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Rice Owls win C-USA Defensive Player, Sixth Player of Year Honors

Byron L. Riley, CPA; 832-303-3995; Do you need tax help? IRS Tax help available- Free Consult

Posted: March 12, 2019 -- 11:52 a.m. CDT

Just a day after three players earned All-C-USA Team accolades, two more Owls picked up individual honors from the conference office as announced Tuesday morning, with Nancy Mulkey being named C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and Lauren Grigsby earning the Sixth Player of the Year award.

Mulkey joins Jessica Kuster (2013) as the only Owls to be named C-USA Defensive Player of the Year while Grigsby becomes the first player in program history to be named Sixth Player of the Year.


Byron L. Riley, CPA; 832-303-3995; Do you need tax help? IRS Tax help available- Free Consult


Mulkey, who was selected to the C-USA All-Defensive Team on Monday, has made an immediate impact in her first season with the Owls as one of the nation's premier centers. The redshirt sophomore leads all of C-USA and ranks 17th in the nation with 72 blocks despite missing the first eight games of the season. Mulkey's 72 blocks already ranks fourth for a single-season in school history and she's on the cusp of qualifying as the second-best shot blocker (3.60 blocks per game) in the nation. Earlier this season, Mulkey established a C-USA and Rice single-game record with nine blocks in a critical road win at UAB and is the only player in the nation with eight or more blocks in three games this season. Mulkey was named the C-USA Player of the week on Jan. 28 and has helped lead the Owls to earning the No. 6 scoring defense (52.9 ppg) in the country.

Grigsby, from Spring, TX, leads the Owls' bench unit with 7.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. Grigsby is shooting a career-best 43.2 percent (8th in Rice history) from three-point territory while playing a career-high 21.3 minutes per game. The senior guard has scored in double-figures 11 times, including 16 or more points on four occasions. Grigsby is Rice's all-time leader in free throw percentage (82.4%) and 10th in career made three-pointers (96).

Mulkey and Grigsby will lead the Owls into this week's C-USA Tournament at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas as the No. 1 seed. No. 24 Rice (25-3, 16-0) is set to take on the winner of Wednesday's Southern Miss-North Texas matchup on Thursday at 11 a.m. (CT).

Click here to read the press release listing all the women's basketball superlatives C-USA announced today.

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