Women's Hoops Garners Top NJAC Honors

Women's Hoops Garners Top NJAC Honors
Kean Athletics

PITMAN, N.J. (2/23/11) - For the second straight season, the Kean University women's basketball team earned three of the major honors awarded by the New Jersey Athletic Conference, as senior Tiffany Patrick was named Co-Player of the Year, guard Emily Cristaldi earned Rookie of the Year and head coach Michele Sharp was named Co-Coach of the Year.Sophomore guard Naimah Clemons joins Patrick on the NJAC first-team, while Cristaldi was also named an honorable mention all-star.

The Cougars finished 12-1 in the conference this season and have won 25 of their last 26 conference games, while capturing the NJAC South Division in each of the last two seasons.

The 2010 NJAC Defensive Player of the Year, Patrick was named co-Player of the Year along with William Paterson junior guard BriAnna Lucas this season after averaging 15.2 points and 9.6 rebounds in the 13 conference games. A two-time first-team all-star, Patrick ranks in the top 10 in conference action in eight different categories, including third in blocks (2.1), fourth in rebounding and steals (2.5) and fifth in scoring.

Patrick becomes just the second player in program history to earn Player of the Year honors, joining the program's all-time leading scorer, Melissa Beyruti, who earned the award last season. This season, the four-year starter became the 18th player in school history to score 1,000 career points and currently ranks seventh in school history with 1,266 career points.

Cristaldi joins Clemons (2009-10), Beyruti (2005-06) and Chari' Cooper (2004-05) with Rookie of the Year honors, as she dropped in 10.9 points and 16 three-point field goals in 13 NJAC games this year. A four-time NJAC Rookie of the Week, she averaged a team-high 27.6 minutes per game in conference play and added 30 steals and 24 assists.

Sharp shares Coach of the Year honors with The College of New Jersey head coach Dawn Henderson for the second time, after the two also shared the honor in 2001-02. A three-time Coach of the Year, Sharp also earned the award in 2002-03. The Cougars are seeking their fifth conference title in Sharp's tenure, as she has posted a 234-124 record in 13 seasons at Kean.

Clemons earns NJAC honors for the second straight year after earning second-team accolades and the conference's top rookie honor last season. In 12 conference games, Clemons averaged 15.0 points and 3.0 assists, while adding a team-high 17 three-pointers. This season, the sophomore guard ranked in the top 10 in conference action in eight different categories, including second in three-point field goal percentage (17-of-37, .459), third in field goal percentage (69-of-126, .548) and fourth in free throw percentage (25-of-32, .781).