Moore is 2nd-ever to go 4-for-4
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 2:19 pm
By: By DOUG FEINBURG, AP Basketball Writer
Make it a perfect 4-for-4 for Maya Moore.
The Connecticut star became only the second four-time All-American when she was honored by The Associated Press on Tuesday.
She was joined on the team by Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen, Texas A&M’s Danielle Adams and Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender.
“It’s really special and something that I’m sure I will really appreciate more when I look back on it years from now,” said Moore, who along with former Oklahoma star Courtney Paris are the only four-time recipients. “I’ve been blessed to have had really good teammates to play with over my career.”
Although Moore played down the achievement, her coach Geno Auriemma had plenty of praise for his star.
“You take the points she’s scored, rebounds, steals, you add it all up, you would be hard pressed to find somebody who’s had a better career than that at Connecticut or anywhere else for that matter,” Auriemma said.
Moore received 195 points and was a unanimous choice by the 39-member national media panel that votes in the weekly Top 25. Voting was done before the NCAA Tournament.
It’s the third straight year that Moore was a unanimous choice.
Griner, a second-team All-American last season, helped Baylor win the Big 12 championship for the first time in six years. The 6-foot-8 sensational sophomore changes the game on both ends of the floor with her ability to alter shots and to finish on offense.
“Coach always tells me when I realize how good I am it will be something special, and I don’t think that I’ve really recognized how good I am or can be,” Griner said.
Lavender earned All-American honors for the second straight year. The Ohio State center put up huge numbers all season long for the Buckeyes, who had a roller-coaster year. Ohio State won its third straight Big Ten tournament championship before falling to Tennessee in the regional semifinals.
“We went through some struggles this season, and I think that helped me stay focused and become an even better leader for my team,” said Lavender, whose team lost 4 of 5 games in the middle of the regular season.
Adams became the first Texas A&M player to make the first team. She has helped guide the Aggies to their first 30-win season and second trip to the regional finals.
“It was a goal for me at the beginning of the season to make the All-American team,” she said. “I’ve worked so hard for it, and I’m so happy and honored that I made the team. Putting that hard work in all offseason and this season just to prepare for this moment.”
The 6-1 senior forward came to Texas A&M after spending two years at a junior college.
“They provided me with the opportunity, and I’m thankful for it,” she said. “It’s a big honor for me and A&M.”
Pohlen helped guide Stanford back to the Final Four for the fourth consecutive year. She had a career-high 31 points to lead the Cardinal to their victory over Connecticut that snapped the Huskies’ record 90-game winning streak.
“Oh wow,” said Pohlen, who was also the Pac-10 player of the year. “That is such an honor; I can’t put it into words. I can only really thank my coaches and teammates for that. They have confidence in me.”
The second team consisted of Oklahoma senior Danielle Robinson, Xavier senior Amber Harris, Gonzaga senior Courtney Vandersloot, Stanford junior Nnemka Ogwumike and Duke senior Jasmine Thomas.
The third team was: Tennessee junior Shekinna Strickland, Miami junior Shenise Johnson, Kentucky senior Victoria Dunlap, Xavier senior Ta’Shia Phillips and Notre Dame sophomore Skylar Diggins.
The preseason All-America team was Moore, Griner, Lavender, Ogwumike and Robinson.
AP Sports Writers Kristie Rieken and Stephen Hawkins in Dallas and Associated Press Writer Nicholas K. Geranios contributed to this report.