Three Lady Bears were announced as All-Region nominees for 2018 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team by the organization Thursday afternoon. The list of 54 candidates includes senior guard Kristy Wallace, junior center Kalani Brown and sophomore forward Lauren Cox.
Cox and Wallace are first time nominees, while Brown earned her second. She went on to secure 2017 All-America recognition.
Wallace, who was unanimously named to the All-Big 12 first team and to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team, let the Lady Bears to their eighth Big 12 regular season title in a row with a flawless, 18-0, mark. She ran the Baylor offense and was charged with defending opponents’ top scorers before suffering a season-ending ACL injury in the regular season finale.
Wallace still leads the Lady Bears, ranks fourth in the Big 12 and 36th nationally in assists, dishing out 155 in her 29 games played. Averaged 12.9 points, 5.3 assists and 5.0 rebounds per contest, while compiling a 50.2 field goal percentage, 38.4 three-point field goal percentage and 79.7 free throw percentage.
The Loganholme, Australia native was voted espnW National Player of the Week on Jan. 29 after netting a career-high 27 points against No. 6/6 Texas and 25 points at No. 19/20 West Virginia. Wallace, one of three players in program history to distribute 500 assists in her career, led Baylor in assists 20 times and scoring six times, three times against ranked foes.
Brown leads the Lady Bears in scoring (20.1), rebounding (10.2), double-doubles (18) and field goal percentage (.660) through 34 games. The unanimous Big 12 Player of the Year and All-Big 12 first team performer has already been named to the Sports Illustrated All-America first team, the espnW All-America second team and the USA Today Sports second team for her efforts.
Brown guided Baylor to its ninth Big 12 Championship title, including its eighth in the last nine seasons. She averaged 24.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.0 blocks and 3.7 assists per contest in the three-game stretch to secure her first career Most Outstanding Player of the Big 12 Championship award.
Against ranked opponents, Brown maintains her dominance, averaging a team-high 20.8 points per game and a team-high 10.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 64.4 percent from the floor and 71.4 percent from the foul line. On the season, Baylor is 9-1 against ranked foes, falling to No. 8/7 UCLA without Lauren Cox and Kim Mulkey on the trip.
Brown leads the Lady Bears and the Big 12 in field goal percentage and ranks second nationally in the category. She has posted two 30-point games, 17 20-point performances, two 20-rebound efforts and 18 double digit rebound games.
Cox, the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Big 12 first team honoree, averages a team-high 24.0 points and 16.5 rebounds per game through two NCAA Tournament contests. On the season, she leads the Big 12 in blocked shots (2.6), ranks third in rebounding (9.8) and ninth in scoring (15.3). Cox owns a 51.7 field goal percentage, 31.8 three-point field goal percentage and 74.8 free throw percentage in 33 games played this season.
Cox, who has registered 15 double-doubles, six 20-point games and 17 double digit rebounding performances, is having the best season of her career thus far. She has set or matched career-highs in scoring (30), rebounding (19), assists (6), blocks (9), three-point field goals made (4), three-point field goal attempts (7) and minutes played (40) this year. Cox has led the Lady Bears in blocks 21 times, rebounding 17 times and scoring six times.
Facing nine ranked opponents this season, Cox is averaging 13.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks against Top 25 programs.
The 2018 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America team will be announced on Thursday, March 29 at the WBCA Convention in Columbus, Ohio. To view a complete list of WBCA All-Region nominees, visit www.wbca.org.
WBCA All-Region 3 Team
Ariel Atkins, Texas
Kalani Brown, Baylor
Napheesa Collier, UConn
Lauren Cox, Baylor
Loryn Goodwin, Oklahoma State
Maria Jespersen, South Florida
Kitija Laksa, South Florida
Brooke McCarty, Texas
Kia Nurse, UConn
Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn
Azura Stevens, UConn
Kristy Wallace, Baylor
Gabby Williams, UConn