Big West Player of the Week is UC Riverside’s Daphne Gnago

Daphne Gnago. (photo courtesy of UC Riverside Athletics)
Daphne Gnago. (photo courtesy of UC Riverside Athletics) /

A big leap forward for a Highlander freshman.

UC Riverside’s Daphne Gnago was named the Big West Player of the Week for games played last week. A freshman, it is the first time this season that she has taken home the weekly honors. It also marks the third different player that UC Riverside has had win the award this season. Both Jannon Otto and Marina Ewodo have also won the award. No other team in the Big West has had more than one player win the weekly honors.

In two games played last week, both Highlander road wins, Gnago averaged 13.5 points per game on 75.0 percent from the field, 10.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.0 steals.

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The Highlanders began the week with a 75-68 win in double overtime over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in which Gnago put up 10 points on 50 percent shooting, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals. She followed that up UC Riverside’s 66-65 win over UC Irvine with a career-high 17 points on 8-8 shooting from the field, 12 rebounds, and two blocked shots.

On the season, her first in college basketball, she’s averaging 7.5 points per game on 49.4 percent shooting from the field, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals.

Gnago is a talented forward with a nice shooting touch around the rim. She came to the United States from France and is the first person in her family to attend a four-year university in the U.S. As a teenager, she played for the U16 and U17 French National Team, helping lead the U16 team to the World Championship game.

She’s been a key player for the resurgent Highlanders all season long, not only on offense, but defensively as well. She’s been a big reason why UC Riverside has turned things around during conference play after starting the season 6-8 in non-conference schedule.

The Highlanders will continue conference play this week on the road against UC Santa Barbara.

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