The Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced its weekly award winners on Tuesday morning – and for the second consecutive Tuesday – Berkeley College women's basketball standout Ayana Ratliff was tabbed as the Player of the Week. Additionally – veteran Ricardo Ayuso of the men's basketball team earned a spot on the Honor Roll list.
Ratliff solidified back-to-back HVIAC Player of the Week honors thanks a sensational pair of efforts this past weekend in NHTI's Holiday Inn New Year's Classic. In the Knights' 61-51 defeat to the University of Maine at Augusta back on Saturday, January 6, the Brooklyn, NY native connected on nine of her 13 attempts from the charity stripe to finish with a game-high 29 points. She also led all players on the day in the steals category with five, while snatching five rebounds, recording two assists, and swatting two shots. A day later in Berkeley's 62-54 loss to the Lynx, the junior put forth an outstanding effort by tying for the game-high with 28 points. She connected on four of her nine attempts from beyond-the-arc, while also snatching seven rebounds, recording a game-high six steals, and blocking a shot. Following the announcement of the awards, Head Coach Alex Kuchar gave his thoughts.
"There aren't enough adjectives that could describe the type of player Ayana Ratliff is," Kuchar said. "Intense, dynamic, feisty, hungry, versatile – you name it. She has done an incredible job for us thus far on the 2017-2018 season, and she will be a huge factor for us as we get set to play our entire conference portion of the schedule over the next 35 days. She is absolutely deserving of the honor she earned today."
Ricardo Ayuso's veteran leadership has been evident this season, and for the first time during the 2017-2018 campaign, he was tabbed to the conference's Honor Roll list. The junior averaged 16 points during a 2-0 weekend for the Knights, as Berkeley's convincing 111-69 win over the Moose (1/6/18) and 85-61 triumph over the Lynx (1/7) extended the Knights' winning streak to seven games. Ayuso scored 19 points with three boards in 18 minutes against Maine-Augusta this past Saturday. Head Coach Jonathan Pena spoke on this following the announcement of the awards.
"Ricardo has been such a great all-around player for us thus far this year, and his leadership has been extraordinary for all of the new student-athletes that have joined our program," Pena said. "He plays with so much heart and determination, and he has scored the third-most overall points for us while tallying the second-most assists. His value cannot be understated. We love his energy and his passion for the game, and we're very proud of him."
Both of Berkeley College's basketball teams will return to action this Thursday, as the Knights will play a Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader against the Cannoneers of Pratt Institute. Start-times are scheduled for 6:00pm (women) and 8:00pm (men).