AUS awards: Carolina Del Santo picks up Defensive Player of the Year, joins Jenna Mae Ellsworth as all-star

AUS awards: Carolina Del Santo picks up Defensive Player of the Year, joins Jenna Mae Ellsworth as all-star

Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2018-19 AUS women's basketball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's eight head coaches following regular season play.

Fifth-year Cape Breton Capers forward Hannah Brown of North Sydney, N.S., was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player today.

Other AUS major award winners announced were Acadia's Jayda Veinot of Port Williams, N.S., who was named AUS rookie of the year; UPEI's Carolina Del Santo of Barcelona, Spain, who was named AUS defensive player of the year for the second consecutive year; Acadia's Lanae Adams of Lawrenceville, Georgia, who is the AUS Tracy MacLeod Award Nominee; Saint Mary's Josie Gascoigne of Dartmouth, N.S., who received the student-athlete community service award; and Cape Breton Capers head coach Fabian McKenzie, who was named AUS coach of the year for the sixth time in his career.


MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Hannah Brown, Cape Breton Capers  

Hannah Brown, a six-foot-one guard with the Cape Breton Capers, is the Atlantic University Sport women's basketball most valuable player.

A fifth-year business student, Brown averaged 26.4 points per game this season, the highest in both the conference and the country. Her 528 points gave her a new Cape Breton single-season points record, and is now the second highest single-season total in AUS history.

The North Sydney native finished second in the conference and third in the nation in rebounds per game with 12.6. She led the conference in offensive rebounds with 70, and her 251 total rebounds on the season were enough to set a new Cape Breton single-season record.  

Brown finished the season with a field goal percentage of 47.8, the highest in the league. 

Over the course of her five years with the Capers, she amassed 1,194 career points. 

Brown led the Capers to an 18-2 regular season record, a first-place finish in the AUS standings and a playoff bye through to the semifinals of the Subway AUS Women's Basketball Championship. 

She is also two-time AUS first team all-star, having been named to the AUS first team all-star squad for the second consecutive year today. 

Brown is the fifth Cape Breton player to be named AUS MVP, with former teammate and standout Alison Keough last earning the honour in the 2016-17 season. Other Capers to earn the award include Cassie Cooke (2011-12), Kelsey Hodgson (2008-09 and 2009-10), and Janice Moseychuck (1995-96).

Brown now becomes the AUS nominee for the Nan Copp Award for U SPORTS player of the year. 

Only two players from the AUS have earned the national honour: Acadia's Paloma Anderson who took home the award just last season, and Saint Mary's Justine Colley who earned back-to-back Nan Copp awards in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jayda Veinot, Acadia Axewomen

Jayda Veinot of the Acadia Axewomen is the AUS women's basketball rookie of the year.  

A five-foot-10 forward from Port Williams, N.S., Veinot has made an instant impact with the Axewomen, playing in all 20 games this season.  

In her freshman year with Acadia, she led all AUS rookies in points and finished eighth in the conference, averaging 15.0 per game. She had 300 points this season, along with 4.5 rebounds per game.

She finished third in the league in free-throw percentage with 83.0, and had 91 rebounds, 59 assists, and 11 blocks on the season. 

On Feb. 9 versus the Cape Breton Capers, she scored 41 points, tying the Acadia school record for points in a single game. 

Along with being honoured as the conference's top rookie, she was also named an AUS second team all-star today and earned a place on the AUS all-rookie team. 

Veinot will now represent the conference as the AUS nominee for the Kathy Shields Award for U SPORTS rookie of the year. 

Alison Keough of the Cape Breton Capers (in 2013-14), Vanessa Pickard of StFX (2011-12) and Claire Colborne of UNB (2010-11) are the most recent AUS players to win the national rookie of the year award.


Carolina Del Santo of the UPEI Panthers women's basketball team is the 2018-19 AUS defensive player of the year for the second consecutive year. 

A six-foot-one centre from Barcelona, Spain, Del Santo led the nation in blocks, averaging 2.4 per game with 48 on the season.  

In her third year with the Panthers, she finished first in both the conference and country in rebounds, averaging 13.3 per game. Her 265 total rebounds set a new AUS single season record, breaking her previous record of 250 from the 2017-18 season. 

Del Santo also added 1.0 steals per game for the Panthers defence. On offence, she contributed 8.8 points and 2.2 assists per game.

She will now become the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS defensive player of the year award. 

Former Saint Mary's Huskies standout Kennisha-Shanice Luberisse earned the national honour in 2015-16. She is the only AUS player to ever be honoured with the U SPORTS award. 


DR. CAROLYN SAVOY AWARD (AUS COACH OF THE YEAR): Fabian McKenzie, Cape Breton Capers 

Head coach Fabian McKenzie of the Cape Breton Capers is the 2018-19 recipient of the Dr. Carolyn Savoy Memorial Award for AUS coach of the year for the sixth time in his career. 

In his 19th year at the helm of the program, McKenzie led the Capers to an 18-2 regular season record, for a first-place finish in the AUS standings.

Cape Breton led the Atlantic conference in points (78.8) this season, and finished with the best three-point percentage (33.5) and field goal percentage (41.1) in the conference.

The Capers also finished second in the league in assists with 14.3.  

McKenzie has guided the Capers to six AUS titles, in 2003-04, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2016-17.  

He now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS coach of the year award, which he was previously awarded in the 2005-06 season. 

Saint Mary's head coach Scott Munro is the most recent AUS coach to win the national award. He took home the honour in 2012-13.  


TRACY MACLEOD AWARD NOMINEE: Lanae Adams, Acadia Axewomen

Lanae Adams of the Acadia Axewomen is the 2018-19 nominee for the U SPORTS Tracy MacLeod Award.

This award rewards a women's basketball player who demonstrates determination, perseverance and unwavering spirit to continue playing the game of basketball. 

A third-year forward from Lawrenceville, Georgia, Adams started in 18 games for the Axewomen this season and played in all 20. 

She finished fourth in the AUS in rebounds with 6.8 per game, and averaged 8.1 points and 2.4 assists per game for Acadia.  

Adams also finished seventh in the AUS in steals with 1.6 per game and 14th in minutes with 29.4 per game. 

Adams' journey to Acadia has been exceptional. She has gone through nine knee surgeries/procedures on both her right and left knees. She has torn her ACL and meniscus in both knees, with her right knee being torn and repaired three times.

Despite having NCAA opportunities vanish due to injury, her determination and passion for basketball has pushed her to overcome these physical adversities. A starter and key contributor to Acadia's success this season, Adams and the Axewomen finished third in the AUS standings with a 13-7 regular season record.  

"Lanae has walked into our locker room from day one and been a positive leader and voice," said Axewomen head coach Len Harvey. "Confident in her abilities, without being overbearing, she is a leader on and off the court." 

Adams decided to give basketball one more shot while pursuing her Master's degree in community development with a specialization in sport and event tourism, and has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA.

"She goes out to do whatever she can to help the team," said Harvey. "She has been an absolute joy to have on our team."

She now becomes the AUS nominee for the U SPORTS Tracy MacLeod Award. The only two AUS players to take home the national honour have been Memorial's Brittany Dalton (2010-11) and Dalhousie's Janet Wells (1999-00).


Fourth-year Huskies forward Josie Gascoigne is the 2018-19 recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award and the AUS nominee for the U SPORTS Sylvia Sweeney award.

A five-foot-10 commerce student from Dartmouth, N.S., Gascoigne has achieved success on the basketball court and in the classroom, while also being heavily involved in the community.

Gascoigne started in 19 games for the Huskies this season, finishing with 8.3 points per game, and 4.4 rebounds per game. 

She holds a 4.2 GPA and has maintained academic all-Canadian status since her arrival at Saint Mary's. Gascoigne is also the top academic student-athlete in the Saint Mary's basketball program. 

A member of the Open Doors, Open Minds student mentorship program, she has been heavily involved on campus throughout her time at Saint Mary's. 

She is a member of the Saint Mary's University Student-Athlete Council, as well as a campus member of the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative (SAMHI). 

Gascoigne is a member of Huskies Move for Inclusion—a program that organizes sporting activities for children with disabilities—and is a coordinator for Motionball—a fundraiser for the Special Olympics.  

She was also a student facilitator with the 2018 Mi'kmaq Rights Initiative, and is a basketball referee for Saint Mary's intramurals. 

"Josie has been involved in the community as well as very active on campus throughout her time at Saint Mary's," said Huskies head coach Scott Munro. "Her involvement in the community as well as on campus is very impressive. Josie has done all of this while carrying a consistent 4.2 GPA. She is one of the most driven, organized and committed student-athletes I have coached." 

Gascoigne now becomes the AUS nominee for the U SPORTS Sylvia Sweeney Award.

AUS student-athletes have taken home the national honour the past three seasons. UPEI's Kiera Rigby won the award last season, with Acadia's Katie Ross taking home the honours in 2016-17 and Dalhousie's Ainsley MacIntyre in 2015-16. 


The Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars were also announced today, along with this year's all-rookie team.

First Team All-Stars
Hannah Brown, Cape Breton Capers (5th year – North Sydney, N.S.)
Haley McDonald, Acadia Axewomen (3rd year – Port Williams, N.S.)
Carolina Del Santo, UPEI Panthers (3rd year – Barcelona, Spain)
Sydney Stewart, Memorial Sea-Hawks (5th year – London, Ont.)
Monique Calliste – Cape Breton Capers (3rd year – Toronto, Ont.)

Second Team All-Stars
Jenna Mae Ellsworth, UPEI Panthers (3rd year – Charlottetown, P.E.I.)

Mikaela Dodig, UNB Reds (3rd year – Bolton, Ont.)
Robertha Charles, Dalhousie Tigers (3rd year – Montreal, Que.)
Jayda Veinot, Acadia Axewomen (1st year – Port Williams, N.S.)
Sydney Ezekiel, Memorial Sea-Hawks (5th year – St. John's, N.L.)

All-Rookie Team 
Jayda Veinot, Acadia Axewomen (Port Williams, N.S.)
Alaina McMillan, Saint Mary's Huskies (Brantford, Ont.)
Lia Kentzler, Dalhousie Tigers (Gottingen, Germany)
Brianna Gottschall, StFX X-Women (Antigonish, N.S.)
Katie Daley, UNB Reds (Fredericton, N.B.)


The 2019 Subway AUS Women's Basketball Championship will be hosted at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S., March 1-3, 2019.  

The championship schedule is as follows: (seeding in brackets)

Friday, March 1   
QF #1:  Memorial (5th) vs. UNB (4th), 1 p.m.         

QF #2: Dalhousie (6th) vs. Acadia (3rd), 3 p.m.      

Saturday, March 2 
SF #1: Winner QF1 vs. Cape Breton (1st), 1 p.m. 

SF #2: Winner QF2 vs. UPEI (2nd), 3 p.m.    

Sunday, March 3
Championship Game: Winner SF #1 vs. Winner SF #2, 1 p.m.

Final AUS standings:

All games of championship will be broadcast live on Bell Alliant's Fibe TV1 (channel 1) and available via webcast at

For more information on the 2019 Subway AUS Basketball Championships, visit the event website at: Tickets are available now through the Ticket Atlantic box office.

The AUS champion will advance to the 2019 U SPORTS Women's Basketball Final 8 championship, being hosted by Ryerson University, March 7-10 in Toronto, Ont.    

Only the AUS champion is guaranteed a berth in the national championship. 

For more information about the U SPORTS championship, please visit