Pittsburgh -- Robert Morris University women's basketball redshirt-senior guard Angela Pace (Westchester, N.Y. / Woodlands (Monroe College)) has accomplished something no other player in Northeast Conference history has - she earned both the NEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors. RMU seventh-year head coach Sal Buscaglia was named the Brenda Reilly Coach of the Year for the second time.
Freshman forward Vega Gimeno-Martinez (Valencia, Spain / Spanish National U-20) was named to the conference's All-Rookie team while Pace also earned a spot on the All-NEC First Team.
Pace is perhaps the most rounded player in the league and likely in team history. She leads the team in scoring (14.9 points per game), assists (5.45 per game), steals (2.59 per game) and is fifth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.59). Pace is the third Colonial to be named Player of the Year, following in the footsteps of Sugeiry Monsac (2004-05) and Sade Logan (2007-08).
The senior ranks in the top-13 in the conference in 10 of the 13 major statistical categories. She is eighth in points (14.9), eighth in rebounding (7.2), eighth in field goal percentage (.472), second in assists (5.45), 13th in free throw percentage (.750) , second in steals (2.59), first in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.59), 13th in offensive rebounds (2.28), eighth in defensive rebounds (4.97) and leads the conference in minutes played (36.38).
Buscaglia is the conference's coach of the year for the second time since taking the helm of the RMU program in 2003-04. With no full-time starters returning from last season's squad, Buscaglia guided this year's team to its first outright regular season NEC title and the tournament's number-one seed for the first time. The Colonials set team records for regular season wins (22), NEC wins (17), road wins (10), conference road wins (9) and road winning streak (9) this season. In the process, Buscaglia earned his 600th career win, and is now 612-277 in his 32nd season of coaching. He earned the NEC's top coaching honor in 2004-05 after leading the squad to the third biggest turnaround in NCAA history.
Buscaglia was also the New York Coach of the Year in 1991-92 and 1995-96 at the University of Buffalo and was the 2002 Spalding Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Co-Coach of the Year at Manhattan. To hear an interview with Buscaglia and learn more about women's sports at RMU, click here.
Gimeno is the team's first representative on the All-Rookie team since Sarah Bradley in 2003-04. A member of the Spanish National Team, she is second on the team in scoring at 9.9 points per game while earning Choice Hotels Rookie of the Week honors four-times this season. She is 14th in the conference in field goal percentage (.423), ninth in steals, eighth in three-point percentage (.384), 10th in three-pointers made (1.66) and ninth in blocked shots (0.83).