SAN ANTONIO (AP) — UConn star Paige Bueckers is the first freshman ever to win The Associated Press women's basketball player of the year. Bueckers was informed she won the award by coach Geno Auriemma during a team video session and broke down as she accepted it in front of her teammates.

Bueckers received 21 votes from the 30-member national media panel that chooses the weekly AP Top 25. Dana Evans of Louisville was second with four votes. Bueckers is the 12th UConn player to win it.

“A lot has happened over the past year things that could bring people down,” Bueckers said. “To get a reward and find something positive in these times, you cherish them. I was there with my teammates and coaching staff and to get that award with them around me makes you be so grateful for the position I’m in.”

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Former UConn greats Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart both won the award as sophomores. All other winners have been juniors or seniors since the AP started honoring players in 1995.

Bueckers, who is from Edina, Minnesota, is averaging 20.1 points, 5.9 assists, and 4.8 rebounds this season. She became the first UConn player ever to score 30 or more points in three consecutive games and also set the school record for points in her NCAA debut when she had 24 in the opener against High Point.

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