Smith repeats himself as Player of the Year, highlights WBB’s top 12 honors

WACO, TX- by Baylor NaLyssa Smith was the unanimous choice for Big 12 Player of the Year, as she becomes the fifth player in Big 12 history, and the first since 2013, to play back-to-back.

The league office announced the 2022 Big 12 Postseason Awards with Smith earning the highest individual honor, while four more from the regular season champion, No. 4 Bears were honored.

Smith averaged a best-of-12 23.1 points and 10.7 rebounds in conference play. After averaging 19 points and nine rebounds through BU’s first eight conference games, the senior forward hit a new level to propel the Bears to a 10-0 finish and their 12and-regular season championship with an average of 26.3 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.

The Converse, Texas native becomes the first player to earn back-to-back Big 12 Player of the Year honors since Brittney Griner’s three consecutive selections from 2011-2013. Courtney Paris (Oklahoma, 2007-09), Nicole Ohlde (Kansas State, 2003-04) and Stacey Dales (Oklahoma, 2001-02) are the only other Big 12 players to have achieved this feat.

Jordan Lewis became the third straight Bear to earn Newcomer of the Year honors as the Alabama graduate transfer averaged 11.8 points and 5.2 assists per game with an assist-to-digit ratio of business of 2.32. Lewis is the NCAA Division I record holder with 160 career games played.

Smith — a unanimous pick — and Lewis were named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Smith was also named to the All-Defensive Big 12 Team.

Sarah Andrews earned second-team honors averaging 11.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game.

Queen Ebo and Ja’Mee Asberry were each named All-Big 12 honorable mention. Egbo had 12.1 points and 8.9 boards in the league, while Asberry recorded 9.9 points to go with a 39.3% performance from the perimeter.

Smith’s nomination as Big 12 Player of the Year marks the 13thand times a Bear has won the league’s highest individual honor, and it’s the fifth year in a row that at least one entity has named a Baylor player to the award.

Lewis is the 10and The Baylor player in history will be named Newcomer of the Year. Since the graduate transfer rule was implemented, Baylor has seen one of these players win the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year award in four consecutive seasons – Lewis (2022), Di Jonai Carrington (2021), Te’a Cooper (2020) and Chloe Jackson (2019).

All-Big 12 honors were chosen by head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.

For the latest news on the Baylor women’s basketball team throughout the season, follow their official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts: @BaylorWBB.