Grace Wade named Second Team All-Star

Grace Wade named Second Team All-Star

(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2014-15 AUS women's basketball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's eight head coaches following regular season play.

From UNB, second-year point guard Grace Wade was named an AUS Second Team All-Star.

Fifth-year Dalhousie guard Courtney Thompson was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player at Friday’s awards luncheon held at the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax.

Other AUS major award winners announced during the banquet were Saint Mary’s Kennisha-Shanice Luberisse of Montreal, Que. who was named both AUS rookie of the year and AUS defensive player of the year; Dalhousie’s Kristy Moore of Shad Bay, N.S., who is the AUS Tracy MacLeod Award Nominee; Acadia’s Aprille Deus of Brampton, Ont., who the AUS Sylvia Sweeney Award nominee; and Dalhousie Tigers head coach Anna Stammberger, who was named the AUS coach of the year.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Courtney Thompson, Dalhousie

Courtney Thompson, a 5-foot-9, fifth-year guard with the Dalhousie Tigers, is the Atlantic University Sport women's basketball most valuable player.

A native of Saint John, N.B., Thompson led the Atlantic conference and finished second in the CIS in scoring this season. She averaged 23.9 points per game over the course of the regular season. Her 478 total points this season set a new Dalhousie school record and place her sixth in the AUS all-time record books for single season points.

She also finishes tied for 11th in career points in the AUS record books with 1,498.

In addition to being named league MVP, Thompson also earned a place on the AUS first team all-star squad this season. She was named an AUS second team all-star last season and earned a place on the all-rookie team in her inaugural season with the Tigers in 2010-11.

Thompson finished first in field goals this season, making 173. Her field goals made percentage of 51.2 was second highest in the Atlantic conference.

She also finished first in free throws and with the highest free throw percentage, making 127 of 146 or 87.0 per cent.

Additionally, Thompson contributed 63 assists this season, good for fourth overall, and managed 30 steals. 

“It’s wonderful to see Courtney Thompson being rewarded with this honour after five outstanding seasons,” said Tigers head coach Anna Stammberger. “She competed and performed at a very consistent and high level every minute on the court of the 100 league games she dressed in (while starting in 95 of them). She’s mentally and physically tough, competes and is focused every minute on the court. She is an exceptional scorer and loves to distribute the ball; a true court general and very deserving of this MVP award.”

Thompson is the fifth Dalhousie player to win the AUS most valuable player award, joining her coach  Anna (Pendergast) Stammberger (1981-82), Kathy MacCormack (1988-89), Carolyn Wares (1996-96) and Angelia Crealock (1999-00).

Thompson will now become the AUS nominee for the Nan Copp Award for CIS player of the year. 

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

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR & DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kennisha-Shanice Luberisse, Saint Mary’s

Kennisha-Shanice Luberisse of the Saint Mary’s Huskies has been named both the AUS women’s basketball rookie of the year and defensive player of the year.

Luberisse, a native of Montreal, Que., is the sixth player from the Huskies to claim the AUS rookie of the year award and the first since the 2009-10 season when CIS all-time career scoring record holder Justine Colley won the honour.

The 5-foot-7 guard has made an immediate impact with the Huskies, starting in all 20 games and finishing first in team scoring with an average of 12.2 points per game. Her 243 total points this season were good for fourth overall in the Atlantic conference.

Luberisse was a defensive force for the Huskies this season, leading the AUS in steals with 50 and posting 74 defensive rebounds.

She finished third overall in offensive rebounds with 65, fourth in field goals with 99 and fifth in assists with 62.

Kennisha has done a great job on defence for us this year,” said Huskies head coach Scott Munro. “She has guarded the other team’s top perimeter threat almost every night. She plays on the defensive end with a tremendous amount of energy and never seems to get tired, and takes a tremendous amount of pride in doing all of the little things. She has certainly been one of the keys to our league-leading defence this season.”

In addition to being named the 2014-15 AUS rookie of the year and defensive player of the year, Luberisse was also named to the AUS first team all-star squad and the all-rookie team.

Kennisha has been among the AUS leaders this season in, scoring, rebounding, assists, and field goal percentage,” continued Munro. “She was also the league leader in steals and minutes played. This is quite an accomplishment for a first-year player. She has certainly had an impact in every game for us this year. Kennisha is a complete player who plays with a relentless work ethic night in and night out.”

Luberisse will now represent the conference as the AUS nominee for the Kathy Shields Award.

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

Luberisse will also be the AUS nominee for the CIS defensive player of the year award. An Atlantic University Sport player has yet to earn the accolade.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Anna Stammberger, Dalhousie

Dalhousie Tigers head coach Anna Stammberger is the Atlantic University Sport women's basketball coach of the year for the first time in her six years at the helm of the program.

Stammberger’s Tigers finished the regular season in second place with a 14-6 record. They led the league in points per game (67.2), finished second in total rebounds per game (37.3) and second in assists per game (15.1).

Originally from Kensington, P.E.I., Stammberger arrived on the Dalhousie campus in 1978 and spent five years as a varsity athlete and two years as an assistant coach.

As a player, she earned AUS MVP honours and CIS all-Canadian status twice. From 1980 to 1992, she was a member of Canada’s national women’s basketball team, competing at the 1984 Olympics.

Stammberger is one of just three Tigers coaches to be named AUS coach of the year. Former Tigers coach Carolyn Savoy, who Stammberger worked alongside as an assistant coach, earned the honour four times, in 1981-82, 2000-01, 2004-05 and 2006-07.

Kathy Weadon-Hore is the only other Dalhousie coach to be named AUS coach of the year. She claimed the award in 1990-91.

Stammberger now becomes the AUS nominee for CIS coach of the year. Saint Mary’s Huskies coach Scott Munro is the most recent Atlantic conference coach to win the award in 2012-13.

TRACY MACLEOD AWARD NOMINEE: Kristy Moore, Dalhousie

Kristy Moore of the Dalhousie Tigers is the 2014-15 AUS nominee for the CIS 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.

Moore is a 5-foot-6, fourth-year  guard from Shad Bay, N.S. Last season, in the first minute of the first league game, Moore tore her ACL and had surgery in March.

Within eight months, she was back on the competitive court playing fearlessly and making a difference for the Tigers.

She earned a starting spot soon after her return and is now a regular starter. She played in all 20 of the Tigers’ games this season and started in 15 of them.  

While working very hard at her rehab, Moore also began completing a Master of Physiotherapy.

“Kristy has gelled with our team completely and has made our team better in so many areas,” said Tigers head coach Anna Stammberger. “Not only can she be a terrific offensive threat but she’s a spark on defence. Kristy is such a hardworking, disciplined and intelligent student-athlete and we all have tremendous respect for her strength, courage and resilience in overcoming the challenges she’s faced over the past four years while still managing to be a major contributor on every team to which she’s belonged.”

Moore now becomes the AUS nominee for the CIS 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: Aprille Deus, Acadia

Acadia guard Aprille Deus is the 2014-15 recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award and the AUS nominee for the CIS Sylvia Sweeney award.

A third-year guard from Brampton, Ont., Deus played in 16 regular season games for the Axewomen this year, contributing an average of 4.1 points per game and 1.9 rebounds per game, and posting 34 total assists and 11 steals.

Successful in the classroom as well as on the court, Deus has maintained a GPA of 3.45 while also being heavily involved in her community, both in Wolfville and home in Ontario.

In the summer of 2014, Deus volunteered as a travel team coach for one of the Tri-County Thunder/ Kitchener-Waterloo Lightning U18 teams. This coming summer, she will return to the Tri-County Thunder to coach during the month of July.

Each summer, Deus volunteers her time at the Annual King Fee Classic charity tournament. She is also an active volunteer (runner) for Toronto Pride and for the Toronto Raptors community outreach programs where she helps with basketball clinics and camps. 

Deus is also taking on a new volunteer role with the Pan-Am basketball committee and the ParaPan-Am wheelchair basketball committees.

In Wolfville, Deus helps coach the Junior Axewomen program.

 In February 2014, she helped bring the “You Can Play” campaign to Acadia. The You Can Play campaign creates awareness of homophobia within sport. 

As a varsity student-athlete, Deus has visited local schools within Annapolis Valley as part of the RCMP’s WITS anti-bullying program, she participates in Acadia’s S.M.I.L.E. events and is the Axewomen basketball representative for the Acadia Players Association.

Deus now becomes the AUS nominee for the CIS Sylvia Sweeney Award for most outstanding student-athlete. An Atlantic University Sport women’s basketball student-athlete has yet to earn this honour.

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

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

First Team All-Stars:
Courtney Thompson, Dalhousie (5th year – Saint John, N.B.)
Alison Keough, Cape Breton (2nd year – Marion Bridge, N.S.)
Kennisha-Shanice Luberisse (1st year – Montreal, Que.)
Megan Robinson, Memorial (4th year – Waterloo, Ont.)
Amy Gough, UPEI (5th year – St. John’s, N.L.)

Second Team All-Stars:
Tessa Stammberger, Dalhousie (4th year – Kensington, P.E.I.)
Lindsay Lessard, StFX (3rd year – Waterloo, Ont.)
Grace Wade, UNB (2nd year – Moncton, N.B.)
Tianna Brown, Memorial (3rd year – Douglas, Arizona)
Colleen Keane (3rd year – Ajax, Ont.)

All-Rookie Team:
Kennisha-Shanice Luberisse ( Montreal, Que.)
Nicole LaFleur, UNB (Fredericton, N.B.)
Diedre Alexander, Dalhousie (Woodstock, N.B.)
Shanieka Wood, Saint Mary’s (Ajax, Ont.)
Samantha Robertson, StFX (Toronto, Ont.)

The 2015 Subway AUS women's basketball championship is underway at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. The quarter-final games were played last night, Thursday, Feb. 26. The semifinals will be played at noon at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday and the championship final will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. Live webcasts of all five games of the championship will be available on Eastlink TV and at www.AUStv.ca.

The winner will be crowned the AUS champion and will advance to the 2015 ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS women's basketball Final 8 championship, March 12-15, hosted by Université Laval in Quebec City.

For more information on the CIS championship format, visit http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wbkb/index.

The 2015 Subway AUS women's basketball championship schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Feb. 26
Quarterfinal#1: Cape Breton 62 vs. Memorial 57 FINAL
Quarterfinal#2:  UPEI 65 vs. UNB 45 FINAL

Saturday, Feb. 28
Semifinal#1: Cape Breton (4th seed) vs. Saint Mary’s (1st seed), 12 p.m.
Semifinal#2: UPEI (3rd seed) vs. Dalhousie (2nd seed), 2 p.m.

Sunday, March 1
Final: Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.