Kate Smith named Freshman of the Year | NevadaAppeal.com

Kate Smith named Freshman of the Year

Staff reports

It didn’t take any time at all for University of Nevada freshman Kate Smith to make the transition from high school to college basketball.

Less than a year after she graduated from McQueen High, Smith was named Big West Freshman of the Year in women’s basketball on Tuesday.

Smith, a 6-foot-2 center/forward, became the first player in Nevada school history to capture the Freshman of the Year honor. Smith averaged 19.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game during the regular season to rank in the top five in the league in both categories. Smith also ranked No. 6 in the Big West in field-goal percentage (.492) and ninth in free-throw percentage (.758).

Other Big West honors went to UC-Santa Barbara’s Erin Buescher, who won her third consecutive Player of the Year Award by averaging 17.7 points and 9.6 rebounds. UCSB’s Mark French and Cal-Poly’s Faith Mimnaugh were named co-Coaches of the Year.

The Big West’s first team included: Stephanie Block (Boise State), Buescher (UCSB), Stacy Clinesmith (UCSB), Alli Nieman (Idaho), Kristi Rohr (UCSB), and Rhonda Smith (Long Beach State).

The Nevada women play in the Big West Tournament today at 6 p.m. against Cal-Poly.