University of Maine’s Kellen Tynes celebrates the Black Bears 103-67 victory over UMaine Augusta in Orono Thursday night. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Kellen Tynes’ season just got sweeter.

On Friday, University of Maine sophomore guard Kellen Tynes earned the America East Defensive Player of the Year award as the best player on defense in the conference.

Tynes is the first player in program history to win the award. Only two players, Rufus Harris in 1980 and Jeff Cross in 1983, won America East Player of the Year awards.

Tynes averaged 3.3 steals per game and tied the UMaine single-season record with 95 steals, both numbers leading all Division I programs in the nation. Tynes also tied the UMaine single-game record for steals with eight against Binghamton on Feb. 25.

Tynes has helped the Black Bears to a 13-16 record, the school’s best regular season record since 2010-11. UMaine plays the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the opening round of the America East playoffs.

In addition to the Defensive Player of the Year award, Tynes was also named to the conference’s All-Defense team and was a third-team All-Conference selection.

Teammate Gedi Juozapaitis was also named third-team All-Conference, while freshman guard Jaden Clayton was named to the All-Rookie team.

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Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson is a native of Auburn, Maine, and graduate of Husson University and Edward Little High School. He enjoys sports, going on runs and video games.