Rider Post-Season Awards
LAWRENCEVILLE--The Rider University women's basketball team held its annual post-season awards banquet on Sunday, March 25.
Senior co-captain Alyssa Parsons (Ivyland, Pa./Archbishop Wood) was named the team's Most Valuable Player after averaging over 30 minutes a contest and was nationally ranked in assists and assist to turnover ratio. A 5-4 guard, Parsons added 4.3 points and 3.0 assists per game as Rider won its most games since the 1999-2000 season. A 78-game veteran, Parsons graduates with a degree in Finance in May.
Freshman Kornelija Valiuskyte (Siauliai, Lithuania/The Rock School) earned Most Improved Player honors. A 5-8 guard, Valiuskyte, appeared in 19 games and started the final game of the season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference playoffs against Iona on March 1, 2012, compiling career highs in points with 13 and minutes with 37 in Rider's overtime loss. Over half of Valiuskyte's 190 minutes this season came in the last seven games of the year.
For the second season in a row, senior co-captain Sarah Homan (Upper Darby, Pa./Delco Christian) earned the Defensive Player of the Year award. A 6-3 center, Homan appeared in all 30 games and played in a Rider record 119 games, including 115 in a row. Homan was second on team in field goal percentage (.452) and fourth in rebounding (3.4). A three-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Academic honoree, Homan graduates with a Biology degree in May and finishes her Bronc career 12th on Rider's all-time rebounding list with 554.
Freshman Emily Fazzini (Wayne, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) was named the team's Practice Player of the Year. Fazzini, a 5-10 guard, started all 30 games as a Rider rookie and was second on the team in three-pointers (27), third in assists (40), steals (29) and minutes played (28.0 per game), fourth in free throw percentage (.720) and fifth in scoring at 7.1 points per game.
Junior Carleigh Brown (Philadelphia, Pa./Nazareth Academy) earned the team's Academic Award for the second season in a row and was also recognized with the Coaches' Award.
Brown, a 6-0 forward, is 22nd on Rider's all-time rebounding list with 402 boards and appeared in 30 games, making 25 starts. Brown was second on team in free throws made (65) and offensive rebounds (70), third on team in field goal percentage (.412) and rebounding (4.9) and fourth on team in assists (38). A Communication (Public Relations) major with a minor in Advertising, Brown earned MAAC All-Academic honors for the second year in a row.
Rounding out the awards was freshman Marritta Gillcrease (Pittsburgh, Pa./Perry Traditional Academy) who was named the team's Unsung Hero. A 6-3 center, Gillcrease appeared in nine games as a rookie.
As a team, Rider compiled the best non-conference record in the MAAC in 2011-12 at 8-3 and 10 wins in the first 15 games was the best start since the 1993-94 season. The Broncs enjoyed a six game improvement from the 2010-11 season and Rider has its first winning months (November and December, 2011) since December of 2002.
Fazzini and sophomore MyNeshia McKenzie (Springfield, Pa./Springfield (Delco)) were each recognized by the MAAC with Rookie and Player of the Week honors respectively on December 12, 2011 with McKenzie earning MAAC Third Team honors after leading the conference and ranking 50th in the nation in rebounding with a 9.1 rebounds per game average.
Rider returns 10 letterwinners for the 2012-13 season under head coach Lynn Milligan.