Fresno State

'Dogs take home WAC hoops honors

With the first perfect conference season in Fresno State history, Bulldogs coach Adrian Wiggins was named Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

And the Bulldogs' top player, Jaleesa Ross, was named the WAC's Defensive Player of the Year and named a first-team selection.

Awards were voted by WAC coaches and announced Sunday.

Fresno State (25-5, 16-0) is the top seed in this week's WAC tournament.

Wiggins has now won the conference's coaching honor in two of the past three seasons.

"This is an honor that is a reflection of how hard the assistant coaches and everybody involved with the program has worked," Wiggins said in a news release.

Ross earned first-team honors for the second straight season, averaging 17.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.2 steals. She's shooting 48.4% from the field, including 42% behind the arc with 94 3-pointers.

In conference play, Ross is the top scorer at 18.3 points per game and top thief with almost three steals per game.

Teammate Hayley Munro, who averaged 11.3 points and 4.8 rebounds, earned second-team honors for the second straight season.

Rosie Moult was named to the all-freshman team after averaging 7 points and 5 rebounds and starting in 26 of 30 games.

"It's a great honor for Jaleesa, Hayley and Rosie and they have been a big part of our success this year," Wiggins said. "They have come to practice every day and have worked hard."

Fresno State has won 17 straight games dating to Jan. 2 and the team currently boasts an RPI of 27.

Louisiana Tech's Shanavia Dowdell was named the WAC Player of the Year for the second straight season, and Nevada's Tahnee Robinson was the WAC Newcomer of the Year.

Men's awards

Fresno State center Greg Smith was named the WAC's Freshman of the Year, becoming only the second player in school history to win the award.

And teammate Paul George was named to the WAC's second team.

Smith was the only Fresno State player to start all 32 games and was named to the WAC's All-Newcomer team.

Smith averaged 11.8 points, 6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. His 57.3% shooting ranks in the top 20 in the nation. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound freshman is the first Bulldog to receive the top freshman honor since guard Tito Maddox during the 2000-01 season.

George, a sophomore, averaged a team-best 16.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals.

He also was the Bulldogs' top free-throw shooter at 90.6% and owned the most minutes per game for the second straight season (33).

Teammate Sylvester Seay, the Bulldogs' only senior, received honorable mention.

Nevada forward Luke Babbitt was voted the WAC's Player of the Year.

And Utah State's Stew Morrill was the WAC Coach of the Year with the Aggies winning their third straight regular-season title.

Fresno State (15-17) will face Louisiana Tech on Thursday in the WAC tournament.