Le Moyne College basketball coach, player pick up NE-10 awards
by Lindsay Kramer
Le Moyne College junior guard Russell Sangster and head coach Patrick Beilein have received major awards from the Northeast-10 Conference as the conference announced its end-of-season awards and all-conference teams on Thursday.
The award winners and all-conference teams were voted upon by the league's 15 head coaches, who could not vote for their own players.
Sangster was named the NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year, while also earning a spot on the all-conference second team. Beilein was selected by his peers as the NE-10 Coach of the Year.
Sangster, who earns his first career NE10 recognition, is the third player in the program's 21 years in the conference to be tabbed as the league's top defender, while he is the fifth player to earn a major award.
Previous Dolphins to earn major awards were John Tomsich (1999 Defensive Player), Trent Morgan (2005 Freshman), Jason Holmes (2008 Defensive Player) and Laurence Ekperigin (2009 Player). He is also the first Dolphin to earn as high as second-team all-conference honors since Kevin Roth in 2010-11.
Sangster, who is tasked with defending the opposing team's top scorer, anchors a defense that allows just 64.8 points per game and holds opponents to just 42.6-percent shooting from the field. The 64.8 points per game is the best in the conference and region and the eighth-best in the nation, while the 42.6-percent is the best in the conference and sixth-best in the region. Sangster leads the Dolphins with 32 steals and has blocked seven shots.
On the offensive end of the court, Sangster leads the Dolphins in scoring with a career-best 11.8 points per game.
Beilein, who is in his second year in charge of the Dolphins, is the first Le Moyne leader to earn NE-10 Coach of the Year honors. He has guided the Dolphins to a 21-5 record, which includes a Southwest Division-best 16-4 mark in conference action.
The Dolphins have been the top-ranked team in each of the first two East Regional rankings that have been released by the NCAA. The Dolphins, who are ranked 24th in this week's NABC/Division II National rankings for the first time since November 24, 2009, have 21 wins in a season for just the third time in the program's 69-year history.
The Dolphins open Northeast-10 Conference Championships play as the top seed in the Southwest Division at 3 p.m. Sunday at Ted Grant Court at 3:00 p.m. The Dolphins will face either Northeast Division fourth seed Merrimack College or Southwest Division fifth seed New Haven.