Athletics News
BIG EAST Announces Winners of 2011-12 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The BIG EAST Conference has announced the 24 winners of the 2011-12 BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards, which recognize academic and athletic achievement as well as community service.

The Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards are given to one student-athlete in each BIG EAST-sponsored sport based on academic credentials, athletic accolades or performances and volunteer service to the community. Student-athletes who have attained junior academic standing and a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 are eligible. The winners are chosen by the BIG EAST Faculty Athletics Representative Council.

The winners include two student-athletes who were chosen to the Capital One Academic All-America teams in the 2011-12 season - Villanova's Sheila Reid, who repeated as the NCAA individual champion in women's cross country, and Cincinnati's Eric Finan, who was the BIG EAST individual champion in men's cross country.

The list also includes nine student-athletes who were either chosen as BIG EAST Players of the Year or earned the top individual honors as their respective conference championships in 2011-12.

Louisville had a league-high seven individuals honored by the conference, while Notre Dame had five winners.


2011-12 BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards

Sport

Player

School

Highlights

Baseball

Patrick Kivlehan

Rutgers

2012 BIG EAST Player of the Year; first player to win the BIG EAST Triple Crown, leading league in batting, home runs and RBI.

Men's Basketball

Peyton Siva

Louisville

Point guard for Cardinal team that won the BIG EAST Championship and reached the NCAA Final Four.

Women's Basketball

Skylar Diggins

Notre Dame

BIG EAST Player of the Year; first team All-America; Nancy Lieberman Award winner as nation's top point guard.

Men's Cross Country

Eric Finan

Cincinnati

2011 BIG EAST cross country individual champion; Capital One Academic All-America First Team selection.

Women's Cross Country

Sheila Reid

Villanova

Academic All-America; two-time Honda Award winner; five NCAA individual titles and member of two NCAA championship teams.

Field Hockey

Hayley Turner

Louisville

All-America Second Team selection; BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year; unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team choice.

Football

JK Schaffer

Cincinnati

All-BIG EAST First Team pick in 2011; fourth player in league history to register 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons.

Men's Golf

Ben Westley

DePaul

Registered a 19th-place finish and was DePaul's leading scorer at the 2012 BIG EAST Championship.

Women's Golf

Becca Huffer

Notre Dame

Four-time All-BIG EAST selection; team leader in scoring average in 2011-12.

Men's Lacrosse

Kevin Randall

Notre Dame

All-America First Team selection; BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year; led team to NCAA semifinal.

Women's Lacrosse

Katie Oliverio

Louisville

All-BIG EAST Second Team and IWLCA All-Region selection in 2011.

Women's Rowing

Katherine Geithman

Rutgers

All-BIG EAST First Team and CRCA All-Region First Team selection.

Men's Soccer

Austin Berry

Louisville

Two-time All-America; three-time All-BIG EAST selection; 2010 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year.

Women's Soccer

Kerry McBride

Marquette

Two-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year; Capital One Academic All-America; two-time All-BIG EAST First Team pick.

Softball

Tori Collins

Louisville

NFCA Third Team All-America selection; Two-time All-BIG EAST First Team pick.

Men's Swimming & Diving

Brendon Andrews

Louisville

Won six individual BIG EAST titles in 2012; NCAA qualifier; 20-time All-BIG EAST performer.

Women's Swimming & Diving

Danielle Cecco

Connecticut

Most Outstanding Diver at 2012 BIG EAST Championship; 2012 BIG EAST champion and NCAA qualifier in one-meter diving.

Men's Tennis

Blas Moros

Notre Dame

Second on team in overall and dual match wins for NCAA-qualifying team.

Women's Tennis

Shannon Mathews

Notre Dame

ITA All-America in doubles; 2012 BIG EAST Player of the Year.

Men's Indoor Track & Field

Tim Nedow

DePaul

Most Outstanding Field Performer at 2012 BIG EAST Indoor Championship; NCAA All-America; Capital One Academic All-America.

Women's Indoor Track & Field

Heather Wilson

Connecticut

Earned two All-America finishes at the 2012 NCAA Championship; four career All-America indoor finishes.

Men's Outdoor Track & Field

Julian Matthews

Providence

2010 NCAA All-America in the 1,500-meter run; won New Zealand Olympic Trials in the 1,500.

Women's Outdoor Track & Field

Chinwe Okoro

Louisville

Three-time All-America performer; 2012 BIG EAST champion in the shot put; Nigeria's national champion in the shot put.

Women's Volleyball

Danielle Carlson

Marquette

All-BIG EAST First Team; AVCA All-America honorable mention; AVCA All-Region pick.