WBB: Several Colonials earn NEC recognition

The Northeast Conference came out with its seasonal awards today for women’s basketball and several Colonials took home hardware.

For the second consecutive season, senior forward Artemis Spanou was voted NEC Player of the Year. The Greece native averaged 19.2 points and 14.9 rebounds per contest, and was the only player in the conference to shoot above 50 percent from the field. She was also top-10 in the league in assists, blocked shots and assist-to-turnover ratio. Spanou was also voted to the All-Conference first team.

“There are some very excellent players in this conference,” said head coach Sal Buscaglia. “I’m really happy and proud of Artemis for what she’s achieved and how she’s grown in the last four years along with all the records she broken and how she’s helped in the success of this team.”

Buscaglia earned Brenda Reilly NEC Coach of the Year for his outstanding management this season. This marks the third time in 11 seasons that Buscaglia’s brought in the award, as his first place Colonials head into the conference tournament with home-court advantage. This year highlights a turnaround from a team a year ago that finished 10th in the conference standings and only won seven games.

“I think, quite honestly, that the ‘Coach of the Year’ award should be changed to the ‘Coaching Staff of the Year’ award,” said Buscaglia. “Everybody makes decisions in games and in practice and I think it should not be directed towards one individual, but the entire staff. Everybody that works – from the coaches to Todd (Hamer) in the weight room and Amelia (Adams) in the athletic training room – we all work towards one common goal. I was not the key ingredient in this. It was really the staff that did the job.”

Freshman Anna Niki Stamolamprou and Cassie Oursler were voted to the NEC All-Rookie team. Stamolamprou, also a Greece native, averaged 12.4 points per contest and led all freshmen in three-pointers made (53). She really played consistent all season long, stepping in from day-one to make an immediate impact.

Oursler averaged 7.4 points and 5 rebounds per game, but really progressed as the season went on; evident in her 17 point, 18 rebound and six block performance against Mount St. Mary’s in the final game of the regular season.  She led the team with 46 blocks, which is fifth best in program history.

“It’s once again a reflection on the tremendous job my staff has done in recruiting to have two players named to the All-Rookie team,” said Buscaglia. “That bodes great for the future as we are a very young team this year. With these very good players coming back, the future for many years looks bright.”

The Colonials are back in action on Sunday as they take on LIU Brooklyn in the first round of the NEC tournament.