Benjamin Named Coach DiGregorio MVP at Women’s Basketball Banquet

Alison Smolinski, Indiya Benjamin and Mary Dunn received team awards at the banquet.
Alison Smolinski, Indiya Benjamin and Mary Dunn received team awards at the banquet.

Junior guard Indiya Benjamin is the Coach Ed DiGregorio Most Valuable Player for the 2016-17 Youngstown State women's basketball season. She received the award at the Penguins' annual postseason banquet on Saturday at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Social Hall.

In addition to Benjamin being earning the MVP award, sophomore Alison Smolinski received the Most Improved Player Award, and freshman Mary Dunn was named the program's Newcomer of the Year.

Benjamin is just the second guard in the last decade to earn the Coach DiGregorio MVP award. This season she led the Horizon League in assists with a career-high average of 5.6 assists per game, and she also averaged a career-best 11.6 points per contest. Her 168 assists this season ranked as the fifth-most for a season in program history. During the season, Benjamin moved into the top eight in program history in career assists, and she also ranks in the top 20 in career points.

Smolinski emerged as one of the premier shooters in the Horizon League in her sophomore year, leading the conference with 85 3-pointers. She upped her scoring average by almost seven from her freshman year to 12.5 points per contest, and she made 42 more 3-pointers than 2015-16. No player in program history had ever averaged at least three 3-pointers per game before Smolinski this season.

Dunn was voted the Horizon League Freshman of the Year as she led all conference freshmen with 11.3 points per game and a .514 field-goal percentage. She was named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week a conference-high four times during the season and scored in double figures 17 times in her 28 games.