Pair of Big Sky Standouts Tabbed as EWU’s Scholar-Athletes of the Month
After taking home a couple of prestigious honors from the Big Sky Conference, senior Brianne Ryan of the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team and junior Steven Warner from track and field were selected as the Scholar-Athletes of the Month.
This award, presented by the EWU Athletic Department, recognizes the athletic and academic success of student-athletes, based primarily on performances turned in during the month prior.
Ryan was recently selected as the 2012 Big Sky MVP, as well as a unanimous pick for the All-Big Sky First Team. Warner won his first-career Big Sky title two weeks ago at the indoor conference championships.
Both student-athletes also excel in the classroom. Ryan, a professional accounting major, has maintained a 3.30 cumulative grade point average in her four years at Eastern. Warner boasts a 3.56 GPA in exercise science.
More on Ryan
In winning league MVP honors, Ryan became arguably the most decorated player in Eastern Washington history, as well as in the Big Sky. As a sophomore in 2009-10, Ryan was selected as the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year. She is the only player in league history to win both awards in a career. Ryan was also an All-Big Sky First Team selection last year as a junior.
The 5-10 guard from Lynden, Wash., was the leading scorer in the Big Sky throughout the entire 2011-12 campaign. She ranked among the top 15 in the conference in eight other statistical categories, including 3-point field goals per game (2.3), rebounding (5.4) and steals (2.0).
Nationally, she ranks among the top 25 scorers, averaging 19.3 points per game. She was honored three times as the Big Sky Player of the Week, two of which came during the month of February.
Ryan was honored on Feb. 6 after helping lead Eastern to its first-ever sweep of the Montana road trip since becoming a member of Division I athletics. Ryan averaged 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in the two games at Montana and Montana State.
She received the same honor the very next week after pouring in a career-high-tying 33 points in Eastern’s 78-45 rout of Weber State. She was 13-of-20 from the field, including a nearly perfect 5-of-6 effort from 3-point range. She also grabbed five rebounds and had a game-high five steals in just 29 minutes on the floor.
Ryan has had four games with 30+ points this season, and 13 with 20 or more. Only two other players in the Big Sky have hit the 30-point mark this season, and no one besides Ryan has done it more than once.
She currently ranks third in the EWU record book for career points, with 1,432 in her tenure. She is fifth in 3-point field goals made (139) and tied for sixth in total games played (118).
Ryan will have a chance to improve upon those numbers this week, when she and the Eagles take on Sacramento State on Thursday (March 8) in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Big Sky Conference Championship. Tipoff from Reed Gym in Pocatello, Idaho, is scheduled for 4 p.m. PST.
More on Warner
Warner, a native of Kent, Wash., recently claimed his first Big Sky Conference title with an inspiring performance in the men's 60-meter hurdles at the 2012 BSC Indoor Championships on Feb. 25 in Flagstaff, Ariz. Seeded fifth heading into the event, Warner clocked a winning time of 8.07, which was good for second-best all-time in Eastern history. Former Eagle Greg Rooney holds the current school record of eight seconds flat, set in 1980. Warner garnered All-Big Sky honors for his efforts at this year’s championships.
Although it was his first Big Sky title, Warner is no stranger to placing at the championships. As a true freshman, he placed fifth in the hurdles at both the Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Last season as a sophomore, Warner took fourth overall in the same event.
Just a junior, Warner still has time to improve upon his 8.07 performance in the 60-meter hurdles, with hopes of taking over the top spot in the EWU record book.