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High Point’s Jennifer Hoover named 2012 Spalding Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year

High Point University’s Jennifer Hoover is the 2012 recipient of the Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year Award, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced tonight at the second annual WBCA Awards Show. This distinguished award honors a WBCA Division I head coach who has led their team to a successful season during their first year at the helm.

“One of the WBCA’s core values is to assist in the growth and development of young coaches,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “Jennifer Hoover has led her program to success during her rookie season, and we are proud to present Jennifer with the Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year award.”

“On behalf of the Spalding brand, I’d like to congratulate Coach Hoover on her outstanding accomplishments this season,” said Gary Barfield, vice president, Russell Brands, LLC, parent company of Spalding®. “We continue to be inspired by what this award stands for and the caliber of coaches it honors.”

Hoover became High Point University’s head coach in April 2011 and guided the program to a 20-13 overall record and 13-5 mark in Big South competition. The 2011-12 squad is only the second in the program’s history in Division I to surpass the 20-win mark.

During her first season at the helm, Hoover coached the Panthers to the Big South title game – their first appearance in the championship game since 2006. Following the team’s run in the conference tournament, Hoover and her team landed a spot in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, marking the first time HPU has competed in a postseason tournament since 2007.

Prior to her arrival in High Point, Hoover gained coaching experience as an assistant coach at California. One of her most notable accomplishments while on the staff at Cal was her role in the signing of the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class. Hoover also served on staffs at Memphis and Virginia, as well as several other institutions.

Hoover competed at Wake Forest University where she was a three-time All-ACC selection and school-record-setting center. After her collegiate campaign, Hoover played for the Solna IF Basketball Team in Sweden and on the 1993 Athletes in Action team that played on the USA Fall Exhibition Tour and Australian Spring Tour.

The Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year Award is named in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, former Army head coach, whose success during her inaugural year at the Army helm was remarkable. The Black Knights won the Patriot League title in 2006 and Dixon was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year after leading Army to the NCAA Tournament for the first time at the NCAA Division I level. Coach Dixon passed away on April 6, 2006, just a few weeks following their appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

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#6 Duke by 40 over (soon to be no longer ranked?) North Carolina.

#1 Baylor by 27 over Oklahoma.

#11 Ohio State by 14 over Wisconsin (Prahalis with 34).

It was a little tighter between #10 Maryland and #22 Georgia Tech, but the Terps came out on top by 8.

It was a little more interesting amongst some of the top unranked:

The Rattlers got all they could handle from North Carolina A&T (10-13, 5-5 MEAC), but pulled out the 5-point win to remain unbeaten in conference play.

Davidson also got a tussle from Georgia South (7-16, 3-11 Southern), but prevailed, 69-62.

In a battle of Big South Big Dogs, it was Liberty (15-7, 9-1) over High Point (14-8, 9-2), 73-65.

Appalachian State (18-3, 12-1 Southern) held off Charleston (6-18, 5-10), 50-41.

It wasn’t a cakewalk, but Eastern Illinois’ win over Eastern Kentucky took their OVC record to 11-0.

The Mocs were not so lucky: Furman (12-11, 8-6 Southern) took down Chattanooga (16-7, 11-3), 75-61.

Quinnipiac (17-6, 9-3 NEC) got upset by Fairleigh Dickinson (11-13, 6-6), 74-65.

Nice win for first year coach Palmateer, as Monmouth (13-10, 8-4 NEC) stomped Sacred Heart (17-6, 10-2), 70-50.

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Coach Hatchell says her team didn’t quit, they just got frustrated. I can understand why UNC might have been frustrated — getting blown out on national television can do that to you (and goodness knows, every ranked team has pummeled one team or another into dust).

But, when you are getting beaten every which way but loose, viewers start to assess you by how you handle it — and I think Lobo’s comment in the first half about “not sprinting back on defense” says a lot about the state of mind of the Tar Heels.

I’m also thinking Hatchell may regret her “Stringer-esque” ramble about “physical play,” if only for the reason that it will probably inspire some “you want some whine with that cheese” responses. Like, say, this one from Jeff Jacobs

She said she wasn’t criticizing officiating. She was talking philosophically. And on and on she went … about scoring in volleyball and soccer.

It was all well and good, but here’s the problem. This game wasn’t physical at all. At some point, you had to wonder, was she using the occasion as a soapbox to change the game or, more probably to deflect attention away from a truly hideous beating.

In other (more interesting) games:

Maine got a huge win, beating Vermont 70-60. This doesn’t make the Black Bears world beaters (they’re 1-4 in the Am. East), but it may be indications that they’re moving in the right direction.

Another fun name to type: The Retrievers moved to 4-1 in the American East with their 71-59 win over Hartford. The Hawks are having no fun this year – they’re 10-9, 1-4 in conference play.

In a match up of American East undefeated, it was BU using a strong second half to take down Albany, 58-54.

New head coach Jenny Palmateer (Hey – did we catch this WATN? Olympian and Maryland great Jazz Perazic – who I had the pleasure to meet at the WBHOF induction a couple of years ago – is an assistant) has Monmouth at 4-2 in the NEC (of course, it was courtesy of the victory-challenged St. Francis (NY)).

It looks like Sacred Heart has (for the moment) displaced perennial NEC champ St. Francis (PA) — the Pioneers stomped the Red Flash by 29.

Joy for first round tourney attendees – Hampton is 5-0 in the MEAC. Don’t pack your dancing shoes too early (’cause Hampton does have a fab band), Florida A&M is also 5-0, while Howard sits at 5-1. Hampton faces Howard on the 23rd and will have to wait until Feb 25th to battle FAMU.

The Lady Flames gave the Buccaneers their first Big South loss – both stand at 4-1 in conference play. New head coach Jennifer Hoover (ex-Cal assistant) has High Point atop the league at 5-0.

Ouch. The Illini missed their first Big 10 win by the hair of their chinny-chin-chin.

Eastern Illinois now stands at 4-0 in the Ohio Valley conference. Morehead State (yes, THAT Morehead State) sits at 4-1, and they’ll meet Feb 4th.

In the meeting of the Dakotas del sur, it was the Jackrabbits over the Coyotes. SD State is 7-1 in the Summit with Oral Roberts (who have the Jacks their one conference loss) lurking at 5-2.

That’s the Bengals of Idaho State (hey, if you’re a Judy Garland fan, you get a kick out of games being played in Pocatello) sitting at 5-0 in the Big Sky with their 78-63 win over Portland State.

The Terps shook off their post-loss hangover and defeated Virginia, 68-61.

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