Bearcats point guard named America East Rookie of the Year/
Binghamton’s Jasmine Sina was voted the America East Conference Rookie of the Year.
Sina joins Andrea Holmes and Jasbriell Swain as Bearcats to win Rookie of the Year honors.
Sina and Imani Watkins were both selected to the All-Rookie Team./
VESTAL – Doubts about Jasmine Sina’s ability to play Division I college basketball kept the 5-foot-5 point guard from signing a letter of intent until late in her senior year of high school.
Sina found a home at Binghamton University as the starting point guard for first-year coach Linda Cimino, and on Friday evening Sina was named the America East Conference’s top freshman.
The conference coaches voted Sina, a resident of Lake Hoptacong, N.J., the conference’s Rookie of the Year. The conference announced its annual awards in a banquet in the Events Center.
“Coach Cimino really believed in me, and I think that her coaching style and the other (coaches) really developed me this year,” Sina said. “That’s why I got this award, and it’s a great accomplishment. It shows other schools and other coaches that I can play at this level and that I can compete with the best players in the conference.”
Sina joins Andrea Holmes (2009) and Jasbriell Swain (2011) as the only Bearcats women’s basketball players to win America East Conference Rookie of the Year honors.
Sina, who was named to the conference’s All-Rookie Team along with teammate Imani Watkins, led the Bearcats in scoring (14.7 points per game), 3-pointers per game (2.9) and minutes per game (39) in her first collegiate season. She also ranked second on the team to Watkins in assists per game (3.2) and steals per game (1.3).
Sina, who recorded five 20-point games this season, finished the regular season ranked fifth in the America East in scoring, fourth in 3-point shooting percentage (34.7) and first in 3-pointers per game (2.9). She enters this week tied for 12th in NCAA Division I in 3-pointers per game and eighth among Division I freshmen in scoring.
Sina’s scoring average is the highest by a Binghamton freshman since Rachel Laws averaged an identical 14.7 points per game during the 2003-04 season, and Sina’s average is the most for a freshman in the conference since Boston University’s Chantel Alford (14.9 ppg) during the 2009-10 season.
“Jasmine is such a special player, and I knew when we recruited her that she was going to be a great player in this conference,” Cimino said. “All she needed was someone to give her a shot. We were her only Division I offer, and she made the most of that opportunity that she was given. I’m just really proud of her.”
Watkins, a dynamic shooting guard, ranked 10th in the conference in scoring (13.4 points per game), eighth in assists per game (3.3) and ninth in steals per game (1.7) during the regular season. She led the Bearcats in assists per game and steals while ranking second in scoring behind Sina.
Like Sina, Watkins has logged major minutes for the Bearcats as a freshman. She averaged 36.6 minutes per game, and has developed a chemistry with Sina.
“Jasmine is an amazing point guard, and I think that this is the best relationship that I’ve ever had with another teammate, (the one) that I have with her,” Watkins said. “Not just off the court, but on the court as well. Obviously, we play really well together.
“I think we clicked as soon as we both got here together. I think we’re an amazing match-up, and we’re going to cause some havoc in the near future.”
The Bearcats (4-25, 2-14) play top seed the University of Maine (22-7, 14-2) in the quarterfinals of the America East Conference tournament on Saturday at noon in the Events Center.
AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL AWARDS
Player of the Year: Shereesha Richards, Jr., Forward, Albany.
Co-Defensive Players of the Year: Shereesha Richards, Jr, Forward, Albany; Liz Wood, Jr., Forward, Maine.
Rookie of the Year: Jasmine Sina, Fr., Guard, Binghamton.
Sixth Player of the Year: Imani Tate, So., Guard, Albany.
Coach of the Year: Richard Barron, Maine.
First-Team All-Conference: Shereesha Richards, Jr., Albany; Sigi Koizar, So., Maine; Liz Wood, Jr., Maine; Elizabeth Belanger, Jr., New Hampshire; Sabre Proctor, Sr., Stony Brook.
Second-Team All-Conference: Imani Tate, So., Albany; Cherelle Moore, Sr., Hartford; Capree Garner, So., UMBC; Shannon Samuels, Sr., UMass Lowell; Kori Bayne-Walker, So., Stony Brook.
Third-Team All-Conference: Sarah Royals, Sr., Albany; Amber Bepko, Sr., Hartford; Deanna Mayza, So., Hartford; Taylor McCarley, So., UMBC; Ariel Gaston, Sr., New Hampshire; Brittany Snow, Jr., Stony Brook.
All-Rookie Team: Tiana-Jo Carter, Albany; Jasmine Sina, Binghamton; Imani Watkins, Binghamton; Carlie Pogue, New Hampshire; Sydney Smith, Vermont.
All-Defensive Team: Shereesha Richards, Jr., Albany; Liz Wood, Jr., Maine; Lindsey Doucette, Jr., UMass Lowell; Kaylee Kilpatrick, Sr., New Hampshire; Jessica Ogunnorin, Gr., Stony Brook.
All-Academic Team: Sigi Koizar, So., Maine; Liz Wood, Jr., Maine; Kaylee Kilpatrick, Sr., New Hampshire; Jessica Ogunnorin, Gr., Stony Brook; Brittany Snow, Jr., Stony Brook.