EAST LANSING, Mich. - Freshman Allyssa DeHaan was voted the Big Ten Freshman of the Year by both the Big Ten coaches and the Big Ten media to highlight a group of four Michigan State women's basketball players who earned All-Big Ten honors, the Big Ten Conference office announced on Tuesday morning. DeHaan was also a member of both panels' second teams along with senior Victoria Lucas-Perry and was a member of the coaches' All-Defensive Team along with senior Rene Haynes. Haynes was a Second-Team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and a Third Team All-Big Ten selection by the media as well as the Spartans' winner of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Sophomore Aisha Jefferson also earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors on the media's team.
DeHaan (Grandville, Mich./Grandville) is a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end, as she set an NCAA Division I record for a freshman with her 129 blocked shots this season. She is currently second in the nation in the category and just seven swats away from breaking the Big Ten single-season record.
DeHaan hasn't done it only on defense, however, as she also became just the fourth freshman in school history to reach 300 points and 200 rebounds. She is currently fourth in Michigan State's freshman record book with her 349 points and her 219 rebounds are tied for fifth. She has earned two Big Ten Player of the Week honors, thanks to a 28-point game against Rhode Island on Nov. 29 and a 25-point, eight-rebound game at Ohio State on Feb. 18 against three-time Big Ten Player of the Year Jessica Davenport. She is the Spartans' first Freshman of the Year since Liz Shimek and Lindsay Bowen shared the award for the 2002-03 season.
Lucas-Perry (Flint, Mich./Powers Catholic), an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 4 Second Team selection, is 10th in the conference in scoring (13.6), 18th in rebounds (5.8) and seventh in steals (2.1). The tri-captain has led the team in scoring 10 times and scored in double figues 19 times.
Besides averaging career highs in points (13.6), rebounds (5.8) and assists (2.6), Lucas-Perry has maintained a 3.6 GPA as a finance major. Lucas-Perry, who was admitted into dental school at the University of Michigan, has become one of the best multi-dimensional players in the Big Ten, as she is ranked among the Big Ten leaders in seven categories. The Preseason Naismith Trophy Candidate has 10 games of 15 or more points, including a 20-point effort at No. 1 Maryland and an 18-point effort against No. 6 LSU on Dec. 17. She has also shattered previous career bests in total points (380), rebounds (167), assists (72), steals (60) and 3-pointers (51) with the postseason yet to play.
Haynes (Columbus, Ohio/Wellington School) earns her third recognition from the conference, as she also earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten status as a sophomore and was also a member of the Freshman All-Big Ten team. Haynes is averaging a career-high 10.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. She is seventh in the Big Ten in assists (3.47) and sixth in steals (2.14).
One of the most versatile players to ever play at MSU, Haynes is a combo guard who has run the point during her senior season. Haynes has responded with her usual steadiness, as she will set the school record for career appearances (132) and will finish her career second in steals (240) at MSU.
Jefferson (Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne) earns her second honor from the conference after being named Freshman All-Big Ten last season. Jefferson is currently 26th in the conference in scoring (10.4) and 18th in rebounding (5.8). The 6-0 forward has ignited the Spartans in February, as she averaged 13.7 points per game during a six-game winning streak that featured wins over Purdue and Ohio State. Jefferson, who has 11 double-digit efforts in her last 15 games, even dished out the game-winning assist with 1.7 seconds left in the 54-52 win over Purdue on Feb.11, helping complete the largest comeback in Michigan State history.
The Spartans are currently preparing for the postseason, which opens on Friday with the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals when MSU faces the winner of Thursday's opening round game between Minnesota and Northwestern. Game time is 25 minutes after the conclusion of the day's first game, which begins at 12 p.m.