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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The 2017-18 Penn State women's basketball season was wrapped up on Monday (April 9) with the annual Lady Lion Awards Banquet at Mountain View Country Club, as the program honored its award winners.
Amari Carter (Washington, D.C.) and Teniya Page (Chicago, Ill.) shared the Joanie O'Brien Outstanding Player Award. Carter also took home the Jeannette Goss Award for courage and leadership in overcoming adversity. Sophomore Siyeh Frazier (Detroit, Mich.) was honored as the Collegiate Pride Defensive Player of the Year.
The Most Improved Player Award went to freshman Alisia Smith (Lansing, Mich.), while junior Kayleigh Semion (Dunmore, Pa.) took home the Tom Caldwell "Unsung Hero" Award and junior Sarah McMurtry (Pittsburgh, Pa.) won the Robin Lombard Spirit Award for the third-straight season and took home the Academic Achievement Award.
The Lady Lion Cager Club handed out a pair of honors, as Dick Kustin was named the Ruth Ingram Fan of the Year and Penny Smith was bestowed the Hank Gambocurta Service Award. Nick Malizia earned the Kent Peteren Award for a student fan that shows enthusiasm for Lady Lion Basketball.
The breakdown of award winners is below;
Carter was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree and set career high marks in nearly every statistical category this season, including points, scoring average, steals, rebounds and blocked shots. She also posted her second-straight season with 100-plus assists and finished the year as one of three Big Ten student-athletes to rank among the top-twenty in the conference in scoring, assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio. She became the first Lady Lion to pace the conference in steals since Dara Taylor in 2014, averaging a Big Ten-best 2.6 steals per game.
Page led the team in scoring for the third-straight season and earned her second-straight nod to the All-Big Ten First Team. She reached double-figures in scoring in 24 of 27 games, including 17-straight games to close out the season. She added two 30-point games to her career ledger, giving her seven such career games to rank tied for No. 2 all-time at Penn State. She broke her own Penn State Big Ten Tournament record with 38 points vs. Illinois and currently sits among the NCAA active career leaders in scoring average, free throws made and three-point shooting efficiency. This season Page became one of only five Penn Staters to compile 1,500 points and 300 assists in a career.
Collegiate Pride Defensive Player of the Year
Siyeh Frazier | So. | Detroit, Mich.
Drawing the assignment of the opposition's top offensive player was normal for Frazier this season and she took that task to heart each time she stepped on the floor. One of the most tenacious defenders in the Big Ten, she set career-highs in every category this season, including steals and blocked shots. Her 60 steals ranked second on the team and tied for fourth in the Big Ten, while her 14 blocked shots were No. 4 on the squad this season. While her efforts didn't always show up on the stat sheet, she led the team in steals 11 times -- including an eight-steal effort in the season opener -- and paced the squad in blocks on five occasions.
Most Improved Player Award
Alisia Smith | Fr. | Lansing, Mich.
Appearing in all thirty-two games, Smith's improvement was clear as she made her first career start during Big Ten play and carried that momentum into the postseason. As her minutes increased during the season, so did her production, as she improved her scoring and rebounding average by more than 1.0 points and rebounds per game in Big Ten play. She ranked among the top-ten freshmen in rebounds per game during Big Ten play and her 1.9 offensive boards per game led all rookies in conference play.
Tom Caldwell "Unsung Hero" Award
Kayleigh Semion | Jr. | Dunmore, Pa.
Making only one appearance on the court this season didn't diminish the impact that Semion had on the program, be it in either of the two roles she filled for the team in 2018. Beginning the year as a manager, she was added to the active roster on December 3 just prior to the Lady Lions contest vs. Manhattan. A welcome addition to the roster, Semion showed a willingness to do whatever the team needed to accomplish the task at hand.
Jeannette Goss Courage/Leadership Award
Amari Carter | R-So. | Washington, D.C.
One of three team captains named prior to the start of the season, Carter was asked to fill different roles as the season progressed and performed admirably in each of those roles. Whether it was leading the team in scoring or assists, being the vocal force in practice or commanding the offense on game days, she had a career year in nearly every area.
Robin Lombard "Spirit" Award & Academic Achievement Award
Sarah McMurtry | So. | Pittsburgh, Pa.
An unwavering dedication to Lady Lion basketball and the true definition of a Penn Stater, McMurtry's selection as the Robin Lombard Spirit Award marks her third selection as the awards winner. A true student-athlete, she excels in the classroom and, though her minutes aren't among the team leaders, she is an exemplary leader on the court for the Lady Lions. The programs representative on Penn State's Student-Athlete Advisory Board, McMurtry makes a difference for the program in many ways and is well respected by her teammates for being a positive and calming influence. Her GPA is also the highest on the team, making her the program's Academic Achievement Award winner, as well.