Uploaded: Friday, February 22, 2013, 5:23 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013, 4:30 PM
Menlo College women dominate hoop honors
|Winning the California Pacific Conference with a 10-0 mark helped the Menlo College women's basketball team land five players on the all-conference team this week.
Jolise Limcaco, Laurel Donnenwirth and Lauren Adamek made the first team while Carly Tristao and Jenna Marinaro earned second- team honors.
Menlo also dominated the individual awards with Limcaco, Donnenwirth, and head coach Shannon Osborne each earning accolades. The Oaks brought home awards in three of the five individual categories.
Topping the list is Limcaco, who took home "Player of the Year" honors. Limcacao was the unanimous choice for 2013 player of the year following an impressive sophomore campaign during which she averaged a Cal Pac-leading 16.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. She played an integral role in leading the Lady Oaks to their second consecutive regular-season title.
Donnenwirth, also a sophomore, garnered Cal Pac "Defender of the Year" honors for her efforts. Donnenwirth pulled down 6.5 defensive rebounds per game and had seven blocks and 34 steals on the season. She played a large role in Menlo's dominance in nearly every defensive category in the Cal Pac this year, including holding opponents to just 59.8 points per game on 33 percent shooting.
Osborne earned "Coach of the Year" honors in a unanimous vote. This is the second consecutive season Osborne has won this honor. In her fifth season as the Oaks' head coach, Osborne led the team to a 24-3 overall record.
Menlo will compete in the conference playoffs this weekend, playing host to CSU Martime in the semifinals on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Menlo advanced to the semifinals of the Cal Pac Tournament in dramatic fashion with a 111-103 overtime win over Simpson on Wednesday night.
In a game where the Oaks (9-17) led by as many as 26 points, the Red Hawks (8-21) battled back and tied the game at 90 with seven seconds remaining in regulation to send it in to overtime.
"We knew a couple of their players were going to get it going in the second half," said Menlo coach Jon Surface. "Good-shooting teams are going to get it going at some point during the game."
Despite the improved shooting effort from the Red Hawks, Surface believes his team may have let up early in the second half as a result of the big cushion they built in the first.
"I thought we let off the gas a little bit in the second half and they came out, obviously a team that has a lot of fight, and they battled back and made it a game and took us in to overtime," said Surface.
In overtime, the difference proved to be made at the free-throw line. With less than two minutes remaining in the game, Menlo's David Abittan drew a foul and was heading to the line shooting two. Before he could take his shots, Simpson head coach Matt Thacker was charged with a double-technical foul, and was ejected from the game.
With the Oaks leading by just two, this proved to be a golden opportunity to put the game out of reach. Abbitan came through in a big way by sinking all six free throws. In total, Menlo was 36 for 57 from the line including 17 of 20 from the freshman Abbitan. All 17 of Abbitan's points on the evening came from the line.
"He was just nails at the line. For a freshman to come in and do that it's a great task. He was just calm, cool, and collected for us," Surface said.
John Smith had another big game off the bench for Menlo, leading the team with 21 points. Carlos Monroy had a season-high 20 points and ChaRunn Jones and Charles Barnes each added 15.
Menlo next will face host William Jessup on Friday night in Rocklin at 7:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, the Cal Pac Conference announced the 2013 all-conference awards. Menlo Oaks placed a total of four players on the list topped by Jones and Keith Bowman, who earned spots on the first team. Barnes and Smith rounded out the honors for Menlo, both earning honorable mentions.
Jones made first team for the second consecutive season. In his senior campaign, Jones averaged 12.6 points per game. He was Menlo's leading three-point threat, converting 73, shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc.
Bowman earned first team all conference honors in his first season. He led Menlo in points and rebounds per game with 13.8 and 6.4, respectively. Bowman shot 53 percent from the field and also led the team in blocks with 18.
Keith Lambert has been hired as Menlo's new new head coach. He joins the Oaks after serving four seasons as first assistant coach of the CSU East Bay men's team.
Lambert joins the Oaks following their successful 12-6 (3-3) season that ended with a first-round loss in the Cal Pac Tournament. Lambert hopes his experience at NCAA Division II CSU East Bay will help to continue the upward trend of the program.
"I'm extremely excited and looking forward to the opportunity to work at a college like Menlo and work with such an outstanding group of girls," said Lambert. "I'm excited to take over not only a good group of girls but a strong program."
— Menlo College Athletics
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