SIOUX FALLS ( – Three South Dakota State women’s basketball players were honored by the Summit League on Thursday, as the league announced its postseason awards at its annual Summit League Championships tip-off press conference. Tori Nelson was named Freshman of the Year and earned a place on the all-newcomer team. Paiton Burckhard and Tagyn Larson were both selected to All-Summit League teams.

Nelson has started in 16 contests this season for the Jackrabbits. The freshman is averaging 9.7 points, 4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. She has scored in double figures in 11 contests this season. Nelson registered a double-double to help the Jackrabbits to a victory over Notre Dame with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Additionally, she scored a career-best 23 points to lead State to a nonconference victory over Coppin State. She ranks third on the squad with 26 steals and 17 blocks.

Burckhard, an All-Summit League first team selection, paces the Jacks this season with 14.5 points per game, including 15.8 points per game in Summit League play. She has reached double figures in 24 contests this season with seven 20-plus point scoring performances. The sophomore is shooting a team-best 53.5 percent from the field and averaged 5.8 rebounds per game.

The Aberdeen, S.D. native has registered a team-high three double-doubles this season. Burckhard has led the Jackrabbits’ scoring efforts on 10 occasions this season and adds 49 assists, 19 steals and 10 blocks.

After leading the Jackrabbits with 6.2 rebounds per game and ranking third on the team with 11.6 points per game, Larson was named to the All-Summit League second team for the second time in her career. She has tallied 903 points in her time at SDSU and ranks fifth in the Summit League this season with 3.2 assists per game. Larson has blocked a team-best 26 shots and adds 17 steals.

The Sioux Falls, S.D. native is shooting 52.4 percent from the field, including 38.1 percent from beyond the arc. She has scored in double figures in 16 contests, including 10 Summit League games. Larson registered a double-double with 17 points and a career-best 14 rebounds to lead the Jackrabbits to a road win over Oral Roberts. Additionally, she dished a career-high nine assists in SDSU’s victory over Purdue Fort Wayne.

The Jackrabbits begin their Summit League Tournament run Saturday as the No. 2 seed. SDSU will take on seventh-seeded North Dakota at 2:30 p.m. at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.

Player of the Year
Ciara Duffy, South Dakota

Defensive Player of the Year
Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota

Sixth Woman of the Year
Taylor Frederick, South Dakota

Newcomer of the Year
Evan Zars, Western Illinois

Freshman of the Year
Tori Nelson, South Dakota State

Coach of the Year
Dawn Plitzuweit, South Dakota

First Team All-League
Paiton Burckhard, South Dakota State
Ciara Duffy, South Dakota
Olivia Kaufmann, Western Illinois
Keni Jo Lippe, Oral Roberts
Madison Nelson, Denver
Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota

Second Team All-League
Julia Fleecs, North Dakota
Chloe Lamb, South Dakota
Tagyn Larson, South Dakota State
Lauren Loven, Denver
Mariah Murdie, Omaha

Honorable Mention All-League
Montserrat Brotons, Oral Roberts
Taylor Frederick, South Dakota
Michelle Gaislerova, North Dakota State
Madison McKeever, South Dakota
Rylie Torrey, Oral Roberts

All-Newcomer Team
Ryan Cobbins, North Dakota State
Jentry Holt, Oral Roberts
Tori Nelson, South Dakota State
Riley Ott, Purdue Fort Wayne
Evan Zars, Western Illinois


(PHOTO: SDSU Sports Information)