SAN BRUNO, Calif. — BYU junior guard Cassie Broadhead was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year to mark the fourth consecutive season and fifth overall that a Cougar has earned the conference’s top award. Senior teammate Kalani Purcell earned Defensive Player of the Year accolades, Loyola Marymount senior Jackie Johnson was tabbed the Newcomer of the Year and Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier was selected as the Coach of the Year as announced Tuesday by the league office.
Highlighting BYU's 2017 WCC Award Winners
All four individual awards - along with the All-West Coast Conference Teams and the All-Freshman Team - were voted on by the league's 10 head coaches.
Broadhead had a breakout junior season for the Cougars, averaging 19.4 points per game in conference play as well as 4.8 assists and a league-best 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio. Broadhead was also one of the most efficient scorers in the league, finishing second in free throw percentage at .897 (96-of-107) and second in 3-point percentage at .457 (32-of-70). She is one of five other Cougars that captured Player of the Year honors, joining Lexi Eaton Rydalch (2016), Morgan Bailey (2015), Jennifer Hamson (2014) and Kristen Riley (2012).
Purcell earned Defensive Player of the Year honors after a season that saw her lead the WCC in conference play with 2.7 steals per game and finished second with 1.5 blocked shots per game. The honor highlights what has been another complete-game season by Purcell, the NCAA’s active leader in rebounds per game at 11.6. The senior forward also led the league with 11.4 rebounds per game in conference play while adding 13.1 points and 5.3 assists per contest, a mark that ranks second in the WCC. She registered a league-best 10 double-doubles in 18 conference games.
Johnson, a senior transfer from Minnesota, took the league by storm in her first season at Loyola Marymount. The forward finished in the top five in conference play in four major categories: third in scoring (18.5 ppg), third in rebounding (8.2 rpg), field goal percentage (.492 percent) and first in blocks (3.1 bpg). She ranked 10th in the NCAA with 83 blocks during the 2016-17 season, and her three WCC Player of the Week honors were the most for any women’s basketball student-athlete.
Lisa Fortier won her second conference crown in three years as head coach after guiding the Bulldogs to a 14-4 WCC record. Gonzaga reeled off a conference-best 12-game winning streak midway through the WCC season and guided her team to a 23-6 overall record, making her the first coach in program history to earn two 20-win seasons in their first three seasons in Spokane.
Of the 10-member All-WCC First Team, five appeared on the 2016-17 preseason All-WCC squad. Purcell, Jill Barta of Gonzaga and Lori Parkinson of Santa Clara are all making their second straight appearances on the All-WCC First Team.
All 10 West Coast Conference teams head to Las Vegas to compete for the 2017 West Coast Conference Basketball Championship and subsequent automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Tournament action tips off Thursday, March 2 at the Orleans Arena.
Women’s Basketball All-WCC Honors
(*There are six 2nd Team members due to a tie in voting)
Player of the Year: Cassie Broadhead, BYU
Coach of the Year: Lisa Fortier, Gonzaga
Defensive Player of the Year: Kalani Purcell, BYU
Newcomer of the Year: Jackie Johnson, Loyola Marymount
2016-17 WEST COAST CONFERENCE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FIRST-TEAM
Jill Barta- So. F, Gonzaga
Stella Beck- Jr. F, Saint Mary’s
Cassie Broadhead- Jr. G, BYU
Rachel Howard- Sr. G, San Francisco
Jackie Johnson- Sr. F, Loyola Marymount
Kiara Kudron- Sr. F, Gonzaga
GeAnna Luaulu-Summers- Sr. G, Pacific
Lori Parkinson- Sr. F, Santa Clara
Kalani Purcell- Sr. F, BYU
Yasmine Robinson-Bacote- So. F, Pepperdine
2016-17 WEST COAST CONFERENCE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SECOND-TEAM
Marie Bertholdt- Sr. F, Santa Clara
Makenzi Pulsipher- Sr. G, BYU
Sydney Raggio- So. F, Saint Mary’s
Anna Seilund- Jr. G, San Francisco
Elle Tinkle- Sr. G, Gonzaga
Kayle Van Loo- Sr. G, Portland
2016-17 WCC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HONORABLE MENTION|Allie Green, Pepperdine; Leslie Lopez-Wood, Loyola Marymount; Megan McKay, Saint Mary’s; Laura Stockton, Gonzaga; Carly Turner, Saint Mary’s; Cheyanne Wallace, Loyola Marymount; Aubrey Ward-El, San Diego; Emily Wolph, Santa Clara; Cori Woodward, San Diego
2016-17 WEST COAST CONFERENCE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Patty Brossman- F, San Diego
Brenna Chase- G, Brigham Young
Jasmine Forcadilla- G, Saint Mary’s
Megan House- C, Pepperdine
Barbara Sitanggan- G, Pepperdine