College of St. Joseph's Aliesha Thomas and Daija Black have been selected to receive Northeastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference end-of-the-year awards. Thomas was named to the NIAC All-Conference First Team. Black's efforts this year earned her a spot on the NIAC All-Conference Second Team.
Thomas, a first-year student from Brooklyn, N.Y., has been both a threat to CSJ's opponents on both ends of the floor throughout the season. She is the Lady Saints' leading scorer, averaging 12.9 points per game, and did not go a game without making it onto the scoreboard. Thomas notched three or more 3-pointers in 11 of her 21 games played. She registered 48 total 3-pointers throughout the season, most by any Lady Saint. An aggressive guard, Thomas is second in rebounding for CSJ with 5.7 rebounds per game. She leads the team in steals with an impressive 2.9 per game. Thomas proved her versatility when she was moved to the point guard position toward the end of the season, continuing to lead the team in scoring while also dishing off 1.3 assists per game.
In a contest versus NIAC competitor Fisher College on Nov. 29, Thomas recorded 17 points, five rebounds and five steals. She shot 3-for-5 from downtown and 4-for-4 from the foul line. From Dec. 6 to Feb. 3, Thomas scored double figures in nine consecutive games. During a particularly impressive weekend for Thomas, she tallied 17 points on Jan. 20 when the Fighting Saints matched up with NIAC foe Villa Maria College. The next day CSJ matched up with UMaine-Augusta, and Thomas recorded 24 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. On Feb. 8, Thomas recorded a season-high 25 points off 11-for-22 (50 percent) shooting from the field. She notched four rebounds and three steals. In the Saints' 66-59 win over UMaine-Presque Isle on Feb. 10, Thomas put up 13 points, seven rebounds, six steals and an assist.
Black and Thomas's all-around athleticism, skill and basketball IQ's will be crucial in Friday night's conference playoff game at Villa Maria College at 4:00 p.m. Villa earned the #1 seed in the NIAC and is ranked #6 by the United States Intercollegiate Athletic Association, earning a spot in the USCAA National Tournament regardless of the weekend's outcome.