Bears Cap Off 2006 Season At Annual Post-Season Banquet.After capturing a share of the Ivy League Title, the Brown women's basketball team celebrated its 2006 success at its annual post-season banquet in Providence last week. The Bears went 18-10 overall and 12-2 in Ivy League play as they finished in a three-way tie for first with Dartmouth and Princeton. Senior captain Sarah Hayes was named the Ivy League's Player of the Year as she closed out her career as one of only two players in Ivy history to amass over 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, 250 assists and 250 steals. In addition, Hayes was named Brown's Female Varsity Athlete of the Year.
Picked fourth in the Ivy Preseason Poll, Head Coach Jean Marie Burr guided Brown to its first Ivy championship since the 1993-94 season. The Bears recorded their first undefeated Ivy League home season since 1983-84, going 7-0 at the Pizzitola Center. In her 18 years at the helm, Burr has directed the Bears to 14 .500 or better Ivy League seasons, including a 50-16 mark in the last four years. She recorded the 250th victory of her career in a win over Yale on Jan. 20th. For the second straight year she was named the Rhode Island Division I Coach of the Year as Hayes also earned Rhode Island Player of the Year accolades.
Hayes took home team MVP honors for the third time in her career at Brown as she was Co-MVP in both 2003 and 2005. In addition, she received the Harriet Sheridan Leadership Award. She ranked within the top ten of seven different major statistical categories in the Ivy League, including second in scoring and first in steals and offensive rebounding as a 5'8" guard. Hayes is just the fourth player in Brown women's basketball history to be named Ivy Player of the Year and the second to earn both Ivy Rookie and Player of the Year accolades. She is also just one of four players to be a four-time All-Ivy selection as she was a unanimous First Team selection in 2005 and 2006, and an Honorable Mention in 2003 & 2004. She finished her career ranked fifth on Brown's all-time scoring list (1,377), sixth in rebounding (735) and third in steals (266).
The winner of this season's Most Improved Player Award went to freshman center Catherine Schaper. Schaper earned a starting role earlier on in the season, improving upon every aspect of her game as the season went on.
Junior Lena McAfee and sophomore Annesley O'Neal were co-winners of the Defensive Spark Award, given to the players who display the most consistent intensity on defense throughout the season. Both players finished among the league leaders in steals per game, emerging as two of the league's premier defenders.
The Sixth Player Award went to senior guard Jaclyn Vocell, who provided a huge spark off the bench for the team. Vocell's combination of long-range shooting and key passing was invaluable to Brown as she finished among the team's leaders in assists.
Earning this year's Hustle Award was junior guard Katie Barr for her extra effort on the court. Through a fearless and relentless attitude, Barr pushed herself and her teammates everyday.