FRISCO, Texas –
Rice senior guard Erica Ogwumike
has been named the 2019-20 Conference USA Player of the Year, while Old Dominion head coach Nikki McCray
has earned this year’s Coach of the Year honor. These awards were announced today prior to the opening of the 2020 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Women's Basketball Championships presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at the Ford Center at The Star. Voting on the awards was done by the C-USA head coaches and media members in each conference city.
2020 Women's_Basketball Coach and Player of the Year.(pdf)
Ogwumike picked up the top individual honor for the second straight year after leading the Owls to their second regular season championship in a row. The Cypress, Texas, native is just the fifth player in C-USA history to win multiple Player of the Year awards as she helped Rice to become the first school in league annals to win back-to-back outright regular season titles. She was named to the All-Conference USA first team and the C-USA All-Defensive Team earlier this week. Ogwumike joins former Owl Jessica Kuster as the only players in program history to earn first team All-Conference honors in three consecutive years.
Ogwumike is the league's leading scorer (21.3 ppg) and rebounder (11.6 rpg) during conference action while ranking fifth in field goal percentage (51.6%) and seventh in free throw percentage (81.6%). Ogwumike, who was named C-USA Player of the Week a league-high four times, ranks second in C-USA in double-doubles (13). The senior guard is currently one of just three players in NCAA Division I to amass 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.
McCray and the Monarchs closed the regular season with a 24-6 overall record and a 14-4 mark in league play. Old Dominion received the No. 2 seed in this week’s C-USA Championship after being picked to finish fifth in the league’s preseason poll.
McCray led the Monarchs to an 89-77 win at Auburn on November 14, which marked its most notable non-conference victory since March, 2015. Old Dominion also snapped Rice’s 30 game conference winning streak February 13 in Norfolk. The team leads Division I in three-point field goal percentage defense (.243) and ranks 15th in the country in scoring defense (55.3 points per game).
In just her third season at the helm of the program, McCray’s Monarchs earned votes in the AP Top 25 poll and the WBCA Coaches Poll for the first time since December, 2008. On February 18, ODU was named the NCAA Team of the Week following its performance over Rice, which propelled the team to the top of the league.
McCray becomes the first Old Dominion head coach to be named conference coach of the year since Wendy Larry won the CAA’s award in 2010.
The last six C-USA Coach of the Year awards have come from six different schools.
2019-20 CONFERENCE USA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Erica Ogwumike, Rice, Sr., G, Cypress, Texas
2019-20 CONFERENCE USA COACH OF THE YEAR
Nikki McCray, Old Dominion (53-40 at Old Dominion)
2019-20 CONFERENCE USA COACHES CIRCLE
Tina Yangley, Rice (103-57 at Rice, fifth season)
The 2020 Air Force Reserve C-USA Women’s Basketball Championship presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at The Star in Frisco tips off on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ConferenceUSA.com.