Pondexter also was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, while Mauri Horton (Minneapolis, MN) was a third-team selection.
Pondexter, a sophomore 5-9 guard, averaged 17.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game during the regular season. A five-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week, she ranks third in scoring, seventh in assists, sixth in field-goal percentage (.470), ninth in free-throw percentage (.791) and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.45). In conference-only games, Pondexter rates third in scoring (18.8 ppg), seventh in assists (4.25 apg), fifth in field-goal percentage (.481), sixth in free-throw percentage (.820) and 13th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.31).
Pondexter is the second RU player to be named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, following in the footsteps of fellow point guard Tasha Pointer (1998). She also is the fourth Scarlet Knight, and the first rookie, to be named to the All-BIG EAST First Team (Tomora Young 1998; Shawnetta Stewart 1999-2000; Tasha Pointer 1999, 2001). Pondexter’s selection also marked the first time in conference history that a rookie has earned first-team all-BIG EAST honors.
Horton, a 5-8 senior guard, averaged 12.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game during the regular season to rank second in both scoring and steals, third in assists and fourth in rebounding for the Scarlet Knights. Horton ranks 11th in three-point field goals made (1.52) and 13th in steals in the BIG EAST, and in conference-only games, she is ninth in steals (1.80 spg).
Horton and Pondexter are the first pair of Scarlet Knights to earn all-conference honors in the same season since Pointer was named to the first team and Tammy Sutton-Brown was a third-team selection in 2001.
The No. 18/20 Scarlet Knights (20-6, 13-3 BIG EAST) begin play in the BIG EAST Tournament Sunday, March 9, at 6:00 p.m. in the quarterfinal round. Second-seeded Rutgers will play the winner of the Miami-Syracuse first-round game at RU’s Louis Brown Athletic Center.
BIG EAST Player of the Year: *Diana Taurasi, Connecticut
BIG EAST Rookie of the Year: Cappie Pondexter, Rutgers
BIG EAST Coach of the Year: Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year: Ashley Battle, Connecticut
BIG EAST Most Improved Player: Jessalyn Deveny, Boston College
BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award: Leslie Ardon, Seton Hall
BIG EAST Basketball Scholar-Athlete: Alicia Ratay, Notre Dame
BIG EAST All-First Team
Rebekkah Brunson, Georgetown
Becky Gottstein, Boston College
Trish Juhline, Villanova
Ieva Kublina, Virginia Tech
Cappie Pondexter, Rutgers
*Diana Taurasi, Connecticut
BIG EAST All-Second Team
Jacqueline Batteast, Notre Dame
Katie Davis, Villanova
Jessalyn Deveny, Boston College
Tamara James, Miami
Julie McBride, Syracuse
BIG EAST All-Third Team
Kate Bulger, West Virginia
Mauri Horton, Rutgers
Shannon Perry, Syracuse
Laine Selwyn, Pittsburgh
Ann Strother, Connecticut
BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Brianne Stepherson, Boston College
Amber Jacobs, Boston College
Courtney Mix, Villanova
Alicia Ratay, Notre Dame
BIG EAST All-Rookie Team
*Tamara James, Miami
Courtney LaVere, Notre Dame
Carrie Mason, Virginia Tech
*Cappie Pondexter, Rutgers
Ann Strother, Connecticut
Barbara Turner, Connecticut