Brown Earns Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year

Nebraska sophomore Leigha Brown was voted the Big Ten Conference Sixth Player of the Year by both the conference coaches and media, when the league announced its end of the regular-season women’s basketball honors live on the Big Ten Network on Monday, March 2.

Brown, a 6-1 guard/forward from Auburn, Ind., led the Huskers in scoring with 14.2 points per game while coming off the bench in all 29 games during the regular season. She finished the regular season ranked 12th in the league in scoring and was the only non-starter to rank among the Big Ten’s top 25 in scoring. Although she did not start a game, Brown ranked fifth among the Huskers in minutes played throughout the season and fourth in minutes during Big Ten Conference games.

Brown was Nebraska’s leading scorer in 13 of 29 games in the regular season, including nine times in Big Ten action. She has been the Cornhuskers’ top scorer in seven of the last 10 games, including five of her eight 20-point scoring performances on the season during that stretch. Brown has added 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per contest on the year.

In addition to being named the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year, Brown was also an honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection by both the conference coaches and media. She was joined by teammate Kate Cain in earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten accolades.

Cain, a 6-5 junior center from Middletown, N.Y., was also one of five players named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team by both the conference coaches and media. Cain, who led the Big Ten in both blocks (3.6 bpg) and defensive rebounds (6.7 drpg) during the 18-game conference regular season, earned her second career spot on the Big Ten All-Defensive Team. She claimed her first appearance on the conference all-defensive unit as a freshman in 2018 when she set the Nebraska season record with 100 blocked shots.

Cain enters the Big Ten Tournament needing just two blocks to match her Husker season record. Her 98 blocks on the year are a Nebraska junior record and lead the Big Ten. Her 277 career blocks have shattered the previous Nebraska career record (238) and her career total also ranks 10th in Big Ten Conference history.

Cain has added 9.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game on the season, ranking third among the Huskers in scoring while leading the team in rebounding.

In addition to the awards voted on by coaches and media, Husker senior Grace Mitchell claimed Nebraska’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The 6-2 forward from Wellington, Kan., competed in 22 regular-season games for the Huskers in 2019-20. Mitchell, who is a three-time Tom Osborne Citizenship Team member, earned a prestigious Sam Foltz Hero 27 Leadership Award in 2019. Mitchell is a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. She has played in 106 games in Husker career.

2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Postseason Honors (Coaches)
Coach of the Year: Joe McKeown, Northwestern
Player of the Year: Kathleen Doyle, Iowa
Defensive Player of the Year: Veronica Burton, Northwestern
Freshman of the Year: Ashley Owusu, Maryland
Sixth Player of the Year: Leigha Brown, Nebraska

First-Team All-Big Ten (Coaches)
Kathleen Doyle, Iowa, Sr., Guard
Kaila Charles, Maryland, Sr., Guard
Naz Hillmon, Michigan, So., Forward
Lindsey Pulliam, Northwestern, Sr., Guard
Arella Guirantes, Rutgers, Jr., Guard
Ali Patberg, Indiana, Jr., Guard
Grace Berger, Indiana, So., Guard
Abi Scheid, Northwestern, Sr., Forward
Dorka Juhasz, Ohio State, So., Forward
Ae’Rianna Harris, Purdue, Sr., Forward

Second-Team All-Big Ten (Coaches)
Monika Czinano, Iowa, So., Forward
Makenzie Meyer, Iowa, Sr., Guard
Shakira Austin, Maryland, So., Forward
Stephanie Jones, Maryland, Sr., Forward
Amy Dilk, Michigan, So., Guard
Nia Clouden, Michigan State, So., Guard
Taryn McCutcheon, Michigan State, Sr., Guard
Taiye Bello, Minnesota, Sr., Forward
Veronica Burton, Northwestern, So., Guard
Kamaria McDaniel, Penn State, Jr., Guard

Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches)
Leigha Brown, Nebraska, So., Guard
Kate Cain, Nebraska, Jr., Center
Taylor Mikesell, Maryland, So., Guard
Ashley Owusu, Maryland, Fr., Guard
Blair Watson, Maryland, Sr., Guard
Jasmine Powell, Minnesota, Fr., Guard
Abbie Wolf, Northwestern, Sr., Center
Kierstan Bell, Ohio State, Fr., Guard
Karissa McLaughlin, Purdue, Jr., Guard
Dominique Oden, Purdue, Sr., Guard
Tekia Mack, Rutgers, Jr., Guard
Imani Lewis, Wisconsin, So., Forward

Big Ten All-Freshman Team (Coaches)
Mackenzie Holmes, Indiana, Forward
McKenna Warnock, Iowa, Guard
Ashley Owusu, Maryland, Guard
Jasmine Powell, Minnesota, Guard
Kierstan Bell, Ohio State, Guard

Big Ten All-Defensive Team (Coaches)
Kate Cain, Nebraska, Jr., Center
Blair Watson, Maryland, Sr., Guard
Veronica Burton, Northwestern, So., Guard
Ae’Rianna Harris, Purdue, Sr., Forward
Tekia Mack, Rutgers, Jr., Guard

Big Ten Sportsmanship Awards
Grace Mitchell, Nebraska, Sr., Forward
Courtney Joens, Illinois, Sr., Guard
Brenna Wise, Indiana, Sr., Forward
Makenzie Meyer, Iowa, Sr., Guard
Stephanie Jones, Maryland, Sr., Forward
Kayla Robbins, Michigan, Sr., Forward
Victoria Gaines, Michigan State, RSr., Forward
Jasmine Brunson, Minnesota, Sr., Guard
Amber Jamison, Northwestern, Sr., Guard
Jacy Sheldon, Ohio State, Fr., Guard
Kayleigh Semion, Penn State, Sr., Guard
Dominique Oden, Purdue, Sr., Guard
Khadaizha Sanders, Rutgers, Sr., Guard
Suzanne Gilreath, Wisconsin, Sr., Guard

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