Ashunae Durant


(ISN) – Upper Marlboro, Md. – Hofstra freshman forward Ashunae Durant was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Rookie of the Year, the conference announced today. Voting was done by the league’s 10 head coaches.

Durant also captured All-CAA second-team honors and earned a spot on the all-rookie team as well. Sophomore guard Kelly Loftus made the All-CAA third team. The award was the first postseason career honor for Loftus.

James Madison junior guard Precious Hall was tabbed as the Player of the Year and Bre Bolden from the College of Charleston was the Defensive Player of the Year. JMU’s Kenny Brooks was named the Coach of the Year after leading the Dukes to a regular season title with a 26-3 overall record and a 17-1 mark in conference play. JMU’s Lauren Okafor was the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award recipient.

Hall and Okafor, a center, made the first team along with UNCW guard Kelva Atkins, Drexel forward Sarah Curran and Towson forward LaTorri Hines-Allen.

Durant was the only forward out of five players selected to the second team, joining guards Erika Brown (Delaware), Angela Mickens (JMU), Brie Mobley (UNCW) and Rachel Pearson (Drexel). Durant was also one of six players to make the All-Rookie squad.

Durant is second on Hofstra in points (11.7 PPG) and rebounds (7.6). The Newark, New Jersey product is shooting a team-best 49.4 percent from the field, which is the fifth-most in the CAA. The 5’10” versatile forward has scored in double figures in 21 of her first 27 career games and has posted seven double-doubles. She is a six-time CAA Rookie of the Week and was named the USBWA National Freshman of the Week on Jan. 12. Durant is also a two-time ECAC Regional Rookie of the Week pick.

Loftus leads Hofstra with 12.5 points per game and her 33 total steals is third on the squad. The Alexandria, Virginia native posted four 20-point games this season and eight games of 15 or more points. Loftus scored a career-high 30 points against a JMU squad receiving votes in the national poll on Feb. 6. She is fourth in the CAA in three-pointers made per game at 2.5.

Loftus and Durant helped Hofstra finish the regular season 18-11 and 11-7 in league play. The Pride earned the third seed in the CAA Championship, which is the highest in the nine-year tenure of Head Coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey. Hofstra will face sixth-seeded William & Mary in the quarterfinals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Show Place Arena.