XU's Harris and Phillips Headline A-10 All-Conference Awards
March 2, 2011
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – For the second-straight year, Xavier redshirt senior Amber Harris has been tabbed the 2010-11 Atlantic 10 women’s basketball Player of the Year, in voting conducted among the Conference’s 14 head coaches.
Xavier’s Ta’Shia Phillips was also named the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.
The A-10 coaches also selected Wumi Agunbiade of Duquesne as the Rookie of the Year, Ashley Prim of Saint Joseph’s as Sixth Player of the Year, La Salle’s Ashley Gale as the league’s Most Improved Player and Temple’s Tonya Cardoza as Coach of the Year. Kristin Daugherty of Dayton garnered Student-Athlete of the Year honors in voting among the league’s sports information directors.
Harris enter this week’s Championship as the nationally-ranked Musketeers’ leading scorer averaging 18.9 points per game – good for third in the league -- and second-leading rebounder, corralling 10.1 rebounds each time out. The five-time Player of the Week, helped pace XU to its second-straight perfect A-10 season and third-straight Conference regular season title. The Indianapolis, Ind., native, who leads the league in blocked shots, was recently voted onto the prestigious 30-member Naismith Award Mid-Season Watch List, while also collecting a spot on the 20-member John R. Wooden Award Watch List and is a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Harris also surpassed the 2,000-career points mark earlier this season, becoming just the 11th player in A-10 history to reach the milestone.
Harris also makes her fourth appearance on the All-Conference First Team, only the third player ever to accomplish that feat in A-10 history (Suzie McConnell, Penn State 1984-88 and Korie Hlede, Duquesne 1994-98). She is joined on the All-Conference first-team by teammate Phillips, Dayton’s Justine Raterman, Richmond’s Brittani Shells and Shey Peddy of Temple. This is Phillips’ third-straight appearance on the first-team and fourth-consecutive year receiving all-conference honors.
The All-Conference second-team consists of Shannon McCallum of Charlotte, Duquesne’s Samantha Pollino, La Salle’s Ashley Gale, Megan Van Tatenhove of St. Bonaventure and Kristen McCarthy of Temple. The third-team includes Dayton’s Kristin Daugherty, Vanessa Abel of Duquesne, Rhode Island’s Megan Shoniker, Temple’s Qwedia Wallace and Special Jennings of Xavier.
The six-time Rookie of the Week selection, Wumi Agunbiade leads the league’s freshman class and is third on the Duquesne roster in scoring (11.0 ppg). She also tops the Dukes’ squad and is seventh among A-10 leaders in rebounding (7.4 rpg). The Pickering, Ontario resident is joined on the All-Rookie team by teammate Orsi Szecsi, Charlotte’s Gabby Tyler, La Salle’s Jess Koci and Erin Shields of Saint Joseph’s.
Phillips, the Defensive Player of the Year, earns her fourth-straight individual award as she was named Rookie of the Year in 2007-08, Player of the Year in 2008-09 and Defensive Player of the Year last season. The league’s leading rebounder, Phillips averages a double-double of 15.4 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. She also tops the A-10 in field goal percentage (60.4), is 10th in blocked shots (1.4 bpg) and anchors a tenacious Musketeer defensive that limits its opponents to just 55.4 points per game. The All-Defensive team is comprised of Phillips, Shells, Peddy, Gale and Michelle Baker of Saint Joseph’s.
A three-time Atlantic 10 All-Academic team selection, Kristin Daugherty, was named the Student-Athlete of the Year. Daugherty is joined on the All-Academic team by Pollino, Shells, Shoniker and Van Tatenhove.
The Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship will be played at a neutral site beginning Friday, Mar. 4 at The Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell in Lowell, Mass. The Championship will feature 12 teams vying for the A-10 title and the automatic berth into the 2011 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship.
First round action commences with a doubleheader at Noon on Friday, March 4, as No. 8 Saint Joseph’s takes on No. 9 La Salle and No. 5 Charlotte faces No. 12 Massachusetts. Friday evening’s doubleheader tips off at 5:00 pm with No. 7 St. Bonaventure taking on No. 10 Fordham, followed by No. 6 Dayton squaring off against No. 11 George Washington. Quarterfinal round action begins at Noon on Saturday as top-seeded Xavier faces either No. 8 Saint Joseph’s or No. 9 La Salle.
First round and quarterfinal matchups can be viewed live on www.atlantic10.com, free of charge. Sunday's semifinal contests will begin at Noon on March 6, and televised nationally on CBS College Sports, while the title game of the 2011 A-10 Championship on Monday, March 7, will be shown live on ESPN2 at 5:00pm.