Vanderwal Named to All-Conference First Team; BU Places Pair on All-Rookie Squad



SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Senior co-captain Rachael Vanderwal (Stoney Creek, Ont.) was named to the America East All-Conference First Team at the annual banquet on Thursday at the Basketball Hall of Fame following a vote of the league’s coaches. The guard was also named to the conference’s inaugural All-Defensive Team, while freshmen Christine Kinneary (Plainedge, N.Y.) and Jesyka Burks-Wiley (Kansas City, Mo.) were selected to the All-Rookie Team.

Just the fifth Terrier in program history to earn first-team honors, Vanderwal followed up a junior season in which she was selected to the All-Conference Third Team. BU had two players named to the All-Rookie Team for the first time in program history.

Vanderwal is the only player in the conference to be ranked among the top 10 in points, rebounds and assists and she brings a 13-game streak of scoring 12 or more points into her final America East tournament. A 2005 third-team pick, Vanderwal averaged 12.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest in the regular season, earning conference Player of the Week honors on three occasions. The Ontario native stepped up her scoring average in league play, averaging 14.4 points per game.

The first team also included Hartford’s Erika Messam and Danielle Hood, along with Vermont’s Alexis Castro and Stony Brook’s Mykeema Ford.

Kinneary was the only Terrier rookie to appear in all 27 games during the regular season and she earned 18 starts to quickly become an important part of the team’s backcourt. She has averaged 4.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in her freshman campaign and she tallied a career-high 11 points in a home win over Maine on Jan. 29. Kinneary native dished out a personal-best seven assists twice in road contests at Vermont and New Hampshire.

After seeing limited time off the bench during the non-conference portion of the season, Burks-Wiley excelled during conference play. The forward was a four-time America East Rookie of the Week selection and earned the accolade back-to-back weeks to end the regular season. Against league opponents, Burks-Wiley averaged 8.2 points and 5.3 rebounds, ranking fourth on the BU squad in both categories. In her first and only start during the regular season, she recorded her first career double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds in a home triumph over Albany.

Hartford also placed two of its players on the All-Rookie squad, as Erica Beverly and MaryLynne Schaefer joined Vermont’s Andrea Cihal to round out the group.

Messam earned Player of the Year honors, while Beverly was named Rookie of the Year. Hartford’s Jennifer Rizzotti was selected as the Coach of the Year. Stony Brook sophomore Dana Ferraro was voted as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.

BU, the No. 3 seed at the America East Championships, will take on sixth-seeded New Hampshire in the quarterfinal round on Friday, March 10, at Hartford’s Chase Arena. Game time is set for 30 minutes after the conclusion of the day’s first quarterfinal, which begins at noon.


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