Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd has been named the 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year, the WNBA announced on Thursday. She’s the first ROY winner in Seattle franchise history.

Loyd received 21 votes from a national panel of 39 sportswriters and broadcasters. New York Liberty center Kiah Stokes finished second with 16 votes.

Loyd made waves by forgoing her senior season at Notre Dame to announce her candidacy for the 2015 WNBA Draft, where the Storm drafted her with the first overall pick. She led all rookies in scoring with 10.7 points per game, and her 90.4 free-throw percentage was tops among rookies (fourth in the WNBA).

In just her ninth professional game, Loyd dropped a career-high 21 points on 7-12 shooting in 28 minutes off the bench against the Tulsa Shock.

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NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2015 – Jewell Loyd of the Seattle Storm, who led all first-year players in scoring this season, has been named the 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year presented by Samsung, the WNBA announced today. The 5-10 guard is the first player to win the award with the Storm in the franchise’s 16 seasons.

 

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, Loyd received 21 votes from a national panel of 39 sportswriters and broadcasters. New York Liberty center Kiah Stokes finished second with 16 votes and Indiana Fever center Natalie Achonwa was third with two votes.

 

Loyd averaged rookie highs of 10.7 points and 25.9 minutes, putting her second on the Storm in both categories, and added 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 34 games (23 starts). Her 90.4 free throw percentage was tops among rookies and placed her fourth in the league.

 

The former Notre Dame star improved her scoring and field goal percentage every month of the season. In July, Loyd averaged 10.5 points (up from 8.1 in June) and shot 40.5 percent from the field (up from 34.1 in June) to earn the WNBA Rookie of the Month award presented by Samsung. She then averaged 12.2 points on 44.0 percent shooting in August and 13.6 points on 48.1 percent shooting in September.