MOLINE — SIU forward Abby Brockmeyer was named the Missouri Valley Conference's freshman of the year Thursday night, as voted on by the conference's head coaches, media and sports information directors.
The 6-foot-1 Brockmeyer became the third Saluki to win the Freshman of the Year Award, joining Cari Hassell in 1995 and Cartaesha Macklin in 2012. She averaged 10.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this season for the 16-13 Salukis. Brockmeyer shot 49 percent from the field, 39.4 percent from the 3-point line and 62.7 percent at the free-throw line in 29 games, 28 of them starts.
The Raymond native led all Valley freshmen in rebounds (7.1 per game), blocks (1.28 per game), offensive rebounds per game (2.5) and defensive rebounds per game (4.6). She was the third-best scorer among freshmen and fourth in minutes per game (29.1).
She and guard Makenzie Silvey were the third and fourth Salukis to earn All-Freshman Team honors under fifth-year coach Cindy Stein.
Brockmeyer finished the regular season in the top 20 of the Valley in seven statistical categories, including 20th in scoring, third in rebounds per game, fourth in field goal percentage, tied for fifth in blocks and fifth in offensive rebounds.
Brockmeyer became the first Saluki in program history to record two double-doubles in her first three collegiate games, as she finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds at UAB (Nov. 13) and followed with 14 points and 10 boards in SIU's win at Memphis on Nov. 19. She went on to score a career-high 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting at Evansville on Dec. 29 to tie Cartaesha Macklin's 2011 school record for points by a freshmen in a single game.
Her five double-doubles are tied with Mary Berghuis for the second-most in a freshman season in program history. Brockmeyer's 294 rebounds are the fifth-most in a single season by a freshman in program history. Her 36 blocks are tied with Dyana Pierre for the second-most in a freshman season in school history.
Drake's Becca Hittner was named the league's player of the year Thursday night. The sophomore guard was the second-leading scorer in the league at 15.7 points per game, was third in field goal percentage at 49.2 percent, and led the Valley in 3-point shooting at 44 percent. The Bulldogs finished 18-0 in the league for the second straight season.
Teammate Sammie Bachrodt became the first Bulldog to win the league's Defensive Player of the Year Award after finishing second in steals, with 60. Sophomore forward Sara Rhine was the sixth player of the year, which goes to the best player to start less than half her team's games. Rhine averaged 15.6 points per game, fourth-best in the league, and six rebounds per game, also fourth-best in the league.
Drake coach Jennie Baranczyk was named the Valley coach of the year for the second straight season. The Bulldogs (23-7) won 20 or more games for the fourth straight year.
Illinois State's Simone Goods was named Valley newcomer of the year. Goods, a junior college transfer who won a Division II national title at Kirkwood (Iowa) Community College, led the Redbirds in scoring (13.7 points per game) and rebounding (six per game).