Basketball's Axewomen, Axemen earn AUS honours


Anderson named AUS MVP, Harvey honoured as Coach of the Year

Anderson named AUS MVP, Harvey honour as Coach of the Year

2017-18 AUS Women's Basketball Awards and All-Stars Announced

Acadia's Paloma Anderson named AUS most valuable player

(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2017-18 AUS women's basketball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's eight head coaches following regular season play.

Fifth-year Acadia guard Paloma Anderson was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player today. This year's AUS basketball awards will be presented to winners on the floor of the Scotiabank Centre prior to their respective games during the Subway AUS Basketball Championships March 2-4.

Other AUS major award winners announced today were UPEI's Reese Baxendale of Sussex, N.B., who was named AUS rookie of the year; UPEI's Carolina Del Santo of Barcelona, Spain, who was named AUS defensive player of the year; UPEI's Jane McLaughlin of Fortune, P.E.I., who is the AUS Tracy MacLeod Award Nominee; UPEI's Kiera Rigby of Charlottetown, P.E.I., who received the student-athlete community service award; and Acadia Axewomen head coach Len Harvey, who was named the AUS coach of the year for the first time in his career.                                   

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Paloma Anderson, Acadia Axewomen  

Paloma Anderson, a five-foot-one guard with the U SPORTS no. 3-ranked Acadia Axewomen, is the Atlantic University Sport women's basketball most valuable player for the second time in her career.

A fourth-year sociology student in her fifth year of eligibility for Acadia, Anderson averaged 18.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for the top-ranked Axewomen this season.

She led the nation in assists this season, averaging 5.5 per game. Her 52 steals this season were the most in the Atlantic conference and her average of 2.6 steals per game was the second best in AUS.

First in team scoring and second in conference scoring, Anderson led the Axewomen to a 18-2 regular season record, a first-place finish in the AUS standings and a playoff bye through to the semifinals of the Subway AUS Women's Basketball Championship.

In four seasons with Acadia, she amassed 1,446 points to a set a new school record for career points scored.

She also set new school records for career free throws made with 292 and for points in a single game, scoring 41 in a 2016 game versus StFX.

Anderson finishes her career as a two-time AUS MVP, having first earned the conference's top honour in 2015-16. She is the only Acadia player to ever be named AUS MVP.

She is also a three-time AUS first team all-star, having been named to the AUS first team all-star squad for the third consecutive year today, as well as a two-time U SPORTS first team all-Canadian.

Anderson now becomes the AUS nominee for the Nan Copp Award for U SPORTS player of the year.

Former Saint Mary's Huskies standout Justine Colley is the only AUS women's basketball player to ever take home national MVP honours. She earned back-to-back Nan Copp awards in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Reese Baxendale, UPEI Panthers

Reese Baxendale of the UPEI Panthers is the AUS women's basketball rookie of the year.

A five-foot-eight guard from Sussex, N.B., Baxendale has made an instant impact with the Panthers, starting in all 20 games this season.

In her freshman year with UPEI, she led all AUS rookies in points, averaging 10.2 per game. She added 3.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.

She led the Panthers in steals, averaging 1.8 per game and her 36 total steals were the third most the in Atlantic conference.

Along with being honoured as the conference's top rookie, she also earned a place on the AUS all-rookie team.

Baxendale will now represent the conference as the AUS nominee for the Kathy Shields Award for U SPORTS rookie of the year.

Alison Keough of the Cape Breton Capers (in 2013-14), Vanessa Pickard of StFX (2011-12) and Claire Colborne of UNB (2010-11) are the most recent AUS players to win the national rookie of the year award.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Carolina Del Santo, UPEI Panthers

Carolina Del Santo of the UPEI Panthers women's basketball team is the 2017-18 AUS defensive player of the year.

A six-foot-one centre from Barcelona, Spain, Del Santo led the nation in blocks, averaging 2.4 per game.

In just her second year with the Panthers, she finished second in the country and first in the conference in rebounds, averaging 12.5 per game. Her 250 total rebounds set a new AUS single season record.

Del Santo also added 1.4 steals per game for the Panthers defence.

On offence, she contributed 9.2 points and 1.7 assists per game.

She will now become the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS defensive player of the year award.

Kennisha-Shanice Luberisse of the Saint Mary's Huskies earned the national honour in 2015-16. She is the only AUS player to ever be honoured with the U SPORTS (formerly CIS) award.

DR. CAROLYN SAVOY AWARD (AUS COACH OF THE YEAR): Len Harvey, Acadia Axewomen

Head coach Len Harvey of the U SPORTS no. 3-ranked Acadia Axewomen is the 2017-18 recipient of the Dr. Carolyn Savoy Memorial Award for AUS coach of the year for the first time in his career.

In his third year at the helm of the program, Harvey led the Axewomen to an 18-2 regular season record—unprecedented in team history.

Acadia led U SPORTS in points (86.2), rebounds (45.9) and assists (18.7) per game.

The Axewomen's three-point percentage (33.9) and field goal percentage (42.2) were the best in the Atlantic conference. The Axewomen also held their opponents to a conference-best 35.3 per cent from the field. 

Before joining the Axewomen as head coach in 2015, Harvey served as the head coach of the Mount Royal University Cougars program for two seasons.

Prior to that, the Baddeck, N.S. native was an assistant coach with the Cape Breton Capers women's team from 2009 to 2012 under head coach Fabian MacKenzie.

He also served as an assistant coach with the Capers men's team from 2011 to 2013.

As an assistant coach with Cape Breton, Harvey was a part of three AUS championships and a CIS (now U SPORTS) bronze medal win.

Harvey's coach of the year win marks just the second time the AUS award has been won by an Acadia coach. Former Axewomen coach Bev Greenlaw first earned the honour in 2011-12.

Harvey now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS coach of the year award.

Saint Mary's head coach Scott Munro is the most resent AUS coach to win the national award. He took home the honour in 2012-13. 

TRACY MACLEOD AWARD NOMINEE: Jane McLaughlin, UPEI Panthers

Jane McLaughlin of the UPEI Panthers is the 2017-18 nominee for the U SPORTS Tracy MacLeod Award.

This award rewards a women's basketball player who demonstrates determination, perseverance and unwavering spirit to continue playing the game of basketball.

A fourth-year forward from Fortune, P.E.I., McLaughlin started in 17 games for the Panthers this season and played in all 20.

She averaged 7.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game for UPEI. McLaughlin is the co-captain of the UPEI team, which finished third in the AUS standings with an 11-9 regular season record.

In her sophomore year, McLaughlin made the difficult decision to step away from the sport of basketball in order to seek treatment for mental illness.

After taking time to focus on her mental health and recovery, McLaughlin rejoined the Panthers team in the 2015-16 season, starting in all 20 games and averaging a career-high 10.7 points per game.

She has continued to thrive both on the court and in the classroom with UPEI's nursing program for the past three seasons.

McLaughlin used her experiences to become an ambassador for Bell Let's Talk Day, sharing her story with others and helping to remove the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness.

She now becomes the AUS nominee for the U SPORTS Tracy MacLeod Award. The only two AUS players to take home the national honour have been Memorial's Brittany Dalton (2010-11) and Dalhousie's Janet Wells (1999-00).

STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Kiera Rigby, UPEI Panthers 

Fifth-year UPEI Panthers forward Kiera Rigby is the 2017-18 recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award and the AUS nominee for the U SPORTS Sylvia Sweeney award.

A five-foot-11 forward from Charlottetown, P.E.I., Rigby has achieved success on the basketball court and in the classroom, while also being heavily involved in the community.

For her efforts on the court, she was named to the AUS first team all-star squad today. Rigby started in all 20 games for the Panthers, leading in team scoring with an 18.4 points per game average—the third highest in the conference.

She added 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.

In the classroom, the biology student has a cumulative GPA of 3.9. She is a four-time academic all-Canadian on pace to repeat the achievement for a fifth time.

Rigby is very active in the community, lending her time to a number of causes. Since June, she has logged over 80 volunteer hours in the physical medicine and emergency departments of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

She serves as the external communications and community outreach coordinator for the World University Services of Canada (WUSC). As part of her work with WUSC, she has planned fundraising events for the Shine a Light campaign, which supports girls' education in refugee camps.

Rigby has volunteered her time with the Arthritis Society, as well as the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life and Run for the Cure.

She is a three-year member of the UPEI Varsity Leadership team, a tutor with Student Services and an active member of the UPEI Biology Society and Pre-Med Society.

"Kiera is one of the most spirited, thoughtful and caring people I know. Her athletic achievements and academic achievements speak for themselves," said UPEI's athletic director, Chris Huggan. "What really stands out is her genuine interest in helping others, volunteering and building community. She is generous with her time, exceptional with kids and is rarely (maybe never) seen without a smile on her face. She's a terrific role model and an exceptional Panther."

Rigby now becomes the AUS nominee for the U SPORTS Sylvia Sweeney Award.

AUS student-athletes have taken home the national honour the past two seasons. Acadia's

Katie Ross won the award last season and Dalhousie's Ainsley MacIntyre took home the honour in 2015-16. 

FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

The Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars were also announced today, along with this year's all-rookie team.

First Team All-Stars:

Paloma Anderson, Acadia (5th year – Phoenix, Arizona)

Alison Keough, Cape Breton (5th year – Marion Bridge, N.S.)

Kiera Rigby, UPEI (5th year – Charlottetown, P.E.I.)

Hannah Brown, Cape Breton (4th year – North Sydney, N.S.)

Alexandra Berry, Acadia (5th year – Yarmouth, N.S.)

Second Team All-Stars:

Kennisha-Shanice Luberisse, Saint Mary's (4th year – Montreal, Que.)

Sydney Stewart, Memorial (4th year – London, Ont.)

Jenna Mae Ellsworth, UPEI (2nd year – Charlottetown, P.E.I.)

Haley McDonald, Acadia (2nd year – Port Williams, N.S.)

Laura Kaye, UNB (5th year – Fredericton, N.B.)

All-Rookie Team:

Reese Baxendale, UPEI (Sussex, N.B.)

MacKenzee Ryan, Cape Breton (Glace Bay, N.S.)

Kimberly Kingsbury, StFX (Nepean, Ont.)

Ariel Provo, Dalhousie (Lake Echo, N.S.)

Cameron Longley, Memorial (Hubbards, N.S.)

The 2018 Subway AUS Women's Basketball Championship will be hosted by the AUS conference office at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S., March 2-4, 2018.  

The championship schedule is as follows: (seeding in brackets)

Friday, March 2   
QF #1: Memorial (5th) vs. Saint Mary's (4th), 1 p.m.        

QF #2: UNB (6th) vs. UPEI (3rd), 3 p.m.     

Saturday, March 3  
SF #1: Winner QF1 vs. Acadia (1st), 1 p.m.

SF #2: Winner QF2 vs. Cape Breton (2nd), 3 p.m.  

Sunday, March 4
Championship Game: Winner SF #1 vs. Winner SF #2, 1 p.m.

Final AUS standings: http://atlanticuniversitysport.com/sports/wbkb/2017-18/standings.

Nissen named Defensive Player of the Year

Nissen named Defensive Player of the Year

2017-18 AUS Men's Basketball Awards and All-Stars Announced
UNB's Javon Masters claims MVP honours

(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2017-18 AUS men's basketball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's eight head coaches following regular season play.

Fifth-year UNB guard Javon Masters of Kitchener, Ont. was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player today. This year's AUS basketball awards will be presented to winners on the floor of the Scotiabank Centre prior to their respective games during the Subway AUS Basketball Championships March 2-4.

Other AUS major award winners announced today were Saint Mary's Nikita Kasongo of Montreal, Que., who was named rookie of the year; Acadia's Erik Nissen of Quispamsis, N.B., who was named defensive player of the year, Dalhousie's Sven Stammberger of Halifax, N.S., who received the student-athlete community service award; and UNB Varsity Reds head coach Brent Baker who was named the AUS coach of the year for the second time in his career.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Javon Masters, UNB Varsity Reds

Javon Masters, a senior guard with the UNB Varsity Reds, is the 2017-18 AUS men's basketball most valuable player. This marks his third time earning the conference's top honour.

In his final year of eligibility, Masters left his mark in the conference and national record books, setting a new U SPORTS record for career points with 2,407.

He surpassed the previous record of 2,282 career points in five seasons set by former CIS (now U SPORTS) standout Boris Bakovic who played four seasons at Ryerson and a fifth at the University of Calgary. 

Masters once again led the nation in scoring this season, averaging 24.5 points per game.

He was also the national scoring champion in his first three seasons, boasting 27.4 points per game in 2013-14, 25.1 in 2014-15 and 28.0 in 2015-16. 

Also named to the AUS first team all-star squad today, Masters is now a five-time AUS first team all-star.

This season, in addition to leading in points, he also led the conference in free throws made and free throw percentage (129-143, 90.2 per cent). He finished second overall in assists with 105 on the season and third in steals with 35. He averaged 5.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game this season.

Masters was first named the conference MVP and a first team all-Canadian in 2015 and 2016. He earned AUS first team all-star and second team all-Canadian nods again last season. 

He earned the Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy as the CIS (now U SPORTS) rookie of the year in 2014. That same year, he earned a place on the national all-rookie team and was named a second team all-Canadian.

Masters began making a name for himself in the AUS record books in just his third season, setting a new record for career free throws made. He finishes his AUS career with 772, smashing the previous record of 411.

He set the AUS all-time record for free throws made in one season in his rookie year, with 215. He also boasts second and third place in the same category, with 165 free throws made in 2015-16 and 161 in 2014-15.

He sits second and third in the record book for most points in one season, earning 560 in 2015-16 and 547 in 2013-14. And he is tied for second in free throws made in a single game, making good on 20 of 26 in a 2013 game versus UPEI.

Masters will now be the AUS representative for the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy as the most outstanding player in U SPORTS basketball.

The last Atlantic conference player to win the national award was William Njoku of the Saint Mary's Huskies in 1992-93.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Nikita Kasongo, Saint Mary's Huskies

The 2017-18 AUS rookie of the year is Nikita Kasongo of the Saint Mary's Huskies.

A six-foot-four guard from Montreal, Que., Kasongo started in all 20 of the Huskies regular season games.

He led all freshman scorers, averaging 18.9 points per game, good for fifth overall in the AUS conference and second in team scoring, behind only Saint Mary's first team all-star Kemar Alleyne.

He averaged 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

Kasongo is the first player from the Huskies to be named AUS rookie of the year since the 2011-12 season when former Saint Mary's standout Brian Rouse earned the honour.

He will now represent the conference as the AUS nominee for the Dr. Peter Mullins trophy. This award for U SPORTS rookie of the year was won by an AUS athlete most recently in 2013-14, when this year's AUS MVP Javon Masters took home the honour. 

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Erik Nissen, Acadia Axemen

Erik Nissen of the Acadia Axemen basketball team is the 2017-18 AUS men's basketball defensive player of the year.

A fifth-year kinesiology student from Quispamsis, N.B., Nissen was also named an AUS first team all-star today for the first time in his career. Last season, he earned AUS second team all-star honours.

The six-foot-nine power forward led the Atlantic conference and finished third in the nation in rebounds this season, averaging 10.4 per game, and in blocks, averaging 3.0 per game.

Nissen was also the Axemen's leading scorer this season, averaging 18.3 points per game.

Acadia finished with 15-5 regular season record.

In three seasons with the Axemen, Nissen amassed 1,021 career points, 570 rebounds and 121 blocks.

He now becomes the AUS conference nominee for the U SPORTS defensive player of the year award. No Acadia player has ever won the national honour.

CBU's Phil Nkrumah and StFX's Garry Gallimore are the only AUS players to have been named CIS (now U SPORTS) defensive player of the year since the inception of the award in 2004-05.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Brent Baker, UNB Varsity Reds

Brent Baker, in his 10th season at the helm of the UNB Varsity Reds program, is the AUS coach of the year for the second time in his career.

This season, Coach Baker guided the Varsity Reds to a 16-4 regular season record and second place in the AUS standings.

The team earned a bye through to the Subway AUS Men's Basketball Championship semifinal round for the second consecutive year.

The UNB squad led the Atlantic conference and tied for second in the nation in points per game this season, averaging 89.8. They finished third in the AUS in points per game allowed, averaging 78.5. 

Baker is just the second UNB men's basketball coach to be named AUS coach of the year. Former Varsity Reds coach Thom Gillespie also earned the honour twice as head coach in 2001-02 and 2003-04.

Baker will now represent the AUS as the nominee for U SPORTS coach of the year. A UNB head coach has yet to earn the national honour.

StFX's Steve Konchalski (2000-01) is the last Atlantic conference head coach to win the Stuart W. Aberdeen Trophy as the nation's top university coach.

STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Sven Stammberger, Dalhousie Tigers

Sven Stammberger of the Dalhousie Tigers is the 2018 recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award and will be the Atlantic conference nominee for the prestigious Ken Shields Award.

A native of Halifax, N.S., the six-foot-six forward was the Tigers' leading scorer this season, averaging 18.4 points per game.

He also led Dalhousie in rebounding, with an average of 8.2 per game, and added 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

In the classroom, Stammberger is a U SPORTS academic all-Canadian with a 3.5 GPA.

He is heavily involved in the community, volunteering his time with numerous initiatives both on and off the Dalhousie campus, including the Special Tigers program.

Currently in its fifth year, the Special Tigers program connects children and teens with cognitive disabilities with Dalhousie student-athletes through sport. Events include basketball, soccer, mini-stick hockey, badminton and more.

Stammberger has volunteered his time with several SAMHI (Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative) events, as well as with IWK Activity Days events. He has also been a part of the Best Buddies program which works with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

He has also been active with Tigers basketball camps, working with elementary, junior high and high school students.

Last season, former Tigers standout Kashrell Lawrence was the winner of the national Ken Shields Award. An AUS athlete has earned the honour in three of the past four seasons.

FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

The Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars were also announced today, along with this year's all-rookie team.

First Team All-Stars:

Javon Masters, UNB (5th year – Kitchener, Ont.)

Sven Stammberger, Dalhousie (5th year – Halifax, N.S.)

Erik Nissen, Acadia (5th year – Quispamsis, N.B.)

Kemar Alleyne, Saint Mary's (4th year – Toronto, Ont.)

Alex Carson, Dalhousie (2nd year – Lower Sackville, N.S.)

Second Team All-Stars:
Julius Antoine, StFX (5th year – Vaughan, Ont.)
Ben Miller, Acadia (4th year – Winnipeg, Man.)

Nikita Kasongo, Saint Mary's (1st year – Montreal, Que.)

Kevin Bercy, StFX (5th year – Kanata, Ont.)

Nathan Barker, Memorial (2nd year – Massey Drive, N.L.)

All-Rookie Team:

Nikita Kasongo, Saint Mary's (Montreal, Que.)

Ibrahima Doumbouya, UNB (Calgary, Alta.)

Keevan Veinot, Dalhousie (Port Williams, N.S.)

Jaydan Smith, StFX (Halifax, N.S.)

Moshe Wadley, UPEI (Toronto, Ont.)

The 2018 Subway AUS Men's Basketball Championship will be hosted by the AUS conference office at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S., March 2-4, 2018.  

The championship schedule is as follows: (seeding in brackets)

Friday, March 2

QF #1: StFX (5th) vs. Acadia (4th), 6:30 p.m.

QF #2: Memorial (6th) vs. Saint Mary's (3rd), 8:30 p.m.   

Saturday, March 3

SF #1: Winner QF #1 vs. Dalhousie (1st), 6:30 p.m.

SF #2: Winner QF #2 vs. UNB (2nd), 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 4
Championship Game: Winner SF #1 vs. Winner SF #2, 4:30 p.m.

Final AUS standings: http://atlanticuniversitysport.com/sports/mbkb/2017-18/standings.

All games of championship will be broadcast live on Fibe TV (on TV1—channels 1 and 401) and available via webcast at www.AUStv.ca.

For more information on the 2018 Subway AUS Basketball Championships, visit the event website at: www.AUSHoops.ca. Single tickets are on sale now through Ticket Atlantic.


Go back