April 13, 2000

COLUMBUS, Ohio–Freshman LaToya Turner (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington, H.S.) added another piece of hardware to her awards collection Thursday evening, earning Most Valuable Player honors at the Buckeye Basketball Postseason Banquet held at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe.

Turner paced the Buckeyes in scoring (11.3 ppg), rebounding (5.9 rpg) and blocks (36) en route to being named the 2000 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, second team all-Big Ten and a member of the coaches all-Freshman Team. A 6-4 center, Turner was also named to the Women’s Basketball Journal Freshman All-America Team.

The most esteemed honor went to junior guard Mandy Stanhope (Chillicothe, Ohio/Chillicothe H.S.) who received the Phyllis J. Bailey Award. The award, which honors the student-athlete who best demonstrates athletic achievement, academic responsibility, effort and loyalty to the program, is the second for Stanhope who also received the award as a freshman.

Reserve forward Courtney Coleman (Cincinnati, Ohio/Hughes H.S.) tabbed the Most Improved Player Award. Coleman, in her inaugural season, ranked second on the squad in field goal percentage (.500), contributing 5.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

With 72.6 percent accuracy at the charity stripe, sophomore guard Lauren Shenk (Minster, Ohio/Minster, H.S.) took home the Top Free Throw Percentage Award.

The Best Defensive Player honor went to the Buckeyes’ No. 1 ball-stopper and all-Big Ten honorable mention pick sophomore guard Tomeka Brown (Columbus, Ohio/Marion Franklin H.S.). Brown collected a season-high 41 steals and prevailed as the squad’s No. 2 rebounder in league play (4.0 rpg).

Eight Buckeyes were recognized for their academic successes led by freshman forward D’wan Shackleford (Newark, Ohio/Newark, H.S.) who earned the Most Improved Scholar Award for the most dramatic improvement this season. Scholar awards also went to junior forward Courtney Bale (Vista, Calif/Vista, H.S.), sophomore guard Laura Ingham (Anchorage, Alaska/East H.S.), senior forward Michaela Moua (Vantaa, Finland/Markelanrinne H.S.), junior guard Jamie Lewis (Oak Hill, Ohio/Oak Hill, H.S.), freshman forward DiDi Reynolds (Portage, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) and previous honorees Stanhope and Shenk. Academic all-Big Ten awards also went to Bale, Moua, Stanhope, Shenk and Ingham. Shenk was also recognized as a GTE/CoSIDA District IV Academic All-American. The Buckeyes compiled a 13-15 record with nine first- and second-year players on the 1999-00 roster. Coach Beth Burns, who closes her third season touting a career record of 196-121, will enjoy the return of all five starters next season.

— OSU —