Point Park's Austin, Henderson named to All-AMC second team
March 3, 2010
CEDARVILLE, Ohio – Point Park University’s top two women’s basketball players – April Austin and Ashley Henderson – were each named to the All-American Mideast Conference second team after voting results from the leagues’ coaches were released Wednesday.
Austin is a 5-6, freshman point guard who led the Pioneers with 14.7 points and 3.6 assists per game in her first season at Point Park. Henderson is 5-10, junior guard who averaged 13.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in her second year with the Pioneers.
The backcourt duo led Point Park (14-13) to its first winning season in 16 years and helped the Pioneers set a school record for AMC victories with a 10-9 league mark. Point Park finished one game shy of earning its first postseason berth in 11 years.
Henderson (pictured left) earned All-AMC honors for the second year in a row. The Greensburg native was the AMC Newcomer of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection as a sophomore in 2008-09. A graduate of Greensburg Central Catholic, Henderson averaged a team-high 15.6 points per game last season after starting her collegiate career at Pitt and Canisius.
Like Henderson, Austin finished up her all-state high school career after the 2006-07 season. A native of Penn Hills and a graduate of North Catholic High School, Austin started her career at the University of Dayton, but she left the program early in her first semester. Although she did not play basketball the last two years, she enrolled at Point Park in the fall and quickly returned to form.
There were 10 players each on the All-AMC first and second teams. Each coach ranked the top 20 players with the top 10 vote getters being selected to the first team. At total of 16 players were named All-AMC honorable mention.
Austin was one of the top candidates for this year’s AMC Newcomer of the Year, an award that went to Sierra Fletcher of Mt. Vernon Nazarene. Fletcher, a sophomore point guard who transferred from Division I Longwood (Va.), averaged 16.8 points and 4.7 assists per game.
The AMC does not release the voting results for its Newcomer of the Year award.
Austin (pictured left) ranked 14th in the AMC in scoring, and she was fourth in 3-pointers per game at 2.41. The 5-6 point guard ranked eighth in the league in assists (3.6 apg) and fifth in steals (2.5 spg). Austin connected on 37 percent of her 3-pointers and shot 36 percent from the field.
Austin reached double figures in scoring in 21 of 27 games including a career-high of 31 points to go along with eight steals at Geneva. She had four 20-point games, with a highlight being 28 points in a key road win over Notre Dame (OH).
Henderson came on strong the second half of the season with averages of 15.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game over the last 16 contests. For the year, Henderson shot 41 percent from the floor and 39 percent from 3-point range.
The 5-10 guard tallied a career-high 29 points versus Daemen, and followed that up with 13 points and 10 assists at Shawnee State the next day. Henderson recorded her second double-double of the year with 19 points and 11 rebounds versus then-No. 3 Cedarville. Another strong game featured 28 points and nine rebounds versus Ursuline.
Cedarville guard Alison Lemon was named the AMC Player of the Year after leading the Yellow Jackets (26-5, 19-2) to a regular-season league title and a No. 5 ranking in the NAIA Division II poll. Cedarville coach Kirk Martin was tabbed the AMC Coach of the Year.
Marissa Bunce of Roberts Wesleyan was selected the AMC Freshman of the Year, and she headed a list of 10 players chosen for the All-AMC Freshmen Team. Austin was not eligible in this category because candidates must be in their first year of college. Austin studied engineering at the University of Pittsburgh the last two years.
A total of seven teams were represented on the All-AMC first team with Cedarville, Walsh and Mt. Vernon Nazarene placing two players each. Mallory Albers (Shawnee State) and Jessie Miller (Walsh) finished second and third, respectively in the AMC Player of the Year race.
Point Park (14-13, 10-9 AMC) and head coach Sam Kosanovich return four starters for next year’s team with the lone loss being senior guard/forward Brittney Wilson (West Mifflin/West Mifflin). Wilson finished her career ranking seventh in school history in points (1,191), 11th in rebounds (604) and sixth in games played (106).
Photos by Jack Megaw, Point Park University athletics