The Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference announced its 2005-06 all-conference team for women’s basketball today, and two players from Concordia University were among the honorees.
Freshman guard Alison Sansone was named both first team all-conference and NIIC Newcomer of the Year, and junior forward Atoi Sinclair was awarded honorable mention All-NIIC. Both players were key components in the Cougars posting a pair of wins in the NIIC tournament and advancing to the championship game for the first time in the four-year history of the format.
Sansone came in as the Cougars’ point guard this season, starting all 13 NIIC games and 27 of 28 overall. She finished seventh in NIIC scoring with 165 points (12.7 avg.) and sixth in both assists (48, 3.69) and steals per game (36, 2.77). Her 28-game season stats included a team-leading 299 points (10.7), 86 assists and 72 steals.
“Alison is so well-deserving of both the first-team and Newcomer of the Year honors,” said fourth-year Cougar head coach Tamlyn Tills. “She has a great work ethic and relentless commitment to the game. She brings an enormous passion to the game. Alison learned so much this season; she is very enthusiastic and very much the glue of our team.”
Sinclair finished once again as one of the NIIC’s top rebounders, pulling down 109 (8.4) to rank her second. She would start 12 of 13 NIIC games (24 of 28 overall) and finish 16th in conference scoring with 131 points (10.1), seventh in field goal percentage (.482), and 15th in steals per game (25, 1.92).
The Cougars finished 12-16 on the season, 5-8 (fourth place) in conference play. They finished strongly in the conference tournament, first eliminating Clarke College behind a team-record 26 steals and then taking out top-seeded Benedictine University in overtime before falling in the final to Rockford College.
“We had some adversity throughout the season, but we battled through it with a very young nucleus,” said Tills. “We saved our best battles for the right time, and we are proud of making team history by reaching the final. Our team took a lot of baby steps during the season, and we will look to turn those into big leaps for next season.”
A press release contributed to this report