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Jill Barta is on the Cheryl Miller Award watch list this season.

COLIN MULVANY, Spokesman-Review

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Jill Barta of Fairfield, now a star at Gonzaga, has been named one of 20 national candidates for the 2018 Cheryl Miller Award.

Named after the three-time Naismith Player of the Year, the annual award in its inaugural year recognizes the top small forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association made the announcement Wednesday.

Barta, a redshirt junior, is a two-time first-team All-WCC and a WCC all-freshman team selection, received her second-straight preseason All-WCC nod this year. Last season, she averaged a team-high 16.8 points per game and added six rebounds per game.

Barta scored a career-high 37 points against Saint Mary’s in the WCC championship, breaking the tournament record. She scored 20-plus points 11 times and 30-plus points twice.

She is the third Zag in program history to be named first-team All-WCC her first two seasons and only the second sophomore to score 1,000 points.

While at Fairfield, Barta's teams went 104-0 and won four consecutive Class B state titles. She scored 41 points in her final game to give Fairfield the state title over Malta.

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