Women's College Basketball
Rider's Valiuskyte Playing for Lithuania in U20 Championships
LAWRENCEVILLE--Rising sophomore Kornelija Valiuskyte (Siauliai, Lithuania) of the Rider University women's basketball team will compete for her home country at the U20 European Women's Championship in Debrecen, Hungry August 16-26.
"We are thrilled that Kornelija will be able to represent her country this summer," said Bronc head coach Lynn Milligan. "I am glad her country saw how hard she has worked this past season and off season to be the best player that she can be. She is a heady, smart point guard that will do great things for Lithuania this summer and we are very proud of her."
As a Rider rookie, the 5-8 Valiuskyte appeared in 19 games, averaging just over a point per contest but saved the best for last as she dropped a career-high 13 points on Iona College as the Broncs lost to the Gaels by one point in overtime at the 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships in Springfield, Massachusetts.
In that game against the Gaels, Valiuskyte had six rebounds, three assists and two steals while logging 37 minutes.
Valiuskyte also played for her home country at the U16 European Championship in 2008 where she scored eight points in 21 minutes against the Czech Republic and pulled down seven rebounds in a 62-51 win against Latvia. For the eight-game tournament, Valiuskyte averaged 1.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
Valiuskyte came to Rider from the Rock School in Gainesville, Florida where she compiled 9.2 points, 3.6 assists and 2.9 steals per game during her senior season with the Lions, who won the NACA Division 1A national championship with Valiuskyte earning most valuable player honors.
A member of Group A, Lithuania, which placed 11th last season at the U20 championship, opens against Latvia on August 16 at the Olah Gabor Sports Hall. Lithuania plays again on August 17 against Spain at Fonix Hall with pool play concluding August 18 at Olah Gabor Sports Hall against Belarus.
Latvia finished third at the U20 tournament in 2005, 2009 and 2010 and was 12th in the tournament last season. Spain won the U20 championship in 2007 and 2011 and was runner-up in 2009 and 2010. Belarus was 14th last season at the U20 championship.
The top four teams in each group advance to games that will be played August 20-25 with the championship game on August 26. Spain defeated Russia 62-53 in the championship game last season.
Once back at Rider for the 2012-13 season, Valiuskyte will be part of a group of 10 letterwinners that will open the season at Stony Brook on November 9. The home opener in Alumni Gymnasium on the Lawrenceville, New Jersey campus is November 12 at 7pm when the Broncs face the New Jersey Institute of Technology.