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Seven From GNAC Receive D3hoops All-Northeast Regional Accolades



WINTHROP, Mass. – Seven from the Great Northeast Athletic Conference have received 2018-19 All-Northeast Region honors, it was announced earlier this week.

On the men's side, Emmanuel College first-year head coach Danny Lawson was named the Northeast Region Coach of the Year, while University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) freshman Delshawn Jackson Jr. was selected as the Northeast Region Rookie of the Year. GNAC Player and Defensive Player of the Year and junior Brian Hogan-Gary was named to the Third Team.

On the women's side, GNAC Player of the Year and senior Kelsi McNamara was voted to the All-Northeast First Team, while Emmanuel junior Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda was a Second Team honoree. Suffolk University sophomore Jenni-Rose DiCecco and Rivier University senior Kaylee Kacavas rounded out the selections as All-Northeast Fourth Team selections.

Information Courtesy of Emmanuel, USJ, JWU, SJC, Suffolk, Rivier Athletics Communications.

MEN'S AWARDS: The regional Rookie of the Year award honors the top freshman in each region, while also names a regional Coach of the Year and Player of the Year in addition to the All-Region teams. Regions that have fewer than 40 Division III teams have two All-Region teams, while the Northeast, which is near twice the size of all other regions, has four teams, and all other regions have three teams.

In his first season with the Saints, Lawson did a remarkable job leading the team to an 18-8 record to show an overall improvement of 14.5 games from the previous campaign. The 18 totals wins is the second-highest single-season total in program history and the Saints earned the right to host a GNAC playoff game for the first time in 10 seasons, picking up the win to advance to the GNAC Semifinals. Prior to Emmanuel, Lawson had coaching stops at Endicott, Duquesne, LIU Brooklyn and Le Moyne as well as a position with the Boston Celtics during their 2008 NBA Championship campaign.

Jackson Jr. becomes the first student-athlete in USJ history across all sports to earn the Northeast Region Rookie of the Year award after becoming the fifth student-athlete to earn GNAC Rookie of the Year honors. He is the first-ever male student-athlete to garner each title as USJ is it its first year as a fully co-educational undergraduate institution.

Jackson Jr. was one of two players to start in all 28 games on the year for USJ and finished the Blue Jays' inaugural season averaging 16.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game under legendary Hall of Fame head coach Jim Calhoun. His 16.5 points per game ranked 12th best in the GNAC while 4.1 assists per game were fifth-best. The Hartford product shot 45.5% (151-332) overall from the floor, 40.9% (47-115) from three, and 77.4% (113-146) from the free-throw line. All three of those marks were in the top-25 amongst GNAC competitors, while his three-point field goal percentage and free-throw percentage both ranked 11th. He led the league in free-throws attempted with 113.

A native of Staten Island, N.Y., Hogan-Gary became just the third player to win both major GNAC awards and the first since Victor Ljuljduraj of Albertus Magnus in 2015. He's the first Wildcat to win a major award since Quarry Greenaway was named Player of the Year and Rob Lewis was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year in 206.  The junior averaged 23.6 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.7 steals, while shooting 51.2% from the floor. Hogan-Gary ranks 11th in the NCAA for double-doubles (16) and his single-season JWU record 11.5 rebounds per game is also 11th. His 23.6 ppg. rates 17th in the nation and is sixth on the JWU single-season chart.

Player of the Year: Ty Nichols, F, Keene State
Coach of the Year: Danny Lawson, Emmanuel
Rookie of the Year: Delshawn Jackson Jr., G, St. Joseph (Conn.)

G - Carlos Gonzalez, Eastern Conn.
G - Jack Farrell, Middlebury
G - Brian Hogan-Gary, Johnson & Wales (RI)
G - AJ Jurko, MIT
F - Adam Richardson, Maine Maritime

WOMEN'S AWARDS: McNamara earns the nod after averaging 21.2 points, 6.7 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game while shooting 43.9% (207-472) from the field, 37.5% (93-248) from three-point range, and 88.4% (129-146) from the free-throw line during her senior season. She ranks second in NCAA DIII Women's Basketball in assists (200), third in three-pointers made (93), fourth in points (636), fifth in assists average, sixth in field goals made (207), free-throw percentage, and three-point attempts (248), and ninth in scoring average.

During her senior season McNamara eclipsed the Monks' career records for points (2,067), assists (621), three-pointers made (327) and attempted (856), and field goal attempts (1,660). She also moved up the SJC career leaderboard in games (118, 2nd), field goals made (677, 2nd), free throws made (386, 2nd), assists average (5.3, 2nd), free throw percentage (83.5%, 3rd), scoring average (17.5, 3rd), three-point percentage (38.2%, 4th), free throws attempted (462, 6th), and steals (204, 9th).

As for Ramirez-Tejeda, the Cambridge, Mass. native enjoyed a wildly successful campaign averaging a team-best 20.9 points per game while ranking third overall in the GNAC in scoring with 626 points, a new single-season Emmanuel record. The junior also led Emmanuel while ranking fourth in the GNAC in rebounds averaging 10.9 boards per game while her 327 boards was also a new single-season record at Emmanuel. The Cambridge, Mass. native posted 20 double-doubles this year to rank third in the nation and was the only GNAC player to average 20+ points and 10+ rebounds this season. She was named the USBWA National Player of the Week twice during the season and was named the GNAC Player of the Week five times while earning GNAC Weekly Honor Roll efforts six times.

DiCecco is the first-ever Suffolk women's basketball player to earn the accolade from in the program's history. In just her second collegiate season, DiCecco led Suffolk as the floor general and in nearly every category, both offensively and defensively. The All-GNAC selection proved to be the conductor to Suffolk's success with a team-high 17.0 points and 4.5 assists per game. The Falmouth, Massachusetts, native played the passing lane and grabbed a squad-best 2.5 steals per game to spark a defensive unit which limited foes to 60.8 ppg. On the glass she grabbed 6.0 rpg, good for second on the squad.  

Kacavas finished the season leading all of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball in scoring per game with a 27.3 average. She reached double-figures in each of the 23 games she played in while shooting 46.4% (198-for-427) from the floor and draining 198 of 250 free throw attempts. Kacavas also recorded and set the program high for points in a game when she scored 43 points in the team's win at Lesley University and on senior day at the Muldoon, she netted 42 points to finish with 628 points on the season.

Player of the Year: Abby Kelly, Bowdoin
Coach of the Year: Adrienne Shibles, Bowdoin
Rookie of the Year: Caleigh Ryan, Wesleyan (Conn.)

G - Madeline Eck, Amherst
G - Abby Kelly, Bowdoin
G - Jac Knapp, Tufts
G - Kesli McNamara, Saint Joseph's (Maine)
F - Nakira Examond, UMass Dartmouth

G - Lauren Bondi, Smith
G - Hannah Fox, Amherst
G - Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda, Emmanuel
F - Erica DeCandido, Tufts
F - Maddie Hasson, Bowdoin

G - Lucy Barrett, Westfield State
G - Jenni-Rose DiCecco, Suffolk
G - Kara Holinski, MIT
G - Rene Hudson, New England College
G - Kaylee Kacavas, Rivier
C - Mya Villard, Eastern Connecticut

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.