The sophomore guard has started in all 21 games for the Scarlet Knights, averaging a team-best 17.5 points and contributes 4.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. She has scored in double figures 19 times, including nine 20-plus scoring efforts. Selected to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team, Pondexter also was named one of the “Top 21 Freshmen of Impact” by Womenscollegehoops.com. This season, she has helped turn the Rutgers program around, from a 9-20 overall record in 2001-2002, to a current record of 16-5 (9-2 BIG EAST), including a perfect 9-0 mark in the Louis Brown Athletic Center.
A four-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week, Pondexter garnered the award on
Dec. 16, Jan. 19, Feb. 10 and Feb. 17. She posted 29 points at Texas Tech (Jan. 2) and 28 points at Old Dominion (Jan. 31). Most recently in conference play, she was the key in two Rutgers victories last week. In a 65-50 RU win against West Virginia Feb. 12, Pondexter scored a game-high 18 points, adding a team-best three assists while tying for the team lead with eight rebounds and two steals. In Rutgers’ 67-53 victory against Pittsburgh Feb. 16, Pondexter scored a game-high 21 points on 8-for-16 (.500) shooting, adding a team-best seven assists and two steals.
A national project of the Rotary Club of Detroit, the Lieberman award honors
the top point guard who displays floor leadership and play-making and ball-handling
skills that personified Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman. Sportswriters from across
the country will nominate the finalists and eventual winner. This year’s
award will be presented at a luncheon at The Detroit Athletic Club on April
9. Though the award was established in 2000, there has only been one winner,
with Connecticut’s Sue Bird winning the past three years.
The No. 22/25 Scarlet Knights (16-5, 9-2 BIG EAST) will begin a two-game road trip Wednesday, Feb. 19, at St. John’s. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
12 Finalists for Nancy Lieberman Award:
Coretta Brown, North Carolina
Erin Grant, Texas Tech
Michelle Greco, UCLA
Temeka Johnson, LSU
Kara Lawton, Tennessee
Ashley McElhiney, Vanderbilt
Sara Nord, Louisville
Yolanda Paige, West Virginia
Cappie Pondexter, Rutgers
Diana Taurasi, Connecticut
Amy Waugh, Xavier
Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota