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NEW MEXICO STATE’S WILLIAMSON NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

February 19, 2013
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



New Mexico State sophomore guard Danesia Williamson has been named Western Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 11-17. This is her first-ever WAC Player of the Week honor.

 

The San Diego, Calif. native averaged 21.0 points, 10.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds and posted a pair of double-doubles as the Aggies went 2-0 on the week. She opened the week with 19 points, a career-high 10 assists and six rebounds in a win over San Jose State, which snapped a nine-game losing skid for New Mexico State. Williamson then tied her career highs of 23 points and 10 assists and added three rebounds in a 106-94 win over then-league-leader Utah State. It was the first time the Aggies scored more than 100 points in 21 years. Williamson entered the week averaging 11.3 points, 2.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game.

 

Other nominees included: Denver’s Kailey Edwards averaged 23.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists as the Pioneers went 1-1 on the week ... Whitney Frazier of Louisiana Tech averaged 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals as the Lady Techsters went 1-1 on the week ... Seattle U’s Kacie Sowell averaged 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals as the Redhawks went 2-0 on the week ...  Desherra Nwanguma of UT Arlington averaged 16.0 points and 6.5 rebounds as the Mavericks went 1-1 on the week ... UTSA’s Whitney Wright finished with 14 points, five rebounds and three blocks in a win over Texas State ... Devyn Christensen of Utah State averaged 22.0 points and 4.5 rebounds as the Aggies went 1-1 on the week.

 

CHARLSTON SCORES 1,000TH CAREER POINT

Idaho junior Alyssa Charlston scored her 1,000th career point less than a minute in to the Vandals’ Feb. 14 game at UT Arlington. Earlier this year on Jan. 7, she grabbed her 500th career rebound. The 6-1 post player now has 1,019 career points and 583 career boards.

 

NM STATE SCORES MORE THAN 100 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1992

New Mexico State posted its first 100-point win in 21 years when it defeated Utah State 106-94 on Feb. 16. The Aggies had five players in double-figure scoring, led by a career-best 27 points from Stefanie Gilbreath. The last time New Mexico State scored 100 points or more was Feb. 27, 1992 when it beat UC Santa Barbara 100-83.

 

SEVEN OVERTIME GAMES IN WAC PLAY, MOST THIS CENTURY

There have been seven overtime games in conference play this season, the most in this century. The previous high was six in 2003-04, while there were just two overtime games during WAC play in all of 2011-12.

 

WRIGHT BECOMES UTSA’S ALL-TIME BLOCKING LEADER

With her three blocks against Texas State on Feb. 16, UTSA senior center Whitney Wright became the program’s all-time leading blocker. Wright now has 101 swats on her career, passing Alysse Davis’ (2008-11) record of 98.

 

SALVATORE APPROACHING IDAHO SINGLE-SEASON THREE-POINTER RECORD

Idaho freshman Christina Salvatore currently has 75 three-pointers made in her first season as a Vandal. The Idaho single-season record is 76, set by Susan Woolf during the 1998-99 season.

 

THREE WAC PLAYERS RANK IN TOP 20 NATIONALLY IN SCORING

Three WAC players – Diamond Ford of Texas State, San Jose State’s Ta’Rea Cunnigan and Devyn Christensen of Utah State – rank in the top 20 nationally in scoring. Ford averages 21.1 points per game, good for 12th place, while Cunnigan and Christensen are tied for 17th (19.9).

 

WAC STAT LEADERS

Seattle U leads the WAC in field goal percentage (42.2), three-point field goal percentage defense (28.7), rebounding defense (36.0), rebounding margin (3.9), assists (16.3) and steals (13.1). UTSA is tops in scoring defense (55.7), scoring margin (5.0), field goal percentage defense (36.8) and turnover margin (3.36). Idaho leads the WAC in three-point field goal percentage (33.0), rebounding (42.8), blocks (4.4) and three-pointers per game (8.4). Meanwhile, Utah State is tops in scoring (76.9) and free throw percentage (80.4), while Denver leads the WAC in assist-turnover ratio (0.89).

 

Individually, Texas State’s Diamond Ford leads the WAC in scoring (21.1) and minutes per game (37.8), while Utah State’s Devyn Christensen is tops in free throw percentage (91.6) and three-point field goals per game (3.3). Denver’s Emiko Smith leads the league in assists (6.54) and assist-turnover ratio (2.3), while San Jose State’s Riana Byrd is tops in rebounding (10.4) and blocks (2.2). Seattle U’s Kacie Sowell is tops in field goal percentage (58.4), while teammate Sylvia Shephard leads the league in steals (3.33). Utah State’s Makenlee Williams is tops in three-point field goal percentage (41.8).

 

In WAC games only, Idaho leads the league in field goal percentage defense (36.1), three-point field goal percentage (35.0), blocks (5.07), assist-turnover ratio (0.96) and three-pointers per game (8.8). Seattle U leads the WAC in scoring margin (6.9), field goal percentage (43.4), three-point field goal percentage defense (26.6), assists (17.13) and steals (11.7). UTSA is tops in scoring defense (60.3), rebounding defense (35.4) and turnover margin (4.3). Utah State is tops in scoring (81.4) and free throw percentage (80.8), while Denver leads the league in rebounding (44.7) and rebounding margin (7.5).

 

Individually in WAC games, Texas State’s Ford is tops in scoring (21.6) and minutes per game (38.71), while Denver’s Maiya Michel leads the league in rebounding (11.3). Sowellleads the league in field goal percentage (59.1), while Denver’s Smithis tops in assists (7.3). USU’s Christensen leads the WAC in free throw percentage (89.7), while SJSU’s Cunniganis tops in steals (2.98). Louisiana Tech’s Kelia Shelton leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (44.4), while SJSU’s Byrd is tops in blocks (2.2). Idaho’s Connie Ballestero leads the WAC in assist-turnover ratio (2.33), while teammate Christina Salvatore is tops in three-pointers per game (3.0).

 

USBWA HONORS SHELTON AS NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association selected Louisiana Tech guard Kelia Shelton as its Ann Meyers Drysdale Women’s National Player of the Week on Feb. 12. Shelton averaged 33.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, shooting 62 percent (24-of-39) from the field, including 6-of-9 on three-point attempts. In a 79-73 win against UTSA, she scored 45 points to top the previous 22-year-old WAC individual game mark of 44 points and score the highest total in a Division I game this season. She followed up with 22 points and 11 rebounds in her next game against Texas State.

 

CHRISTENSEN BECOMES USU CAREER SCORING LEADER

With her three-pointer at the 11:59 mark in the first half against San Jose State on Feb. 9, Devyn Christensen broke the long-standing Utah State career scoring record of 1,353 points, which was held by Jerrie McGahan (1977-80). Christensen, who became the seventh member of the 1,000-point club at Utah State earlier this season, now has 1,406 career points.

 

DU’S MICHEL GRABS 500TH CAREER REBOUND

When she grabbed a defensive rebound at the 6:44 mark in the first half at Seattle U on Feb. 7, it was the 500th of her career for Denver junior Maiya Michel. She now has 548 rebounds in her three years with the Pioneers and has pulled down double-digit boards in six straight games and 13 this season.

 

LA TECH’S SHELTON BREAKS WAC SINGLE-GAME SCORING RECORD

Louisiana Tech sophomore guard Kelia Shelton broke the WAC single-game scoring record when she finished with 45 points at UTSA on Feb. 7. Shelton was 16-of-22 (72.7) from the field en route to scoring the most points in a game this season by any Division I player in the country. The previous record of 44 was held by San Diego State’s Kieishsha Garnes vs. Creighton on March 8, 1991.

 

DENVER’S SMITH NCAA ACTIVE ASSIST LEADER

With 703 career assists, Denver’s Emiko Smith is the active career leader in the nation. Though she doesn’t qualify because the Pioneers are only in the conference for one year, Smith’s assist total tops the WAC record of 644.

 

SJSU’S CUNNIGAN EARNS ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORS

San Jose State sophomore Ta’Rea Cunnigan earned Capital One Academic All-District VIII honors as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). A native of Winchester, Calif., the two-year starter has a 3.61 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in kinesiology. Cunnigan is the only player in the WAC and one of just four sophomores in the nation named to an Academic All-District team.

 

LA TECH POSTS SECOND-LARGEST COMEBACK IN PROGRAM HISTORY

Louisiana Tech posted its second-largest comeback in program history on Jan. 17, when it defeated Idaho 67-58. Idaho led 50-30 with 16:17 left in the game when the Lady Techsters used a 37-8 run to close out the game. The win trailed only the 1988-89 squad that overcame a 21-point second half deficit at home to beat Old Dominion on Feb. 11, 1989.

 

IDAHO’S BARR SCORES 18 POINTS IN JUST OVER FOUR MINUTES

Idaho’s Stacey Barr matched her career high with 23 points against Utah State on Jan. 5, and 18 of her points came during a 21-0 Idaho run early in the second half. Barr got the run started with an old-fashioned three-point play, then buried five consecutive long balls to score 18 points in a span of four minutes and five seconds.

 

SJSU’S SCHILL, CUNNIGAN COMBINE FOR 62 POINTS AGAINST UTAH STATE

San Jose State scored a program-best 103 points in a win over Utah State on Jan. 12. Two players – freshman Emily Schill and sophomore Ta’Rea Cunnigan – scored 63 of the Spartans’ points, or 61 percent of the scoring for the Spartans.

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IDAHO SETS SCHOOL RECORD FOR THREE-POINTERS IN A GAME

Idaho broke a program record with 15 three-pointers against Utah State on Jan. 5. Stacey Barr and Christina Salvatore accounted for 12 of the 15, as they made six three-pointers each, tying for the second-highest total by an individual in a game in program history. It was the second time making six treys in a game for each player.

 

TRAKH PICKS UP 300TH CAREER VICTORY

When the Aggies defeated Southern Utah 70-68 on Dec. 1 at the Centrum Arena in Cedar City, Utah, it was career victory No. 300 for head coach Mark Trakh. In his 18 years as a head coach, Trakh has a 304-223 (.577) record.

 

SOWELL GRABS 500TH CAREER REBOUND

In her team’s 61-60 overtime loss to UC Irvine on Dec. 1, Seattle U junior forward Kacie Sowell grabbed her 500th career rebound with 32 seconds remaining in regulation. The WAC’s active career leader in rebounding, she now has 668 boards on her career.

 

TEXAS STATE BEATS BIG 12 OPPONENT FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2005

When the Bobcats defeated TCU 91-80 on Nov. 25, it was Texas State’s first win over a Big 12 opponent since 2005, when it defeated Oklahoma State, 77-69. Against TCU, all five starters scored at least nine points for Texas State, for the third time this season. The Bobcats are 3-0 in those games.

 

RETURNING ALL-CONFERENCE PLAYERS

Two of the first team All-WAC players from last year return for the 2012-13 season in Idaho’s Alyssa Charlston and Utah State’s Devyn Christensen. Other WAC honorees that return are Louisiana Tech’s Whitney Frazier, who was named to both the All-Defensive and All-Freshman Teams, and fellow All-Freshman honorees Ta’Rea Cunnigan of San Jose State and Krissy Karr of Idaho.

 

Diamond Ford of Texas State was named first team All-Southland, while Emiko Smith of Denver was named second team All-Sun Belt. Ashley Ezeh of Texas State was named third team All-Southland, while UTSA’s Judy Jones was an honorable mention honoree.


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