Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

2010 Little East Women’s Basketball All-Conference Teams

2010 Little East Women’s Basketball All-Conference Teams

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Western Connecticut State University earned two of the five major awards this afternoon, when the Little East Conference announced its annual all-conference teams after a vote by the conference’s eight head coaches. Junior center Melissa Teel (Hamden, Conn.) was named the player of the year, while Kimberley Rybczyk was tabbed coach of the year. Eastern Connecticut junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven, Conn.) repeated as the defensive player of the year, while University of Southern Maine freshman forward Curran Leighton (Dover, N.H.) was chosen as the rookie of the year. Plymouth State University was honored with the inaugural team sportsmanship award.

Teel is only the second Colonials’ women’s basketball player to be named the top player in the Little East and first since Shannon Flowers headlined the all-conference teams in Western Connecticut’s inaugural campaign in 1994. The Hamden, Conn. product is making her debut on the all-conference, first-team after representing the Colonials on the all-defensive squad as a sophomore. The junior center was the only player in Little East to average a double-double this season, scoring 14.3 points and pulling in 14.6 rebounds per game. She was a dominated force in the low blocks all season, posting a conference-best 23 double-doubles in just 27 games. Teel scored a season-high 23 points in the Little East Championship victory over Southern Maine, while collecting a season-best 21 rebounds at Springfield College. She is first in the nation among Division III players with her average of 4.8 blocks per game, while also becoming the program’s single-season (129) and career leader (234) in rejections in just three years in Danbury. The 2010 Little East Tournament Most Outstanding Player shot 65.5 percent (163-for-249) from the field. Teel was honored nine times during the conference’s 13-week awards program.

Moriarty is making her second appearance as the conference’s top defensive player. The native of East Haven, Conn. also earned a spot on the six-player All-Little East, first-team. She leads the conference circuit in minutes played (35.3), while ranking fifth in the Little East in steals per game (2.3) and eighth in blocked shots (0.6, 15). A starter in all 26 games, Moriarty posted one double-double on the season, accomplishing the feat against the Panthers on Jan. 30 with 14 points and 10 boards. A stalwart on the defensive end of the court, she strung together a pair of five-game stretches with at least two steals during her junior campaign. Moriarty registered a season-high seven steals against Clark (Mass.) on Dec. 30.

Leighton is the fourth student-athlete in Southern Maine's celebrated program history to be honored as the top rookie in the conference. A starter in all 28 games for the Huskies, the Dover, N.H. product leads the conference circuit in scoring (16.4 ppg), while ranking among the leaders in blocked shots (2nd, 53), free throw percentage (3rd, 82.6), rebounding (3rd, 8.8 rpg), and field goal percentage (7th, 46.3). A proven scorer, Leighton reached double figures in scoring 22 games, including scoring at least 20 points 11 times. She posted eight double-doubles this winter, including a 27-point, 13-rebound performance against UMass Dartmouth on Jan. 9. In her next meeting against the Corsairs, the All-Little East, first-team pick collected a season-high 18 boards in her first postseason action of her collegiate career. Her production contributed to Southern Maine’s 30th season with at least 20 victories.

Rybczyk has earned at least a share of the coach of the year award for the third consecutive campaign, winning the award outright in 2008 and 2010. She shared the honor last season with Eastern Connecticut’s Denise Bierly. Western Connecticut raised the program’s second Little East Championship trophy this past weekend, defeating defending champion Southern Maine. The Colonials earned the top seed in the conference tournament for the third time in program history and first since 2000 with an 11-3 mark. Rybczyk guided her charges to an overall record of 22-5, marking the third straight season with at least 20 victories. Western Connecticut matched the program’s longest single-season winning streak (14), tying the record set by the 1990 cagers. The Colonials led the Little East in several categories including assists (411), block shots (170), field goal percentage (42.3), scoring offense (69.4 ppg), scoring margin (+14), and three-point percentage (34.8). Western Connecticut will make its second-straight NCAA appearance this week, when the Colonials face the University of New England.

Plymouth State received its second-straight postseason appearance in 2010, earning the No. 6 seed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England Tournament. The Panthers boast an overall record of 15-10, including a 10-1 mark against non-conference opponents. Plymouth State opened the campaign with a season-high eight-game win streak. Head Coach Lauren Lavigne’s team sits atop the conference standings in field goal percentage defense (33.5), free throw percentage (71.8), rebounding offense (42.8 rpg), while ranking third in three-point field goal defense (27.0) and scoring offense (65.8 ppg). The Panthers will host Endicott College in the quarterfinal round of the ECACs on Wednesday night.

Western Connecticut juniors Heather Lee (Seymour, Conn.) and Karli Spera (Waterford, Conn.) and Keene State senior guard Kristin Degou (Newburyport, Mass.) join Leighton, Moriarty, and Teel on the six-player all-conference, first-team. The second team is comprised of Eastern Connecticut’s freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford, Conn.), Owls’ senior forward Nicole Simmler (Oxford, Mass.), Plymouth State’s Amanda Kania (Manchester, N.H.), Rhode Island College’s forward Rachel Riley (Coventry, R.I.), and Southern Maine junior guard Kaylie DeMillo (Jay, Maine).

Initially formed in 1986 as a six-team men's and women's basketball conference, the Little East Conference sponsored its 24th season in 2009-2010. Western Connecticut State University joined the conference in 1993-1994, while Keene State College raised its current membership to eight teams in 1997-1998.

2009-10 Little East Women's Basketball All-Conference Teams

First-Team

Kristin Degou Senior Guard Keene State College
Heather Lee Junior Guard Western Connecticut
Curran Leighton Freshman Forward Southern Maine
Jessica Moriarty Junior Guard Eastern Connecticut
Karli Spera Junior Guard Western Connecticut
Melissa Teel Junior Center Western Connecticut

Second-Team

Tanisha Carter Freshman Forward Eastern Connecticut
Kaylie DeMillo Junior Guard Southern Maine
Amanda Kania Junior Forward Plymouth State
Rachel Riley Sophomore Forward Rhode Island College
Nicole Simmler Senior Forward Keene State College

All-Defensive Team

Kristin Degou Senior Guard Keene State College
Jessica Moriarty Junior Guard Eastern Connecticut
Renee Nicholas Sophomore Guard Southern Maine
Denise Scott Senior Guard Rhode Island College
Melissa Teel Junior Center Western Connecticut

All-Rookie Team

Courtney Burns Freshman Forward Rhode Island College
Tanisha Carter Freshman Forward Eastern Connecticut
Lynley DeAmato Junior Guard UMass Dartmouth
Lauren Kelleher Freshman Center Eastern Connecticut
Curran Leighton Freshman Forward Southern Maine

Player of the Year

Melissa Teel Junior Center Western Connecticut

Defensive Player of the Year

Jessica Moriarty Junior Guard Eastern Connecticut

Rookie of the Year

Curran Leighton Freshman Forward Southern Maine

Coach of the Year

Kimberley Rybczyk, Western Connecticut State University

Team Sportsmanship Award

Plymouth State University