Tuesday, April 28, 2009

University of Albany Women's Basketball Recognizes Six Great Danes At Annual Postseason Awards Event - UAlbany Sports 2009

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – The University at Albany women’s basketball program announced on Tuesday, April 28 the winners of its postseason awards. Six players were recognized for their contributions to the program during the 2008-09 campaign.

Sophomore Janea Aiken, a 5-foot-9 guard, earned the team’s playmaker award. Aiken broke the school record for points by a sophomore. She finished with 412 and averaged a team-best 13.3 per game, which were also America East Conference highs among second-year players. Her 33 points in the conference opener at Binghamton was the second-highest single-game total in school history and three shy of the record.

Sophomore Kim Clements, a 5-foot-10 guard/forward, was named the squad’s defensive player of the year. Clements, who saw limited playing time last year, improved her numbers in practically every statistical category and was regularly assigned to cover one of the opposing team’s top scoring threats. Clements grabbed at least five rebounds eight times, including a career-best seven against Vermont and Stony Brook. She averaged 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds and 0.3 blocks in 30 appearances.

Freshman Kate Cronin, a 6-foot forward, was named the team’s most improved player after averaging 2.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. After playing only five minutes in the first 14 contests, Cronin worked her way into the starting lineup for the last six games of the season. She averaged 2.7 points and 3.5 boards while leading the team to a 3-3 record in that span.

Charity Iromuanya, a 5-foot-8 junior, was awarded unsung hero. Iromuanya was also a key factor to the Great Danes’ improvement down the stretch. She was the lone player to average a double-double (12.5 ppg and 10.0 rpg) in America East Conference postseason play. Iromuanya finished the year averaging 5.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists.

Senior Amira Ford, a 5-foot-5 guard, was honored with the club’s leadership award. The only senior captain on the squad was also one of the team’s two representatives on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and assisted with organizing the program’s community service initiatives. Ford, the team’s starting point guard in 12 of the 31 games, also proved to be a leader in the classroom. Her 3.30 cumulative grade point average ranked first on the squad among returning players.

Tabitha Makopondo, a 6-foot-1 freshman, earned the team’s academic award. She had a 3.87 cumulative grade point average through the fall semester as a psychology major. Makopondo led all newcomers in points, rebounds, steals and blocks. The freshman’s numbers surged as the season progressed, as she finished the year averaging 5.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and a team-high 0.4 blocks per game.

Head coach Trina Patterson put together what turned out to arguably be the most competitive schedule the Great Danes have ever seen at the Division I level in 2008-09. The slate featured a program-record 11 contests against clubs which advanced to either the NCAA Tournament or Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).

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