EDISON, N.J. - Recent Marist graduate Corielle Yarde (Reading, Pa.) of the Marist women's basketball team was named the 2011-12 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Female Student-Athlete of the Year on Thursday. She becomes the fourth Marist student-athlete to receive the award in the past 10 years, joining her former teammate Rachele Fitz (2009-10) and current Marist assistant coach Alisa Kresge (2006-07). Additionally, David Bennett of the men's basketball team was named the Male Student-Athlete of the year in 2002-03.
The 2012 MAAC Player of the Year and MAAC Tournament MVP, Yarde led the Red Foxes in nearly every statistical category this season. She was first in scoring (14.3 PPG), rebounding (6.5 RPG), assists (4.2 APG) and blocked shots (1.0 BPG). She was also among the team leaders in steals, field goal percentage and three-point percentage.
She finished her career ranked in 10 of the 14 Marist top-ten categories for individual records. Her 1,470 career points ranks fourth in Red Foxes' history, while she also places fifth in field goals made (528) and three-pointers made (173). Earlier this season, she became the first Marist player to finish her career in the top ten in points, rebounds (689, seventh) and assists (321, seventh).
Yarde saved her best performances for the national spotlight. In the five NCAA Tournament games she played in after becoming a full-time starter her sophomore year, Yarde averaged 17.2 points, 7 rebounds and 3.8 assists against some of the country's best competition. She recorded a double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds in the 2011 Second Round against Duke. In this past year's NCAA First Round, Yarde scored 21 points and grabbed seven boards in leading the 13th-seeded Red Foxes to a 76-70 triumph over fourth-seeded Georgia for the program's second-ever victory over an SEC opponent.
"The best word to describe Corielle would probably be perseverance," Marist Head Coach Brian Giorgis said. "Her first year was very trying. But she worked very hard and, going into her senior year, the other players really looked up to her and she just put us on her back and helped us to a very rewarding season."
In addition to her Player of the Year and Tournament MVP awards, Yarde has received several other accolades for her play during her senior year. She was named to the ECAC All-Star First Team, joining All-Americans Elena Delle Donne of Delaware, Bria Hartley of Connecticut and Alyssa Thomas of Maryland. In April, Yarde was also named to the All-Metropolitan First Team, marking the second time in her career she received the honor, having been named to the Second Team as a junior.
Alongside her success on the court, Yarde also excelled in the classroom. She was a three-time member of the MAAC All-Academic Team. She was also nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year. Along with her teammates, she volunteered at the Special Olympics and participated in the Kids Day Out program. In the spring, Yarde graduated Cum Laude, receiving her degree from Marist in Psychology and Special Education. She will begin teaching third grade this fall in her hometown school district of Leesport, Pa.
"This is a terrific honor to validate a hall of fame athletic career and is the true definition of the 'final product' of what a Marist graduate should emulate." Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray said. "Marist could not be more proud of Corielle and her accomplishments."
About The MAAC Student-Athlete of the Year Award
The MAAC Student-Athlete of the Year award began in 2001 as a means to recognize overall excellence in the classroom, on the playing field and in the community. Each MAAC member selected one male and one female nominee for the honor. Nominees must have at least a 3.2 overall grade point average, be in at least their second year of residence at the institution, and be a starter or important reserve on their team.