The 2015-16 season officially came to a close on Monday evening for the Duke University women’s basketball team as the Blue Devils held their annual celebration on campus. With approximately 200 people in attendance at the event emceed by Ryan Craig, Duke gave out 12 awards.
Taking home three accolades on the evening was junior Oderah Chidom, while redshirt sophomore Rebecca Greenwell, freshman Crystal Primm and freshman Kyra Lambert each were presented two awards.
There were three statistical awards given out — Best Rebounder, Best Free Throw Shooter and Assist Maker. Other awards that were presented were Player of the Year, Most Improved, Playmaker, M.M.O.C. (Meanest Mother on the Court), Sixth Player, CNC (Choice Not Chance) Scholar-Athlete, Best Defense, Senior Award and Never Give Up Award.
Chidom was presented with the M.M.O.C., Most Improved and Best Rebounder awards on the evening. After missing the final 11 games of her sophomore season, Chidom started 25-of-32 contests in 2015-16 averaging 9.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocks. Chidom, who is from Oakland, Calif., boosted her play down the stretch averaging 12.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals over the final 12 contests. This included scoring a career-high 20 points in back-to-back contests against North Carolina and Virginia.
Earning “CNC” Scholar-Athlete Award and M.M.O.C., awards on the evening was Greenwell, who averaged 15.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals. A 6-1 sophomore from Owensboro, Ky., Greenwell drained a team-best 73 three-pointers, which ranked third on Duke’s single-season charts. An All-ACC Second Team selection along with USBWA and Naismith National Player of the Year watch list honoree, Greenwell ranked tied third in the ACC with 2.4 three-pointers made per game and tied third in three-point field goal percentage (41.7).
Greenwell was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District III First Team selection and All-ACC Academic Team honoree for her work in the classroom.
The M.M.O.C. award represents the Blue Devil that does the dirty work, including assists, steals and leads the team in floor burns.
Receiving the Player of the Year award was senior Mercedes Riggs. One of four captains in 2015-16, Riggs was the leader on and off the court for the Blue Devils in her final year. A product of Lindon, Utah, Riggs appeared in 24 contests. She provided a spark for Duke on numerous times coming off the bench in games.
Lambert, a rookie from Cibolo, Texas, earned the Playmaker and Assist Maker awards. The 5-9 guard made an immediate impact averaging 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals. She started 23-of-32 contests and drained 18 three-pointers. Lambert dished 79 assists and scored a career-high 16 points on the road at second-ranked South Carolina.
Primm received the 6th Player Award and Best Defense Awards, after averaging 4.6 points and 2.6 rebounds on the season. One of the best defenders on the squad, Primm was often matched up against the opponents’ top scorer. She swiped a career-high four steals against 10th-ranked Florida State.
Along with Greenwell, freshman Haley Gorecki earned the Best Free Throw Shooter award, after hitting 15-of-17 from the charity stripe for an 88.2 percentage.
Sophomore Erin Mathias was voted the winner of the Never Give Up/Practice Player Award, which was a new award given out this season. Mathias, a 6-4 sophomore from Pittsburgh, Pa., appeared in 30 contests, while starting three of those games.
Graduate Student Amber Henson received the Senior Award, after closing her career in 2015-16 with the Blue Devils. Henson, a native of Tampa, Fla., battled through knee injuries during her entire career. She started 16-of-20 contests this past season averaging 4.5 points and 5.1 rebounds. Henson pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds in a key home victory over North Carolina during the regular season.
The Player of the Year, Most Improved, Sixth Player, Playmaker, Never Give Up and Best Defender awards were voted on by team members and coaches.
Duke honored two seniors – Henson and Riggs – during the evening. As a team, Duke collected a 20-12 overall and 8-8 ACC mark under the direction of head coach Joanne P. McCallie.
Full list of award winners:
6th Player Award – Crystal Primm
“CNC” Scholar-Athlete Award – Rebecca Greenwell
Most Improved Player – Oderah Chidom
Best Defense Award – Crystal Primm
Playmaker – Kyra Lambert
Assist Maker – Kyra Lambert
Best Rebounder – Oderah Chidom
Best Free Throw Shooter – Haley Gorecki
Never Give Up Award/Practice Player Award – Erin Mathias
M.M.O.C. – Rebecca Greenwell/Oderah Chidom
Player of the Year – Mercedes Riggs
Senior Award – Amber Henson