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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Brent Named ECC Defensive Player of the Year and Butler ECC Coach of the Year; Turner, Baldwin-Kollore Earn All-Conference Honors


CENTRAL ISLIP, NY – Senior forward Denikka Brent was named the East Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Head Coach Lester Butler, Jr. was named the Coach of the Year, and guards Telisha Turner and Tajruba Baldwin-Kollore earned Second Team All-ECC and Honorable Mention Team, respectively, as the league office announced the 2014-15 All-Conference honors Wednesday afternoon.
Brent (Mechanical Engineering – Chesapeake, VA/Booker T. Washington HS) earned the conference's top defensive honor after showcasing her versatility as a defender by ranking among the ECC leaders in multiple defensive categories. Currently, she ranks 9th with 7.7 rebounds per-game, 10th with 1.5 blocks per-game, and 2nd in the ECC as well as among the Division II top-25 with 2.64 steals per-game.
Butler, Jr. was tabbed the Coach of the Year by his peers as the Firebirds won a school-record 25 games and currently are ranked No. 23 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll under his guidance. Butler also guided UDC to an 18-2 mark in conference play to earn the program's first-ever ECC Regular Season Championship and the top seed in the upcoming ECC Women's Basketball Championship.
UDC also led the ECC with three All-Conference selections: Denikka Brent (First Team), Telisha Turner (Second Team) and Tajruba Baldwin-Kollore (Honorable Mention Team).
Brent, who's defensive prowess earned her much respect throughout the league, was also the league's 3rd leading scorer with 17.3 points per-game. She finished the regular season with the 2ndmost field goals (184), the 7th-highest FG percentage (48%), and she was 8th in offensive rebounds (70). This marked the 2nd straight year Brent was named First Team All-Conference and the 3rd All-Conference honor of Brent's career after she made the All-Rookie Team her freshman season in 2011-12.
Turner (Criminal Justice – Wilmington, DE/Harcum), who played the second half of the regular season on a severely sprained ankle, was one of the league's most prolific three-point shooters as well as an outstanding point guard. She finished ranked 5th in three-point FG percentage and 7th in total three-point field goals made (51), 3rd in free-throw percentage (79.4%), 7th in assists (89) and 8th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3). She was also the 16th leading scorer in the league with 12.7 points per-game. This marked the 2nd straight year Turner has earned an All-Conference honor after she earned First Team honors last season.
Baldwin-Kollore had a breakout junior season in 2014-15 as she earned the first All-Conference honor of her three-year career at UDC with this year's Honorable Mention Team selection. She was 3rd on the team in scoring and 22nd in the ECC with 11.3 points per-game while shooting an ECC-best 43.2-percent from three-point range and an ECC-10th best 46.8-percent from the field. Baldwin-Kollore scored in double-figures 20 times this season including a streak of 17 games. She was also 8th in the conference with 48 steals.
The Firebirds are a No. 1 seed in this week's ECC Tournament and will take on the winner of the No. 4 NYIT vs. No. 5 LIU Post quarterfinal matchup in Saturday's semifinal.

2014-2015 ECC Women's Basketball All-Conference
First Team
Denikka Brent, Dist. Columbia (Sr., F, Chesapeake, Va.)
Nyasia Davis, LIU Post (Jr., C/F, Rahway, N.J.)
Dina Ragab, NYIT (Jr., F, Cairo, Egypt)
Madison Rowland, Queens (So., G, Cohoes, N.Y.)
Marissa Sell, Roberts Wesleyan (Sr., F, Brockport, N.Y.)
Chelsea Williams, LIU Post (Sr., G, Copiague, N.Y.)
Second TeamShanice Allen, NYIT (So., G, Riverhead, N.Y.)
Tanayzha Augustine, Mercy (Sr., F, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
MacKenzie Rowland, Queens (Jr., C, Cohoes, N.Y.)
Telisha Turner, Dist. Columbia (Sr., G, Wilmington, Del.)
Christine Verrelle, Dowling (Sr., G, Abington, Pa.)

Honorable Mention Team
Taj Baldwin-Kollore, Dist. Columbia (Jr., G, Newport News, Va.)
Shy Britton, Daemen (Sr., F, Rochester, N.Y.)
Samantha Courtney, Roberts Wesleyan (Jr., F, Marathon, N.Y.)
Jenna Erickson, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fr., G, Melrose, N.Y.)
Kristen Korzevinski, Queens (New Hyde Park, N.Y.)
Player of the Year:  Madison Rowland, Queens
Defensive Player of the Year:  Denikka Brent, Dist. Columbia
Rookie of the Year:  Jenna Erickson, St. Thomas Aquinas
Coach of the Year: Lester Butler, Jr., Dist. Columbia

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