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Basketball player named to watch list for Nancy Lieberman Award

Senior Andola Dortch was named to the watch list for the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award, which recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.

Dortch

Dortch

Candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.

Dortch is one of 29 players on the watch list and one of only two from the Mid-American Conference, along with Akron’s Kacie Cassell.

Dortch is the catalyst in the Rockets’ offense, averaging 11.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, a team-high 4.9 assists and a squad-best 2.6 steals in 37.8 minutes per game in 2013-14. As of Jan. 23, the 2012-13 first-team All-MAC selection ranked second in the MAC in helpers, third in thefts and assist/turnover ratio (2.1, 79-38), fourth in minutes played and 21st in scoring.

The 2013-14 Preseason All-MAC West Division Team selection has scored in double figures on nine occasions this year, including a season-high 22 points, four helpers, two boards and two thefts in a squad-best 37 minutes vs. nationally ranked Purdue Nov. 17.

Besides being an outstanding scorer, Dortch is UT’s defensive specialist. The two-time MAC Defensive Player of the Year has collected at least four steals on a team-high four occasions in 2013-14, including a season-high six vs. Valparaiso in the second game of the Toledo Invite Dec. 7.

As of Jan. 23, Dortch sits third in UT annals in career steals (263) and minutes played (3,575), sixth in assists (454), eighth in free throws made (324) and free throws attempted (467), and 14th in scoring (1,243).

Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include last year’s recipient Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), along with Sue Bird (Connecticut), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut), Lindsey Harding (Duke), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga), Temeka Johnson (LSU), Kristi Toliver (Maryland), Ivory Latta (North Carolina) and Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State).

The list will be narrowed down to a final 20 in February, then the final five by March. The Lieberman Award winner will be announced during Final Four weekend activities.

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