Women’s Basketball: Ashley Deary named finalist for Nancy Lieberman Award


Daily file photo by Allie Goulding

Ashley Deary drives into the paint. The senior guard is a finalist for the 2017 Nancy Lieberman Award.

Tim Balk, Managing Editor

Women’s Basketball

Senior guard Ashley Deary has made it onto the list of 10 finalists for the 2017 Nancy Lieberman Award, the program announced Monday. The award recognizes the nation’s top point guard.

Deary has averaged 11.2 points and 6.7 assists per game while helping to lead Northwestern (17-6, 6-4 Big Ten) to its best start through 10 games in Big Ten play since the 1992-93 season.

After winning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award in 2016, Deary has again been a defensive force for the Wildcats, averaging four steals per game. She has 402 steals for her career, the all-time Big Ten record.

“She is a fearless leader on the court and does whatever it takes to help us win,” coach Joe McKeown said in a news release. “Her defensive tenacity has wreaked havoc in the Big Ten over the last four years.”

Deary shined in back-to-back mid-January wins, scoring 18 points and assisting on eight buckets against Indiana on Jan. 14 and recording 20 points and seven assists against Michigan State on Jan. 17.

She has played at least 30 minutes in every conference game for the Cats, and her play has helped propel the team as it seeks to return to the NCAA Tournament. NU earned its last tournament bid in 2015, Deary’s sophomore season.

The list of finalists for the Lieberman Award will be whittled down to five in mid-March, according to the news release.

“Ashley shows great leadership off the court as well, as she is one of the top student-athletes in the country,” McKeown said in the release. “During her career, she has propelled this program to four straight winning seasons, the NCAA tournament and many weeks in the national rankings.”

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