This Week in WAC Women's Basketball - Jan. 29
Idaho junior post player Alyssa Charlston has been named Western Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 21-27. This is her first WAC Player of the Week honor this season and the second of her career.
The Sammamish, Wash. native led Idaho to a 2-0 record last week with a pair of road wins at Texas State and UTSA. Charlston posted her seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and a season-high 17 rebounds at Texas State. She followed it up with 11 points, six rebounds and a career-high-tying five blocks in Idaho’s fourth straight road win, breaking a third-place tie with UTSA with a 19-point victory. Charlston shot 50 percent of better in both games. For the week, she averaged 12.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks.
Other nominees included: Denver’s Morgan Van Riper-Rose finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and two steals in a win over New Mexico State ... Brittany Lewis of Louisiana Tech averaged 18.0 points on 67 percent shooting and 9.5 rebounds as the Lady Techsters went 1-1 on the week ... San Jose State’s Ta’Rea Cunnigan averaged 25.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.0 steals as the Spartans went 1-1 on the week ... Sylvia Shephard of Seattle U averaged 17.0 points and 10.5 rebounds as the Redhawks went 1-1 on the week ... UT Arlington’s Aron Garcia averaged 17.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 blocks on the week ... Diamond Ford of Texas State averaged 24.0 points and 4.5 rebounds on the week ... Utah State’s Jenna Johnson averaged 15.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 3.5 assists as the Aggies went 2-0 on the week.
FIVE OVERTIME GAMES MIDWAY THROUGH WAC PLAY
Midway through the WAC season, there have been five overtime games in conference play. There were two overtime games during WAC play in all of 2011-12, while the high for this century is six overtime games during the 2003-04 WAC 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 21.2 points per game, good for 11th place, while Cunnigan is 12th with a 21.0 average and Christensen is 20th (19.8).
WAC STAT LEADERS
Seattle U leads the WAC in field goal percentage (42.0), three-point field goal percentage defense (29.1), rebounding defense (35.2), rebounding margin (4.7) and assists (15.9). Idaho tops the WAC in three-point field goal percentage (34.6), rebounding (43.0), blocks (4.45) and three-pointers per game (8.45). Utah State leads the league in scoring (75.1), free throw percentage (79.9) and steals (13.55). UTSA leads the WAC in scoring defense (54.8), scoring margin (4.2) and field goal percentage defense (34.9). Meanwhile, Texas State is tops in the WAC in turnover margin (2.53) and assist-turnover ratio (0.92).
Individually, Texas State’s Diamond Ford leads the WAC in scoring (21.2) and minutes per game (37.26), while Utah State’s Devyn Christensen is tops in free throw percentage (90.7) and three-point field goals per game (3.0). Denver’s Emiko Smith leads the league in assists (6.15) and assist-turnover ratio (2.56), while Ashley Ezeh of Texas State is tops in rebounding (10.0). Seattle U’s Kacie Sowell is tops in field goal percentage (59.8), while teammate Sylvia Shephard leads the league in steals (3.5). San Jose State’s Riana Byrd leads the league in blocks (2.35) and Utah State’s Makenlee Williams is tops in three-point field goal percentage (44.3).
In WAC games only, Seattle U leads the league in scoring margin (7.1), field goal percentage (43.8), three-point field goal percentage defense (25.8), rebounding defense (35.1) and assists (16.89). Utah State leads the WAC in scoring (79.9), free throw percentage (81.0), steals (12.78) and turnover margin (3.67). Idaho is tops in field goal percentage defense (34.6), three-point field goal percentage (40.5), blocks (5.45) and three-pointers per game (9.22). Denver leads the league in rebounding (46.0), rebounding margin (7.3) and assist-turnover ratio (0.94), while New Mexico State is tops in scoring defense (59.9).
Individually in WAC games, San Jose State’s Ta’Rea Cunnigan is tops in scoring (22.7), while Denver’s Maiya Michel and Texas State’s Ezeh share the lead in rebounding (10.0). Sowell leads the league in field goal percentage (62.6), while Denver’s Smith is tops in assists (7.0) and assist-turnover ratio (2.33). New Mexico State’s Kelsie Rozendaal leads the WAC in free throw percentage (89.5), while Utah State’s Jenna Johnson is tops in steals (3.22). Idaho’s Connie Ballestero leads the WAC in three-point field goal percentage (53.3), while teammate Christina Salvatore is tops in three-pointers per game (3.22). Byrd is tops in blocks (2.44), while Ford is tops in minutes per game (38.22).
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.
UTSA HOLDS OPPONENT UNDER 20 POINTS IN A HALF FOR 11TH TIME
UTSA, which ranks 42nd nationally in scoring defense (54.9), has held its opponent to 20 or fewer points in a half 12 times this season.
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.
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.
CHARLSTON GRABS 500TH CAREER REBOUND
Idaho junior Alyssa Charlston grabbed her 500th career rebound at the 5:32 mark in the first half against Utah State on Jan. 7. The 6-1 post player now has 565 career boards and is also just 58 points shy of 1,000 on her career.
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.
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 304-221 (.579) 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 614 boards on her career.
CHRISTENSEN SCORES 1,000TH CAREER POINT
With her game-winning three-pointer with eight seconds remaining against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 20, Devyn Christensen became the seventh member of the 1,000-point club at Utah State. The senior currently has 1,304 career points, good for second place all-time at Utah State. At her current pace, Christensen will become Utah State’s career scoring leader on Feb. 9 vs. San Jose State.
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.