Senior guard Quinesha Lockett was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, per the league’s announcement of its annual awards and all-conference teams.
Lockett, also a First-Team All-MAC selection, was one of four Rockets honored Tuesday. For the second season in a row and the fifth time in her career, head coach Tricia Cullop was named MAC Coach of the Year. Senior guard Sophia Wiard was named Third-Team All-MAC and junior guard Khera Goss was named to the MAC All-Defensive Team for the second straight season.
Lockett is the sixth Rocket in program history to be named MAC Player of the year and the first since 1998-99. She joins Kim Sekulski (1990-91), Dana Drew (1991-92, 1993-94), Latoja Harris (1992-93), Angela Drake (1996-97), and Kim Knuth (1997-98, 1998-99) as conference players of the year at Toledo.
“I’m incredibly happy for Quinesha,” Cullop said. “She’s worked her tail off and proven herself as one of the top players not only in the history of our program but also in the Mid-American Conference.”
The Omaha, Nebraska, native ranks second in the league in scoring (18.0 PPG) and has scored in double figures in all but one contest this season. She also ranks sixth in the MAC in field goal percentage (45.9%), free throw percentage (78.0%), and assist/turnover ratio (1.64).
Lockett has excelled in MAC play, averaging 19.8 PPG against conference opponents to go with 4.7 RPG and a 47.3 FG%. She has 11 20-point games against MAC foes, including a high of 36 points at Kent State on Jan. 14. Entering the MAC Tournament, Lockett ranks fourth all-time in program history in field goals made (692) and fifth all-time scoring (1,905 points) and scoring average (16.0 PPG).
Cullop is now a five-time winner of MAC Coach of the year, second-most ever in conference history behind former Bowling Green coach Curt Miller (six).
A year after defying expectations to lead the Rockets to a MAC Championship, Cullop guided Toledo to its second straight conference title and a 25-4 overall record. UToledo’s 25 wins this year coupled with 29 victories a season ago are tied for the most wins in back-to-back seasons in school history. Earlier this year, Cullop recorded her 300th win at Toledo. She boasts a 321-162 record at Toledo and a career ledger of 444-272.
“A Coach of the Year award is a staff award in my opinion,” Cullop said. “I love this staff and how hard they work every day to help our program be successful. Jessie Ivey, Danielle Page, and Mark Stephens have done an amazing job and we are fortunate to have them.”
Wiard is now a two-time All-MAC honoree after being named second-team last year. She is averaging 10.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.1 APG, and 1.2 SPG. Wiard has led the MAC in assist/turnover ratio each of the last two seasons and ranks second this year (2.48) and 14th in the nation. The Muskegon, Mich. native has 15 double-digit scoring efforts this year and is averaging 11.4 PPG while shooting 47.8% in MAC play. Wiard ranks second in the MAC in assists (4.1 APG) and is eighth all-time in school history in career assists (444).
“Sophia is one of the best point guards I’ve ever coached,” Cullop said. “No matter what team she’s named to, she’s will always be a first-teamer to us.”
One of the best defenders in the MAC, Goss was named to the league’s all-defensive squad for the second straight season. She is the first Rocket to be named to multiple MAC All-Defensive teams in a career. Led by the defensive efforts of Goss, Toledo ranks second in the league in scoring defense (62.3 PPG) and has help opponents to 60 points or fewer on 13 occasions. Goss’ 19 steals in MAC play rank third on the team.
“Khera has earned the right to be on the all-defensive team,” Cullop said. “She continually guards the best opposing players and does a phenomenal job for our team.”