IHO 2017-18 All-Ivy Awards – Women’s

 

As selected by Ivy Hoops Online’s contributors, here are the IHO 2017-18 All-Ivy Awards:

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Bella Alarie, Princeton (So., G/F – Bethesda, Md.)

Alarie efficiently wowed Ivy followers all season, anchoring a stingy Princeton defense while also gouging opponents offensively inside. The 2016-17 Ivy Rookie of the Year’s rebounding and shot-blocking prowess stood out all season, exploding for 13 points and six blocks in the second half alone in a crucial league-opening win at Penn and 29 points against Villanova, establishing herself further as a double-double threat every game despite opposing defenses keying on her.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Eleah Parker, Penn (Fr., C – Charlotte, N.C.)

Parker seemed to find another gear offensively in December, exploding for 50 points and 23 rebounds combined a few weeks later in back-to-back wins versus Columbia and at Villanova, notching 25 points (18 in the second half) in the latter, the program’s first win over the Wildcats since 2001. An accomplished shot-blocker, Parker should be an electrifying talent at both ends of the year for years to come.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Tamara Simpson, Yale (Sr., G – North Babylon, N.Y.)

Simspon repeated as Ivy Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, a remarkable achievement supported by her registering a whopping 4.4 steals per game, double the next-highest Ivy pilferer (Samantha Widmann of Cornell at 2.2 swipes per contest) and good for third in the nation. Simpson now ranks second all-time in Ivy League history with 347 steals. Eight of those came in the decisive first half of Yale’s 73-59 upset of Princeton in New Haven on Feb. 2.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Cy Lippold, Dartmouth (Jr., G – East Stroudsburg, Pa.)

Lippold averaged just 2.1 points and 0.7 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per contest in a sophomore season that actually yielded more game action than her rookie year. So Lippold emerging as the league leader in assists and fifth-place finisher in steals definitely qualifies as vast improvement. Lippold’s 24 points and seven helpers lifted Dartmouth past Colorado in an 81-75 upset of the Buffaloes on Dec. 11. Lippold posted double-doubles (points and assists) in wins over Brown and Columbia and registered nine assists in Dartmouth’s comeback overtime victory at Yale, including the dish that fed Andi Norman for the game-winning three with five seconds left. Lippold’s been very careful with the basketball too, making her one of the Ivy’s most dangerous point guards.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Allison Guth, Yale

In her third season at the helm at Yale, Guth has the Bulldogs in the Ivy League Tournament and on the back end of back-to-back 15-win seasons, something they hadn’t accomplished since 2011-12 prior to last season. Yale handed Penn its only league loss last season, and Guth’s team notched several more big wins in the 2017-18 campaign, including victories against Texas Christian, Princeton and Harvard. Yale’s been moving on up, and its performance in marquee matchups is no fluke as Guth looks to make a national splash.

FIRST-TEAM ALL-IVY

Bella Alarie, Princeton (So., G/F – Bethesda, Md.)

Leslie Robinson, Princeton (Sr., F – Corvallis, Ore.)  

The “heart and soul” of the Tigers according to coach Courtney Banghart, Robinson ranked in the top three percent nationally in assist rate per Her Hoop Stats.  Princeton’s captain notched Princeton’s first-ever triple-double against Brown in her next-to-last home game Friday (10 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists).

Camille Zimmerman, Columbia (Sr., G/F – Tempe. Ariz.)

Zimmerman entered the season as the 2016-17 All-Met Div. I Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year and the only player in Division I to lead her team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals (both total and per game).

So Zimmerman followed that up as a senior by again leading the league in scoring (19.5 points per game) and rebounding (10.2 rebounds per game), ranking second in free-throw percentage and minutes played and also placing seventh in assists and blocks. Zimmerman did a lot of everything for a struggling team as a senior this year, cementing her place as one of the best players in Ivy League history.

Jen Berkowitz, Yale (Sr., F – Wayland, Mass..)

Berkowitz ranked first in the league in field-goal percentage by a wide margin, allowing her to get to 1,000 points for her career in her last regular season game Saturday at Princeton. Her 24 points powered Yale to a momentous win at TCU on Nov. 21, two days after a 19-point, 16-rebound performance in an 81-75 loss at Kansas, and her 7-for-12 shooting loomed large in a pivotal 69-63 win versus Harvard on Feb. 17. The Ivy League Tournament should be a great showcase for Berkowitz.

Michelle Nwokedi, Penn (Sr., F – Missouri City, Tex.)

One of the most decorated players in Penn history, the 2016-17 Ivy Player of the Year proved her worth yet again as a senior.

Penn led the league in rebounding margin, and Nwokedi led Penn in snares, ranking second league-wide in offensive boards (just ahead of Eleah Parker).

The senior captain became the first player in Ivy League history to post 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 300 blocks on senior night Saturday.

SECOND-TEAM ALL-IVY

Katie Benzan, Harvard (So., G – Wellesley, Mass.)

When you lead the Ivy League in three-point field-goal percentage by nearly 10 percentage points, you’re a rare talent, and that is Benzan, one of only two non-seniors in IHO’s All-Ivy first or second teams. Benzan is a diligent ball distributor, ranking second in the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio and fourth in helpers while also establishing herself as a strong rebounder despite being only 5-foot-6. Benzan scored at least 20 points in five Ivy games, all Harvard wins.

Tamara Simpson, Yale (Sr., G – North Babylon, N.Y.)

Simpson’s no slouch on offense, either, leading Yale in scoring and finishing the regular season ranked fourth in that category.

Taylor Rooks, Harvard (Sr., G – Warren, N.J.)

The former Stanford transfer is one of the league’s most efficient scorers, posting 21 points on 10-for-19 shooting and grabbing 12 boards on a night when the rest of the Crimson shot less than 30 percent from the floor in a 55-52 home win over Penn on Feb. 23. Rooks’s 19-point, six-rebound first half helped put Yale away in a 97-73 home romp over the Bulldogs on Jan. 26.

Kate Letkewicz, Dartmouth (Sr., G – Waterloo, Iowa)

Letkewicz led the league in minutes played by a comfortable margin and made the most of her time, also ranking second in three-point percentage and fifth in defensive rebounding. The 2016-17 All-Ivy honorable mention led the Big Green to a 64-62 overtime victory a Yale team that led for 40:03 via 29 points and eight boards, adding 28 points at Brown the next day. Dartmouth easily had the best three-point shooting percentage in the league, and Letkewicz is a major reason why.

Anna Ross, Penn (Sr., G – Syracuse, N.Y.)

Penn coach Mike McLaughlin reflected on just how vital Anna Ross has been to his program during his appearance on Inside Ivy Hoops last month, and it’s not hard to sense that vitality. Ross led the league in assist-to-turnover ratio for the fourth straight year, a pretty amazing feat. Of course, Ross also led Penn to something this season it had previously only done twice in history: a win over Villanova. Ross’s contested layup down the right side of the lane with one second left gave Penn a rare victory over the Wildcats, completing an 11-point, eight-assist game for her.

ALL-IVY HONORABLE MENTIONS

Eleah Parker, Penn (Fr., C – Charlotte, N.C.)

Roxy Barahman, Yale (So., G – Calabasas, Calif.)

Also a contender for Most Improved Player of the Year, Barahman’s development has fueled Yale’s team improvement this season. Barahman ranked in the league’s top 10 in scoring, assists and steals a season after averaging just 4.7 points per game in 17 contests as a rookie. Her game-high 20 points pushed Yale past Harvard last month, and her 12 points in the second half helped bury Princeton in New Haven a couple of weeks earlier.

Shayna Mehta, Brown (Jr., G – San Francisco)

Brown endured a disappointing season, but Mehta didn’t disappoint after being a second-team All-Ivy selection as a sophomore, finishing second in the league in scoring and third in steals. Mehta’s 11 first-quarter points boosted Brown past Cornell in an 85-59 wipeout of the Big Red on Feb. 24, as she, Justine Gaziano and their fellow Bears tried to mitigate the loss of junior guard Taylor Will to injury before Ivy play.

Justine Gaziano, Brown (So., G – Natick, Mass.)

A rare combination of potent and highly efficient as a backcourt stalwart, Gaziano finished third in the league in scoring (just behind Mehta), fifth in field-goal percentage, first in free-throw percentage, fifth in three-point field goals and third in minutes played.

Samantha Widmann, Cornell (So., G – Lawrenceville, N.J.)

Widmann ranked second in the league in steals and fifth in scoring, substantially improving on her rookie campaign.

 

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