Four teams were represented in the five major award at the Annual Awards Reception on Thursday night.
Four teams were represented in the five major award at the Annual Awards Reception on Thursday night.
Courtesy: America East Communications

Women's Basketball Major Award Winners & All-Conference Teams Honored Thursday

Release: 03/06/2014

ALBANY, N.Y. --  University at Albany sophomore Shereesha Richards capped a historic regular-season by taking home the conference’s top honor as she was named America East Player of the Year, highlighting the annual awards reception held on the University at Albany campus on Thursday, March 6, the eve of the 2014 America East Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship presented by SEFCU.

Unlike last year, 2014 was a year of firsts, with Great Dane head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson serving as the only repeat award winner, receiving her third-straight Coach of the Year honor. UMBC standout freshman Sara Tarbert was recognized as the Rookie of the Year, and Stony Brook senior Chikilra Goodman became the second Seawolf to garner Defensive Player of the Year accolades. Hartford freshman Morgan Lumb was bestowed the conference’s inaugural Sixth Player of the Year award, given to the top contributor off-the-bench this season. The major award winners, along with the all-conference honorees, were determined by a vote from the league’s nine head coaches.

Richards, a forward from Rae Town, Jamaica, became the sixth player in America East history to be named Player of the Year a year after taking home the Rookie of the Year award. She has made her mark on the America East record books this season, winning a league-record nine Player of the Week honors. Richards is the first player in conference history to lead the league in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage in the same season. Her 62.4-percent field goal percentage ranks second in the nation, while her 20.2 points per game average is the highest for an America East player since UMBC’s Carlee Cassidy averaged 20.4 points per game in 2008-09. She scored 20 or more points 15 times and collected 13 double-doubles, while also being named to the All-Defensive team.

Abrahamson-Henderson became just the third America East coach to be named Coach of the Year in three-consecutive seasons, joining Maine’s Joanne Palombo-McCallie and Vermont’s Cathy Inglese. The fourth-year head coach has led the Great Danes to a second-straight regular-season title with a 15-1 league record, making her conference mark over the last three seasons an impressive 45-3. She guided Albany to a new America East record 38-game conference winning streak and has the team at the top of the conference in scoring offense, scoring defense, field goal percentage and field goal percentage defense.

Tarbert, a freshman from Delta, Pa., is the second Rookie of the Year from UMBC in the last three seasons. She has had one of the best rookie campaigns in recent memory, as her 13.7 points per game average is the highest for a freshman since Boston U.’s Chantel Alford in 2009-10. She is one of only three players to rank in the top-10 of the conference in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage. Tarbert was honored as Rookie of the Week five times this season, posting five double-doubles and six 20-point games.

Goodman, a senior from Philadelphia, Pa., is the second Seawolf in program history to be named Defensive Player of the Year and first since Dana Ferraro in 2005-06. A two-time Player of the Week selection, she ranks in the top-25 nationally and first in the conference in steals, averaging 2.7 per game. Her 177 defensive rebounds place her seventh on Stony Brook’s single season list. Goodman has recorded at-least one steal in 27 of Stony Brook’s 29 games and has tallied 25 multi-steal performances.

Lumb, a freshman from North Andover, Mass., earned the conference’s inaugural Sixth Player of the Year award. To be eligible, a player must come off the bench in more than 50 percent of all games including 50 percent of conference games. Lumb ranks fourth on the team in scoring while playing 19.1 minutes off the bench. She has provided an offensive spark, scoring in double figures in six of the final nine conference games, averaging 10.7 points per game and earning America East Rookie of the Week honors once in that stretch. She has hit 73 percent of her free throw attempts and has knocked down 33 three-pointers.

The All-Conference First Team was filled with players from the top-three seeds, highlighted by Richards who earned her first selection after being an All-Rookie pick in 2012-13. She was joined by teammate junior Megan Craig, who was a third-team selection last year and ranks second in field goal percentage this season. Stony Brook had a pair of honorees in Defensive Player of the Year Goodman along with junior Sabre Proctor, who leads the Seawolves and ranks third in the conference in scoring. New Hampshire senior and three-year captain Kelsey Hogan rounded-out the squad as one of only two active America East players with 1,000 career points.

A pair of Black Bears lead off the All-Conference Second Team, beginning with senior Ashleigh Roberts who is the conference’s active leading scorer. Teammate sophomore Liz Wood also earned recognition as the only player to rank in the top-10 of the conference in scoring, rebounding, assists and field goal percentage. In their first year of Division I, the UMass Lowell River Hawks also had two honorees with juniors Jasmine McRoy and Shannon Samuels. McRoy finished third in scoring and fifth in 3-point field goal percentage during conference play, while Samuels reached the 30-point mark twice this season and finished second in scoring, first in assists and fifth in steals during league action. Playing in her first America East season, New Hampshire sophomore Corinne Coia earned the final second-team spot and ranks fourth in field goal percentage and 12th in scoring.

The third-team selections included Hartford junior Amber Bepko, who earned her second-straight all-conference selection after making the second team last season. Joining her were four first-time picks, including the lone freshman to make an all-conference team in UMBC’s Tarbert. Bepko’s teammate Cherelle Moore joined the mix, ranking sixth in rebounding and eighth in steals during conference play. Albany senior Tammy Phillip, who ranks in the top-10 in rebounding, field goal percentage and steals, and New Hampshire sophomore Elizabeth Belanger, who has reached double figures five times in the last six games,

All five members of the All-Defensive team were also all-conference selections, headlined by Defensive Player of the Year Goodman. She was joined by three Albany Great Danes including Craig, Phillip and Richards. Maine’s Wood rounded out the honorees.

Tarbert headlined the five-member All-Rookie team, and she was joined by teammate Taylor McCarley who posted the first triple-double in the America East since 2010 this season. Hartford point guard Deanna Mayza became the fourth-straight Hawk to earn a selection, starting 24 games and ranking third on the team in scoring. The final two selections included Stony Brook freshman Kori Bayne-Walker was a two-time Rookie of the Week selection and Vermont’s Kylie Butler recorded four double-doubles.

Five student-athletes were voted to the all-academic team by conference sports information directors, faculty athletic representatives and academic counselors. Maine’s Wood was the lone all-conference honoree to also be named to the All-Academic team, recording a 3.95 GPA in Biology. Albany junior Sarah Royals, a double major in art and business, New Hampshire junior Kaylee Kilpatrick (3.90 GPA in Biomedical Sciences) and Stony Brook sophomore Brittany Snow (3.51 GPA in Psychology) also earned selections. The lone senior on the team, Hartford’s Alyssa Englert earned her first selection and was also named to the 2014 WBCA Allstate Good Works Team, an honor bestowed to only five Division I players in the country.

Many of the award winners will compete at the 2014 America East Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship presented by SEFCU beginning with quarterfinal games on March 7. The quarterfinal and semifinal rounds will be available live on ESPN3. The title game on Monday, March 10 will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU and will be available via the WatchESPN app.

For more information on America East women’s basketball, including video highlights, photos and championship central, visit             

2013-14 America East Women’s Basketball All-Conference Award Winners
All-Conference First Team        
Player School Class Position   Hometown/Last School
Megan Craig Albany Jr. C   Whangarei, New Zealand/Kamo
Shereesha Richards Albany So. F   Rae Town, Jamaica/Atlantic Christian
Kelsey Hogan New Hampshire Sr. G   Nashua, N.H./Nashua North
Chikilra Goodman Stony Brook Sr. G   Philadelphia, Pa./Paris JC
Sabre Proctor Stony Brook Jr. F   Harrisburg, Pa./NorthCarolina A&T
All-Conference Second Team        
Ashleigh Roberts Maine Sr. G   Wilmington, Del./Concord
Liz Wood Maine So. F   Catlett, Va./Liberty
Jasmine McRoy UMass Lowell Jr. G   Gaithersburg, Md./Watkins Mill
Shannon Samuels UMass Lowell Jr. G   Windsor, Conn./Windsor
Corinne Coia New Hampshire So. F   North Smithfield, R.I./Rhode Island
All-Conference Third Team        
Tammy Phillip Albany Sr. G   Tortola, British Virgin Islands/Elmore Stout
Amber Bepko Hartford Jr. G   Guilford, Conn./Mercy
Cherelle Moore Hartford Jr. F   Bridgeport, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral
Sara Tarbert UMBC Fr. F   Delta, Pa./Kennard-Dale
Elizabeth Belanger New Hampshire So. G   Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough Regional
All-Defensive Team          
Megan Craig Albany Jr. C   Whangarei, New Zealand/Kamo
Tammy Phillip Albany Sr. G   Tortola, British Virgin Islands/Elmore Stout
Shereesha Richards Albany So. F   Rae Town, Jamaica/Atlantic Christian
Liz Wood Maine So. F   Catlett, Va./Liberty
Chikilra Goodman Stony Brook Sr. G   Philadelphia, Pa./Paris JC
All-Rookie Team          
Deanna Mayza Hartford Fr. G   Pennsburg, Pa./The Hill School
Taylor McCarley UMBC Fr. G   Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross
Sara Tarbert UMBC Fr. F   Delta, Pa./Kennard-Dale
Kori Bayne-Walker Stony Brook Fr. G   Rochester, N.Y./Gates-Chili
Kylie Butler Vermont Fr. G   Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista
All-Academic Team          
Player School Class GPA Major Hometown/Previous School
Sarah Royals Albany Jr. 3.54 Business & Art Torrington, Conn./Torrington
Alyssa Englert Hartford Sr. 3.65 Physical Therapy Dansville, N.Y./Wayland-Cohocton
Liz Wood Maine So. 3.95 Biology Catlett, Va./Liberty
Kaylee Kilpatrick New Hampshire Jr. 3.9 Biomedical Sciences Saint John, New Brunswick/Harbour View
Brittany Snow Stony Brook So. 3.51 Psychology Shamong, N.J./Seneca
Coach of the Year          
Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, Albany      
Rookie of the Year          
Sara Tarbert, UMBC          
Sixth Player of the Year        
Morgan Lumb, Fr., G, Hartford        
Defensive Player of the Year        
Chikilra Goodman, Stony Brook      
Player of the Year          
Shereesha Richards, Albany