Women's Basketball Hands Out 2011-12 Awards at Annual Team Banquet
PHILADELPHIA - It was a season of milestones for the University of Pennsylvania women's basektball team and it culminated with the annual end-of-year banquet on Sunday night at Popi's Italian Restaurant in South Philadelphia. The yearly team awards were handed out as the Quakers were joined by their families, friends and the coaching staff.
As a team in 2011-12, Penn (13-15, 6-8 Ivy) finished with its highest win total since the 2004-05 season. In addition to the best 10-game start in school history, the Quakers opened 5-0 at home for the first time in eight years and set a program record with seven wins before the month of January. Penn's seven non-conference wins tied for fourth-most in school history. The Quakers also swept a road weekend for the first time in five seasons and posted back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2003-04 and 2004-05. Off the court, Penn raised more than $4,000 for various charities.
Senior Jess Knapp won multiple awards on the night, claiming the Epton-Tarr Award for her efforts as the consummate team player throughout the 2011-12 campaign. She also earned the Team Leader award for the second straight year. Knapp played the final 13 games of her career on two torn ligaments in her left knee. The Carlstadt, N.J., native tore her ACL and MCL on December 30 and missed just five games before returning to the floor. She started the final nine games for Penn and led the team in rebounding six times in that span. Despite the injury, she still finished in the top 10 in the Ivy League in rebounding (8th) and blocks (7th).
Senior Jourdan Banks was honored with the prestigious
Harshberger-Johnson-Brendel (HJB) Prize
for Sportsmanship, Loyalty and Leadership. The HJB, created by Penn alumna and
former player Cynthia Warner
Johnson Crowley CW’52, honors the strong tradition of more than 80 years
of women’s varsity basketball at Penn. Banks served as team captain in 2011-12 and started 16 games. She finished second on the team in field goal percentage (.407) and led the team in rebounding three times, including a career-best nine rebounds in the overtime win over St. Francis (N.Y.).
Sophomore Alyssa Baron was awarded the team's Co-Impact Player of the Year honor along with freshman Kara Bonenberger. Baron won the Ivy League scoring title for the second year in a row, and was named second-team All-Ivy and first-team All-Big 5. Bonenberger won Big 5 Rookie of the Year honors after she finished second in the Ivy League in field goal percentage and led the Quakers in rebounding and blocks. She started 12 games in her rookie campaign and finished second on the team in scoring.
Freshman Renee Busch was recognized with the team's Most Dedicated award. Busch started 19 games and played in all 28 during her rookie campaign. She led Penn in three-point percentage (.366) and free throw percentage (.813) and was second on the team with 26 made threes.
Fellow freshman Katy Allen was also honored on Sunday. She earned the Miss Intagible award. Allen played in every game and started the last 18. She tied for second on the team in three-point percentage (.333), and finished third on the team in scoring, field goal percentage and made field goals.
Sophomore Meghan McCullough was named the team's Defensive Player of the Year. She played in all 28 games for the second straight year to start her career. Usually pitted against the opposition's top guard, McCullough had multiple rebounds in 18 different games and finished the year with 21 steals.
Knapp and Banks each received a commemorative jersey and gave a speech to conclude the banquet. Both of them also wrote a senior tribute that was featured in the banquet program and is shown below:
#4 Jess Knapp
#42 Jourdan Banks
A complete list of the awards handed out Sunday: