors while senior Ashley Wakefield was named an honorable mention.
"I'm so proud of this entire team," said Roberts. "nNone of us win any of these accolades without the entire group working hard, and doing that work together. I believe strongly that our success this season has been because of the balance and depth of our team. Having all five of our starters be named Big West All-Conference selections speaks to that balance. I am humbled by the recognition our program is receiving in these post-season awards and I continue to be so very proud of these players."
In her seventh season at the helm of Pacific's program, Roberts rebuilding efforts culminated in the Tigers' first-ever Big West regular season title as Pacific finished the season 24-6 overall and 14-4 in the conference play. Overall, the 2012-13 Tigers proved to be the program's most successful squad in Tiger history as Pacific set records for total wins (24), conference wins (14), home wins (13), road wins (11), and win-percentage (.800). For Roberts, the top coaching honor was the first of her Division I career at Pacific and the fourth of her coaching career after earning California Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year honors in both 2004-05 and 2005-06 as well as WBCA West Region Coach of the Year while at Chico State.
Earning her second-straight first team award, Rodriguez led the Tigers in scoring for the second-consecutive season at 12.4 points per game, a total which ranked eighth in the conference. For the season, Rodriguez scored in double-figures in 23 of the Tigers' 30 contests on the year. A versatile forward, Rodriguez was second on the team in rebounding (5.0) and steals (1.3) while finishing third in assists (2.2). The senior left her mark on Pacific's program during the year as she became the first Tiger in 23 years to amass 1200 career points and 700 career rebounds as she is one of just five players in school history to reach the plateau.
Making the jump to the first team after earning second team honors as a junior, McKenzie ended the regular season as the No. 1 three-point shooter in the Big West after draining a program-record 78 in 2012-13. Her 78 three-pointers broke her own program record set as a junior and moved her into second place in both Pacific and Big West history with 255 made for her career. During the season, McKenzie also tied the Tigers' single-game mark this season by hitting 8-of-10 against Cal State Northridge on Feb. 14, an .800 precentage which also tied her own program record. Overall, McKenzie finished the regular season averaging 11.2 points per game while also dolling out a team-best 3.0 assists per game. She also grabbed a team-best 2.4 steals per game, a mark ranking third in the conference.
In her third year of action, Johnson claimed her first post-season award since her freshman season as the Tiger point guard finished the regular season second on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game. Finishing just behind Rodriguez, Johnson tallied 22 double-digit scoring efforts on the year including an 18-point outing as Pacific claimed the Big West title on the final day of the regular season. More impressive than just the points, the guard posted her scoring totals on 43.6 percent shooting, a mark only beaten by Kenyon in the post. Overall, Johnson averaged 3.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.1 blocks per game for the year.
Claiming her second-consecutive all-conference honor in as many collegiate seasons, Kenyon proved to be the Tigers' rock in the middle as the sophomore center finished the regular season averaging 11.2 points per game and a team-best 9.8 rebounds per game. Just missing the per game double-double, Kenyon was a double-double waiting to happen each night throughout the season as she posted 12 such efforts on the year. On Jan. 19 against Cal State Northridge, Kenyon became the first Tiger to grab 20+ rebounds in over 20-years as she posted 22 in the game to lead Pacific. Additionally, Kenyon was the Tigers' most effective scorer on the year as she finished with a field goal percentage of .566, second-best all-time in program history.
Rounding out the Tigers' all-conference honorees, Wakefield earned her first career post-season award for her play on the wings. The second-year Tiger averaged just under 10 points per game as she came in at 9.0 even on 42.6 percent shooting. Third on the team in rebounding, Wakefield posted 4.4 boards per contest while also adding 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals. Twice on the year the senior posted a double-double as she went for 12 points and 10 rebounds on Nov. 23 against Fordham while adding 11 points and 10 rebounds against San Jose State on Dec. 3. Her 23-point effort against Cal Poly on Jan. 12 was her third 20+point scoring effort of her career and finished just one point shy of tying her career high.