This Week in WAC Women's Basketball - Feb. 12
Louisiana Tech sophomore guard Kelia Shelton has been named Western Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 4-10. This is her first-ever WAC Player of the Week honor.
The Rock Hill, S.C. native averaged 33.5 points and 9.5 rebounds on the week. Shelton shot 62 percent (24-of-39) from the field and 67 percent (6-of-9) from three-point range. In LA Tech’s 79-73 win over UTSA, which entered the game ranked 36th nationally in field goal percentage defense and 42nd in scoring defense, she scored 45 points and grabbed eight rebounds. The 45 points is a WAC single-game record, breaking the previous 22-year-old mark of 44 and is the most points scored by any Division I player this season. Shelton followed it up with 22 points and 11 rebounds at Texas State, her third double-double of the season. She entered the week averaging 12.4 points on 37.4 percent shooting and 6.5 rebounds per game and her previous high in scoring was 26 points.
Other nominees included: Denver’s Kailey Edwards averaged 14 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists on the week ... Alyssa Charlston of Idaho averaged 17.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 blocks per game as the Vandals went 2-0 on the week ... New Mexico State’s Stefanie Gilbreath averaged 18.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 1.5 blocks on the week ... Sylvia Shephard of Seattle U averaged 18.0 points on 71 percent shooting and 5.5 rebounds per game as the Redhawks went 2-0 on the week ... UT Arlington’s Desherra Nwanguma averaged 10.5 points on 67 percent shooting, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.0 steals as the Mavericks went 1-1 on the week ... Whitney York of UTSA averaged 12.5 points, 2.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds as the Roadrunners went 1-1 on the week ... Utah State’s Devyn Christensen of finished with 17 points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals and became the Aggie’s all-time leading scorer in a win over San Jose State.
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 for games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 10. A 5-8 sophomore from Rock Hill, S.C., 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. At the Women’s NCAA Final Four in Denver last April, the organization announced going forward that the national and weekly player award has been named for Hall of Famer and former UCLA All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale.
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 1,362 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 523 rebounds in her three years with the Pioneers and has pulled down double-digit boards in four straight games and 11 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 676 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 has 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. As one of five Academic All-District VIII award winners, Cunnigan advances to a national ballot as one of 40 candidates eligible for 2013 Academic All-America honors in women’s basketball. Cunnigan ranks in the top 15 nationally in points and steals, is the only player in the WAC and one of just four sophomores in the nation named to an Academic All-District team.
SIX OVERTIME GAMES IN WAC PLAY
With four weeks left in the regular season, there have been six overtime games in conference play this season, tying the high for this century (2003-04). There were just two overtime games during WAC play in all of 2011-12.
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 11th place, while Cunnigan is 15th with a 20.0 average and Christensen is 18th (19.7).
WAC STAT LEADERS
Seattle U leads the WAC in field goal percentage (41.5), three-point field goal percentage defense (28.9), rebounding defense (36.1), rebounding margin (4.3) and assists (16.0). Utah State is tops in scoring (75.5), free throw percentage (79.9), blocks (4.6) and steals (13.4). UTSA leads the WAC in scoring defense (55.3), scoring margin (4.8), field goal percentage defense (36.2) and turnover margin (3.21. Idaho tops the league in three-point field goal percentage (33.7), rebounding (42.9) and three-pointers per game (8.5). Meanwhile, Texas State is tops in the WAC in assist-turnover ratio (0.92).
Individually, Texas State’s Diamond Ford leads the WAC in scoring (21.1) and minutes per game (37.7), while Utah State’s Devyn Christensen is tops in free throw percentage (91.8) and three-point field goals per game (3.17). Denver’s Emiko Smith leads the league in assists (6.08) and assist-turnover ratio (2.18), while San Jose State’s Riana Byrd is tops in rebounding (10.3) and blocks (2.3). Seattle U’s Kacie Sowell is tops in field goal percentage (58.4), while San Jose State’s Ta’Rea Cunnigan leads the league in steals (3.43). Utah State’s Makenlee Williams is tops in three-point field goal percentage (41.6).
In WAC games only, Idaho leads the league in field goal percentage defense (35.3), three-point field goal percentage (36.8), blocks (5.31), assist-turnover ratio (0.98) and three-pointers per game (9.08). Utah State leads the WAC in scoring (79.5), scoring margin (8.7), free throw percentage (80.8) and steals (12.67). Seattle U is tops in field goal percentage (42.4), three-point field goal percentage defense (26.6) and assists (16.69). UTSA leads the WAC in scoring defense (59.9), rebounding defense (36.5) and turnover margin (4.08). Denver leads the league in rebounding (45.2) and rebounding margin (8.1).
Individually in WAC games, Texas State’s Ford is tops in scoring (21.7) and minutes per game (38.69), while Denver’s Maiya Michel leads the league in rebounding (11.2). Sowell leads the league in field goal percentage (59.3), while Denver’s Smith is tops in assists (6.62). USU’s Christensen leads the WAC in free throw percentage (89.6), while teammate Jenna Johnson is tops in steals (3.08). Louisiana Tech’s Kelia Shelton leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (48.8), while SJSU’s Byrd is tops in blocks (2.33). Idaho’s Connie Ballestero leads the WAC in assist-turnover ratio (2.58), while teammate Christina Salvatore is tops in three-pointers per game (3.23).