Cambridge, Mass.-- University at Albany's Ebone Henry and Binghamton University's Jasbriell Swain are the recipients of the first America East women's basketball weekly awards of the 2010-11 season. Sophomore guard Henry (San Diego, Calif./Mater Dei Catholic) earned the league's Player of the Week award, while Swain (Memphis, Tenn./Horn Lake), a freshman guard, received the Rookie of the Week accolade.
Henry, an America East all-rookie selection a year ago, led the Great Danes to their first season-opening win since 2003-04 with a 64-54 win over Brown. The sophomore guard recorded a game-high 23 points and career-high 15 rebounds on 8-for-16 shooting from the floor. Henry also handed out three assists, grabbed two steals and recorded a block in the home opener. She also hit three of Albany's six three-pointers in just 28 minutes of action. Last year, as a freshman, Henry averaged 10.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.97 steals per game.
In her collegiate debut, Swain recorded a double-double to take home Binghamton's first rookie of the week since the 2008-09 season. On the road against St. Bonaventure of the Atlantic-10, Swain finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and two assists. She knocked down 5-of-7 three-point attempts and shot .461 (6-for-13) from the floor. Swain recorded the highest point and rebound total by any Binghamton freshman since the program moved up to the Division I level in 2001.
Hartford, which finished last season #25 in the Associate Press Top-25 poll, entered this season with 17 votes in the preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Hawks are the 11th team listed under those receiving votes.
Poll Position... Mid-Major edition
CollegeInsider.com debuted its first-ever Women's Mid-Major Top-25 poll on October 27 with the preseason edition. Hartford (#10) led three America East squads in the poll. University of Vermont came in at #17, while Boston University received 139 votes and is the second team listed among the others receiving votes.
America East is coming off arguably its most successful season in the history of the league. Two teams represented the conference in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000, including Hartford's first-ever at-large bid. Vermont defeated Wisconsin in the first round, America East's third win in the tourney since 2006. Boston U. made it three teams in the postseason when it earned a spot in the postseason WNIT and hosted a game at Case Gym. For the year, the league finished 15th in the RPI, the league's highest finish since 2005-06. America East was the fifth-highest ranked non-FBS conference in the final 2009-10 RPI ratings.
Against the Best
To get into postseason tournaments - and then succeed in them - you must compete against the best teams. Over a third of the league's non-conference games last year (45 of 113) were against teams which qualified for the NCAA or WNIT postseason tournaments the previous season. Below is how the league has fared against those teams.
vs. NCAA Teams 5-16 (.238)
->wins over Dartmouth (x2), Temple, Sacred Heart, Louisville
vs. WNIT Teams 7-17 (.292)
->wins over Central Conn., Harvard, Boston College, Coppin St, Dayton, Bowling Green, Canisius
vs. All Postseason Teams 12-33 (.267)
Through the opening weekend of the 2010-11 season, five of 11 non-conference opponents competed in the 2010 postseason, including two NCAA participants and three WNIT competitors.
America East welcomes three new head coaches this season. University at Albany hired Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, previously the associate head coach at Indiana and also a former assistant at University of Maine. University of New Hampshire brought on Maureen Magarity to head up its program. Magarity, who comes from Army where she was most recently associate head coach, is believed to be the youngest Division I coach--men's or women's--in the country. Finally, after two straight America East Championships, University of Vermont is rebuilding its team, including the coaching staff. During the offseason, the Catamounts hired Lori Gear McBride, a member of the 1994 North Carolina team which won the National Championship.
University of Maine head coach Cindy Blodgett signed a two-year contract extension this fall. The new deal extends her four-year contract signed in 2007 through the end of the 2012-13 season. Blodgett is a 1998 Maine graduate and Black Bear legend who enjoyed a professional career in the WNBA and Europe. She returned to Maine three years ago following a successful stint as a Brown University assistant coach.
Atop The Class
The Women's Basketball Coaches' Association (WBCA) recognized both the UMBC and University of Hartford women's basketball programs this summer with the release of the organization's Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll. The Retrievers had the third-highest grade-point average (GPA) of all Division I programs for the 2009-10 year based on the nomination submitted by WBCA-member head coaches, while the Hawks ranked 23rd in the country. UMBC, led by Head Coach Phil Stern, finished the season with a team GPA of 3.578 and is making its first appearance on the Top 25 Honor Roll. Only Utah Valley University (3.630) and South Dakota State University (3.622) in Division I bettered the Retrievers' mark. Head Coach Jen Rizzotti’s Hawks compiled a team GPA of 3.321 for the 2009-10 campaign and made the honor roll for the second straight year. The Hawks were one of just nine 2010 postseason teams (NCAA/WNIT) honored academically this year.
Online Web Show Premieres
America East is proud to release its latest new media initiative, "America East Online". America East Online is a 20-minute web-only show which features all nine of the conference's campuses and highlights athletics, academics and leadership. The show, hosted by America East's Max Mandel, will be available on Wednesdays at least every other week throughout the academic year, including weekly during the basketball season. Fans can watch the web show at the America East Zone on AmericaEast.com, as well as on the league's social media web sites such as YouTube and Facebook.
AExtra Blog Covers It All
America East unveiled its new blog--"AExtra"--on Wednesday, September 1, just in time for the 2010-11 season. AExtra gives fans a unique perspective on the teams and student-athletes that make up the conference. In addition to the conference media relations staff, contributors to the blog include student journalists from member schools who will have inside access to the teams, the games and the storylines. AExtra features stories and recaps beyond just the boxscores, q&a's with student-athletes, coaches and beat reporters, a daily round up of web links of the conference in the news and a forum for fans to interact with each other and the conference. Photo galleries and videos will showcase the action.
Good Things Come In TV Packages
During the regular season, America East, in partnership with ESPN Regional Television, will produce seven women's basketball games, which will be distributed among regional sports networks and local carriers. Eric Frede returns as the play-by-play announcer for America East basketball. Leah Secondo, a veteran of America East television productions, will be alongside Frede as the color analyst.
The conference television slate begins Jan. 23 when the teams picked first and second, Boston U. and Hartford, battle at Case Gym live on Comcast Sports Net at 2 p.m. Three days later, the Terriers then host Binghamton, picked to finish the conference third, in a night game broadcast on Comcast Sports Net and on Time Warner. Hartford will host the next two AETV games. A Feb. 13 matchup features a rematch of the Terriers and Hawk on Comcast Sports Net, while UMBC makes the trek on Feb. 20 for a game to be televised on Comcast Sports Net in New England and Comcast Sports Net plus in the Mid-Atlantic.
Additionally, the America East Championship semifinals on March 6 will be produced by the conference in partnership with ESPN Regional.
As result of a partnership with Neulion, each of the conference-produced games will also be streamed and available for free at the America East Zone on www. AmericaEast.com.
Terriers Are Clearcut Favorites
With a wealth of young talent returning for the 2010-11 season, the Boston University Terriers are the team to beat for the 2011 America East Women’s Basketball Championship. The Terriers received all eight possible first-place votes in a poll of the league’s nine head coaches, with head coaches not permitted to vote for their own team. The conference office unveiled the preseason poll on October 14 at the 2010 America East Basketball Tip-Off Event at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, host city of the 2011 America East Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship presented by Newman’s Own.
Perennial powerhouse University of Hartford garnered the remaining first-place vote and received 56 points, eight points behind the Terriers. Binghamton University placed third in the poll with 50 points, followed by Stony Brook University (39), UMBC (37) and University of Vermont (30). University at Albany (18), University of Maine (17) and University of New Hampshire (13) rounded out the nine-team poll.
2010-11 Preseason Poll
Rank Team (1st-place votes) Total
1. Boston University (8) 64
2. Hartford (1) 56
3. Binghamton 50
4. Stony Brook 39
5. UMBC 37
6. Vermont 30
7. Albany 18
8. Maine 17
9. New Hampshire 13
Seven women’s basketball student-athletes earned preseason all-conference recognition as voted on by the league’s nine head coaches and announced at the America East Basketball Tip-Off Event on Thursday, October 14 at the Connecticut State Capitol Building. All seven student-athletes are first-time recipients of this distinction.
The preseason all-conference team, which includes three from the preseason favorite Boston University Terriers, consists of two sophomores, three juniors and two seniors, a stark contrast to last year’s preseason team which was exclusively seniors.
Leading the group as unanimous selections are Binghamton University junior guard Andrea Holmes (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell), Boston University sophomore guard Chantell Alford (West Haven, Conn./Wilbur Cross) and Stony Brook University senior forward Kirsten Jeter (Elmont, N.Y./Elmont). These three earned the maximum eight votes, as head coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.
Joining this trio are Terrier guards Mo Moran (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./John Jay) and Alex Young (Hickory, N.C./St. Stephen’s), University of Hartford senior guard Jackie Smith (Westfield, Mass./Holyoke) and University of New Hampshire junior forward Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass./Framingham). Seven were named to the team rather than the traditional five due to a tie in the voting.
2010-11 Preseason All-Conference Team
*Andrea Holmes, Binghamton, Jr., G
*Chantell Alford, Boston U., So., G
Mo Moran, Boston U., So., G
Alex Young, Boston U., Jr., G
Jackie Smith, Hartford, Sr., G
Denise Beliveau, New Hampshire, Jr., F
*Kirsten Jeter, Stony Brook, Sr., F
Hartford Hosts 2011 Tourney
The America East Conference has chosen the University of Hartford as host for its 2011 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. Just months removed from the first-ever combined men’s and women’s championship, the conference Athletic Directors chose to build off the momentum created from this past year and once again hold the tournament in Hartford.
The 2011 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will be held on March 3-6, 2011 at The Chase Family Arena at the Reich Family Pavilion on University of Hartford’s campus. The first, quarterfinal and semifinal rounds for both the men and women will be held at the combined tournament, while the title games will again both be held the following weekend at the site of highest seeds remaining.
Newman's Own Signs Title Sponsorship
Newman’s Own, Inc. announced it renewed partnership with the America East Conference as title sponsor of the men’s and women’s basketball championship, March 3-6, 2011, at the University of Hartford. This marks the second sponsorship year for Newman’s Own. The Westport, CT-based company will again engage championship fans in sponsorship-related arena activities along with the promotion of Newman’s Own Thin & Crispy Crust Frozen pizzas.
Elements of the sponsorship that were a priority to Newman’s Own last year will be replicated during the 2011 tournament, including arena signage for Newman’s Own Thin & Crispy Crust Frozen pizzas; product awareness and trial; extensive television exposure with a Newman’s Own 30-second commercial, a new avenue in Newman’s Own marketing; America East website presence; social media engagement; and, a continued growth in the awareness of the company’s philanthropic mission.
Over $100,000 Up For Grabs
Newman's Own Foundation announced the continuation of its Campus Community Service Challenge in partnership with the America East Conference. Launched last year at the Conference's preseason basketball tipoff, this unique program encourages the practice of philanthropy on America East campuses and in surrounding communities. One student group, chosen from each of the America East's nine member universities, will participate on behalf of its nonprofit partner for the top grant of $25,000. In total, over $100,000 will be awarded to nominated nonprofits and other charities. Judges for the challenge will include NBA legend and well-known philanthropist Dikembe Mutombo and ESPN basketball analyst Rebecca Lobo. For more information, visit www.NewmansOwnFoundation.org/Challenge.
ALBANY GREAT DANES (1-0, 0-0 AE)
Albany won its first season opener since 2003-04 with a 64-54 victory over Brown on Friday evening... The Great Danes were led by sophomore guard Ebone Henry (San Diego, Calif./Mater Dei Catholic) who recorded a game-high 23 points and 15 rebounds, along with three assists, two steals and a block... Henry shot 8-of-16 from the floor and connected on three of Albany's six three-pointers in the game... The Great Danes also got a double-double from Julie Forster (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington) who totaled 13 points and 16 rebounds... She shot 4-of-8 from the field and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line... Forster also recorded two blocks in 31 minutes of action... The Great Danes also received double-digit points from Adrienne Jones (Waldorf, Md./Westlake) who recorded 10 points and an assist from her starting guard position... The Great Danes will return to action on Tuesday, visiting St. Francis (N.Y.), before traveling to Manhattan on Friday.
BINGHAMTON BEARCATS (0-1, 0-0 AE)
Freshman guard Jasbriell Swain (Memphis, Tenn.) led the Bearcats with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the season opener against St. Bonaventure. In the process, she recorded the highest point and rebound total by a Binghamton freshman since the program moved up to the Division I level in 2001. Swain was 6-of-13 from the field and 5-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc... Junior guard Andrea Holmes (Memphis, Tenn.), a preseason all-conference selection, opened up the season with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists against St. Bonaventure... Sophomore forward Kara Elofson (Minneapolis, Minn.), making her first career start, just missed recording a double-double in the game against the Bonnies, finishing with 11 points and nine rebounds.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY TERRIERS (0-1, 0-0 AE)
Despite a 30-point outburst from junior guard Alex Young, the Boston University women's basketball team (0-1) fell to Boston College (1-0), 84-65, in the season opener for both teams Friday at Case Gym...Young buried five three-pointers - tying a career best - and shot 11-of-20 from the field, ending up three points shy of her career high of 33 set last season vs. Brown... Sophomore guard Mo Moran (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./John Jay) added 15 points for the Terriers, who were outscored, 44-28, in the second half... On the boards, senior Kerry Cashman (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) had a team-high seven rebounds and junior Caroline Stewart (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Regional) brought down six.
HARTFORD HAWKS (0-1, 0-0 AE)
The University of Hartford women's basketball team saw an eight-point lead with 6:53 to play evaporate as the Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils battled for a 46–41 victory in the 2010-11 season opener. Senior Mary Silvia (Reading, Mass./Reading) and sophomore Daphne Elliott (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Warde) led the team in scoring, both finishing with seven points... As a team, the Hawks struggled to find anything but iron the entire night, shooting just 22.4 percent (13-of-58) for the game, including 16.7 percent (4-of-24) in the first half. The Hawks also lost the battle of the boards by a 53-43 margin... Senior Amanda Weaver (York, Pa./York Catholic) led Hartford’s rebounding efforts with a career-high eight boards... The Hawks will return to the hardwood on Monday night when they travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass. for a match-up against the Boston College Eagles. Hartford and BC are set to tip-off at 7 p.m. at Conte Forum.
MAINE BLACK BEARS (0-1, 0-0 AE)
Maine dropped its season opener to Harvard 73-54... It was just the third loss all-time for the Black Bears when opening the season at home... Maine led at the break, 29-28, but 45 second-half points by the Crimson proved to be their undoing... Harvard scored 28 points in the paint and 30 off Maine turnovers... The Black Bears held a 44-38 edge on the boards and recorded 15 second-chance points... Maine held a three-point lead three minutes into the second half, but Harvard quickly opened an eight-point lead with 13:36 remaining in the second half. The Crimson posted their largest lead of the game with 1:24 to go. Brogan Berry, who led the Crimson with 20 points, put Harvard up 73-54... Corinne Wellington was named the America East Player of the Game after recording her second career double-double... Wellington scored 10 points and pulled down 10 boards, while Katelyn Vanderhoff led the team with 12 points. Amber Smith and Samantha Wheeler added 11 points each... Maine named its 2010-11 captains prior to the game... They are Samantha Wheeler, Tanna Ross, Samantha Baranowski and Brittany Williams... The Black Bears will travel to Bryant Friday for their only road game in the month of November.
UMBC RETRIEVERS (0-2, 0-0 AE)
UMBC opened the season with a pair of road losses… The Retrievers fell to Delaware, 59-44, in their season opener on Friday… Junior forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) scored a team-best 12 points off the bench, while freshman guard Raven Gerald (Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway) added 11 with three three-pointers in her collegiate debut… Senior forward Meghan Colabella (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair) grabbed a game-high nine rebounds… UMBC then fell to UMES, 64-52, on Sunday… Brown, senior guard Chelsea Barker (Waterville, Maine/Messalonskee) and junior center Topé Obajolu (Randallstown, Md./Archbishop Carroll) each scored 10 points, and Brown pulled down a team-best eight rebounds… UMBC has started the season off cold from the floor, shooting just 30.2 percent… Obajolu ranks 10th all-time at UMBC with 67 career blocks… Senior guard Michele Brokans (Lansdale, Pa./Lansdale Catholic) became the 10th player in school history to dish out 250 assists and now has 254 in her career after recording four against the Hawks… Junior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) ranks ninth all-time with 79 career three-pointers, and her .822 career free throw percentage is the second-best in school history… The Retrievers host cross-town rival Coppin State in their home opener on Tuesday and Saint Joseph’s on Saturday.
NEW HAMPSHIRE (0-1, 0-0 AE)
The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team finished its first week of action 0-1, dropping a 99-48 decision to No. 12 Notre Dame at Purcell Pavilion... New Hampshire finished the game with a .514 (19-for-37) shooting clip from the floor... Despite scoring just 12 points in the first half, the Wildcats picked up the pace in the second stanza, scoring 36 points on 70 percent shooting (14-20)... Sophomore guard Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) dropped in a team-best 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting... Freshman Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) finished the game with eight points, four boards and two steals... Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) also added eight points, along with three rebounds and three steals... The Wildcats return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 16 (7 p.m.) when they take on Dartmouth College at Lundholm Gymnasium.
STONY BROOK SEAWOLVES (1-1, 0-0 AE)
The Seawolves went 1-1 at the Phoenix Classic, hosted by Elon University, over the weekend... SBU defeated Troy, 77-60, in its season opener on Friday before falling to Atlantic-10 opponent Fordham, 81-73, on Saturday night... It was the first time since the 2007-08 season that the Seawolves won their season opener... Junior Destiny Jacobs (Glen Burnie, Md.) had a career-high 18 points in the victory over Troy, including 11 in the second half... Stony Brook led by just one at the half, but broke the game open in the second half, leading by as many as 19... Stony Brook held Troy to 25.9 percent shooting in the second half... Sophomore Juanita Cochran (Saginaw, Mich.) had 11 points and eight rebounds in her Stony Brook debut... The Seawolves forced Troy into 25 turnovers, including 18 in the first half... Stony Brook shot 48.5 percent in the loss to Fordham... Senior Kirsten Jeter (Elmont, N.Y.) led Stony Brook with 14 points... The Seawolves trailed by 13 at the half but trimmed that margin to one with 12 minutes remaining following back-to-back three-pointers from senior Jodie Plikus (Waterford, Conn.)... Senior Misha Horsey (Wyncote, Pa.) had eight points in addition to dishing out seven assists... Stony Brook will play its home opener on Thursday, hosting Long Island rival Hofstra.
VERMONT CATAMOUNTS (0-1, 0-0 AE)
Vermont opened a new era in women's basketball with a trip to No. 23 Nebraska... The Catamounts fell, 95-38, in the season opener which also marked the debut of Vermont head coach Lori Gear McBride on the UVM sidelines... Junior Ashley Hoyt (Arlington, Vt./Arlington) led Vermont in scoring with 11 points and six rebounds off the bench... Sophomores Morgan Albert (Brighton, Mich./Brighton) and Lauren Wheeler (Ancaster, Ontario/Westside) made their first career starts and classmates Lauren Buschmann (St. Catharines, Ontario/Governor Simcoe) and Kristine Lalonde (Sudbury, Ontario/National Elite Development Academy) earned a spot in the starting lineup for the second time in their careers... All three freshmen also made their UVM debuts in the contest... Vermont continues a two-game road swing through the Midwest when it takes on North Dakota on Monday (Nov. 15) at 8 p.m. (EST)... The game will be broadcast on Fox College Sports Central.