UPPER MARLBORO,MD (WWAY) - James Madison senior guard Dawn Evans was selected as the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball Player of the Year in voting by the league's head coaches. The announcement was made Wednesday evening at the CAA's pre-tournament banquet in National Harbor, Maryland.
Also receiving top honors were UNC Wilmington's Cynthia Cooper-Dyke as CAA Coach of the Year, Old Dominion's Jasmine Parker as CAA Defensive Player of the Year and UNC Wilmington's Alisha Andrews as CAA Rookie of the Year. William & Mary's Lindsay Moller was chosen as the recipient of the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award.
Evans is the fifth JMU player to earn CAA Player of the Year accolades. The senior guard leads the conference and ranks second in the nation in scoring with 23.6 points per game. Evans became the CAA's all-time leading scorer on March 2 and now has 2,589 career points. She has also set a number of school records, including career field goals (828), career free throws (555) and career three-pointers. Evans has scored in double-figures in 112 career games, tying the school record.
Cooper-Dyke guided the Seahawks to a 22-7 overall record and a 14-4 conference mark in her first year at UNC Wilmington. The Seahawks were tied for second in the CAA regular-season race, representing the program's highest league finish since joining the conference in 1984-85. UNCW was picked to finish eighth in the CAA's preseason poll, but turned in one of the top turnarounds in the nation after going 12-19 overall and 6-12 in the CAA a year ago.
Parker led the CAA and ranked sixth in the nation with 3.2 steals per game this season. The senior guard grabbed the team's third-most defensive rebounds (87) en route to 109 total boards. She also topped the Lady Monarchs with 124 assists. Parker is just the third Old Dominion player to earn Defensive Player of the year honors.
Andrews started all 29 games as UNCW's point guard and turned in a sensational rookie year. The Seahawks' guard ranked second in the CAA with 5.0 assists per game and was third in the league with 2.9 steals per contest. Andrews also contributed offensively, scoring 10.4 points per game. Much of her offense came from the perimeter as she drained a team-high 60 three-pointers and shot 42.3% from beyond the arc.
Moller was the recipient of the Dean Ehlers Leadership award, which is presented annually to the women's basketball student-athlete who "embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity, and sportsmanship in conjunction with her academic athletic achievement." Moller, a senior guard, started 10 games this season and was third on the Tribe with 44 assists. She also scored 27 points and made 24 steals.
Joining Evans on the All-CAA first team were UNCW senior guard/forward Brittany Blackwell, Delaware sophomore forward/guard Elena Delle Donne, Hofstra sophomore forward Shante Evans and VCU junior forward Courtney Hurt.
Blackwell ranked sixth in the CAA in scoring (16.1 ppg), fourth in rebounding (8.7 rpg) and second in steals (3.1 spg) while shooting a league-best 56.5% from the floor. Delle Donne was limited to just 17 games due to illness, but contributed a team-high 25.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Evans recorded 15 double-doubles this season while ranking third in the CAA in scoring (18.6 ppg), second in rebounding (11.1 rpg) and third in FG percentage (53.4%). Hurt led the nation in rebounding (12.6 rpg) and was third in Division I in scoring with 23.4 ppg while tallying a nation's-best 23 double-doubles.
UNCW senior Martha White made the All-CAA 2nd team. Alisha Andrews, Brittany Blackwell and Martha White of UNCW all made the All-defensive team.
photos courtesy Joe Browning
article courtesy UNCW Sports Information