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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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Nancy Mulkey Selected C-USA Defensive Player of the Year
Posted: March 9, 2021 -- 10:35 a.m. CT
For the third consecutive season, Rice women's basketball senior center Nancy Mulkey was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, the league office announced Tuesday morning.
Mulkey joins Janell Burse (Tulane, 1999-01) and Sandora Irvin (TCU, 2003-05) as the only players in C-USA history to be named the league's Defensive Player of the Year in three consecutive years. While helping guide the Owls (17-3, 13-2) to the C-USA West division title, Mulkey has averaged 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks during league play while shooting 57.9 percent from the field.
For the season, Mulkey ranks fifth in the country in blocked shots per game (3.10) and is 14th in field goal percentage (58.1%). Mulkey has blocked three or more shots in a game on nine different occasions this season and has scored in double-figures in 17 of 19 contests, shooting better than 50 percent from the field 13 times.
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Among all active NCAA Division I players, Mulkey ranks third in career blocked shots (292) and is fifth in blocked shot average (2.92).
Mulkey was named a semifinalist on three different national watch lists; which included the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, the Lisa Leslie Award, and the Senior CLASS Award.
Rice will open the C-USA Championship tournament in Frisco, TX, this Thursday at 11 a.m. when they face the winner of FIU/Southern Miss in the quarterfinals.
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