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Wednesday, March 5, 2008


2008 All-NESCAC Team

MEDFORD -- With a 23-3 record and heading into their first NCAA Tournament appearance, the Tufts University women's basketball dominates the All-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) honors announced today. Jumbos earned at least a share of all four major awards.

All-NESCAC recognition is determined by a vote of the league's 10 head coaches. Senior forward Khalilah Ummah (Litchfield, ME/Waynflete Academy) is both NESCAC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Point guard Colleen Hart (Needham, MA/Needham) earned Rookie of the Year and Carla Berube shares Co-Coach of the Year recognition with Amherst's G.P. Gromacki. Ummah was also placed on the All-Conference First Team and Hart is on the Second Team.

Entering the NCAA Tournament, Ummah leads the NESCAC in rebounding with 10.1 per game and in blocked shots with 2.23 per game. She's fifth in the field goal percentage at .522, with makes on 151 of 289 attempts. She was the league leader in offensive rebounds with 117, helping her to score 12.8 points per game. Her offensive game has especially come on lately, with point totals of 20, 22 and 25 among the last five games. She reached double figures in rebounds for 17 games and averaged 12.4 per contest in nine NESCAC games. Her shot blocking developed as well this season, including six against Brandies and five each versus Connecticut College and Colby.

Hart showed great poise as a first-year leader of the Jumbos at point guard. She has scored 11.5 points per game with superb three-point accuracy. She's hit 50 of 122 long bombs this year for a strong .410 percentage. Her 50 threes are fourth most in NESCAC so far, helping her to 15th place in the conference scoring race. She's clutch at the free throw line, making 53 of 59 attempts for a league-leading .898 percentage. Her court leadership has the Jumbos, more renowned for their defense, also third among NESCAC teams in scoring with 67.3 points per game. She averages 34.1 minutes and 3.46 assists per game. She is the only first-year player honored by NESCAC this season.

Berube received coaching honors for the second straight season. She won NESCAC Coach of the Year outright last year after Tufts finished 18-8 following a 10-13 season. This winter, the team was even better. They won a school-record 12 straight games to start the season and became a fixture in the national poll. The Jumbos were ranked first in the NCAA Northeast Region polls released prior to the NCAA selections. Berube earned the 100th victory of her career, against just 45 losses, in the conference semi-final win over Wesleyan.

Tufts will play Wheaton College of the NEWMAC in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Mt. St. Mary College in Newburgh, New York on Friday (Mar. 7) at 5:00.