DALLAS -- Three University of Texas women's basketball players received 2006-07 Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Conference honors Friday as the league office announced the annual awards. The honors were voted on by the league's head coaches, with coaches not allowed to vote for their own players.
Texas' 6-3 senior forward Tiffany Jackson was selected All-Big 12 First Team for the third consecutive year. Junior Erneisha Bailey, UT's 5-9 starting guard, was chosen to the five-member All-Defensive Team while 5-7 redshirt freshman point guard Carla Cortijo was one of five named to the All-Big 12 Rookie Team. The honor for Bailey (Kansas City, Mo./Pembroke Hill School) is the first Big 12 postseason honor of her career. Cortijo (Bellaire, Texas/Bellaire HS) was a two-time Big 12 Rookie of the Week this year en route to earning her first conference postseason award.
Jackson (Dallas, Texas/Duncanville HS) is one of only two current Big 12 performers (the other being senior guard Kiera Hardy of Nebraska) to earn First Team honors the last three years, and she is the only current league player to be named to either All-Big 12 First Team or Second Team all four years of competition. Jackson was the Big 12 Rookie of the Year and a Second Team pick in 2003-04.
Jackson leads 17-13 Texas in scoring (17.0), rebounding (8.9 rpg), blocks (37, 1.2) and steals (75, 2.5 spg) as the No. 7 seed Longhorns prepare for next week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Tournament. In conference games only, Jackson once again was one of the most versatile players in the league, finishing regular season action ranked first in conference steals (37, 2.31) for the third straight year. Jackson also was fifth in rebounding (8.8), seventh in scoring (14.8) and tied for eighth in blocks (1.31).
Courtney Paris (Oklahoma), the Sooners 6-4 sophomore post, was honored as the Big 12 Player of the Year and also as the Defensive Player of the Year, while 6-1 senior forward and transfer Bernice Mosby of Baylor gained Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors. Additionally, 5-5 freshman guard Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State) was named Freshman of the Year, 5-11 sophomore guard/forward Danielle Gant (Texas A&M) garnered the Sixth Man Award.
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair was chosen Big 12 Coach of the Year as he led the 23-5 Aggies to a share of the regular season championship with Oklahoma (both 13-3). Texas A&M is the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship after winning the tiebreaker over OU.
UT's Bailey emerged as a key defender this season after seeing limited time on the floor her first two years in a Longhorn uniform. The undersized defender is tied with Cortijo for fourth in UT scoring (7.2) and is second in UT rebounding (5.4 rpg) and steals (55, 1.83). In Big 12-only games, Bailey averaged 8.3 points and 4.4 boards per game.
Joining Bailey on the All-Defensive Team were a quartet of sophomores: Paris, Gant, 5-10 guard Jhasmin Player (Baylor) and 6-3 center La Toya Micheaux (Texas A&M).
Cortijo bounced back from a medical redshirt year (knee surgery) to post solid numbers from her point guard position. Playing in 28 games with 18 starts, Cortijo averages 7.2 ppg and leads UT with 137 assists for a 4.9 assists per game average. In conference games only, Cortijo was ranked second in assists (5.81) to All-Big 12 First Team senior guard Lyndsey Medders of Iowa State (6.14). Cortijo also was third in league assist-turnover ratio (1.58, 5.8 apg to 3.7 to's/game) and tied for fourth in league steals (1.75 spg). She scored 8.3 ppg in league games with 4.4 rpg.
Big 12 Player of the Year Paris registered a double-double in all 28 games this season and averages 24.0 points, 16.0 rebounds and 3.41 blocks per game. In her one season with Baylor, Mosby leads the team in scoring (18.0 ppg) and rebounding (9.3 rpg). Riley finished conference play ranks third in conference game assists (4.63 apg) and steals (1.81 spg) and 11th in scoring (13.6 ppg). Gant is the first recipient of the Big 12's inaugural Sixth Man Award. She ranks third in A&M scoring (10.6 ppg) and second in rebounding (7.2 rpg).
All 12 Big 12 teams are in competition next week at the 2007 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, taking place Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, March 6-8 and 10, at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Seventh-seed Texas' first round opponent is No. 10 seed Missouri (17-12), and these two squads square off on Tuesday (March 6) at 6 p.m. CT.