BYU freshman Shaylee Gonzales was named this year's West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year.
Pepperdine senior forward Yasmine Robinson-Bacote was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year after a season that saw her lead the conference in scoring by the largest margin in three years while captaining the Waves to their best conference finish since the 2010-11 season.
Pacific's Valerie Higgins was named the Defensive Player of the Year and Gonzaga's Lisa Fortier was named the Coach of the Year as announced Tuesday by the league office.
All four individual awards - along with the All-West Coast Conference Teams and the All-Freshman Team - were voted on by the league's 10 head coaches.
Robinson-Bacote ends a stellar career by becoming the first Wave to claim the conference's top honor since Tamara McDonald earned the award in the 2002-03 season, and she becomes just the third Wave overall to be honored. The senior averaged 20.4 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game in conference play for a Waves team that finished third in the standings after being predicted ninth in the preseason poll. Her 35 points in a game at Pacific were the most by a student-athlete in conference play this season while her 47 points against Sacramento State on November 23 set a new program record. Robinson-Bacote led the league in scoring by over 2.0 points per game to the next student-athlete, the largest individual margin of scoring per game since Lexi Eaton Rydalch led the league by almost five points in the 2015-16 season.
Higgins becomes the first Pacific Tiger to be named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year after the sophomore transfer lit the league as a stat-stuffer averaging 16.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and a league-best 3.2 steals per game in conference play. Her 57 total steals during the 18-game conference seasons are the third-most in conference play in WCC history behind only the 66 by Gabby Green of Loyola Marymount last season and the 59 by Melissa King of Santa Clara in 1991.
Gonzales is the third BYU student-athlete to be named the WCC Newcomer of the Year since the Cougars joined the conference in 2012. The freshman immediately took the country by storm, averaging 16.3 points in all games and 15.8 points in conference-only games. She finished the regular season as the only freshman in the conference to crack the top 18 in either points per game (sixth) or rebounds per game (5.6, 17th) in league play. Through 29 games this season, Gonzales has scored in double figures in all but two contests. She also averaged 4.4 assists per game in league play. The other two Cougar honorees were Kalani Purcell (2016), Lexi Eaton Rydalch (2012).
Lisa Fortier won her fourth conference crown in five years as head coach after guiding the Bulldogs to a 27-3 overall and 16-2 conference record. The Bulldogs have been ranked in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' Polls for 14 consecutive weeks, and Gonzaga was highlighted as a 4-seed in the NCAA Selection Committee's early reveal.
Of the 10-member All-WCC First Team, seven appeared on the 2018-19 preseason All-WCC squad. Robinson-Bacote of Pepperdine are making her third-consecutive First Team appearance while Brenna Chase of BYU and Megan McKay of Saint Mary's are making their second-consecutive appearances.
All 10 West Coast Conference teams head to Las Vegas to compete for the 2019 University Credit Union West Coast Conference Basketball Championship and subsequent automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Tournament action tips off Thursday at the Orleans Arena.