UTA junior guard Cierra Johnson and junior center Rebekah VanDijk earned major Sun Belt awards Monday.
Johnson, from Hurst L.D. Bell, was named the league’s 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year as well as a selection to the All-SBC second team.
VanDijk, from Nazareth, was named to the All-SBC first team.
A finalist for the league’s defensive award all three seasons for UTA, Johnson is averaging 3.1 steals per game to lead the Sun Belt and rank 18th in the nation.
Never miss a local story.
With her leadership, UTA is ninth in the nation in turnovers forced per game at 21.6. Her 80 steals are fifth in UTA single-season history, and just one away from tying her mark from her freshman season.
VanDijk has averaged 15.8 points per game and 9.1 rebounds on the way to 12 double-doubles. She scored in double figures in 24 of 28 games this season. The junior was the lone player in the league to be top-3 in both points and rebounds.
In addition to the all-conference honor, VanDijk earned UTA’s sixth player of the week honor Monday after averaging 20 points a game in the final two games of the regular season. It was her third POW award this season.
Those two victories gave UTA a 21-7 overall record and the No. 2 seed in the Sun Belt tournament.
UTA earned a first-round bye and will play at 5 p.m. Thursday in New Orleans against the winner between No. 7 seed Georgia State and No. 10 South Alabama.