Purdue's Ae'Rianna Harris repeats as Big Ten defensive player of the year

Purdue junior Ae'Rianna Harris joined an elite historical group Monday, repeating as the 2019 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

Posted: Mar 4, 2019 5:26 PM
Updated: Mar 6, 2019 12:05 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Purdue junior Ae'Rianna Harris joined an elite historical group Monday, repeating as the 2019 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. She is the fourth player in conference history to earn top defensive honors in back-to-back seasons and the first-ever to accomplish the feat at Purdue.

Joining in on the all-conference recognition was sophomore Karissa McLaughlin and junior Dominique Oden as McLaughlin earned First Team All-Big Ten recognition from both the coaches and media, Harris was second team all-conference and Oden was named honorable mention.

After becoming the third sophomore in Big Ten history to earn top defensive recognition in 2018, Harris joins Penn State's Tanisha Wright (2003-05), Ohio State's Shavelle Little (2008-09) and Northwestern's Ashley Deary (2016-17) as the only back-to-back winners of the award, which started in 2000. Harris leads the Big Ten and ranks second in the NCAA with 98 blocked shots and an average of 3.16 per game, good for third nationally. She also added 35 steals (1.1 per game) and 200 defensive boards (6.5 per game).

Harris also takes home Second Team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight season after posting career-high numbers in nearly every category. Her 13.2 points per game are 15th-best in the conference, while her 9.3 rebounds per game are No. 5 in the Big Ten and are sixth-best on the Boilermakers' single-season record list. Her 48.3 percent shooting percentage ranks eighth in the Big Ten as well.

McLaughlin is only the third sophomore in Purdue history to earn First Team All-Big Ten honors, joining Shereka Wright in 2002 and MaChelle Joseph in 1990. Recognized by both the coaches and media, McLaughlin is leading the Boilermakers with 15.1 points and 3.9 assists per game and has tied the No. 2 single-season 3-point mark in program history with 80 triples on the season. She's tied for second in the conference at 2.6 3's per game and her 38.3 percent from behind the arc is third in the Big Ten.

With 119 assists on the season, McLaughlin is the sixth Purdue player to ever exceed 100 helpers in each of her first two seasons, and her 1.8 assist/turnover ratio is tied for 10th in the Big Ten and eighth-best in a season all-time for the Boilermakers. She's also cashed in 89.3 percent at the free throw line (75-84), currently the No. 6 single-season free throw percentage in Purdue history.

Oden earns all-conference recognition for the second straight year after a second-team nod in 2018 and Preseason All-Big Ten plaudits to start 2018-19. She's second on the team at 14.5 points per game and her 43.1 percent shooting clip is the best in the Big Ten for a guard this season. She's continued to climb the Boilermakers' career scoring list, currently 18th with 1,317 points, and is the fifthplayer in program history to surpass 1,300 before the end of her third season. Oden is tied for second in the conference at the free throw line, converting 81.7 percent, and her 1.7 steals per game are a career best and seventh-best in the Big Ten.

The Boilermakers earned the No. 11 seed in this week's Big Ten Tournament and open against 14th-seeded Illinois at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network and tickets can be purchased at Tickermaster.com.

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