The Pitt News

Kiesel one of 15 finalist for Nancy Lieberman Award

By Dan Sostek / Assistant Sports Editor

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Although the  Pitt women’s basketball team still doesn’t know its postseason destination, the team received some good news Monday in the form of an individual accolade.

Senior guard Brianna Kiesel has been named one of 15 finalists for the 2015 Nancy Lieberman Award. The nomination recognizes her sizable contributions to the team’s impressive turnaround this 2014-2015 season, .

The award, a trophy named after the retired Naismith Hall of Famer who starred at Old Dominion, recognizes the top point guard in the nation, as decided on by a panel of sportswriters from across the country. Previous winners include Skylar Diggins, Odyssey Sims, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, all of whom eventually played in the WNBA.

“These 15 candidates exhibit floor leadership, playmaking and ball-handling skills similar to those of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman,” said John Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in a release “We are pleased to be recognizing them for their commitment to the game.” 

Kiesel currently ranks first in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5), fourth in points per game (18.3) and second in assists (4.7), steals (2.31) and free throw percentage (86.4 percent).

Last Thursday, she became the player with the sixth-most career points in program history. She needs 47 points to move past Marcedes Walker, who scored 1,870 career  points, for fifth place..

The voters will narrow the pool to five in mid-March, and the announcement of the winner will come during the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Awards Show in Tampa, Fla., during the Women’s Final Four.

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Kiesel one of 15 finalist for Nancy Lieberman Award