Ayanbeku Named NJAC's Top Defensive Player; Harvey Tabbed Coach of the Year

Montclair, NJ (2/25/09) – Junior forward Kisandra Ayanbeku (Burlington, MA / Randolph) was named the Defensive Player of the Year and earned First-Team honors while head coach Karin Harvey was selected Coach of the Year as the New Jersey Athletic Conference unveiled its 2009 All-Conference Team on Wednesday.

Junior guard Jackie Berry ( Tuckerton, NJ / Pinelands Regional) was chosen Second Team. Both players helped the Red Hawks (18-7, 11-2 NJAC) to the NJAC North Division title this season and the overall No. 1 seed in the NJAC Tournament. MSU (18-7) won a division title for the first time since the format was introduced and finished as the top seed in the league for the first time since 1990.

Ayanbeku leads the Red Hawks in just about every category as she averaged 12.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while shooting .457 from the field and .707 at the free throw line. She ranks in the Top 15 in five categories in the NJAC, including scoring (8 th), rebounding (4 th), field goal percentage (12 th), free throw percentage (13 th) and steals (48). In addition, Ayanbeku registered 11 double-double this season, including a run of five straight from December 10 through January 7.

Among those double-doubles were a 17-points, 13-rebound performance against Stevens in the Red Hawk-Pioneer Classic in November and 10 points and 13 rebounds in a 56-53 win over then-No. 12 Mary Washington in late December at the SunSational Hoops Classic in the Virgin Islands. Ayanbeku put together 19 points and 15 rebounds versus William Paterson in January and then scored a season-high 25 points, including four in the final three minutes against the Pioneers that brought MSU the division title in a 78-68 victory at William Paterson on February 18.

Berry, the quarterback of the MSU offense, averaged 7.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game during the regular season. She currently leads the NJAC in assists per game and is second in the conference in assist-turnover ratio (+1.54) while also ranking eighth in steals with a team-best 49. Berry has dished out 145 assists this season, the most by an MSU player since Wykemia Kelley (157) in 1999 and the ninth-best single-season total in program history.

Seventeen times this season Berry has collected five or more assists in a game, including 10 again Immaculate and Colby College as well as a career-best 13 versus Wesleyan in a 100-94 overtime loss in January. That total was one off the MSU single-game record. Berry also posted 18 games of six or more rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament Team in the Red Hawk-Pioneer Classic.

Harvey now in her second season with MSU, has compiled a 37-18 mark, including 19-7 ledger in NJAC play since returning to the Montclair sidelines in 2007. Harvey was an assistant coach for three seasons with the Red Hawks and served as the head coach at Drew University during the 2006-07 campaign. Last season, Harvey guided MSU to a 19-11 mark and the ECAC Metro title game.