Tennessee forward Glory Johnson (25) guards DePaul guard Kelsey Reynolds (20) during the first half of an NCAA tournament second-round women's college basketball game in Rosemont, Ill., Monday, March 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (utsports.com) - Tennessee's Glory Johnson along with Brittney Griner of Baylor, Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford, Devereaux Peters of Notre Dame and Elizabeth Williams of Duke are finalists for 2012 WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year as announced by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Monday.
The WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year award honors the best defensive collegiate Division I women's basketball player. All Division I conference defensive players of the year are eligible to be nominated for the award. A selection committee makes the final decision on the winner. If a conference does not select a defensive player of the year, the conference representative can nominate one player to be considered.
"The age-old adage, `defense wins games,' still rings true and I think each of these women have taken that to heart as a finalist for this year's Defensive Player of the Year award," said WBCA Beth Bass. "I wish each of these ladies the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show in Denver!"
Tennessee plays Baylor at 7 p.m. ET today in the Des Moines Regional Final for a berth in the NCAA Women's Final Four, setting up a matchup between two Defensive Player of the Year Finalists.
Johnson, a 6-foot-3 forward, leads the Lady Vols (27-8) in rebounding (9.7 per game) and blocked shots (1.2 per game) and was named the Southeastern Conference's Defensive Player of the Year. The graduate student hits 3.9 free throws each contest and is the team's second leading scorer with an average of 14.1 points a game.
Griner, a 6-foot-8 center, has led the Baylor Lady Bears to an undefeated 37-0 season so far, averaging 23.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. The junior also leads the nation in blocked shots with 190 (5.14 per game) and has recorded 16 double-doubles this season.
The Defensive Player of the Year winner will be announced during the WBCA Awards Show, which will be held at 5 p.m. MT Monday, April 2, in Denver.