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Guinn, Sheng Recognized with PacWest Women's Basketball Honors

WBB - Zoie Sheng (by Jason Harrel)

Zoie Sheng. Photo by Jason Harrel.

WBB - Jasmin Guinn (by Rob Garcia)

Jasmin Guinn. Photo by Rob Garcia.

Helping guide an Academy of Art University women’s basketball squad that showed tremendous resilience during the 2014–15 regular season, junior guards Jasmin Guinn and Zoie Sheng were each selected to All-PacWest Teams in a March 4 announcement by the PacWest office. Guinn, who was named PacWest Player of the Week heading into the conference tournament, earned All-PacWest First Team honors and Sheng, the team’s on-court conductor, was made a member of the All-PacWest Third Team.

This year, the PacWest coaches or designated representatives from each school selected 19 student-athletes for All-Conference accolades. The squad consisted of a First Team, Second Team, Third Team, and honorable mention featuring six to seven players on each listing. Additionally, individual awards were given to a Player, Freshman, Newcomer, Defender and Coach of the Year.

After closing out the regular season with an impressive set of performances in Hawaii, Guinn was the Urban Knights’ leading scorer (14.2 points per game, 12th in PacWest), rebounder (7.9 rebounds per game, 10th in PacWest) and remains one of the toughest defenders after averaging 2.0 steals per game (5th in PacWest). En route to her Player of the Week honor, Guinn dropped a career-high 28 points, nine rebounds and four steals against UH Hilo on Feb. 24, going 10-for-22 from the field with two 3-pointers and six free throws made in seven attempts. The win was particularly significant as it secured the Academy a spot in the PacWest Conference Championship Tournament.

“Jas has taken on a lot of responsibility and what makes her a special player is her ability to do it all on both ends,” said head coach LaNay Larson. “She is very athletic, but doesn’t rely on that and plays very hard, which makes her undeniably one of the best players in our conference. The sky is the limit for Jasmin and I know she can’t wait to expand on what she has done this year.”

This year, Guinn not only became the program’s all-time career steals leader (Feb. 7 vs. Holy Names), but she also earned the title of all-time career rebounder (Feb. 26 vs. BYU-Hawaii) despite standing 5–6. Through 28 games this season, there were only five occasions in which Guinn did not register at least one steal and was one off her career-high when she tallied six thefts on “Senior Knight” versus Notre Dame de Namur. She reached her season-high of 14 rebounds twice (Dec. 6 vs. NDNU, Jan. 3 vs. Dominican).

Sheng completed her best regular season to date with the Urban Knights, averaging 13.5 points (16th in PacWest), 4.1 free throws made per game (4th in PacWest), and finishing as the team’s assists leader (2.9 assists per game, 12th in PacWest). She also ranks seventh in the PacWest in terms of free throw percentage (.795) and is one of four ART U players among the conference’s top 11 in steals per game (1.7).

“Zo has been my starting point guard since she stepped on the court as a freshman,” said Larson. “While recruiting her, I knew she was what I needed to guide this program for the four years she would be here. She has done an amazing job of leading on the floor, holding people accountable, and contributing on both ends wherever it is needed.”

As a junior, one of Sheng’s most memorable highlights was when she posted a career-high 30 points at NDNU on Dec. 6, becoming only the second ART U player ever to reach the 30-point milestone in a game. Like Guinn, she also earned multiple career distinctions including the program’s all-time assists and free throws made leader. Sheng dealt out five assists against Dominican on Jan. 3 to top the list, then affirmed her place as the No. 1 foul shooter with a 3-for-3 performance on “Senior Knight.” En route to the achievement, Sheng put in a new program record 12 free throws at UC San Diego on Nov. 28 while also earning 2014 UCSD Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament Team honors.

These honors are the second in both Guinn and Sheng’s respective careers. Guinn was named All-PacWest Third Team last season and Sheng was All-PacWest Second Team that year.