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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, March 3, 2024

Kanner, Berube headline NESCAC honors

On Wednesday, the NESCAC announced the 2015 All-Conference Teams and awards for men's and women's basketball. In a surprise to no one, the women's basketball team was well represented after posting an undefeated conference record and winning its second consecutive NESCAC Championship. Senior tri-captain Hayley Kanner highlighted the first-team selections as the 2015 Player of the Year. She was not the lone Jumbo to receive an award, as coach Carla Berube was chosen by her peers as the Coach of the Year. Rounding out the selections for the Jumbos were senior tri-captain guard Hannah Foley and sophomore center Michela North, both of whom were named to the second team. The sole representative for the men's basketball team was sophomore tri-captain forward Tom Palleschi, who was a second-team selection.

Returning after a heart condition forced him to take a medical redshirt last season, Palleschi, the 2013 Rookie of the Year, started in all of Tufts' 25 games this season. He led the Jumbos in points and rebounds per game, averaging 12 and 6.1, respectively. The most proficient shot blocker in the conference, he was first in the NESCAC in blocks with 2.4 per game. Palleschi captained the Jumbos to a 13-12 overall record and a 6-4 record in the NESCAC, which was good for No. 4 overall. No Jumbo was named to either team last season.

Kanner's award came as little surprise. She averaged 13.2 points and grabbed 5.7 boards per contest, while shooting 50.2 percent from the field -- good for fourth in the NESCAC. A 2014 second-team selection, Kanner was once again the top interior defender in the conference, leading the NESCAC with 2.5 blocks per game and serving as the focal point for the Jumbos' defense that ranks No. 1 in the nation. Kanner is the second Jumbo to be named NESCAC Player of the Year and the first since 2008 when Khalilah Ummah (LA '08) won the award.

Berube was named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year and the third time over the past four years. This is the fifth time she has won the award since taking over the program in 2002. In her 12 seasons at the helm, Berube has turned a once middle-of-the-pack program into a perennial NCAA qualifier. Despite losing her starting point guard, senior tri-captain point guard and 2014 first-team selection Kelsey Morehead, for most of the season, and having to rely on first-years and sophomores to fill in the void left by last year's graduates, Berube has led the Jumbos to one of their best regular seasons in school history and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Div. III Women's Basketball Tournament.

Foley's excellent year saw her cement her career as one of the best shooters in program history. A three-time second-teamer, she was second in the NESCAC and sixth in the nation for 3-point field goal percentage. Foley was the third-leading scorer for the Jumbos with 10.9 points per game and was often tasked with defending the top perimeter players in the NESCAC.

North was the most dominant post scorer in the NESCAC this season, which helped earn her the first all-conference nod of her career. She led the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 57.8 percent, and scored 13.6 per contest, which was first on the team. With 8.8 rebounds per game, North was fourth in the conference and first for the Jumbos. Another top defensive presence for the Jumbos, North was second in the NESCAC, averaging 1.8 blocks per game, behind only Kanner.

The women's team will play in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at Cousens Gymnasium on Friday at 7 p.m.