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Hoover first UD women’s player to win A-10 player of year award

Dayton junior Andrea Hoover heard the news first from her coach, Jim Jabir, that she had been named Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, on Tuesday.

Even though she’s Dayton’s leading scorer with 16.9 points per game and the fourth-leading scorer in the conference, the honor surprised Hoover. She is, after all, the first player in UD women’s basketball history to win the award.

“I didn’t really expect it at all,” Hoover said. “I was pretty much shocked for about 20 minutes. It was a very surreal moment. I’m just honored to be mentioned with some of the people who have had that award before.

“It really reflects on our team and the coaching staff and how hard we’ve all worked. I don’t really look at it as an individual award but more of a team award because without them I wouldn’t have so much success this year.”

Hoover, a 5-foot-9 guard from Bellbrook and a Spring Valley Academy graduate, has played in every game for the Flyers over the past three seasons. She started 25 games as a freshman and ranked second on the team in scoring with 10 points per game. She was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year.

As a sophomore, Hoover averaged 12.9 points and was named to the A-10 first team for the first time. She said she never envisioned making the jump to player of the year this year, at least not when she was a freshman.

“I envisioned just trying to get on the floor,” she said. “That’s about it.”

Hoover was joined on the A-10 first team by teammate Ally Malott, a junior forward from Middletown. Malott, a second-team selection last season, ranks second on the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game and leads the team with 8.2 rebounds per game.

Hoover and Malott were named to the all-academic team as well. Freshman Celeste Edwards, a point guard from Indianapolis, was named to the all-rookie and all-defensive teams. She was the only freshman on the all-defensive team.

“On any given night, anyone can go off,” Hoover said. “That’s what makes our team so special and difficult to guard at times. Really anyone on our team could have gotten the honor.”

The 21st-ranked and top-seeded Flyers (21-6) begin play in the Atlantic 10 championship at noon Friday at the Richmond (Va.) Coliseum against No. 8 seed Virginia Commonwealth or No. 9 seed Richmond.

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