Johansson named UAA women's hoops team MVP

Hanna Johansson, an All-America center who helped guide the UAA women's basketball team into the NCAA Division II Elite Eight this season, was named MVP Saturday at the team's postseason awards banquet.

A 6-foot-2 senior from Sweden, Johansson wrapped up a four-year career with her second trip to the Elite Eight. She earned Most Valuable Player honors by averaging team-highs of 14.3 points and 8.6 rebounds, numbers that also earned her Player of the Year honors in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Johansson leaves her mark all over the school record book.

She set records for games played (133) and games won (112) and ranks in the top 10 in 12 other categories -- points (seventh, 1,393), rebounds (second, 808), steals (fifth, 195), blocks (fifth, 70), assists (ninth, 247), field-goal percentage (fourth, .533), free throws made (sixth, 333), games started (fifth, 99) and double-doubles (seventh, 17).

Johansson was one of six players honored Saturday. Also picking up awards were:

• Tijera Matthews, a 5-10 senior wing from Palmdale, Calif., who was named Best Defensive Player. Matthews ranked second on the team in steals with 1.5 per game and was third in blocks with .5 per game. Her biggest block came with five seconds left in the West Region championship game against UC San Diego, a play that preserved a 68-63 UAA win.

• Kaylie Robison, a 6-0 senior forward from Sandy, Utah, who took home the Coaches' Award for commitment to the team concept. An honorable mention GNAC pick, Robison was a hard-nosed player with a knack for grabbing rebounds and a reputation for working hard. She averaged 8.9 points and 7.5 rebounds and put up seven double-doubles.

• Jordan Martin, a 5-6 junior guard from East High, who earned the Most Inspirational Player award for the second straight season. She appeared in 22 games and didn't take many bad shots -- she was 7 of 9 from the field, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range, and 5 of 6 from the foul line.

• Gritt Ryder, a 5-9 freshman guard from Denmark, who was named Most Improved. Ryder averaged 3.7 points in her first 19 games and 8.1 points in her final 16 to finish with a 5.7 scoring average. She also supplied 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds a game, numbers that helped her earn Freshman of the Year honors in the GNAC.

• Kylie Burns, a 5-9 sophomore guard from Kansas City, Kan., who was named Ms. Hustle. A strong defensive player, she averaged 4.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and .9 steals per game.

The MVP, defensive, inspirational and improved awards were chosen by a vote of players.

Anchorage Daily News