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Murray Is Honored

March 02, 2004|Rob Fernas

Senior forward Kate Murray, who led Loyola Marymount to its first West Coast Conference regular-season title, was chosen WCC women's player of the year Monday by a vote of conference coaches.

After sitting out last season because of a knee injury, the 6-foot Murray came back to help the Lions (22-5) set the school record for victories and earn the No. 1 seeding in the WCC tournament starting Thursday at Santa Clara. She averages 16.1 points and 6.2 rebounds.

Murray was joined on the all-conference team by teammate Adrianne Slaughter, a 6-2 senior center, and two Pepperdine seniors -- forward Nicole Funn and guard Shandrika Lee.

Julie Wilhoit of Loyola Marymount was selected WCC coach of the year for the third time in the last five seasons.

Junior forwards Yakhouba Diawara and Glen McGowan of Pepperdine and senior forward Sherman Gay of Loyola Marymount were named to the All-WCC men's team. Gay, who leads the conference with 51 blocks, also was named defensive player of the year.

Senior guard Blake Stepp of fourth-ranked Gonzaga was named WCC player of the year for the second consecutive season, becoming the first back-to-back winner since Santa Clara's Steve Nash in 1995 and '96.

Mark Few of Gonzaga was named coach of the year for the fourth season in a row.

-- Rob Fernas

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