Big 5 Release
PHILADELPHIA - Freshman Keiera Ray is the third straight University of Pennsylvania women's basketball player named Big 5 Rookie of the Year as announced by the Philadelphia basketball conference on Tuesday. Junior Alyssa Baron, the winner of that award in 2010-11, earned first-team accolades for the third straight year.
All three of head coach Mike McLaughlin's recruiting classes have resulted in the Big 5 Rookie of the Year. Prior to his tenure, Penn had just one Big 5 Rookie of the Year in its entire history (Diana Caramanico, 1997). Baron won the honor two seasons ago and Kara Bonenberger was last season's recipient.
Ray, who earned honorable mention All-Ivy status, started 27 games in her rookie campaign and finished second on the team in scoring (10.6), assists (2.1) and steals (1.5). Ray was also a three-time Ivy Rookie of the Week and the first Ivy League man or woman ever named USBWA National Player of the Week.
Baron, who was also a unanimous first-team All-Ivy honoree, led the Quakers in scoring for the third straight year with 14.1 points per game - fourth-best in the league. She was also second in the Ivy League in assists (3.8), second in steals (1.9), second in assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.3) and fifth in rebounding (6.4).
This duo helped lead Penn to just the program's third 18-win season as well as the first two postseason wins in school history. Penn’s nine non-league wins this year matched the school record set in 1999-00. The winning ways were also evident throughout league play where the Quakers won nine games for just the sixth time in school history. Penn's 18-13 overall record marked the first winning season since 2004-05 and the team's best record since the 2000-01 team set the school standard with 22 wins.
Both Quakers will be honored at the Big 5 banquet on April 29 at The Palestra. Tickets can be reserved by contacting Steve Crider at 814-935-5015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.