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Rivier's Deanna Purcell Earns 2015 GNAC Women's Basketball Player of the Year


Raiders senior averaged
21.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists

WINTHROP, Mass. – Rivier University senior Deanna Purcell has been named the 2015 GNAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, the league office announced on Tuesday morning.

The senior from Hudson, N.H. was the second-leading scorer in the GNAC this season, averaging 21.6 points on 49.3 percent shooting, which was third best among league leaders. She also led the GNAC at 4.6 assists per game and her 8.8 rebounds ranked seventh in the conference.

Purcell, who led the Raiders to the fifth seed in the GNAC Tournament, also shot 39.9 percent from three-point range and an even 80 percent from the free-throw line.

Anna Maria College senior Trafficia Warburton was voted the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, as she finished second in the conference in rebounding (12.0) while leading the NCAA across all divisions with 5.0 steals per game. She was also fifth among GNAC leaders in scoring at 16.5 points per contest.

Joining Purcell and Warburton on the GNAC All-Conference First Team was Emmanuel College junior Sarah Higgins, Norwich University senior Aliah Curry and Suffolk University senior Iliana Quadri.

Higgins helped lead the Saints to the GNAC regular-season title and conference championship appearance, averaging 13.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists while shooting 36.9 percent from three-point range.

Curry finished as the league’s leading scorer at 22.3 points per game on 37.1 percent shooting, as she led the Cadets to a second-place finish in the GNAC standings. The senior went for 30 or more points on five occasions and also averaged 3.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds.

Quadri also received First Team recognition after helping guide the Rams to the No. 4 seed in the GNAC Tournament. She averaged 12.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and shot 36.2 percent from three-point range.

Albertus Magnus College freshman Olivia Bolden was named the 2015 GNAC Rookie of the Year and garnered a Second Team selection. She finished fourth among GNAC leaders at 18.1 points per game to go along with an average of 7.8 rebounds. The South Windsor, Conn. native also shot 45.0 percent from the field.

Emmanuel head coach Andy Yosinoff, who is in his 38th year at the helm of the Saints, was voted the 2015 Coach of the Year by his peers. Yosinoff’s Emmanuel program went undefeated in GNAC league play for the fifth straight season in 2014-15, as the Saints will open up next season carrying a 63-game winning streak in regular-season conference action.

Johnson & Wales University, which won its first-ever GNAC women’s basketball championship on Saturday at Emmanuel, had two All-Conference Third Team selections in freshman Raquel Pederzani and sophomore Bobbie Whitehead. The Wildcats will take on FDU-Florham later this week in the first round of this year’s NCAA Division III Tournament.

The 2015 All-Conference Teams and major award winners were decided following a vote by the GNAC’s 12 head coaches. For the complete results, please see below.

Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 12 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 17 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement.

First Team
Trafficia Warburton, Anna Maria (Sr., F, Worcester, Mass.)
Sarah Higgins, Emmanuel (Jr., G, Groveland, Mass.)
Aliah Curry, Norwich (Sr., G, Winsor, Mass.)
Deanna Purcell, Rivier (Sr., G, Hudson, N.H.)
Iliana Quadri, Suffolk (Sr., G, Sudbury, Mass.)

Second Team
Olivia Bolden, Albertus Magnus (Fr., F, South Windsor, Conn.)
Katie Stopera, Lasell (Jr., G, Hollis, N.H.)
Heather LeBlanc, Norwich (So., F, Sanford, Maine)
Sarah Assante, Saint Joseph’s Maine (Sr., G, Standish, Maine)
Morgan Cahill, Saint Joseph’s Maine (Jr., C, Yarmouth, Maine)

Third Team
Jennifer Bujnowski, Emmanuel (Sr., F, Salem, N.H.)
Raquel Pederzani, Johnson & Wales (Fr., G, Coventry, R.I.)
Bobbie Whitehead, Johnson & Wales (So., F, Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Savanna Butterfield, Rivier (So., F, Londonderry, N.H.)
Caitlyn Perry, Rivier (So., G, Nashua, N.H.)

Player of the Year – Deanna Purcell, Rivier
Defensive Player of the Year –
Trafficia Warburton, Anna Maria
Rookie of the Year –
Olivia Bolden, Albertus Magnus
Coach of the Year –
Andy Yosinoff, Emmanuel
Institutional Sportsmanship Award – Simmons College

All-Sportsmanship Team
Megan Thornton, Albertus Magnus
Kristina Russo, Anna Maria
Devin Rauh, Emmanuel
Kaitlin Kenney, Johnson & Wales
Breeana Williams, Lasell
Shanell Nardone, Mount Ida
Leah Turcotte, Norwich
Rebecca DeBaldo, Rivier
Carlee Putnam, Saint Joseph (Conn.)
Abbie Eastman, Saint Joseph’s Maine
Shelby Santini, Suffolk
Liz Brasa, Simmons