Mekia Valentine Named Big West Player of the Week

UC Santa Barbara's Meika Valentine, front center, is pressured by UCLA's Christina Nzekwe, front left, and Thea Lemberger, right, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Christine Cotter)

March 7, 2011

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The day of awards continued for UC Santa Barbara women's basketball player Mekia Valentine as the senior was named Big West Player of the Week on Monday after already nabbing All-Big West Second Team honors and the conference's Defensive Player of the Year award.

Valentine had a career-high 27 points, a season-best 20 rebounds and five blocked shots in the Gauchos' 78-64 win over Cal Poly on Saturday, helping UCSB clinch a share of its 14th Big West title.

The six-foot-4 center enjoyed her second 20-20 game as a Gaucho, also completing the feat February 11, 2010 vs. UC Riverside. It is the fourth 20-20 game in program history.

Valentine is on track to become the first UCSB player since Erika Kienast in 1991-92 to average a double-double as she currently has 11.1 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.

The Greensboro, N.C. native is averaging 3.7 blocks per game, ranking her third in the nation.

 

The Gauchos (19-10 overall and 12-4 in the Big West), seeded second in the tournament, host No. 7 Pacific (8-21, 5-11) on Tuesday, March 8 in the first round of the Big West Conference Tournament. Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB or by clicking here.

The game, as all women's basketball games are, will be broadcast live on AM 990 and and online by clicking here with the pregame show starting a half-hour prior to tip-off.

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