Makayla Epps Named to Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List
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
, University of Kentucky
Lexie Brown, University of Maryland
Almesha Jones, Morehead State
Rachel Therlot, University of Nebraska
Ashley Deary, Northwestern University
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