Anne Tierney had arguably the greatest career of any womens basketball player in Lehigh history, setting the school record for points with 1,807 and the school and Patriot League record with 1,129 rebounds. She was the first female in league annals to earn First Team All-Patriot League honors all four seasons of her career and was a two time recipient of the leagues Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for the sport of womens basketball.
I feel blessed to receive this amazing honor, Tierney said. I couldnt have achieved anything without Coach (Sue) Troyan and the whole coaching staff who worked tirelessly to help us become the best we could be, and all of my incredible teammates through the years who provided endless support, as well as my family for all the sacrifices they made through the years. I feel like I was blessed to be a part of Lehigh Womens Basketball and tried to work as hard as I could to hold up my end of the bargain just as my coaches, teammates, family and Lehigh all did. I couldnt be more proud to represent a better institution that wholeheartedly supported the true meaning of being a student-athlete, so thank you to Lehigh for all the energy and faith put into us all.
In 2000 Tierney earned the Patriot Leagues Rookie of the Year award following a year in which she put together one of the most dominant seasons in Lehigh basketball history. Tierney averaged 18.5 points and 9.7 rebounds, while shooting a then-school record 55.6% from the floor and 78% at the foul line. She scored a career-high 35 points vs. Holy Cross and posted ten double-doubles throughout the season on her way to becoming the first freshman in Patriot League history to receive First Team All-League recognition. Tierney also received the John S. Steckbeck Award, given annually to the top freshman female student-athlete in the Lehigh Athletics Department.
As a sophomore Tierney became the fastest player in Lehigh history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark as she totaled 522 points on the season, good for an average of 17.4 per contest. She also ripped down a school record 335 rebounds, and her 11.2 rebounds per game average ranked eighth in the nation and remains a school record. In addition, Tierney recorded 19 double-doubles en route to a second straight First Team All-League selection. Her 21 rebounds at Navy in February of 2001 established a new Lehigh record and remains tied for the all-time Patriot League mark. Tierney then averaged 14.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game as a junior, totaling 14 double-doubles throughout the course of the season. She sank a career-best 24 three-pointers throughout the season and became Lehighs all-time leading rebounder in a win over American in January of 2002.
During her final season in the Brown and White Tierney posted averages of 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 81% at the foul line and recording 11 double-doubles. Tierney was honored with her fourth consecutive First Team All-League honor, becoming the first womens basketball player to accomplish that feat, and she was the first player in school history to eclipse 1,500 career points and 1,000 rebounds. Tierney was a two-time captain for Lehigh and tied or established seven school records during her career, including total points, total rebounds (Patriot League record), free throw attempts, made free throws, single season field goal percentage, single season rebounds (Patriot League record) and single season points per game average. She is one of only two Lehigh womens basketball players to have her jersey number honored with a banner hanging in the rafters at Stabler Arena.
As a program, were very excited for Annes induction into our Hall of Fame, Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan explained. It is a well-deserved honor for someone who continually set the standard in our program with everything she was able to accomplish during her career at Lehigh. As a member of our basketball program, Anne truly embodied what it meant to be a student-athlete in our University, excelling at everything she did in the classroom, on the basketball court, and as a leader in the Lehigh community. Anne helped pave the way for our programs current success, as she set the standards for academic and athletic achievement that our current student-athletes continue to uphold today. She is truly deserving of this distinctive honor.
I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to know Anne, explained Jess DePalo 05, the fourth leading scorer in school history. She was a leader on and off the floor. She was and still is the true example of what you want your athletics program to be about. DePalo continued, As a person Anne was always genuine, caring and wanted nothing more than to make everyone around her better. She continues to be a wonderful ambassador for Lehigh University and I want to take this opportunity to thank her for being an example for me and for setting the bar high not just on the court, but in life. I wish her nothing but the best and congratulate her on this honor. She truly deserves it.
Tierney excelled off the floor as well, graduating with a 3.90 grade point average as an Economics and Finance major. She was a Presidential Scholar, member of the Deans List every semester at Lehigh, a four time member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, a three time Academic All-District selection and the recipient of the Lehigh Athletics Departments Scholar Athlete award, as well as Lehigh Universitys Service Award and Undergraduate Merit Award. Following graduation Tierney remained at Lehigh and earned her masters degree in Economics before embarking on a career in finance in New York City, working at Standard & Poors Corporate Value Consulting Practice. Following her time in New York Tierney moved to Connecticut where she began working for Meridian Flexibility and currently she serves as President of Innovative Body Solutions where she and her business partner created The Ki-Hara Method of Resistance Stretching.
Anne is one of the hardest working and dedicated people I have ever known, Tierneys former teammate Cat Nicholson 03 says. She not only had an outstanding athletic career, but was also an inspiration in the classroom. She continued, Anne is the true definition of a student-athlete. I feel honored to have had the experience of playing with her for my four years at Lehigh, but feel most honored to call her my best friend.