WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — Senior Samantha Baranowski and freshman Danielle Walczak of the University of Maine were among the players recognized for their play this season during Thursday’s America East women’s basketball awards reception.
Baranowski, a 6-foot-2 forward from Stanhope, N.J., was named to the All-America East third team. Walczak, a 6-1 post player from Lee, N.H., was selected for the All-Rookie Team.
Waterville native Morgan Frame of the University of New Hampshire was a second-team choice, while Niki Taylor of York, who plays for Vermont, made the All-Rookie squad.
Chantell Alford of regular-season champion Boston University earned her second straight Player of the Year honor. Ebone Henry of Albany was named the Defensive Player of the Year and Lauren Chase of Maryland Baltimore County was the Rookie of the Year.
The Coach of the Year pick was UAlbany’s Katie Abrahamson-Henderson.
Baranowski had a breakout season as a senior under first-year head coach Richard Barron. She averaged a team-leading 8.9 points per game, including 11.2 ppg in league play.
Baranowski also achieved career highs with a team-best 5.3 rebounds per outing and a .488 shooting percentage that ranked second in America East in conference games. She is UMaine’s first all-conference pick since classmate Samantha Wheeler was a second-team selection in 2010.
“There’s no question that we would not have been able to win the games that we’ve won without Sam,” Barron said.
“You can look at the progress she made over the course of the year, and anybody else on our team, and feel like wow, she’s really done something with this season,” he added.
Walczak emerged as a starter in the UMaine frontcourt. The left-handed shooter averaged 5.6 points and 4.6 rebounds and shot 41 percent from the field.
Walczak posted better numbers in America East play and started 13 of the 14 league games in which she played.
Joining Alford and Henry on the all-conference first team were New Hampshire’s Denise Beliveau, Mo Moran of BU and UMBC’s Erin Brown. The second team also consists of Albany’s Julie Forster, Binghamton’s Andrea Holmes, Ruthanne Doherty of Hartford and Michelle Kuroski of UMBC.
Baranoski’s peers on the third team are Daphne Elliott and Nikkia Smith of Hartford, BU’s Rashidat Agboola and Binghamton’s Viive Rebane.
Joining Chase, Walczak and Taylor on the All-Rookie unit are Hartford’s Amber Bepko and Vermont’s Tierra Schumpert.
The All-Defensive Team is made up of Henry, Forster, Agboola, Beliveau and Vermont’s Shanai Heber. The All-Academic squad consists of Beliveau, Brown, Forster, Kurowski, Rebane and Alex Hall of Hartford.