On the heels of one of the most prolific scoring seasons in William Smith basketball history, junior Kristen Kush (G. Ray Bodley/Fulton, N.Y.) was named to the D3hoops.com All-East Region first team today. The only healthy forward on the Heron roster this season, she led the team with 494 points and 211 rebounds.
A starter in all 27 games this year, Kush was second in the Liberty League and 39th in the nation in scoring, averaging 18.3 ppg. She was also among the conference leaders in field goal percentage (3rd, .474), rebounding (4th, 7.8), free throw shooting (12th, .690), and steals (15th, 1.4).
Only Jennifer Goodell Cooper ’97, a 2003 Heron Hall of Honor inductee, has scored more points in a season than Kush. Goodell Cooper scored more than 500 points in a season three times. Kush attempted a school record 439 field goals, making 208 (5th on the single season list). Her rebound total is 12th on the single season list.
Kush scored a career-high 28 points in an overtime win at St. Lawrence on Feb. 12. She also produced 14 points and a career-high 15 rebounds at home against the Saints. Kush reached double digits in the scoring column 26 times this year, including 13 games with 20-plus points. She accounted for seven of William Smith’s 11 double-doubles this season. Kush scored her 1,000th career point in a 76-64 victory over Union in the Liberty League Tournament semifinals and will begin her senior season with 1,011 career points, 14th on the school’s all-time list.
An exceptional student and athlete, Kush earned a spot on the 2010-11 Capital One Academic All-America® Women’s Basketball College Division second team. A unanimous first team All-Liberty League selection, she was also tabbed Liberty League All-Academic. Kush was named to the Liberty League Team of the Week 12 times, was the ECAC Upstate Player of the Week twice, and represented the Herons on the all-tournament teams at the Emmanuel Invitational and the Wendy’s College Classic.
Kush led the Herons through a Renaissance season. After going 8-16 overall and 4-10 in the conference in 2009-10, William Smith rebounded with a 16-11 overall mark and secured a share of the 2010-11 Liberty League regular season championship with a 10-4 record.
Kush is the sixth Heron to earn all-region recognition from D3hoops.com and just the third first-team pick, joining Ashlinn Barber ’11 (2010 2nd team), Latasha Coney ’09 (2009 2nd team), Marisa Vespa ’08 (2008 1st team), Leah Cornwell ’02 (2002 1st team), Laura Hadwin ’03 (2002 2nd team).