Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Three Basketball Lady Vols Earn Associated Press All-SEC Honors

After sweeping the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament titles for the first time in 10 years, the Tennessee Lady Vols landed a trio of cagers on the Associated Press' All-SEC Teams today. Junior Angie Bjorklund and redshirt-sophomore Kelley Cain each earned First Team All-SEC accolades, while sophomore Shekinna Stricklen earned Second Team honors. Tennessee featured the most student-athletes on the two squads.

"I'm extremely proud of our student-athletes for being recognized by the league media for their success this season," said Head Coach Pat Summitt. "They all invested a great amount in the offseason both on and off the court. These honors reflect the improvement that they have made in becoming better basketball players and we have made in becoming a better basketball team. It is a tremendous reward for that hard work."

Bjorklund started 31 of 32 regular season contests for the Lady Vols and led UT with 14.1 ppg and added 2.8 apg and 2.8 rpg. The Spokane Valley, Wash., converted 42.6 percent of her field goals and made 93-of-217 three pointers. The junior sharp-shooter led the SEC in three-point field goal percentage, 42.9, and was third in three-pointers made, 2.9 per game. Bjorklund was a unanimous choice to the All-SEC First Team as voted on by the league coaches and was selected as SEC Player of the Week once during the 2009-10 campaign.

Cain dominated the low post and set a single-season school record of 103 blocks, topping the previous mark of 99 set by former Player of the Year Candace Parker in 2006-07. She also set a single-game record of 12 blocks against LSU on Feb. 22, 2010, at Thompson-Boling Arena. The Atlanta, Ga., native led the SEC and was fourth in the NCAA with 3.2 bpg. The 6-6 center tossed in 10.2 ppg and was sixth in the SEC with 7.4 rpg. Cain converted 60.3 percent of her field goals, which is the second best clip in the SEC. She was also selected to the All-SEC First Team and All-Defensive Team as voted on by league coaches.

Stricklen, a finalist for numerous national post-season awards, earned a selection to the Second Team All-SEC after averaging 12.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg and a team-best 3.8 apg. She is the only Lady Vol to have started all 32 games. The Morrilton, Ark., native posted just the second triple-double in Lady Vol history when she tallied 17 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists against #14/15-ranked Oklahoma on Jan. 3, 2010. Stricklen led the SEC in free throw percentage, converting 76-of-89 attempts, good for a 85.4 percent conversion clip, and ranked sixth in the league in assist/turnover ratio at 1.4 (123 assists to 86 turnovers). She was named SEC Player of the Week three times during the year, earned SEC All-Tournament honors and All-SEC Second Team honors as voted on by the league coaches.

The Lady Vols earned their 20th No. 1 seed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament and will face No. 16 seed Austin Peay at 12:16 p.m. on Saturday, March 20, at Thompson-Boling Arena. The arena will also host the first round contest between the No. 8-seeded Dayton Flyers and the No. 9-seeded TCU Horned Frogs, which will tip off at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The two winners will face off at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 22, and all three games will be aired on ESPN2.

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