2010-11 AUS major awards and all-stars announced
ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2010-11 AUS women's basketball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's eight head coaches following regular season play.
Fifth-year UNB forward Amanda Sharpe was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player as well as the recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award, Thursday night.
Other AUS major award winners announced during the awards banquet at the Holiday Inn in St. John's, Nfld., were UNB's Claire Colborne of Calgary, Alta., who was named rookie of the year; StFX's Ashley Stephen of Scarborough, Ont., who was selected as the defensive player of the year; Memorial's Brittany Dalton of Harbour Main, Nfld., who is the AUS Tracy MacLeod Award Nominee; and Cape Breton head coach Fabian McKenzie, who was named the AUS coach of the year.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Amanda Sharpe, UNB
Amanda Sharpe, a six-foot, fifth-year forward with the CIS No. 10-ranked UNB Varsity Reds, is the Atlantic University Sport women's basketball most valuable player.
A native of Fredericton, N.B., Sharpe has now been named an AUS first-team all-star in each of the past three seasons and wraps up her stellar university career as UNB's all-time leader in points scored with 1,526 in 100 regular season games played, ranking her 8th on the AUS career list.
This year, Amanda finished second in CIS scoring with an average of 19.7 points per game and also ranked second in the Atlantic conference in field goal percentage (53.7 per cent), third in blocked shots (1.50 per game) and fifth in rebounding (7.8 rebounds per game). She registered a "double-double" in seven of 20 regular season games and scored 30 or more points on three occasions.
"In my opinion, and I have heard this from coaches coast-to-coast, Amanda is one of the best post players in the country," said UNB head coach Jeff Speedy. "She is skilled, tough, and plays much bigger than her size. She has worked harder than any player I have ever coached and you can see the results as she keeps getting better every year."
Sharpe will look to become the first Atlantic University Sport player to take home the Nan Copp Award as the CIS player of the year.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Claire Colborne, UNB
Colborne, a native of Calgary, Alta., is the fourth player from the Varsity Reds program to claim the AUS rookie of the year award. Kathleen Singh (2004-05), Laura Swift (1990-91) and Kara Palmer (1988-89) are the only other UNB players to have won this award.
Claire started all 20 regular season games this season and averaged 18.6 points per game for the CIS No. 10-ranked V-Reds, ranking her fourth in the Atlantic conference and leading all first-year players in CIS women's basketball.
The six-foot guard also finished second in AUS three-point field goal percentage (45.5 per cent) and led the team in free-throw percentage (74.8 per cent). Colborne netted 20 or more points in 11 of 20 regular season games, including a season-high of 29 points in her second game of the year.
"Claire has had an immediate impact on our team, has been a scoring threat from our very first game and has continued that trend, averaging close to 20 points per game," said UNB head coach Jeff Speedy. "She is leading all CIS rookies in scoring by a wide margin and to be ranked fifth in overall CIS scoring as a freshman is truly a great accomplishment."
StFX's Theresa McCuish (1991-92), Dalhousie's Carolyn Wares (1993-94) and SMU's Julie Galipeau (1999-00) are the only Atlantic conference players to have been named the CIS Rookie of the Year.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ashley Stephen, StFX
Stephen, who was also selected as the AUS defensive player of the year in 2008-09, becomes the second two-time recipient of this award, joining Memorial's Katherine Quackenbush who was named the Atlantic conference's top defensive player in 2005-06 and 2007-08.
Stephen, a fifth-year student from Scarborough, Ont., finished third in league rebounding (8.3 per game) and second in AUS steals (2.90 per game) this season for the third-place X-Women.
The 5-foot-10 senior, who was also named a first-team all-star this season, chipped in offensively with 12.6 points per game and added six "double-doubles" in 20 games played.
She is the leader of a defense that allowed a league-low 61.5 points per game and finished first in AUS steals (14.20 per game) and turnover margin (+12.20).
"Ashley's hard work in the post and as a rebounder are what makes her a special player," commented StFX head coach Matt Skinn. "She is in the top three in AUS rebounding and steals, and is the vocal floor leader of our pressure defense. She embodies our team concept on the floor, and her energy, ability to apply ball pressure, get into the passing lanes, while also rebounding at an incredibly high rate make her a unique defensive talent."
Stephen and Nikki Doucet are the only previous StFX recipients of this award. Doucet was the inaugural recipient of this award following the 2000-01 season.
No Atlantic University Sport player has yet been named the CIS defensive player of the year.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Fabian McKenzie, Cape Breton
Cape Breton Capers head coach Fabian McKenzie is the Atlantic University Sport women's basketball coach of the year for the fourth time in his career (2001-02, 2005-06, 2009-10 and 2010-11).
McKenzie, now in his 12th season at the helm of the Capers program, guided Cape Breton (currently ranked No. 7 in CIS) to an impressive 16-4 regular season record this year, despite losing two-time AUS MVP and CBU's all-time leading scorer Kelsey Hodgson.
Coming into this weekend's Subway AUS Championship tournament, his career record (regular season, AUS playoffs and CIS championships) currently stands at 183 wins and 87 losses.
In addition to his four AUS Coach of the Year awards, he was also named the CIS coach of the year in 2005-06 and has been an assistant coach with the Senior Women's National Development team.
His CBU squads have now qualified for the AUS championship tournament twelve years in a row, capturing the conference titles in 2003-04, 2005-06, 2008-09 and 2009-10. He also guided the Capers to a silver medal at the CIS Championship in March of 2006.
"Fabian has developed into one of the best coaches in the country and in turn has made the CBU women's basketball program one of the best in Canada as well," said John Ryan, Director of Athletics at Cape Breton University. "His passion for the game of basketball is second to none and I admire him daily for his work ethic and his desire to make himself and his student-athletes better each day. CBU is very proud to have Fabian part of our Capers family and I know it means a lot to him to be recognized by his peers with this award."
McKenzie is also the last Atlantic University Sport coach to be named CIS coach of the year (2005-06).
TRACY MACLEOD AWARD NOMINEE: Brittany Dalton, Memorial
Dalton, a fourth-year Business student at Memorial, is the 2010-11 Atlantic University Sport nominee for the Tracy MacLeod Award.
This award rewards a women's basketball player who demonstrates determination, perseverance and unwaivering spirit.
As a freshman, Brittany tore her ACL and missed the next year and half of AUS basketball. Unfortunately, the injury forced her to miss the 2007 CIS women's basketball championship, hosted that year in St. John's, by Memorial University.
After a significant amount of rehabilitation and hard work, she was able to return to university basketball and compete at a high level.
This season, in a game just prior to the Holiday break, Brittany tore the same ACL once again.
Determined not to miss the 2011 AUS women's basketball championship on her home court, she once again committed herself to an aggressive rehabilitation program, and wearing a brace has returned to action in time for the playoffs.
"Brittany has been playing major minutes at the point guard position, is our third leading scorer, second leading rebounder and best defender, all on one good knee," said head coach Doug Partridge. "Her fire and competitive spirit set the tone for our team and her determination to play has been a key in our rise to a competitive level this year."
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Amanda Sharpe, UNB
Fifth-year UNB Varsity Reds forward Amanda Sharpe is the 2011 recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award.
A native of Fredericton, N.B., Halifax, N.S., Sharpe is a three-time Atlantic conference first team all-star, this year's AUS women's basketball most valuable player and the all-time leading scorer in the history of women's basketball at UNB with 1,526 career points.
She has not only enjoyed success on the court, but has also excelled in the classroom and in the community.
An academic all-Canadian, Amanda is very involved in both the UNB community and in the local community off campus. She serves as vice-president of the Athletes Council at UNB and is involved in planning numerous events on campus for student-athletes.
Off campus, Amanda took a lead in the "Read With the Reds" program which involves UNB's student-athletes visiting elementary schools and reading to over 1,100 children each year. Amanda also helped coach one of the Junior V-Reds club teams and ran the UNB girls basketball spring league, a very popular league with over 160 participants.
Amanda participated with her teammates in "Operation Christmas Child", sending shoe box Christmas gifts to children in Africa, and she again took the lead in raising money for our the team to buy and deliver toys, clothes and food to children at an orphanage in Cuba.
Last month, Sharpe raised over $900.00 to cut 10 inches of her hair off during "Think Pink Week" at UNB, which raised a total of $13,013 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. She will be donating the hair to "Lock For Love" so they can construct a wig for a cancer patient.
"In addition to her success on the court, Amanda is an academic all-Canadian and is very committed to becoming a better person and improving the lives of people less fortunate," said UNB head coach Jeff Speedy. "She has been an amazing role model for so many young girls in the Fredericton area and is an unbelievable all around person who cares far more about her teammates and helping others than herself. She has challenged me to think of more things we can do as a CIS women's basketball team to be even more involved in our community, and thanks to her we are."
FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
The Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars were also announced Thursday, along with this year's all-rookie team.
First Team All-Stars:
Amanda Sharpe, UNB (5th year - Fredericton, N.B.)
Justine Colley, Saint Mary's (2nd year - East Preston, N.S.)
Ashley Stephen, StFX (5th year - Scarborough, Ont.)
Jahlica Kirnon, Cape Breton (4th year - Toronto, Ont.)
Emma Duinker, Acadia (4th year - Cambridge, N.S.)
Second Team All-Stars:
Grace Fishbein, Memorial (3rd year - Waterloo, Ont.)
Leah Corby, UNB (5th year - Fredericton, N.B.)
Ally Forsey, Memorial (3rd year - Saint John's, Nfld.)
Nicole Works, Cape Breton (4th year - Truro, N.S.)
Sheryl Chisholm, StFX (4th year - Antigonish, N.S.)
Claire Colborne, UNB (Calgary, Alta.)
Courtney Thompson, Dalhousie (Saint John, N.B.)
Kristy Moore, Acadia (Shad Bay, N.S.)
Amy Gough, UPEI (Saint John's, Nfld.)
Kayla McCarron, Cape Breton (Sydney, N.S.)
The 2011 Subway Atlantic University Sport women's basketball championship gets under way this weekend at Memorial University in St. John's, Nfld. Live webcasts of all six matches of the championship will be available at http://www.goseahawks.ca.
The winner will be crowned AUS champions and will advance to the 2011 CIS women's basketball championship, March 18-20, hosted by the University of Windsor.
Note: The runner-up and the third place finisher will each have a second opportunity to qualify for the CIS women's basketball championship. The runner-up will host one of three CIS regional tournaments March 11-12, while the third place finisher will travel to Ontario to participate in the Central Regional event. For more information on the CIS championship format, visit http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wbkb/index .
The 2011 Subway Atlantic University Sport women's basketball championship schedule is as follows:
Friday, March 4th
Quarter-final #1: StFX (3rd) vs. Saint Mary's (6th), 6:00pm
Quarter-final #2: Memorial (4th) vs. Acadia (5th), 8:00pm
Saturday, March 5th
Semifinal #1: Cape Breton (1st) vs. Lowest Remaining Seed, 6:00pm
Semifinal #2: UNB (2nd) vs. Highest Remaining Seed, 8:00pm
Sunday, March 6th
Third Place Game: 11:00am
Championship Game: Semifinal Winners, 1:00pm