Kirsten Tilleman’s workmanlike performance in the paint during UCSB’s run to the Big West Tournament title for a berth in the NCAA Tournament earned her female Athlete of the Week honors at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon.
Westmont College’s versatile baseball player Tim Leary was honored as the male Athlete of the Week for his play in a series win over Point Loma.
Leary went 2-for-5, drove in five runs and scored two more in a 14-9 win in the first game of the four-game series. In the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader, he pitched six innings to earn the win and helped his cause by hitting two homers and a double and driving in five runs in an 8-2 victory.
Tilleman was a force inside against Long Beach State in the Big West championship game at the Honda Center. The 6-1 junior scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds — 8 on the offensive boards — to help the Gauchos win 63-54 and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three years.
In the semifinal win against Pacific, she held the Tigers’ All-Big West player Kendall Rodriguez to just 12 points, while grabbing nine rebounds and scoring eight points. Against No. 3-seeded UC Irvine in the first round, she had nine points and six boards.
Tilleman was named the tournament’s MVP.