PHILADELPHIA - Honors and awards keep rolling in for the Ivy League and Big 5 Player of the Year. Senior women's basketball standout Alyssa Baron has been just as succesful off the court as on it and was acknowledged for her stellar performance in the classroom on Wednesday when she was named the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Performer of the Year. In addition, Baron was also selected to the Ivy League Academic All-Ivy team.
One of three repeat honorees on this year’s Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Team, Baron led the Quakers to their first Ivy League title and NCAA Tournament berth in 10 years. She was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy honoree for the second consecutive year and became one of just six players all-time to earn first-team All-Big 5 accolades four consecutive years.
The Miami, Fla., native closed out her career ranked second on Penn's all-time scoring list and ninth in Ivy League history with 1,806 career points. She also finished among the top five all-time at Penn in assists, steals, made threes, made field goals, made free throws and free throw percentage. Baron finished her senior season among the top 10 in the Ivy League in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and free throw percentage.
Baron is joined on the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Women’s Basketball team by seniors Katie Lytle of Swarthmore College, Brittany Sandone of Cabrini College, and Erin Shields of St. Joseph’s University, as well as sophomore Eireann Anatasi of Delaware Valley College. Lytle and Shields join Baron as repeat selections to this year’s team.
The Academic All-Area team is voted on by the sports information offices of the 28 area institutions from the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Players from those schools must maintain at least a GPA of 3.20 and are selected based on a combination of their on-court performance and academic success. Baron, a communications major, has maintained an impressive 3.38 GPA in her time at the University of Pennsylvania.
In Baron's final season in the Red and Blue, Penn (22-7, 12-2 Ivy) tied a school record with 22 wins and clinched its first Ivy League title and NCAA Tournament berth since 2003-04 with a 80-64 win at Princeton on the final day of the regular season. The Quakers won two Big 5 road games in the same season for the first time in school history and matched a program record with two Big 5 wins.
Penn earned its highest NCAA seed in history (12) and led fifth-seeded Texas by seven at the half, before the Longhorns caught up and pulled away late to top the Quakers, 79-61, on Sunday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in College Park, Md.