March 4, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Two days after capturing its first Patriot League regular-season title since 2005-06, the celebration for Army women’s basketball continued through Monday as freshman Kelsey Minato and senior Anna Simmers swept the conference’s final installment of weekly awards. Minato captured her Army-record eighth Patriot League Rookie of the Week certificate while Simmers was tabbed the Player of the Week for the third time in 2012-13 and fourth time in her career.
Simmers’ back-to-back game-high performances pushed Army (22-7, 11-3 PL) to a 2-0 week, beginning with 21 points at Holy Cross on Wednesday, while matching her career high with five steals. Simmers locked up conference leading scorer Alex Smith, holding her without a point in the final 23 minutes as the Black Knights held Holy Cross to a series-low 35 points.
On Saturday, the Anchorage, Alaska, native bolstered Army’s comeback win over Lehigh, rallying the Black Knights from a 13-point second-half deficit by scoring 16 points in the second stanza, including nine in the final five minutes, en route to her second consecutive 21-point showing. For the week, Simmers averaged 21 points, 5.5 rebounds, four steals and 1.5 assists per game and finished regular-season play as the Patriot League’s second-leading scorer (13.7 ppg).
Against the Crusaders, Minato scored 12 points to keep her double-digit scoring streak alive while recording a game and career-best five assists. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native then followed with a 17-point showing against the Mountain Hawks on Saturday to finish the regular season as the Patriot League’s leading scorer in conference play with a 16.3 points per game average. She enters postseason play with a 14-game double-digit scoring streak, the highest active streak in the league.
With Monday’s awards being the final ballot of the season, Minato has become Army’s all-time leader in Patriot League Rookie of the Week certificates with eight. The total also ties the Patriot League record Bucknell’s Lindsey Hollobaugh originally estsablished in 2003-04. Cara Enright (2004-05), the Black Knights’ all-time No. 2 scorer, and Lisa Russell (1991-92), Army’s most-recent All-American (1993), previously held the Academy record of seven Rookie of the Week accolades.
Army’s Player-Rookie sweep is its fourth of the season with Simmers and Minato teaming up for three of those collections, marking the first time since 2003-04 that the same combination of players swept the Patriot League weekly awards more than once in a season. Bucknell’s Desire Almind (Player) and Hollobaugh (Rookie) swept the conference certificates five times that season, the most in Patriot League history.
Army players and rookies combined for 16 weekly awards this season, establishing a Patriot League record.
The No. 1 seed Black Knights will host No. 8 Colgate on Thursday evening in the Patriot League Quarterfinals. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. For tickets, visit www.goARMYsports.com or call 1-877-TIX-ARMY. Fans can also stop by the ticket office at its new location at Gate 3 of Michie Stadium during its regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.). The Holleder Center ticket office, located just outside Christl Arena, opens for sales 90 minutes prior to home contests.