UAlbany Women's Basketball Sweeps Major Awards at End-of-Season Reception
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. -- After a 16-0 league slate, members of the University at Albany women's basketball program swept the major awards at the America East Conference reception, held on Thursday afternoon at UAlbany's Campus Center Ballroom. Senior Ebone Henry was named the league's Co-Player of the Year, as well as the Defensive Player of the Year for the third straight season, while freshman Shereesha Richards brought home Co-Rookie of the Year honors. Great Dane mentor Katie Abrahamson-Henderson was tabbed by her peers as the America East Coach of the Year for the second time.
Along with the major awards, UAlbany garnered a first team selection in Julie Forster, who also earned All-Defensive and All-Academic accolades. Senior Lindsey Lowrie and sophomore Megan Craig were named to the All-Conference Third Team, while Richards was an All-Rookie Team member. Henry was also named to the All-Defensive Team.
Henry earned her third straight Defensive Player of the Year honor, and took home a share of the Player of the Year award after leading the Great Danes in scoring all season. She is scoring at a 14.3 clip, while also pulling down 5.2 rebounds, handing out 3.3 assists, and recording 2.8 assists per game. This season, she became the UAlbany program's all-time leading scorer, and is also ranked fourth in rebounding, second in steals, and 13th in assists in the Great Dane record books. She earned Player of the Week honors three times this season after being ranked among the top conference leaders in almost every statistical category. Henry shares Player of the Year honors with Boston U.'s Chantell Alford.
Richards, who led the America East with seven weekly awards this season, was the top-producing freshman in the league, averaging 10.1 points and 5.9 rebounds this season. She was also second on the team, just behind Henry, and tied with Forster, with 61 steals, and shot a team-best 61.2 percent from the floor. Richards joins Liz Wood from Maine as the 2012-13 Rookie of the Year.
Forster earns her second straight first team, defensive team, and all-academic team honors. The senior captain, who became the program's all-time leading rebounder earlier this season, scored at a 9.3 clip in the regular season, and averaged a team-high 8.1 rebounds, en route to becoming the first women's basketball player in program history to record over 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. She currently stands eighth in program annals in scoring, sixth in steals, and fifth in blocks. Along with her success on the court, Forster boasts a 3.96 grade point average in Education Administration and Policy Studies, in her first year of graduate school.
Lowrie earned her first all-conference accolades after becoming a huge contributer for the Great Danes this season, averaging 10.1 points per game, with most of those coming beyond the 3-point line. Lowrie, who is among the national leaders in 3-pointers, scored 228 of her 284 points from long range, and posted a 42.6 shooting percentage from that range.
Craig, the tallest player in the America East Conference at 6-foot-8, was second on the team through the regular season, averaging 10.5 points per game, along with 4.8 rebounds and a team-high 28 blocks. She earned the very first Player of the Week award of the season, and closed out the year the same way, bringing home the final weekly award this past Monday.
Abrahamson-Henderson takes home the top coaching award for the second consecutive season, after leading UAlbany to one of the best turnarounds in college basketball. The Great Danes, who were 11-19 overall the season before her arrival at UAlbany just three years ago, posted a program-best 25-3 record this season, including just the seventh perfect conference slate in America East history. Abrahamson-Henderson was a unanimous choice for Coach of the Year.