McDonald, Williams among honorees at women's banquet
USF sophomore Courtney Willliams and senior Akila McDonald were named the Bulls' offensive and defensive MVPs, respectively, at the team's awards banquet Monday night.
Coach Jose Fernandez presented nine awards at the ceremony at Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City. USF (23-13, 13-5) won 10 of its last 12 games, reaching the semifinals of the WNIT.
Williams, who made the WNIT all-tournament team, led the Bulls in scoring (16.3 ppg) and became only the third player in program history to surpass 550 points in a season. She tallied 11 20-point games and 10 double-doubles.
McDonald, a 6-foot-4 center, notched career-bests in rebounds (203), blocks (team-best 65) and points (233). She finished her career with 130 games played, second-most in program history.
Freshman Katelyn Weber, a key backup to McDonald who appeared in 35 games, won the Golden Bull Award given to the player who best exemplifies hard work and a positive attitude. Williams, who started only three games and averaged 7.4 points as a freshman, was named most improved player.
Guard Ari Pujol (5.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg), a native Spaniard who made the American Athletic Conference all-freshman team, was named newcomer of the year. Freshman center Paige Cashin received the team's academic achievement award.
Other winners: top rebounder Alisia Jenkins (Queen of the Boards), assists leader Shalethia Stringfield (Miss Dish) and top 3-point shooter Inga Orekhova (Sharp Shooter). A second-round pick of the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA Draft, Orekhova also sank 37 consecutive free throws at one point, finishing 65-for-73 (89 percent) from the stripe.