Weekend Sports Briefs

By Staff Report

Two leave women’s basketball team

The women’s basketball team might… Two leave women’s basketball team

The women’s basketball team might not have any seniors, but two players will not be returning next season. Head Coach Agnus Berenato announced over the weekend that Shawnice “Pepper” Wilson and Sarah Ogoke have left the program.

Reasons for the departures were not released and Berenato has not returned calls for comment.

Wilson, a 6-foot-6 center, is a sophomore from Pittsburgh and averaged 7.4 points per game this year. She played in 30 games throughout the season, including 27 starts. She also played in 33 games, 32 of which she started, during her freshman year, when she was named to the All-Big East freshmen team.

Ogoke, also a sophomore, is from Sugarland, Texas, and played in 28 games — including two starts at guard. She averaged 1 point per game. She played in 28 games as a freshman last season.

Lewis Earns Dapper Dan Award

Running back Dion Lewiswas honored as the 2009 Beakthrough Athlete of the Year at the Dapper Dan Awards Thursday night in the Petersen Events Center.

The Dapper Dan Awards, sponsored by the Post-Gazette and the Dapper Dan Charities, honor high school, collegiate and professional athletes each year..

NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris presented the award to Lewis, who rushed for 1,799 yards this season — breaking Tony Dorsett’s freshman rushing record set in 1973. Lewis also broke the freshman record for scoring with 108 points on 18 touchdowns. The record was previously held by LeSean McCoy, who scored 90 points in 2007 and is now playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is yet another award for Lewis, who’s collected numerous accolades since coming to Pitt. He won both Big East Offensive Player of the Year and Big East Rookie of the Year, making him the first player to win both in the same season since Virginia Tech’s Michael Vick in 1999. He was also a unanimous freshman All-American selection. Numerous organizations, including The Associated Press, The Sporting News and SportsIllustrated.com, picked him for their All-American teams.

The Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin won Sportsman of the Year for helping the Penguins win their third Stanley Cup. The Penn State women’s volleyball team won Sportswomen of the Year for winning their third consecutive national championship in December.

Biros wins co-rookie of the year

Panthers gymnast Meaghan Biros won co-Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League Rookie of the Year, the league announced over the weekend. Maryland’s Kelsey Cofsky is the other gymnast to win a share of the award.

Biros, from Chicago, Ill., also earned all-league first team in the vault with a score of 9.800, and was named to the all second-league team in the all-around.

Her season-highs were 9.875 on the vault, 9.775 on the uneven bars, 9.650 on the balance beam and 9.775 in the all-around.

Also earning all-conference honors for the Panthers were senior Dani Bryan and sophomore Alicia Talucci. They both placed on the vault, with Bryan’s score of 9.836 and Talucci’s score of 9.806.

This was the first time in school history the team has had three Panthers make the all-first team in the vault.

Junior Shannon Vafiadou placed on the second team in vault with a score of 9.770. She also placed on the second team in the floor exercise with a score of 9.738 on the year. Junior Jen Liberato earned second team honors on the unever bars with a 9.668 average this season.

The Panthers find out today if they will compete in the NCAA Regionals, which take place April 10.