Hazleton women’s basketball players receive USCAA awards

Alexis Daly named Player of the Year

HAZLETON, Pa. — Senior Alexis Daly, first-year student McKenzie Prutsman and sophomore Kamryn Dodd, all members of the Penn State Hazleton women's basketball team, were honored by the United States Collegiate Athletic Association at the association’s annual awards banquet held at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington prior to the USCAA national tournament.

Daly became Penn State Hazleton’s first student-athlete to be named Player of the Year by the USCAA and was named a First Team All-American for the fourth consecutive year. Daly was one of just 10 players to average a double-double in 2015-16, recording 16.4 points and 10.5 rebounds this season. Daly’s 43 steals and 33 blocked shots completed her tour de force, solidifying her as the top women’s basketball player in the conference.

The senior’s top performance came on Feb. 12 against Penn State Greater Allegheny. Daly notched a season-best 25 points and 12 rebounds to go along with two steals to lead her team to a 75-61 victory. The following day versus Penn State Beaver, Daly notched a season-high 17 rebounds, including her 1,000th rebound in a Lady Lion uniform, becoming the second player in Penn State Hazleton history to reach the 1,000-points, 1,000-rebounds milestone. In four seasons, Daly has accumulated 1,730 points and numerous Penn State University Athletic Conference honors, including two PSUAC Player of the Year awards, and can now claim honors as a four-time All-American.

In her first season as a Lady Lion, Prutsman ranked second on the squad, averaging 12.1 points per game and held the sixth-highest free throw percentage in the conference at 79.8 percent. The point guard dished out 84 assists in 2015-16 and her 67 steals were the 16th most in the USCAA. Her overall ability and body of work earned Prutsman an All-American Honorable Mention, adding to her PSUAC Newcomer of the Year award.

Prutsman’s top performance came on Jan. 12 at Central Penn College, where she scored 31 points in 30 minutes on the floor. The point guard swiped six steals in the victory and went 4-7 from beyond the arc and 5-6 from the free-throw line en route to her season-high scoring output. 

Dodd was honored by the USCAA as a National All-Academic, recognizing her achievements on the court and in the classroom. Academic honorees are upperclassmen recognized for maintaining a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or higher.

Daly, Prutsman and head coach Paul Appel also swept the PSUAC awards, a tribute to one of the best regular-season performances by the Hazleton women's basketball program.

For the second straight season, Daly was named Player of the Year by the PSUAC. The senior’s double-double statistics — points and rebounds in 2015-16 — ranked her in the top five in both categories amongst PSUAC competitors.

Prutsman ranked 17th in the PSUAC for point average per game and held the second-highest free throw percentage in the conference. Her steals were the sixth most in the conference. Her overall ability and body of work earned Prutsman an all-conference honorable mention and the freshman was named Newcomer of the Year by the PSUAC.

In his first season at the helm of Hazleton Lady Lion basketball, Appel led his squad to a conference-best 21-4 overall record, prompting the PSUAC to name him Coach of the Year. Appel’s team limited conference opponents to a league-best 54.5 points per game while outscoring opponents by an average of 20.1 points. The Lady Lions ended the season ranking in the top five in 12 major statistical categories in the conference, earning a runner-up finish in the PSUAC tournament.

Appel’s squad was ranked No. 1 by the USCAA for more than a month, and the team’s body of work landed Hazleton the No. 2 overall seed in the USCAA national tournament, marking the squad's second appearance in the tournament in as many years.


Goldie Van Horn

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