Jenkins, Van Tatenhove, Walker and Crowley Honored By A-10
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ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – On the coattails of a record-breaking regular season, a trio of St. Bonaventure women's basketball players were named to Atlantic 10 All-Conference teams on Wednesday, and Jim Crowley was named the league's Coach of the Year.
Seniors Jessica Jenkins and Megan Van Tatenhove were chosen to the A-10 First Team and All-Academic Team, while junior Alaina Walker earned a spot on the All-Defensive Team.
Jenkins and Van Tatenhove become just the third and fourth players in program history to land on the First Team, joining Hilary Waltman and Dana Mitchell, who rank No.1 and No. 2, respectively, on the program's all-time scoring list. Walker becomes the first player in program history to be named to the All-Defensive Team – an honor incepted by the A-10 for the 2001-02 season.
It is the first time that St. Bonaventure has had more than one player on the First Team list, and also the first time that more than one player has earned a spot on the All-Academic Team. For Van Tatenhove, it is the second straight season she has been named to the All-Academic Team. It also marks the 10th time in his 12 years in charge of Bonaventure that Crowley has had a player earn All-Academic honors – the most of any school in the league over that period.
"Being named to not only the First Team but also the All-Academic Team is a very special honor for both Meg and Jess, and one they have worked very hard for and are deserving of," Crowley said. "I'm also very happy for Alaina to receive the recognition she certainly deserves. She has been terrific defensively all year and is the true catalyst for all that we do."
In leading the No. 19/22 Bonnies to a 27-2 record and perfect 14-0 mark in the A-10 for the first time in program history, Crowley was recognized by his peers in the league for his second Coach of the Year award in the last four years. Crowley won the award in 2008-09, and has led SBU to 20 or more wins in each of the last four seasons.
Crowley guided Bona to the school's first regular-season title in any sport this year after being picked to finish sixth in the A-10 in preseason voting by fellow coaches. The Bonnies have set records for wins, road victories (13) and conference triumphs, and are currently riding a program-best 16-game winning streak.
"The Coach of the Year honor is one that belongs to my staff and players," Crowley added. "The sacrifices and committed they have made to this program, and the work ethic they display on a daily basis is truly amazing. I am so thankful to have them here with me."
For Jenkins – the Bonnies' leading scorer at 14.3 points per game – the postseason awards are the first of her career. The Marion, Ohio, native currently owns the second-most career 3-pointers in the nation with 321, a total which ranks her 18th on the all-time NCAA list. In addition to her long-range shooting, Jenkins has established career highs in rebounds, field goals made and free throws made this season.
The 5-foot-8 guard has started 95 consecutive games – the eighth-longest streak among active players in the country – and her 93 3-pointers this season are 28 more than anyone in the A-10 and fifth-most in the nation. Additionally, the marketing major leads the league in free-throw shooting at 96.7 percent (59-61) and was a perfect 38-38 from the line in conference games.
Van Tatenhove, an A-10 Preseason First Team selection, is second on the Bona roster in scoring at 13.1 per game and paces the club in rebounding at six per outing. A Second Team All-Conference member last year, the forward led Bonaventure in scoring during conference tilts at 14.6 per contest.
Earlier this season, the Wisconsin product became just the ninth member of the school's 1,000 Point & 500 Rebound Club, and she currently ranks ninth on both the program's all-time rebounding (590) and scoring (1,377) lists. Injured throughout a portion of the non-conference schedule, Van Tatenhove increased her points per game average from 11.1 and rebounding average from 5.5 during the non-league docket to their current states by leading the Bonnies in scoring five times in A-10 play and rebounding on four occasions.
The citation for Walker is the first of her career and comes as the Bonnies lead the A-10 in scoring defense for the third consecutive season. SBU is allowing just 53 points per game, and if that average holds it will set an A-10 single-season record for scoring defense. The current record of 53.1 per outing is held by the 1999-2000 Saint Joseph's squad.
Walker consistently matches up with the opposing team's best offensive player and ranks second on the Bona roster in defensive rebounding, having pulled down 117 this year, just two fewer than Van Tatenhove. Perhaps her best defensive effort of the year came in a win at West Virginia as she held Taylor Palmer to just three points on 1-14 shooting – her worst performance of the campaign – after Palmer scored 33 in WVU's season opener.
St. Bonaventure earned the No. 1 seed at this weekend's 2012 Buick A-10 Women's Basketball Championship in Philadelphia and will commence action on Saturday, March 3, at Noon against either eighth-seeded La Salle or ninth-seeded Xavier.