March 2, 2011

Taylor and Norman Claim All-Northeast Conference Accolades

Northeast Conference Teleconference Soundbites - Head Coach Ed Swanson

Junior Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) earned her All-Northeast Conference first team honors while freshman Ericka Norman (Chino Hills, CA) was named to the NEC All-Rookie team.  The post-season awards were announced Wednesday morning during the annual media teleconference as the league prepares for the 2011 playoffs.  Taylor finished the season fourth in scoring with 15.0 points per game and second in rebounding at 9.4 boards per contest.  Norman stepped into the starting role after an injury to Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) and has been one of the Pioneers most consistent players down the stretch.

Taylor's nod to the All-NEC first team continues her rise through the Northeast Conference after earning All-Rookie team honors her freshman season, followed by a second team selection last year.  The six-foot forward led the league with 12 double-doubles in 2010-11 and averaged 15.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per game against NEC opposition.  She tied a career high three times this season by hauling-in 16 rebounds against Bryant, Quinnipiac, and Fairleigh Dickinson.  Taylor also finished the season as the circuit's top free-throw shooter, knocking down 88.3 percent of her attempts (83-94).  A reliable scorer almost every night, Taylor eclipsed the double-digit mark for points in 27-of-29 games this season.  Taylor has seen the most court time of any Pioneer this season, averaging 34.4 minutes per game in 2010-11.

Norman completes a fruitful rookie season as the Pioneer point guard averaged 3.6 assists per game in 2010-11, ranking sixth in the NEC.  Since entering the lineup as a starter, Norman dished out 4.8 assists per game as well as being the squad's top defender.  Norman supplied an average of 4.7 assists per game against NEC opponents and tied a career best on five occasions with seven assists in a single game.  She accomplished the feat in back-to-back contests against Monmouth and Fairleigh Dickinson to conclude the regular season.  The California native picked up 58 steals to help the Pioneers claim third place in the league in scoring defense, allowing just 58.1 points per game. Norman posted the NEC's best assist-to-turnover ratio, supplying 105 total assists en route to a 1.22 mark. 

The duo will lead the third-seeded Pioneers into the NEC quarterfinals Saturday afternoon against sixth-seeded Central Connecticut State.  The contest is a mirror image of last year's quarterfinal game in which CCSU upset Sacred Heart.  This time around the Pioneers will have the benefit of playing on their home floor.  Tip-off is set for 3:00 pm inside the William H. Pitt Center.