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Nikki Newman (second from left) is the first Duke named CAA Defensive Player of the Year.Courtesy: Cathy Kushner/JMU Athletics Communications
Women's Basketball's Newman is CAA Defensive Player of the Year
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:03/07/2012
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Pictured above (L-R) Tarik Hislop, Nikki Newman, Kirby Burkholder, Lauren Whitehurst, Toia Giggetts

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 7, 2012 -- James Madison junior forward Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby) has been selected the Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball Defensive Player of the Year.

Newman, the first player in the program's history to win the league's top defensive award, was one of five Dukes honored at the league's awards dinner, held Wednesday night on the eve of the CAA Championship.  The 12-team tournament opens with first-round games Thursday at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Dukes' junior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) was named to the All-CAA Second Team, and sophomore guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) was an All-CAA Third Team selection.  Both won all-league honors for the first time.

Freshman forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) was voted to the CAA All-Rookie Team.

Newman was joined on the CAA All-Defensive Team by redshirt senior forward Lauren Whitehurst (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River).

Burkholder was selected to the CAA All-Academic Second Team, and Whitehurst earned All-Academic Honorable Mention.

Nikki Newman:
* Averages team-high 7.6 rebounds
* Averages 2.5 assists and 1.3 blocked shots
* Ranks in top 10 in CAA in rebounding (8th), blocked shots (8th), and defensive rebounding (5th, 5.4)
* In eighth place on JMU career blocked shots list (90)
* Her season total of 36 blocked shots ties for 12th-best all-time at JMU
* Her JMU team leads the CAA and ranks eighth in the NCAA in field-goal percentage defense (33.7) and ranks second in the CAA in scoring defense (54.6)
* Only the second player in CAA history to be named CAA Defensive Player of the Year but not named to the All-CAA Team (the other was Rachael Friesen-Norwood of UNCW, who was co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2003, a year in which only 10 players were named All-CAA)

Tarik Hislop:
* Leads team in scoring (14.7) and assists (3.7)
* Ranks in top 10 in CAA in scoring (10th), assists (7th), steals (10th, 1.6), free throw accuracy (7th, 77.3) and assist-turnover ratio (5th, 1.3)
* 23rd on JMU career scoring list with 1,136 points

Kirby Burkholder:
* Leads team in steals (1.8) and 3-pointers (2.5) and is second in scoring (10.5) and third in rebounding (6.9)
* Among CAA leaders in scoring (23rd), rebounding (13th), 3-point accuracy (12th, 32.9), 3-pointers (4th), steals (9th) and defensive rebounding (6th, 5.1)
* Has a 3.55 grade-point average and is majoring in sport and recreation management

Toia Giggetts:
* Averages 4.3 points and 4.5 rebounds
* Leads JMU freshmen with 28 game appearances
* Runner-up for CAA Rookie of the Year

Lauren Whitehurst:
* Leads team in blocked shots (1.8) and is second in rebounding (7.3)
* Among CAA leaders in rebounding (10th), field goal accuracy (9th, 48.5), blocked shots (4th), steals (9th), offensive rebounding (11th, 2.7) and defensive rebounding (tied 10th, 4.7)
* In fifth place on JMU career blocked shots list (101)
* Her season total of 52 blocked shots is third-best all-time at JMU
* Her JMU team leads the CAA and ranks eighth in the NCAA in field-goal percentage defense (33.7) and ranks second in the CAA in scoring defense (54.6)
* Has a 3.57 graduate-school grade-point average and is studying psychological sciences

Other award-winners, selected in voting by the league's head coaches, included the following:  Delaware junior forward/guard Elena Delle Donne as Player of the Year; Delaware's Tina Martin as Coach of the Year; Ashley Betz-White of Old Dominion as Rookie of the Year; and Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio as the recipient of the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award.

Delle Donne leads the nation in scoring at 28.3 points per game and is second in the league in rebounding at 10.4 per game.

Martin has guided Delaware to a 26-1 overall record, a perfect 18-0 conference mark and a number seven national ranking.

Betz-White leads CAA freshmen in scoring (7.9 avg.) and assists (3.5).

JMU (23-6), which has won the last two CAA titles, is the number two seed in the CAA Tournament.  The Dukes face the winner of Thursday's first-round game between number seven seed George Mason and 10th-seeded Northeastern.  JMU's quarterfinal-round game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, March 9.
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