MOLINE — The Illinois State women's basketball coaching staff had high hopes for TeTe Maggett even before she committed to play for the Redbirds.
"During the recruiting process, we talked about coming to this conference and maybe getting Newcomer of the Year," Maggett said Thursday. "That's what we did."
Already a first-team all-Missouri Valley Conference all-star in her first season since transferring to ISU from Vincennes University, Maggett was named the league's Newcomer of the Year on Thursday during the first day of the MVC Tournament at the TaxSlayer Center.
"My first year making an impact in this conference, it feels great," said Maggett. "The coaches helped me a lot. They kept my head on straight, and helped me be a better player."
A 5-foot-8 junior guard from North Chicago, Maggett started 26 of 29 games for ISU. She averaged 15.8 points and 4.6 rebounds, while leading the Redbirds in free throw percentage (80.0), steals (36) and assists (72).
"I am so proud of TeTe for being named Newcomer of the Year," ISU coach Kristen Gillespie said. "This was our vision for her during the recruiting process. She is one of the most coachable players I have ever been around.
"Her desire to become great is what sets her apart. I think she is only starting to scratch the surface of the player she will become."
Maggett follows teammate Simone Goods, giving ISU two straight Newcomer of the Year recipients.
"That's great, especially with her coming from juco, too," said Maggett.
In other Valley honors, the Jackie Stiles Player of the Year Award went to Drake's Becca Hittner, who became the fifth player in league history to claim the top prize two years in a row.
Hittner paced the Valley in scoring at 19.9 points per game. Drake teammate Sammie Bachrodt was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year.
Missouri State's Kellie Harper was selected Coach of the Year. Harper led the Bears to a 16-2 MVC record and second place in league play.
Lasha Petree of Bradley was picked Freshman of the Year and Sixth Player of the Year.
Valparaiso 79, Indiana State 77: Valpo trailed 22-12 after one quarter and rallied for the lead in the third period before watching the Sycamores slice a six-point deficit to two in the final minute.
The ninth-seeded Crusaders (8-23) had all five starters score in double figures, led by the 25 points of Meredith Hamlet. Valpo faces top seed Drake in Friday's first quarterfinal at noon.
No. 8 seed Indiana State (11-19) received 26 points from Ashli O'Neal and 25 from Tamara Lee.
Loyola 90, Evansville 80: No. 7 seed Loyola grabbed a huge early lead and toppled No. 10 Evansville.
Abby O'Connor led Loyola (13-17) with 22 points. The Ramblers face Missouri State in a 6 p.m. quarterfinal Friday.
Evansville (4-26) reduced what was once a 26-point deficit to seven in a 34-point fourth quarter. Kerri Gasper's 23 points were high for the Purple Aces.