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Rutgers’ Ashnault and Laney Nominated for Big Ten Athlete of the Year

Rutgers wrestling’s Anthony Ashnault, and women’s basketball’s Betnijah Laney have been nominated for the male and female Big Ten Athlete of the Year awards, the university announced in a press release.

Ashnault earned All-American status, capping a hugely successful redshirt freshman season. He finished eighth at the NCAA Championships, finishing with a 3-2 record and All-American status. During dual season, Ashnault went 19-2, best on the team.

Perhaps Ashnault’s most impressive victory of the season took place during Rutgers’ first ever Big Ten match against No. 1 Iowa. Ashnault’s faced Josh Dziewa, ranked sixth in the nation at the time. With the match tied 1-1 in the waning seconds, Ashnault managed an impressive takedown to break the tie with two seconds remaining, sealing a 3-1 victory.

Laney was the star of C. Vivian Stringer’s squad, averaging 15.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in her senior season. She also led the team in minutes played, averaging 36.2 per game. Impressively, 234 of Laney’s 342 rebounds were defensive boards.

Rutgers' BetniJah Laney is nominated for Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year (Associated Press).

Rutgers’ BetniJah Laney is nominated for Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year (Associated Press).

Double-doubles came pretty easy for Laney, who racked up 20 of them in 32 games, including eight straight to begin the season. She ranked 10th in the nation in double-doubles.

Laney’s Scarlet Knights career is over, but her basketball career is not, as she was drafted 17th overall in the WNBA Draft by the Chicago Sky. She is the 17th Scarlet Knight to be selected in the WNBA Draft.

The winners of the male and female Big Ten Athletes of the Year will be announced on Monday, June 22.

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