Women's Basketball |
March 25, 2012
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati women's basketball team wrapped up its season by handing out its postseason awards at its end of the year banquet on Sunday evening. In her third season behind the helm of the program, head coach Jamelle Elliott led the Bearcats to a 16-16 record, which is a seven-game improvement from last season and the most in her tenure. UC advanced to postseason play for the first time since 2005-06 and won its first postseason game in 10 years when it defeated Duquesne, 68-63, in overtime in the first round of the Women's NIT.
Most Valuable Player
Sophomore guard Dayeesha Hollins was named the team's most valuable player. Hollins was named to the all-BIG EAST Second Team and averaged a team-best 14.8 points per game and 3.5 assists per game. She scored in double-figures in 26 of her 30 games, recorded five 20-plus point games and led the Bearcats in scoring on 13 occasions. She finished the season ranked 10th in scoring in the BIG EAST with 14.7 points per game.
"This year she had the opportunity to play for us (after transferring from Michigan) and she did not disappoint," said head coach Jamelle Elliott. "From day one she was everything that I hoped she would be as a player, as a person, as a student-athlete. There's not one game that we would've won if she wasn't on the floor."
Bearcat Unsung Hero
The Bearcats' Unsung Hero was awarded to senior guard Chanel Chisholm, who had an end-of-the-season surge to power UC to four-straight BIG EAST victories. As a senior leader, Chisholm started all 32 games at guard and finished first in rebounding with 5.8 rebounds per game and third in scoring with 8.7 points per game. Her 26 blocks ranks second on the team, while her 60 assists and 52 steals is third.
"She may not score 10 points a game, she may not grab 10 rebounds a game, but she's our best defender," Elliott said. "We are really undersized, especially in the post. We beat so many teams who have 6-4, 6-5, 6-3 across the front line in the post and the person who was guarding those post players and who shut them down a lot of times was Chanel Chisholm
. That goes unnoticed, but not by us. We know how valuable she was to us not only on the basketball court, but in the locker room, on the bus, in the classroom, in film sessions, and calling huddles in practice when we just weren't doing our best."
Most Improved Player
Freshman forward Talequia Hamilton earned the team's most improved player award.
"She clearly improved through the course of the year," said assistant coach Aaron Swinson. "She put in the necessary to work on improving the skills of her individual game, which showed during practice and during games."
Bearcat Spirit Award
Freshman Alyesha Lovett earned the Bearcat Spirit Award. When she wasn't contributing on the court, she became the most vocal Bearcat cheering from the sidelines.
"She won our spirit award five times, which is a lot," said assistant coach Katie Rokus. "She was always positive even when her role was changing throughout the season. She was navigating through her freshman year, which we all know is very difficult, and she had her ups and downs. But no matter what, her attitude never changed. She was always vocal on the bench."
Most Valuable Supporter
The Bearcats honored longtime UC women's basketball supporter Marge Howes in the final award presentation of the night. Howes not only supports the Bearcats at every home game, but also at every public event, such as the annual golf outing. She won the "Travel with the Bearcats" auction item, which gave her and one guest the opportunity to travel on the team bus to DePaul for Cincinnati's regular-season finale on February 27. There, she got a sneak peak into the life of the Bearcats and observed pregame routines at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
"You've probably heard this lady starting cheers or heckling or talking about how great our girls are," Elliott said. "She used to live in Connecticut and watched me play during my time at UConn. She did so many things around women's athletics. She is somebody who reached out to me at the very beginning and gave me the confidence in knowing that I would be good at this job."