Women’s Basketball Duo Claim MVC Awards
ST. LOUIS – Drake University junior Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) has been selected the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Jackie Stiles Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, while freshman Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo.) was tabbed the 2014 Co-MVC Freshman of the Year, the league announced Thursday. Wendell shares the award with Sara Dickey of the University of Evansville.
Clark has had a historic junior campaign for Drake, averaging a league-leading 19.6 points per game along with 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. She dropped in a career-high 41 points versus UNI on March 2, and has scored 30 or more points in a game an MVC-best four times. Her 41 points is the highest individual scoring performance in the conference this season.
She has been prolific from long range this year with a school and MVC record 108 three-pointers, including setting a new Drake single-game mark with 10 against Loyola on Jan. 24. Her 108 three-pointers surpassed the previous record of 104 that Melody Howard of Missouri State hit during the 1993-94 campaign.
Clark earned all-freshman team honors her first year and was named to the all-MVC second team last season as a sophomore. She has started all 94 games in her career and already ranks eighth all-time in minutes played at 3,080.
Earlier this season she became the 24th player in Drake women’s basketball history to score 1,000 or more career points. Clark, who has poured in 567 points in her junior campaign, has climbed to 17th all-time with 1,352 career points.
Other past Drake players who have been named conference player of the year, include Wanda Ford (1985, 1986), Jan Jensen (1991), Kristi Kinne (1995), Tricia Wakely (1996), Kiersten Miller (1998) and Rachael Hackbarth (2012).
Wendell has had made history of her own in her debut season for the Bulldogs, as she is second on the team and fifth in the conference in scoring at 16.1 points per game. She has scored 20 or more points in a game nine times.
This year, she has scored 468 points and is just the third MVC freshman to score 400 or more points in their first campaign. If Wendell can score 500 or more points it will be first time a Bulldog freshman eclipses the 500 mark since Kay Riek accomplished the feat in 1980-81 with 517 points.
Wendell has been named MVC women’s basketball newcomer of the week a league-high eight times this year. The previous Drake record for most weekly newcomer awards in a season was three.
Wendell is the seventh Drake freshman to be selected the league freshman of the year and the first since Carla Bennett took home the honor in 2000. Other past winners include Ford (1983), Julie Fitzpatrick (1985), Missy Slockett (1986), Kinne (1992), Tammi Blackstone (1997).
Clark and Wendell were selected to the 2014 All-MVC first team, which The Valley announced Wednesday. The Valley released its other specialty award winners Thursday.
Jackie Stiles MVC Player of the Year
Kyndal Clark, Drake
Co-MVC Freshman of the Year
Lizzy Wendell, Drake
Sara Dickey, Evansville
MVC Defensive Player of the Year
Alex Harden, Wichita State
MVC Newcomer of the Year
Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, Indiana State
MVC Coach of the Year
Tanya Warren, Northern Iowa