Women’s basketball | Kanner takes home NESCAC Player of the Week
Published: Friday, February 7, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2014 08:02
On Feb. 3, junior Hayley Kanner was named NESCAC Player of the Week for her performances over the weekend. Kanner is the first Tufts women’s basketball player this year to receive the honor despite the Jumbos’ undefeated record that has them leading the NESCAC standings.
Against Connecticut College on Friday, Kanner scored a game-high 16 points to go along with four assists, five rebounds, and two blocks in the Jumbos’ 56-49 victory over the Camels. The next day, Kanner notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in a 62-53 victory over Wesleyan. Once again, Kanner filled out the box score with two assists and three blocks.
Following in step with the unselfish character of the team, Kanner sees the award as a testament to the team as a whole.
“It is an absolute honor,” Kanner said of the award. “It’s unique because our team does not rely on one person, so to get this individual honor is surprising.”
Kanner entered the year as one of the most feared shot-blockers in the NESCAC, and this year she has lived up to that expectation. She leads the NESCAC with 2.8 blocks-per-game, the only player in the league with an average over two.
Kanner has also improved at the offensive end, with a team-best 11.9 points-per-game, up from 8.8 the year before, while shooting 45.9 percent from the field, placing her tenth in the conference. Furthermore, Kanner has added another facet to her offensive game, shooting 1.3 3-pointers per game, after shooting just three all of last season. Following the graduation of fifth-year forward, and current assistant coach, Kate Baronsky (LA ‘12), Kanner has stepped into the role as the team’s top offensive threat in the post.
“We lost our go-to player and that left an opening that needed to be filled,” Kanner said of her offensive play. “It’s a testament to teammates finding me when I’m open and reading the defense.
While the accolade is the first of the year for a player on the team, this Jumbos squad, which now ranks fifth in the country, has gone anything but unnoticed. With only five games to play in the regular season, Kanner must continue her stellar play throughout the month of February if her team hopes for a successful tournament run.