-- After leading her squad to the 2016-17 Philadelphia Big 5 title, Temple senior Feyonda Fitzgerald
became the sixth player in Owls' women's basketball history, and the first since 2012, to be named Big 5 Player of the Year. The nod highlighted the Big 5 awards released on Tuesday afternoon.
Joining Fitzgerald with major Big 5 honors was head coach Tonya Cardoza
who earned the fourth Big 5 Coach of the Year honor of her career, and the first since the 2010-11 season. Fitzgerald was joined by Alliya Butts
on the All-Big 5 first team, while Donnaizha Fountain
was named to the Big 5 second team.
Temple went 4-0 in Philadelphia Big 5 play this season, capturing the first title for the program since the 2010-11 season. The Owls dispatched La Salle (86-70), St. Joseph's (86-70), and Penn (63-53) for an averaged margin of victory of 14 points against Big 5 opponents. The Big 5 title spurred the Owls to an outstanding season that saw Temple finish 24-8 overall and earn an NCAA bid for the first time since 2011.
Fitzgerald ended her career in cherry and white as the fourth All-American in program history. Now a three-time All-Big 5 selection, she ranked in the top-10 nationally in assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio this season. Fitzgerald concluded her career as Temple's all-time leader in assists for both a career (635) and a single season (232), with her single season mark setting an American Athletic Conference record, as well. She also ranks second all-time at Temple with 1,824 total points.
Butts, also a three-time All-Big 5 selection, had another stellar season for Temple, averaging 15.5 points per game, while racking up 96 assists and a team-leading 68 steals. In post-season play this season, she averaged 18.3 points per game, including a season-best 28 points against Oregon in the NCAA Tournament. Butts is already Temple's all-time leading three point shooter, making 236 in three years, and will enter her senior season with 1,481 points, a number that already ranks seventh all-time for the Owls.
Fountain earns her first honor from the Big 5 coaches, after averaging 14.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game this season. She finished third on the Owls in scoring and second in both rebounding and total steals (49) for the season. Fountain had four double-doubles during the season, and hit season-bests of 26 points (at Tulane), 16 rebounds (at Villanova), seven steals (at Tulane), and five assists (vs. DePaul).
The Big 5 banquet is set for Monday, April 17, at The Palestra. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by clicking here
. Along with the current season men's and women's award winners, the 2017 Big Five Hall of Fame class will be inducted. This year's class includes Carlene Hightower (La Salle), Ibrahim Jaaber (Penn), Jameer Nelson (Saint Joseph's), Lynn Greer (Temple), Randy Foye (Villanova), George Raveling (Villanova) and longtime Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter Bill Lyon.