IHO 2019-20 Women’s All-Ivy Awards

Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for: the 2019-20 Ivy Hoops Online Women’s All-Ivy honorees as selected by IHO contributors, which are notably different from the selections that the Ivy League released:

Player of the Year

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

Surely one of the easiest POY votes of all time. Alarie was once again unquestionably the best player on the league’s best team, leading the Tigers to a 26-1 record (14-0 Ivy) and becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer (passing Sandi Bittler ’90) during what turned out to be the season’s final weekend. As a senior, Alarie led the league in scoring and finished second in rebounds. When you can score from anywhere and dominate play at both ends of the floor, you’re a unique talent. When you’ve done it for four years under two head coaches, you’re an even more special player. Alarie truly is one of a kind. Good luck to her in the WNBA.

Co-Rookies of the Year

Abbey Hsu, Columbia (Fy., G – Parkland, Fla.)

Hsu led the Lions to their first ever Ivy League Tournament qualification, instantly establishing herself as a dynamic standout who could score and had already earned coach Megan Griffith’s trust. Hsu finished seventh in the league in scoring, sixth in field-goal percentage, second in three-point percentage and fifth in minutes, one of the most exciting players of a very promising Ivy rookie class.

Kayla Padilla, Penn (Fy., G – Torrance, Calif.)

Like Hsu, Padilla immediately showed that she could carry the scoring lead with outside shooting prowess, doing so for a perennial Ivy title contender used to being led in scoring by frontcourt players. Padilla is a playmaker that creates instant offense, averaging 25.5 points per game in two contests against a Princeton squad that only allowed 47.9 per contest (lowest in Division I by 3.7 points) and finishing just a tenth of a point per game behind Alarie atop the conference’s individual scoring list. Padilla finished third in the league in both free-throw and three-point percentage and sixth in minutes.

From our Palestra Pete in his recap of a Columbia-Penn game so good it’s going to pop up again later in the awards:

If you love basketball — and why else would you be reading this? — you have to love the prospect of four years of Penn vs. Columbia, Padilla vs. Hsu. Padilla, from southern California, is quicker and more intrepid, taking risks and sinking one or two (or more) insane shots every game; Hsu, from south Florida, seems to be the more measured player, taking fewer shots and sinking a higher percentage. She’s also a bit taller, playing on a shorter team than Penn, so Columbia relies on her for more rebounds …

Defensive Player of the Year

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

Alarie finished second in the league in blocks and defensive rebounds, anchoring the stingiest defense in all of Division I. Enough said.

Honorable Mention: Eleah Parker, Penn (Jr., C – Charlotte, N.C.)

Co-Most Improved Players of the Year

Ellen Margaret Andrews, Yale (Jr., G – Dallas)

Andrews appeared started 28 of 32 games as a first-year, averaging 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per game before suffering a season-ending injury five starts into last season. Andrews bounced back big-time as a junior, averaging 12.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, leading the Bulldogs in minutes and finishing fifth in the league in steals and fourth in three-point percentage, coming up large in nonconference memorable wins over North Carolina and Providence.

McKenna Dale, Brown (Jr., G – Storrs, Conn.)

Dale averaged 3.9 points and 1.6 rebounds per game in 18 games (two starts) as a first-year before missing her entire sophomore season due to injury. Dale’s came back to have a terrific junior season, inserted into the starting lineup midway through nonconference play and going on to finish ninth in the league in scoring, sixth in three-pointers made and blocks while easily leading the conference in free-throw percentage (84.8%).

Coach of the Year

Carla Berube, Princeton

Berube left Tufts after 17 years at the helm there to inherit a Princeton program that had already won seven Ivy League championships under Courtney Banghart and returned a reigning two-time Ivy Player of the Year in Alarie. Expectations were high. Yet the Tigers exceeded all expectations with aplomb, making an unlikely transformation from a team that relied more on its offensive firepower last season to one that leaned on an impenetrable defense that simply shut opponents down.

“I love the defensive side of the ball,” Berube told the Daily Princetonian in February. “I think we were successful at Tufts because we could really just lock down our opponents and make it really hard for them to do what they want to do. I am trying to instill that at Princeton, and so far I think the team has really enjoyed just getting after it on the defensive end and buying into wanting to be a great defensive team.”

The buy-in worked.

Honorable Mention: Megan Griffith, Columbia

Game of the Year

Columbia at Penn

All-Ivy First Team

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

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

Barahman was again one of the league’s greatest all-around players, a playmaker who distributed the ball as well as she attacked with it. Barahman finished third in the league in scoring and assists and led the conference in steals by a wide margin. She was the only player to rank in the top three in points, assists and steals. Barahman led the league in scoring in conference play, helping Yale to notch 19 wins, tying a program record.

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

Parker struggled at times during nonconference play this season but seemed to find another gear in conference action, averaging 13.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in Ancient Eight competition. (She averaged 12 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest for the season, and six of her seven double-doubles came in league play.)  Parker recorded 2.7 blocks per game, easily best in the conference. A formidable rim protector and plentiful scorer, Parker remains one of the league’s elite contributors.

Carlie Littlefield, Princeton (Jr., G – Waukee, Iowa)

Littlefield continued to be the most successful floor general in the Ivy League, leading the Tigers in assists (coming in seventh in the league in that category overall) while also scoring 13.7 points per game, good for eighth-highest in the conference. Littlefield also finished fourth in the league in steals, a key member of that stifling Princeton defense.

Camilla Emsbo, Yale (So., F – Lakewood, Colo.)

Emsbo finished sixth in the league in scoring, third in rebounding (tied with Parker) and third in blocks, building upon a terrific rookie campaign last season.

All-Ivy Second Team

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

Gaziano finished her career with 1,818 career points, ranking second all-time at Brown and 10th all-time in Ivy League history. In her senior season, Gaziano continued to excel as a scorer, finishing fourth in points and minutes, ninth in field goal and free throw percentage and fifth in three-pointers made. Gaziano placed in the league’s top five in scoring in all four of her seasons, a rare feat.

Abbey Hsu, Columbia (Fy., G – Parkland, Fla.)

Kayla Padilla, Penn (Fy., G – Torrance, Calif.)

Laura Bagwell-Katalinich, Cornell (Sr., F – Minneapolis)

The Big Red had a rough Ivy slate this season, going 3-11 in league play after making the Ivy League Tournament last season. But Bagwell-Katalinich continued to stand out for Cornell, again leading the team in scoring and rebounding as she did as a junior last season following her transfer from Penn. Bagwell-Katalinich finished 10th in the league in scoring, sixth in rebounding and free throw percentage and fifth in field goal percentage, again proving to be an efficient scorer who excelled at crashing the offensive boards.

Lola Mullaney, Harvard (Fy., G – Colts Neck, N.J.) 

Mullaney faced a daunting task in her rookie season: help make up for the loss of three-time first team All-Ivy guard and three-point shooting specialist Katie Benzan, who left the program to become a graduate transfer at Texas next season. But Mullaney met the challenge, immediately becoming the focal point of Harvard’s offense with a 25-point debut against Northern Illinois en route to eventually leading the conference in three-pointers made, finishing fifth in the league in scoring and second in free throw percentage.

Honorable Mentions

Kendall Grasela, Penn (Sr., G – Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) 

Jeannie Boehm, Harvard (Sr., F – Winnetka, Ill.)

Samantha Widmann, Cornell (Sr., G/F – Lawrenceville, N.J.)

Annie McKenna, Dartmouth (Sr., G – Elmwood Park, Ill.) 

Sienna Durr, Columbia (So., G/F – Grinnell, Iowa)