Fulton’s Kush Nets All-Liberty League Praise At William Smith College

Two William Smith College basketball players earned All-Liberty League recognition in a vote of the conference’s coaches.

Sophomore Jacqueline Murphy (Holy Names/Slingerlands, N.Y.) was elected to the All-Liberty League first team and senior Kristen Kush (G. Ray Bodley/Fulton, N.Y.) garnered honorable mention.

Kristen Kush
Kristen Kush

A starter in all 25 games this season, Murphy led the Liberty League in rebounding, corralling 10.4 rpg. A 5-foot-4 guard, she collected a total of 261 rebounds. Only two players in William Smith history have grabbed more in a season, Jennifer Goodell ’97 (291 in 1996-97) and Gwen Scott ’82 (287 in 1979-80).

Kush displayed the grit and determination of a true champion this season.

After producing 494 points (4th on the Herons’ single season list) as a junior, she was poised to ascend into the top 5 in career points.

Unfortunately, fate had other plans. Kush suffered a knee injury on the first day of the fall semester.

Faced with the dilemma of a surgery that would repair her knee but rob her of her senior season or rehab with an eye on returning midseason (but with no guarantees), she chose the latter.

A forward, Kush played all 16 conference games, starting 14. She averaged 9.5 ppg and 4.9 rpg. She notched a pair of double-doubles, including 11 points and a season-high 14 rebounds in the regular season finale at Vassar. In Liberty League games only, Kush ranked 11th in field goal percentage (.426) and 15th in scoring.

A three-time All-Liberty League selection, Kush’s career numbers rank among the best in Heron history: field goals made (7th, 495), field goals attempted (7th, 1,079), field goal percentage (8th, .459), scoring average (9th, 12.6 ppg), total points (12th, total rebounds (12th, 529), free throws made (13th, 172), and free throws attempted (13th, 259).

William Smith finished the regular season with a 13-12 record. The Herons tied for fourth place in the Liberty League with a 9-7 mark, but missed the conference tournament by virtue of the league tie-breaker.