BUFFALO, NY – Head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald has announced the award winners for the 2010-11 women's basketball season. Coming away with three awards was sophomore Nicki Hopkins, while UB's senior class of Kourtney Brown, Jessica Fortman, Bridgette Kendricks and Ashley Zuber claimed the rest.
Hopkins was given the Bulls' Pride Award, Most Improved Player Award and Academic Award. Hopkins, who claimed the Bulls' Pride Award for the second straight year, averaged 4.7 points per game as she led the team in three-point shooting a 39.3%. Hopkins had 44 threes on the year, which were second on the team, while having four games in which she reached double figures in points. She had 17 points in a win against Ohio, tying her career high with five three pointers in that game. Hopkins also took home the Academic Award as she has nearly a 3.7 GPA and is a Management major.
Fortman was give the Coaches' Award following the season for her contributions on and off the floor. One of the most vocal leaders on the team, Fortman became the 19th player in school history to record 1,000 career points. Fortman finished ninth in school history in scoring with 1,150 points and her 122 career games played are second in school history. The Ashland, KY native also finished in the top 10 in school history in three pointers, free throws, rebounding and blocked shots, which she is fourth in. She finished this past season averaging 8.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
The Defensive Player of the Year was given to both Brown and Kendricks for their play on that end of the floor. Brown was the conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, setting the Mid-American Conference record for career blocks in the process. In addition to blocks, Brown also led the league in rebounding. Kendricks was given the assignment of the opponent's top scorer for much of her four years here at Buffalo. She was one of three players on the team to finish the season with over 50 steals. She also pulled down 4.8 rebounds per game, most of those coming on the defensive end.
The Most Valuable Player award was also shared between two players as Brown and Zuber took home the honors. In addition to her prowess on the defensive end, Brown also averaged 22.1 points per game to lead the conference. Brown is the only player in the country in the top 10 nationally in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage as she finished the season eighth in scoring, fifth in rebounding and blocked shots and sixth in field goal percentage.
Zuber came back this season after being injured for most of the last two years to set a school record with 198 assists this past year, leading the MAC. Zuber played in all 32 games, averaging 7.7 points and 6.2 assists per game. She had double figures in assists three times this past year, including a school-record 16 assists in one game. She has nine games of at least eight assists as well. Following UB's trip to the Women's Basketball Invitational, Zuber was named the MAC's Scholar Athlete of the Week.
The Bulls finished the season 16-16 and 8-8 in the MAC earning them their first ever postseason berth in the Women's Basketball Invitational.