Shereesha Richards Earns Third Straight Player of the Year Honor, Tiana-Jo Carter Sixth Player of the Year to Highlight America East Yearly Awards

2015-16 America East Women's Basketball Yearly Awards

VESTAL, N.Y.Shereesha Richards is just the second player to earn America East Player of the Year three times while Tiana-Jo Carter earned Sixth Player of the Year to highlight the annual conference yearly awards, announced at the tournament banquet on Friday night.

Including the two major award winners, five Great Danes were honored in the America East yearly awards, including three all-conference players, two all-defensive team members and an all-academic team selection.

Richards joins Chantell Alford of Boston University as the only three-time America East Player of the Year honorees; Richards is the only to earn Player of the Year three times outright, with Alford earn co-player honors in 2012-13.  As a program, UAlbany has had a Player of the Year the last four years, with Ebone Henry sharing the award with Alford in the 2012-13 season.

Richards has now earned five America East major awards, including Co-Rookie of the Year in 2012-13 and Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2014-15.

Carter is honored as Sixth Player of the Year for UAlbany, making it the second time a Great Dane has earned this award in as many years, with Imani Tate being chosen last season.

Richards and Tate each were selected to the America East All-Conference First Team and the All-Defensive Team.  Zakiya Saunders was placed on the America East All-Conference Second Team while Cassandra Edwards was selected to the league’s All-Academic Team.

The honors and all-conference teams were announced at the yearly America East women’s basketball banquet, held at the BU Events Center.

Richards has been a member of the All-Conference First Team for the third consecutive year.  She earned a place on the Naismith Trophy Midseason 30 and is the conference’s leading scorer with 22.8 points per game.  The five-time conference player of the week is second in the league in rebounding at 8.8 boards a contest and is fourth in shooting at 55.3%.  The senior forward has earned at least 20 points in 21 games out of 28 and has nine double-doubles.  On the defensive end, Richards stands in the top-10 in the league with 50 steals.

Carter served as UAlbany’s primary frontcourt player off the bench, averaging 8.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.  Playing in 23 games with seven starts, the sophomore forward stands third in the America East with a 55.3% field goal percentage as well as in blocked shots with 1.4 a contest.  She has scored in her last 12 games, grabbed at least five rebounds in 14 games and blocked multiple shots in 10 games.

Tate earns all-conference honors for the second straight season after earning Second Team last year.  Tate stands second in the America East in scoring at 18.6 points a game and first in steals with three a contest.  The junior guard scored double digits in 26 of out 28 games played and 20+ points 11 times, plus is one of four America East players with triple digit points, rebounds and assists.  She earned America East Player of the Week three times this season.

Saunders is selected as an all-conference player for the first time in her collegiate career.  The junior has served as UAlbany’s point guard all season, leading the America East with 7.4 assists per game, also ranking fifth in steals at two per contest and field goal % at 52.2%.  She averaged 11.2 points per game with 19 double digit scoring games and seven double-doubles and is also one of four America East players with triple digit points, rebounds and assists.

Edwards, the reigning America East Elite 18 Award winner, earns a place on the All-Academic Team for the first time.  The junior forward has a cumulative GPA of 3.89 in psychology.  On the court, Edwards has played in 18 games with 15 starts, averaging 2.7 rebounds per game, grabbing multiple boards in 14 of 18 games played.

Rounding out the America East major awards: Ogechi Anyagaligbo of Stony Brook was chosen as Rookie of the Year, Alyssa James of Binghamton was selected as Defensive Player of the Year and Linda Cimino of Binghamton was named Coach of the Year.




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