Karcz Named Patriot League Defensive Player Of The Year, Therien Rookie Of The Year
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -
Sophomore Stephanie Karcz, voted the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, and freshman Isabella Therien, named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year, became the first Loyola University Maryland women's basketball players to earn major year-end awards from the Patriot League, as announced by the League office Friday.
In addition to her player of the year honor, Karcz was also included on the five-member All-Patriot League First Team and earned her second-straight All-Defensive Team accolade, while Therien was one of five League freshmen to earn All-Rookie Team accolades.
Karcz joins Colleen Marshall '16 and teammate Bri Betz-White as Loyola's all-time first-team All-Patriot League honorees, while Therien is the fourth Greyhound in Loyola's five seasons in the League to earn a spot on the all-rookie team.
A guard from Red Bank, New Jersey, Karcz is ranked third in the NCAA with 112 steals this year, while her 3.9 per game average is almost double that of the second-closest player in the League this season. Against Navy on Saturday, Karcz collected 10 steals, a single-game high in the Patriot League this season, to become the second player in program history to finish with double-digit steals in a single game. It also moved her season steals total to 112, which ranks second to Katie Sheahin, a two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, who set the school record at 118 during the 2010-11 season.
In addition, Karcz has 300 rebounds this season, which ranks 20th in the NCAA and now tops Loyola's all-time single-season record, as Karcz replaced Patty Stoffey's 285 rebounds from the 1994-95 season atop the record board. Karcz has also grabbed more defensive rebounds than any other player in program history (221) and set Loyola's single-game record by grabbing 21 boards vs. American on January 11.
An all-around player, Karcz is the lone Patriot Leaguer averaging a double-double in conference games this season. With nine double-doubles and one triple-double - the program's first ever - throughout this year, Karcz's 14.5 scoring average ranks seventh in the League, while her 10.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.9 steals per game all rank second. In League only games, she ranks eighth in scoring (14.2 points per game) and first in rebounding (11.7), assists (5.1) and steals (4.4) per game.
Therien, a guard from Marlton, New Jersey, leads the Greyhounds in scoring this year, and ranks fourth in the Patriot League, with 15.1 points per game. The sixth-ranked freshman in scoring in the NCAA this season, Therien has turned in double figures in points through 23 of 25 games played and has reached 20 points on four occasions. She's also been named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week five of the last seven weeks.
In the season opener against Cornell, Therien finished with 18 points to mark the most points for a Greyhound rookie in their collegiate debut since at least 1990 (no records were kept prior to then). Since then, she's equaled or bettered that total on seven occasions, including pouring in a personal-best 26 points against Bucknell on February 14.
Loyola, the No. 6 seed in the 2018 Patriot League Championships, will begin tournament play on Monday, as the Greyhounds head to third-seeded Navy for a 7 p.m. tip. The winner will advance to the semifinal round and face the winner of the Colgate/Holy Cross vs. Bucknell game on Thursday, March 8.