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This Week in WAC Women's Basketball - March 16
Courtesy: New Mexico State
LOUISIANA TECH, FRESNO STATE RECEIVE NCAA TOURNAMENT BIDS
WAC Tournament champion Louisiana Tech and WAC regular-season champion Fresno State will both participate in the NCAA Tournament as LA Tech received the WAC’s automatic bid to the dance, while Fresno State received an at-large bid to play in this year’s event.

After winning its first WAC Tournament Championship since 2006, 14th-seeded Louisiana Tech (23-8) meets No. 3 Florida State (26-5) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, March 20, at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Lady Techsters are making their 26th NCAA Tournament appearance after winning the 2010 WAC Tournament with a thrilling 68-66 victory over Fresno State.

Florida State enters the tournament after falling to Boston College in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, snapping an eight-game winning streak. The Seminoles are ranked No. 11 nationally in both polls.

For the third year in a row, Fresno State (27-6) will play in the NCAA Tournament when the 13th-seeded Bulldogs take on No. 4 Baylor (23-9) at 7:30 p.m. (PT) in the first round on Saturday, March 20, at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.

Fresno State is making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection. The Bulldogs won the WAC regular-season title after posting a perfect 16-0 mark in conference play. The loss to Louisiana Tech in the WAC Tournament championship game snapped Fresno State’s 19-game win streak.

No. 14/18 Baylor enters the tournament after falling 59-54 to third-seeded Oklahoma in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals last Friday.

This is the ninth time ever and first time since 2005 that the WAC has sent multiple teams to the NCAA Tournament.

NEVADA, NM STATE TO REPRESENT WAC IN WNIT

Nevada and New Mexico State will represent the WAC in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) later this week. Nevada received the WAC’s automatic bid to the tournament, while NM State was selected as an at-large participant.

New Mexico State (18-13) travels to Tempe, Ariz., to face Arizona State (17-13) on Wednesday, March 17. Nevada (17-15) travels to Laramie, Wyo., for a game against Wyoming (19-11) on Friday, March 19.

The Wolf Pack earned the automatic bid as the highest finishing WAC team that was not selected to the NCAA Tournament. Nevada finished in third place in the WAC regular-season standings. The Wolf Pack fell to eventual champion Louisiana Tech in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament.

This is Nevada’s second appearance in the WNIT, having lost to Wyoming in the first round in 2007.

Wyoming fell 60-51 to eventual champion San Diego State in the second round of the Mountain West Conference Championship last Wednesday.

NM State is making its second-ever appearance in the WNIT and first since joining the WAC. The Aggies fell to fourth-seeded Idaho in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament last week.

The Sun Devils fell to California in the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament last Friday.

With Fresno State and Louisiana Tech competing in the NCAA Tournament, the WAC has four teams participating in postseason play, double its total from a year ago.

DOWDELL, ROSS NAMED TO ALL-REGION TEAM

Louisiana Tech’s Shanavia Dowdell and Fresno State’s Jaleesa Ross have been named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Region 7 Team. They are two of four honorees in the region and two of 52 honorees nationwide. On Tuesday, March 23, the 52 candidates will be cut to 40 finalists who will be in the running for selection to the 10-member State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team.

WIGGINS NAMED REGION COACH OF THE YEAR
After leading his team to its first-ever at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, Fresno State head coach Adrian Wiggins has been selected as the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region 7 Coach of the Year.

Wiggins led the Bulldogs to a perfect 16-0 record in conference play and the WAC regular-season title. Fresno State notched its highest RPI in school history (27) and has posted a school-record 27 wins. The team also won 19 straight games.

The winners are selected through a two-level process. The first level is by region, in which coaches from each WBCA geographical region vote for their respective top coach. If a coach has been selected as Regional Coach of the Year, he/she advances as a finalist to the national level of the selection process along with the other RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA Regional Coaches of the Year in their respective division. The winner will be honored on Monday, April 5, during the RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA National Coach of the Year Luncheon.

LA TECH WINS 2010 WAC TOURNAMENT

Louisiana Tech defeated Fresno State 68-66 to claim the 2010 WAC Tournament championship. The title marks LA Tech’s fifth overall WAC Tournament championship and first since 2006. Shanavia Dowdell was named tournament MVP after scoring a game-high 20 points and pulling down a game-high 19 rebounds. Whitney Jones had 13 points for Tech, while Tarkeisha Wysinger and Adrienne Johnson each had 10. Hayley Munro led Fresno State with 15 points and Jaleesa Ross helped with 14.

All-Tournament Team

Shanavia Dowdell, Louisiana Tech (MVP)
Adrienne Johnson, Louisiana Tech
Hayley Munro, Fresno State
Jaleesa Ross, Fresno State
Yinka Olorunnife, Idaho

FRESNO STATE SETS FOUR WAC TOURNAMENT RECORDS

Top-seeded Fresno State set several WAC Tournament records last weekend. The Bulldogs set records for three-pointers in a tournament (32), three-pointers in a game (13 vs. Idaho), free throw percentage in a tournament (.868, 33-of-38) and free throw percentage in a game (1.000, 13-of-13 vs. Idaho). The team also fell just shy of  the tournament single-game rebounding record of 60, pulling down 59 vs. Idaho.

IDAHO’S OLORUNNIFE SETS WAC TOURNAMENT RECORD FOR FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE

Idaho junior Yinka Olorunnife set the WAC Tournament record for field goal percentage in a tournament. She was 18-of-25 for a .720 shooting percentage over two games.

LA TECH’S DOWDELL BREAKS WAC REBOUNDING RECORD
Louisiana Tech’s Shanavia Dowdell, the two-time WAC Player of the Year, set the WAC career rebounding record with 975 at the 18:59 mark of the first half in her team’s win over Utah State in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament last Wednesday. Three days later, the senior became the first WAC player ever to eclipse 1,000 boards with her board at the 5:14 mark of the first half in the championship game against Fresno State. She now has 1,013 on her career. Dowdell also ranks seventh all-time in the WAC with 645 field goals made.

BOISE STATE BRONCOS (19-12, 8-8 WAC)

The No. 6-seed Broncos fell 64-59 to host and third-seeded Nevada in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament last Wednesday, ending their season ... Tasha Harris led the team with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Lauren Lenhardt scored 10 points ... Harris was named first-team all-WAC, while Lenhardt and Julia Marshall were named to the All-Freshmen Team ... In WAC games only, Harris ranked seventh in the league with 14.8 points per game. She also led the league in free throw percentage (.807), was fifth in assists (3.38) and 11th in steals (1.56) ... Harris closed out her career with 1,751 career points, good for ninth place all-time in WAC history. She also had 483 made free throws on her career, good for fifth place ... Jessica Van Hoogen had 288 steals on her career, good for seventh place all-time in the WAC career record books.

FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS (27-6, 16-0 WAC)

The Bulldogs defeated Hawai`i 83-55 in the quarterfinals, then beat Idaho 80-66 in the semifinals before falling to Louisiana Tech 68-66 in the championship game of the WAC Tournament last week ... Hayley Munro and Jaleesa Ross were named to the all-tournament team. Munro averaged 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game, while Ross averaged 18.0 points on 53 percent shooting, 7.3 boards, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals ... Fresno State set WAC Tournament records for three-pointers in a tournament (32), three-pointers in a game (13 vs. Idaho), free throw percentage in a tournament (.868, 33-of-38) and free throw percentage in a game (1.000, 13-of-13 vs. Idaho) ... Head coach Adrian Wiggins was named WBCA Region 7 Coach of the Year, while Ross was named to the all-region team ... The Bulldogs earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and face Baylor in the first round on Saturday in Berkeley, Calif.

HAWAI`I RAINBOW WAHINE (10-20, 4-12 WAC)
The Rainbow Wahine fell 83-55 to top-seeded Fresno State in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament  last Wednesday, ending their season ... Dita Liepkalne and Keisha Kanekoa led Hawai`i with 12 points each ... In WAC games, Breanna Arbuckle ranked second in the WAC in blocks (1.56) and fourth in field goal percentage (.515) ... Keisha Kanekoa ranks second in assists per game (3.5), third in free throw percentage (.774), and 15th in scoring (11.2) ... Liepkalne closed out her career with 681 points, 467 rebounds 213 assists and 72 steals.

IDAHO VANDALS (11-20, 8-8 WAC)
The fourth-seeded Vandals defeated No. 5 New Mexico State 75-63 in the quarterfinals before falling 80-66 to Fresno State in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament last week ... The win over the Aggies was Idaho’s first-ever victory in the WAC Tournament ... Yinka Olorunnife was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 23.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. She also set the WAC Tournament record for field goal percentage in a tournament as she was 18-of-25 for a .720 shooting percentage over the two games ... In the win over New Mexico State, the Vandals made 10 three-pointers ... Charlotte Otero closed out her career with 620 points, 375 assists, 258 rebounds and 163 steals ... In WAC games only, Otero led the WAC in field goal percentage (.543) and three-point field goal percentage (.500).

LOUISIANA TECH LADY TECHSTERS (23-8, 11-5 WAC)

The second-seeded Techsters defeated No. 7 Utah State (82-65), No. 3 and host Nevada (80-77) and top-seeded Fresno State (68-66) to claim its fifth WAC Tournament title and first since 2006 ... Shanavia Dowdell was named tournament MVP after averaging 15.3 points and 13.0 rebounds ... Adrienne Johnson was also named to the all-tournament team ... Dowdell was one of two WAC players named to the WBCA All-Region 7 team ... Dowdell became the fifth player in WAC history to repeat as WAC Player of the Year and was joined on the first team by Johnson ... Both players were also named to the All-Defensive Team ... The No. Lady Techsters play at Florida State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday ... It is the Techsters first appearance in the tournament since 2006 and 26th overall.

NEVADA WOLF PACK (17-15, 10-6 WAC)

The third-seeded Wolf Pack defeated No. 6-seed Boise State 64-59 in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament before falling 80-77 to eventual champion Louisiana Tech in the semifinals ... In the win over the Broncos, Tahnee Robinson led the Wolf Pack with a game-high 20 points, while Shavon Moore added 14 and Johnna Ward had 12 ... In the loss to the Techsters, Nevada had four players in double figures, led by Robinson with 18 points ... Moore added a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Kayla Williams finished with 15 points and 11 boards ... Robinson was a first-team all-WAC selection and the WAC Newcomer of the Year, while Moore was named to the second team ... The Wolf Pack earned the WAC’s automatic bid to the WNIT and play at Wyoming on Friday ... Nevada fell to the eventual champion Cowgirls in their only other WNIT appearance in 2007.

NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES (18-13, 8-8 WAC)

The fifth-seeded Aggies fell 75-63 to No. 4 Idaho in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament last Wednesday ... Jasmine Lowe led New Mexico State with 19 points and five assists, while Crystal Boyd added 17 points, 10 rebounds and three steals for her eighth double-double of the season ... Boyd was named to the all-WAC second team, while Camila Rosen was tabbed to the All-Freshmen Team ... Boyd leads the WAC in blocks per game (1.61), ranks second in steals (2.3), third in rebounding (7.7) and fifth in scoring (15.5) ... New Mexico State earned an at-large berth in the WNIT and plays at Arizona State on Wednesday ... ASU leads the all-time series 7-5 ... This is NM State’s second appearance in the WNIT and first since joining the WAC.

SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (6-23, 2-14 WAC)

The Spartans fell 83-47 at Fresno State on March 3 and lost 62-35 at New Mexico State on March 6 ... Against the Bulldogs, Chasity Shavers paced the Spartans with 14 points, followed by Britney Bradley with 13 ... Marnesha Hall posted her second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds ... In the loss at New Mexico State, Ashley Brown paced the team with eight points, while Shaunna Ridge pulled down eight rebounds ... The Spartans out-rebounded the Aggies 47-36 and posted a 14-2 edge in the paint, but went 0-for-6 from three-point range ... SJSU failed to qualify for the last week’s WAC Tournament ... The team’s six wins this season are the most since the 2005-06 season and the most in head coach Pam DeCosta’s tenure.

UTAH STATE AGGIES (13-17, 5-11 WAC)

The No. 7-seed Aggies fell 82-65 to second-seeded and eventual champion Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament to close out the season ... LaCale Pringle-Buchanan led Utah State with 18 points, while Amber White tallied 15 and Lydia Whitehead finished with 14 points and eight rebounds ... The Aggies held WAC Player of the Year Shanavia Dowdell without a field goal and to just two points ... The 82 points scored by the Lady Techsters was the most allowed by Utah State this season and was the first time it allowed 80 points all season ... White became just the third Aggie ever to earn all-WAC honors as she was named to the second team ... Banna Diop was selected to the WAC All-Freshman Team ... The Aggies rank 35 nationally with 4.8 blocks per game.

ALL-WAC HONORS ANNOUNCED
The 2009-10 all-WAC teams were named, following a vote of the WAC’s head coaches. Louisiana Tech’s Shanavia Dowdell headlined the awards, earning the WAC Player of the Year honor for the second year in a row.

Dowdell, a 6-1 senior forward from Calera, Ala. (Calera HS), became the fifth player in WAC history to earn the award in back-to-back seasons. She led the WAC in scoring (17.9) and rebounding (12.4), and ranked second in field goal percentage (.520) and fifth in blocks (1.29). She also tallied a WAC-best 20 double-doubles, including 14 of 16 conference games, and was named WAC Player of the Week four times.

Fresno State head coach Adrian Wiggins earned WAC Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career. Wiggins led the Bulldogs to a perfect 16-0 record in WAC play, becoming the first WAC team since Louisiana Tech in 2002-03 to accomplish the feat.

Fresno State’s Jaleesa Ross earned the WAC’s Defensive Player of the Year honor. A 5-8 guard from Pinole, Calif. (Pinole Valley HS), she led the league with 2.94 steals per game in WAC play. Ross was also named first team all-WAC and to the all-Defensive team.

Nevada’s Tahnee Robinson was the WAC’s Newcomer of the Year. Robinson, a 5-9 junior guard from Fort Washakie, Wyo. (Sheridan College), became the second Nevada player to receive the honor. In WAC play, Robinson ranked third in the conference in scoring with 17.8 points per game, third in three-point field goal percentage (.436), seventh in field goal percentage (.485) and 10th in free throw percentage (.732). She reached double-digit scoring in 19 of the 21 games she played, including 15 of 16 WAC games.

First Team All-WAC
Shanavia Dowdell    Louisiana Tech    F    6-1    Sr.    Calera, Ala. (Calera)
Tasha Harris    Boise State    G    5-7    Sr.    Longmont, Colo. (Skyline)
Adrienne Johnson    Louisiana Tech    F    6-0    Jr.    Franklin, La. (Franklin)
Tahnee Robinson    Nevada    G    5-9    Jr.    Fort Washakie, Wyo. (Sheridan College)
Jaleesa Ross    Fresno State    G    5-8    Jr.    Pinole, Calif. (Pinole Valley)

Second Team All-WAC
Crystal Boyd    New Mexico State    G    5-11    Sr.    Little Rock, Ark. (Texas)   
Rachele Kloke    Idaho    G    5-11    Jr.    Stanwood, Wash. (Stanwood)   
Shavon Moore    Nevada    F    6-1    Jr.    Riverside, Calif. (J.W. North)
Hayley Munro    Fresno State    G/F    6-1    Jr.    Montmorency, Victoria, Australia (Viewbank)
Amber White    Utah State    G/F    5-10    Jr.    San Leandro, Calif. (San Leandro)

All-Defensive Team
Alice Coddington    Utah State    G    5-10    Jr.    Canberra, Australia (Radford College)
Shanavia Dowdell    Louisiana Tech    F    6-1    Sr.    Calera, Ala. (Calera)
Adrienne Johnson    Louisiana Tech    F    6-0    Jr.    Franklin, La. (Franklin)
Shavon Moore    Nevada    F    6-1    Jr.    Riverside, Calif. (J.W. North)
Jaleesa Ross    Fresno State    G    5-8    Jr.    Pinole, Calif. (Pinole Valley)

All-Freshman Team
Banna Diop    Utah State    C    6-6    Dakar, Senegal (Kurashiki Suisho)
Lauren Lenhardt    Boise State    F    6-2    Eagle, Idaho (Eagle)
Julia Marshall    Boise State    G    5-9    Wichita, Kan. (Bishop Carroll)
Rosie Moult    Fresno State    G/F    6-1    Olinda, Victoria, Australia (Vermont)
Camila Rosen    NM State    G    6-0    Berkeley, Calif. (Berkeley)

Player of the Year: Shanavia Dowdell, Louisiana Tech
Defensive Player of the Year: Jaleesa Ross, Fresno State
Newcomer of the Year: Tahnee Robinson, Nevada
Coach of the Year: Adrian Wiggins, Fresno State

VOTING OPEN FOR ALL-DECADE TEAMS
The WAC is asking fans to vote for an All-Decade team for women’s basketball on its Web site. The players on the ballot were chosen from those that made all-WAC teams in at least two seasons and concluded their careers no earlier than the 2000-01 season. Each player is listed with years in which they were on the first or second all-WAC teams. The team will be unveiled the week of April 5.
Basketball-W
WAC
Overall
Bakersfield
0-0
7-3
Texas-Pan American
0-0
6-6
Utah Valley
0-0
5-6
New Mexico State
0-0
4-5
Grand Canyon
0-0
3-6
Seattle U
0-0
2-7
UMKC
0-0
2-8
Chicago State
0-0
1-8
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CSU Bakersfield -
Chicago State -
Grand Canyon -
UMKC -
New Mexico State -
Seattle U -
UTPA -
Utah Valley -