March 7, 2003
NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma's Dionnah Jackson and Chelsi Welch were named to the All-Big 12 Conference Women's Basketball second team as voted on by the league coaches and released by the Big 12 office today. Welch was also named co-Big 12 Freshman of the Year, along with Texas Tech's Erin Grant. The last OU player to be named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year was LaNeishea Caufield, who now plays in the WNBA.
"We are excited that two of our young players were recognized as elite competitors in the Big 12 Conference," said OU Head Coach Sherri Coale. "Both Chelsi and Dionnah have played key leadership roles in a season laced with many challenges. Chelsi has been consistent and has shown continued improvement throughout the season in all phases of the game. She is most deserving of Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors."
Jackson and Welch helped lead OU to a fifth-place conference finish at 9-7 and an overall record of 18-11. OU also won the Bertha Teague Classic and finished second to defending NCAA Champions Connecticut at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Invitational. The Sooners knocked off No. 11 North Carolina at the same tournament.
Jackson ranks fourth in the league and tops the team in assists per game with 5.1. The 5-9 guard also owns the conference's best assists/turnover ratio of 2.2 against Big 12 teams. Jackson is the only guard in the conference who ranks among the top 20 rebounders. She averages 6.5 boards per game, ranking her 15th in the Big 12. The St. Louis, Mo., native also contributes 11.7 points (third best on the team) and pockets a team-best 2.0 steals per game.
Welch, a 5-9 guard from Plainview, Texas, averages 12.1 points per game and is among conference leaders in free throw percentage (81.0) and three-pointers made per game (1.34). In Big 12 games, Welch averaged 14.2 ppg and 1.69 three-pointers per outing. She ranks second in the league with an 87.1 free throw percentage. Welch scored at least 10 points in 13 of 16 Big 12 games, including a career-high 23 at Texas Tech. She also took Texas for 20 points.
Texas swept the Big 12 Coach of the Year and Newcomer of the Year Awards as Head Coach Jody Conradt and junior guard Jamie Carey earned the hardware. Texas is currently 22-5 on the year and ranked fifth nationally by the Associated Press.
Junior center Nicole Ohlde of Kansas State was selected as Big 12 Player of the Year. Ohlde lead Kansas State to a second place finish in the Big 12 race at 14-2. The Wildcats are 27-3 on the year and ranked fourth in the AP poll. The Clay Center, Kan., native leads the Big 12 with 14 double-doubles on the year. She is third in the league in scoring with 18.7 points-per-game and second in rebounding with 9.1 per outing.
Joining Ohlde on the All-Big 12 Conference first team were teammates Kendra Wecker and Megan Mahoney; Plenette Pierson and Jia Perkins, Texas Tech; Stephens and Heather Schreiber, Texas; Lindsey Wilson, Iowa State, Tera Bjorklund, Colorado; and Evan Unrau, Missouri.
2002-2003 All-Big 12 Conference Women's Basketball Teams
Tera Bjorklund, Colorado
Lindsey Wilson, Iowa State
Megan Mahoney, Kansas State
Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State
Kendra Wecker, Kansas State
Evan Unrau, Missouri
Stacy Stephens, Texas
Heather Schreiber, Texas
Plenette Pierson, Texas Tech
Jia Perkins, Texas Tech
Steffanie Blackmon, Baylor
Dionnah Jackson, Oklahoma
Chelsi Welch, Oklahoma
Trisha Skibbe, Oklahoma State
Toccara Williams, Texas A&M
Sophia Young, Baylor; Sabrina Scott and Linda Lappe, Colorado; Kerensa Barr, Missouri; Alexa Johnson, Nebraska
Big 12 Coach of the Year: Jody Conradt, Texas
Big 12 Player of the Year: Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State
Big 12 Newcomer of the Year: Jamie Carey, Texas
Co-Big 12 Freshmen of the Year: Chelsi Welch, Oklahoma and Erin Grant, Texas Tech