Makayla Epps Named to Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List

Feb. 6, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky sophomore point guard Makayla Epps has been recognized as one of the nation’s top point guards as she has been named to the 2015 Nancy Lieberman Award, it was announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday afternoon.

Now in its 15th year, the award recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. Candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame became the host of the Nancy Lieberman Award last season after the Rotary Club of Detroit managed it for several years.

Epps, who became the starting point guard after a season-ending injury to junior Janee Thompson (Chicago) on Jan. 11, has been stellar for the Wildcats in her new role. In five games as the floor general, she is averaging a team-high 17.4 points to go along with 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists, while shooting .429 percent from the field (30-of-70) and .778 from the free-throw line (21-of-27). She has scored in double digits in all five games, including two with 20-plus points.

Overall, Epps (Lebanon, Ky.) ranks second on the team and eighth in the Southeastern Conference in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per game. She also is fourth overall and second in the league in assist/turnover ratio at 1.7 and 12th in assists per game (3.0).

The Selection Committee for the Nancy Lieberman Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. The list will be narrowed down to fifteen and then a final five by mid-March. The Lieberman Award winner will be announced during the WBCA Award Show in Tampa, Florida at the Women’s Final Four.

The No. 11/12 Wildcats (17-5, 6-3 SEC) will travel to Nashville, Tenn., to take on Vanderbilt (13-10, 4-6 SEC) Sunday, Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. ET in Memorial Gym. The game will be televised live on the SEC Network with Paul Sunderland and Nell Fortner calling the action.

2015 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List

Niya Johnson, Baylor University

Brittany Boyd, University of California

Caitlin Ingle, Drake University

April Robinson, Duquesne University

Damika Martinez, Iona College

Samantha Logic, University of Iowa

Nikki Moody, Iowa State University

Angela Mickens, James Madison University

Makayla Epps , University of Kentucky

Lexie Brown, University of Maryland

Almesha Jones, Morehead State

Rachel Therlot, University of Nebraska

Ashley Deary, Northwestern University

Lind say Allen, University of Notre Dame

Ameryst Alston, Ohio State University

Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State University

Sydney Wiese, Oregon State University

Brianna Kiesel, University of Pittsburgh

Blake Dietrick, Princeton University

Brittany Crain, University of California, Riverside

Syessense Davis, Rutgers University

Fantasia Hilliard, Sacramento State University

Ke-Keidre Simmons, Seton Hall University

Natasha Cloud, Saint Joseph’s University

Amber Orrange, Stanford University

Jordan Jones, Texas A&M University

Moriah Jefferson, University of Connecticut

Jasmine Nwajel, Wagner College

Kelsey Plum, University of Washington

Tia Presley, Washington State University

Tay’ler Mingo, Wright State University