NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – In just her third year as a head coach, women’s basketball’s Tonya Cardoza has earned the Atlantic 10 Conference’s highest honor- Coach of the Year. The honor was one of many for the Owls, who also had an A-10 First Team and All-Defensive Team selection in junior Shey Peddy.
Cardoza adds this honor to two Big 5 Coach of the Year titles she earned in her first two seasons at Temple. She has led the Owls to their sixth and seventh-straight NCAA Tournaments, and to now three seasons of 20 or more wins.
Junior Kristen McCarthy was named to the A-10 Second Team and senior Qwedia Wallace earned selection to the A-10 Third Team. The voting was done by the league’s 14 head coaches, and announced by the conference office on March 2.
Peddy has made her mark in the A-10 after just one season, having transferred from Wright State after her sophomore year. She ranks in the top 10 in points and assists, while leading the conference in steals for league games at 3.5 per game.
All three honorees eclipsed the 1,000-point career mark this season, with Peddy being the first of the three to do so. The “Big 3,” as they were recently dubbed by the Temple News, have led the Owls in scoring all season long, providing an extremely balanced attack. Their current scoring averages are separated by just a point, with Peddy leading the way at 13.9 ppg.
McCarthy was a first team selection as a junior and all-rookie honoree as a freshman. This year’s honor is the first for Wallace, who has previously been named to All-Big 5 postseason teams.
Xavier's Amber Harris was named the A-10 Player of the Year for a second straight year. Wumi Agunbiade of Duquesne was selected as the Rookie of the Year, Xavier’s Ta’Shia Phillips was named Defensive Player of the Year, Ashley Prim of Saint Joseph’s was named Sixth Player of the Year and La Salle’s Ashley Gale was named the league’s Most Improved Player. Kristin Daugherty of Dayton garnered Student-Athlete of the Year honors in voting among the league’s sports information directors.
Harris makes her fourth appearance on the All-Conference First Team, only the third player ever to accomplish that feat in A-10 history. Along with Peddy, she is joined on the All-Conference first-team by teammate Phillips, Dayton’s Justine Raterman and Richmond’s Brittani Shells.
Temple is 22-7 overall and is the second seed in this weekend's A-10 Tournament. The Owls will face either #7 St. Bonaventure or #10 Fordham in the quarterfinals at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 5.