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02.28.13 | W Basketball

Lister Named COY, Four 'Cats All-HAAC

Coach Lister and the Wildcats are looking for their first 20-win season since 2004-05 Coach Lister and the Wildcats are looking for their first 20-win season since 2004-05

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Second-year Baker University head women's basketball coach Ben Lister earned the 2012-13 Heart of America Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honor after leading the Wildcats to a 12-6 conference mark and third-place tie in the regular season standings.

Baker also landed four players on the All-HAAC team including senior Alisha Fanshier who earned a spot on the All-HAAC First-Team, fellow senior Rece Huddlin was named to the All-HAAC third-team and junior BriAnna Garza and sophomore Rashida Simpson garnered a spot on the All-HAAC honorable mention squad.

"Obviously I am extremely proud of all of our girls on this team, and these four in particular have had outstanding conference seasons individually," said Lister. "Alisha has been tremendous both years here, and her talent was recognized by the coaches of this conference as she was the second leading vote-getter amongst all players.

"I am very proud of how she led us this season. Rece too has been such a leader for us on and off the court, and the energy and toughness she has brought to our program has been invaluable. Her 17-point, 20-rebound performance was simply remarkable. Rashida has made huge strides from her freshman to sophomore year and her improvement around the basket has been such a lift for us. She has a very bright future.

"BriAnna has given us the capability to run the kind of offense we want to run, and her ability to play the point has been pivotal in many of our conference wins this year. She is well deserving of the recognition. Again, I am very proud to have them as a part of our program and I am excited too for each of them to receive this recognition."

Fanshier is the team leader in scoring, averaging 13.3 points per game and has knocked down a team high 48 three-point field goals.

Huddlin is third on the team in points per game at nine and second in rebounds per game at 7.7.

BriAnna Garza leads the team in assists with 98 and in second on the squad in steals with 34.

In her second year with the program, Simpson is second on the team in scoring averaging 9.9 points per game and leads the team in boards with 8.7 per contest.

Player of the Year – Kelsey Balcom, MidAmerica Nazarene
Defensive Player of the Year – Adaugo Osuala, Peru State
Newcomer of the Year – Kelsey Balcom, MidAmerica Nazarene
Freshman of the Year – Randi Lee Plunkett, Culver-Stockton
Coach of the Year – Ben Lister, Baker

"It has been exciting to watch the development of our program under Ben's leadership," said Director of Athletics Theresa Yetmar. "The turn-around from six wins in 2011-12 to 19 wins this season is nothing short of remarkable. Ben has worked extremely hard to bring in top-level recruits who have increased the athleticism and talent on our squad, but also fit the Baker expectations for highly accomplished student-athletes.

"I know Ben shares my vision in building a championship caliber team year in and year out. This conference honor is well deserved and speaks to the high regard from his peers around the league for the job he has done in turning around our program."

"I am definitely surprised and humbled by this award," said Lister. "There are a lot of very good coaches in our conference and it is an honor to be recognized by them. I am extremely grateful that Theresa Yetmar gave me the opportunity to coach here and believes in the vision and direction I have for the Baker basketball program. We took a giant step forward this year, and I tend to believe that has a great deal to do with my staff who work their tails off and such a great group of young ladies who invest so much into our program. To me, this is an award they have earned, and it's a reflection of the direction we are headed."

Baker earned the No. 4 seed in this week's HAAC Conference tournament and will take on No. 5 seeded Peru State on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Collins Center, fans can follow the game live via live stats, live video and live audio at www.bakerwildcats.com.

2012-13 All-HAAC Team (PDF)

-BAKER-

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