PAWTUCKET, R.I. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior Alicia Kutil (Franklin, Mass.) captured the Little East Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year award this afternoon after a vote by the conference's coaches. Matt Ducharme shared the Coach of the Year honors with University of Massachusetts Boston's Kristina Baugh.
In addition to the major awards program, junior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.) was selected to the All-Little East Conference, first-team and sophomore Ashley Brown (Fairhaven, Mass.) represented the Corsairs on the All-Defensive Team.
Kutil is the fourth consecutive and fifth UMass Dartmouth women's basketball student-athlete to earn the prestigious Player of the Year award, joining Colleen Moriarty '13, Megan Ronaghan '16, and Examond '19. The Franklin, Mass. product also made her debut on the All-Little East Conference, first-team after receiving second-team recognition as a junior. A starter in all 28 games, Kutil ranked among the Little East Conference leaders in rebounding (3rd, 8.5 rpg), free throw percentage (4th, 77.9) and scoring (4th, 18.8 ppg.). She established a new Corsair all-time scoring record (1,391) this season, putting an additional 68 points between the previous 32-year standard that was held by Cathy Johnson (1,323). Earlier in the campaign, Kutil became the 11th player to reach the 1,000 point club against Western Connecticut. She was a consistent offensive threat, reaching double figures in scoring 26 times, including three contests with at least 30 points. Kutil produced 11 double-doubles on the campaign, including a career-high 33 points and 18 rebounds at Western Connecticut on January 27. She matched her season-high in assists with seven against Johnson & Wales, while recording four steals against Eastern Connecticut.
A four-year member of the Corsair women's basketball program, Kutil started 86 of her 113 career contests. She will depart Dartmouth with the all-time scoring record, in addition to 727 rebounds, 184 assists, 107 blocks, and 106 steals. Kutil was named to the Little East Conference Winter All-Academic Teams in 2016 and 2017.
Ducharme was tabbed as the top coach in the conference for the second time in his career. He guided UMass Dartmouth to an overall record of 24-4, including a program-best 13-game winning streak between January 17 and February 24, 2018. The Corsairs captured the Little East Conference regular-season title with a 14-0 mark to become just the second institution (Southern Maine) to post an undefeated record in the conference circuit since the Little East Conference expanded to a 14-game schedule prior to the 1997-98 campaign. UMass Dartmouth was ranked No. 18 in the D3Hoops.com Preseason Top 25 poll and received votes in the final three weekly rankings. The Corsairs boasted one of the top offensives in NCAA Division III, averaging 78.2 points per game. UMass Dartmouth set a new team single game scoring record at Western Connecticut with 105 points. The top-seeded Corsairs raced past eighth-seeded Rhode Island College in the quarterfinals of the Little East Conference Women's Basketball Championship to earn the right to host the semifinal and championship rounds at the Tripp Athletic Center. UMass Dartmouth defeated fourth-seeded Eastern Connecticut, but were upset in the championship game by second-seeded UMass Boston.
Examond is making her second straight appearance on the All-Little East Conference, first-team. The New Bedford, Mass. product led the conference in rebounding (10.3 rpg), while ranking second in field goal percentage (58.0) and third in scoring (19.7 ppg). A starter in all 27 contests she appeared in, Examond reached double digits in scoring 24 times, including recording at least 20 points in 14 contests. The D3Hoops.com Preseason All-American broke the program's single-game scoring record for points (41) and made field goals (18) against Western Connecticut on Dec. 9, 2017. She poured in 24 points at Western Connecticut to become the 12th member of the 1,000-point club. Examond posted a team-high 14 double-doubles, including netting 25 points and pulling in a season-best 16 rebounds against UMass Boston in the championship game of the Little East Conference tournament. She was also a force on the defensive end, recording 19 blocks and 32 steals.
In 80 career contests, Examond is currently seventh on the UMass Dartmouth all-time scoring list with 1,196 points, 25 markers shy of Moriarty. She is on pace to become the first Corsair to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, currently totaling 769 boards. She has also handed out 104 assists, recorded 91 steals, and redirected 32 shots over the past three seasons.
Brown is making her first appearance on the conference's top defensive team after earning All-Rookie honors in 2014. The native of Fairhaven, Mass. helped UMass Dartmouth limit its opponents to 61.4 points per game, including a season-low 24 against Rivier. Brown recorded multiple steals in 16 contests, including matching her season-high with five at Westfield State. She reached double digits in rebounds three times, including a season-best 11 at Eastern Connecticut. Brown also logged nine blocks.
A starter in 43 of her 54 career games, Brown has produced 467 points, 225 rebounds, 163 assists, 102 steals, and 14 blocks. She scored a career-high 23 points at Westfield State (12/5/17), while nearly registering a triple double with eight