CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The All-Patriot League team and Major Awards were announced in women's basketball Tuesday morning during the annual pre-tournament media teleconference, and Army was the big winner sweeping the four trophies and placing a pair on the All-League first team.
Voting for the awards was conducted by the League's head coaches, who could not vote for their own student-athletes or themselves.
After a stellar freshman campaign, Army guard Kelsey Minato was named both the Player and Rookie of the Year Tuesday to become the first player in League history to capture both awards in the same season. Army senior guard Anna Simmers was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year, and Dave Magarity was named the Coach of the Year.
There was a tie in the voting by the head coaches for Player of the Year. The tie remained through a re-vote. According to League procedures, if the result of the re-vote is the same, the League office breaks the tie.
Minato and Simmers also garnered first-team All-League laurels, alongside Holy Cross junior Alex Smith, Lehigh freshman Kerry Kinek and Navy junior Jade Geif. The second team was comprised of American junior Alexis Dobbs, Bucknell junior Shelby Romine, Colgate senior Jhazmine Lynch, Holy Cross senior Amy Lepley and Navy junior Alix Membreno.
Minato and Kinek also headed up the All-Rookie team. They were joined by Army's Aimee Oertner, Colgate's Josie Stockill and Lafayette's Jamie O'Hare. Only freshmen in their first academic year are eligible for the All-Rookie team.
Minato led the League in scoring during conference play at 16.1 points per game, and was the League's top rookie in scoring in all games at 13.1. She led the League in 3-point shooting, both in League games (.423) and in all contests (.394), and is tops in the League in both sets of games in free throw shooting (.875 in League play, .824 in all games). Minato tied the record with eight Patriot League Rookie of the Week awards this season, and was twice named the Player of the Week. On Jan. 21 she swept both weekly awards. In addition to her two trophies, Minato was named first-team All-Patriot League by the head coaches and was one of three unanimous choices to the All-Rookie team, along with Kinek and Oertner. She is Army's first Player of the Year since Cara Enright in 2005-06, and first Rookie of the Year since Alex McGuire that same season.
Simmers was at force at both ends of the floor for the Black Knights. She leads Army in scoring in all games (13.7) and finished second on the club during League play (13.1). Also a first-team All-League honoree alongside Minato, Simmers is averaging 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest entering the tournament. During League play, she averaged 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.9 blocks per outing. A three-time Player of the Week this season, Simmers is Army's first Defensive Player of the Year since Margaree King in 2007-08, and is the third consecutive senior to claim the honor. Simmers was a first-team choice last season as well.
Magarity, in his seventh year as Army's head coach, guided the Black Knights to a 22-7 record and an 11-3 mark in the Patriot League. Army rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit Saturday against Lehigh to post a 62-52 victory to eventually claim a share of the League's regular-season title and secure the League Tournament's top seed. It's the second time Magarity has coached the Black Knights to at least 20 wins and first since 2006-07. Magarity is Army's second Coach of the Year honoree and first since Maggie Dixon in 2005-06.
Smith is the League's leading scorer in all games at 14.7 points per game, while her 426 points are also a League high. She is second in the League in 3-point shooting (.389), while her 3.0 made 3s per game are a League best and have been in and out of the NCAA's top 10 most of the season. Smith was also a first-team pick a season ago.
Geif, the Most Valuable Player of each of the last two Patriot League Tournaments, garnered first-team laurels after earning a spot on the second team a year ago. Named the Preseason Player of the Year in October by the coaches and sports information directors, Geif is fourth in the League in scoring (13.1), third in rebounding (7.9) and tops in field goal percentage (.544). During League play, Geif was fourth in scoring at 13.4 points and second in rebounding at 8.3.
Kinek has put together an impressive freshman campaign with six Rookie of the Week nods. She comes into Thursday's quarterfinals sixth in the League in scoring (12.7) and second in rebounding (8.3). She increased her scoring to 13.8 points per game during League play, and hauled in 7.8 rebounds per contest, third in conference action. She set the Patriot League and Lehigh single-game records with 22 rebounds in Lehigh's 49-37 win at Bucknell Feb. 20. In addition to her first-team laurels, she was also named to the All-Rookie squad.
Dobbs, the defending Scholar-Athlete of the Year, is averaging 11.2 points per game and scored 10.9 in 14 League contests. She's tops in the League in steals (2.0 per game), second in assists (3.8), and fifth from behind the 3-point line (.361). She's making her second appearance on the All-League team after garnering first-team laurels a year ago.
Romine comes into the tournament third in the League in scoring at 13.7. She has 388 points on the season and was one of five League players this season to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for her career. The junior guard is third in the League in minutes (36.7) and averages 1.5 made 3-pointers per game.
Lynch, the 2009-10 Rookie of the Year, is averaging 9.4 points for the Raiders entering Thursday's quarterfinal with Army. She's fourth in the League in free throw shooting (.802) and second in steals (1.9) while hitting .309 from beyond the arc.
Lepley has come back from a preseason injury to average 11.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in 20 appearances for the Crusaders, all starts. She's averaging 2.9 assists per game and scored her 1,000th career point earlier this season.
Membreno, one of five members of Navy's deep junior class, earned second-team honors and enters the postseason ninth in the League in scoring (11.2) and ninth in rebounding (6.5). She also ranks sixth in field goal shooting (.422) and seventh in assists (3.1). She averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds during League play.
Oertner was named Rookie of the Week three times, including in each of the first two weeks of the season. She stands 10th in League single-season history with 77 blocks entering Thursday, and is averaging 7.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest.
Stockill worked her way into Colgate's starting rotation late in the season. She is averaging 6.9 points, fourth highest among freshmen in the League and third best on the Raiders, and hauling in 4.2 rebounds per game.
O'Hare is the League's fifth-highest scoring rookie at 6.1 points per game, and is 10th overall in assists with 2.4 per game. She also owns a team-high 35 steals.
The 2013 Patriot League Tournament gets underway with the quarterfinal round Thursday, with all four games at 7 p.m. Top-seeded Army hosts No. 8 Colgate, No. 2 Navy entertains seventh-seeded Lafayette, No. 6 Bucknell visits third seed American and fourth-seeded Holy Cross battles No. 5 Lehigh, with the better seeds hosting all four games.
The semifinals are set for Monday, March 11. The tournament does not re-seed, so the Army-Colgate winner will take on the Holy Cross-Lehigh winner, while the Navy-Lafayette winner goes up against the American-Bucknell winner.
The semifinal winners will battle Saturday, March 16 at 6 p.m. for the Patriot League championship. The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
2013 All-Patriot League Team and Major Awards
Player of the Year - Kelsey Minato, Army, Fr., G Defensive Player of the Year - Anna Simmers, Army, Sr., G Rookie of the Year - Kelsey Minato, Army, Fr., G Coach of the Year - Dave Magarity, Army
First Team All-Patriot League Kelsey Minato, Army, Fr., G Anna Simmers, Army, Sr., G Alex Smith, Holy Cross, Jr., G Kerry Kinek, Lehigh, Fr., F Jade Geif, Navy, Jr., F
Second Team All-Patriot League Alexis Dobbs, American, Jr., G Shelby Romine, Bucknell, Jr., G Jhazmine Lynch, Colgate, Sr., G Amy Lepley, Holy Cross, Sr., G/F Alix Membreno, Navy, Jr., G
All-Rookie Team Aimee Oertner, Army, F/C Kelsey Minato, Army, G Josie Stockill, Colgate, F Jamie O'Hare, Lafayette, G Kerry Kinek, Lehigh, F