April 23, 2008
HOUSTON - The Rice women's basketball team held its annual banquet and handed out its team awards last week in the "R" Room. The State Grille catered the food for the event.
Valeriya Berezhynksa and Kadie Riverin shared the Most Valuable Player award.
Berezhynska was recently chosen by the Detroit Shock in the WNBA Draft Third Round after leading the Owls and Conference USA averaging 18.4 points and 12.6 rebounds per game in league play. The Ukraine native finished her career with 1,076 points and tallied the program's first career triple-double (14 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists) in a nationally televised game at Tulane (Feb. 14).
Riverin joined Marla Brumfield as the other player in program history to score at least 1,150 points and dish out 400 assists. The Ottawa native poured in 23 double digit scoring efforts and tallied her first career double-double (13 points and 11 assists) at UCLA (Nov. 18). She also finished her career as Rice's all-time leading free throw shooter at 80.9 percent.
Tiffany Loggins was presented the Owls Award, while Tara Watts notched the Most Improved Player honor.
Loggins was called upon to fill a variety of roles during her career at Rice and saw action in 96 consecutive games dating back to her sophomore season. She chipped in 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. The Houston native fired in a career-best 22 points against Navy in the 2007-08 season opener.
Watts picked up her play for the Owls averaging 9.8 points per game and connecting on 42.3 percent of her shots in conference play. The British Columbia product headlined the squad with 55 steals and was second passing out 79 assists.
Morgan Mayse was named Newcomer of the Year and Maudess Fulton picked up the Academic Award turning in the team's highest GPA.
Mayse started all 16 C-USA games and was fourth among freshman by averaging 11.0 points per game in league games. She scored a career-best 18 points twice against Tulsa (Feb. 9) and SMU (Feb. 21).
Fulton tallied 8.1 points per game and reached double figures in her first five games en route to a C-USA Player of the Week award (Nov. 19) after putting home a career-best 27 points at UCLA (Nov. 18).