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This Week in WAC Women's Basketball - Dec. 4

This Week in WAC Women's Basketball - Dec. 4

Complete Release (PDF)

 
KANSAS CITY'S MATTINGLY NAMED WAC WOMEN"S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kansas City's Ericka Mattingly has been named Western Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Nov. 26 through Dec. 2.
 
Mattingly, a junior guard from Wichita, Kan. (Wichita South HS), notched the second triple-double in program history against Peru State, scoring 15 points with 10 rebounds and 12 assists, to help the Roos earn their first win of the season. She continued to lead UMKC onto the road in a win at North Dakota State on Sunday, scoring 21 of her 23 points in the second half and helping the Roos finish the game on a 17-0 run over the final 4:30 to steal the 10-point win. The transfer from Butler CC ranks third in the WAC in scoring at 16.9 points per game and leads the league in both assists (5.9 per game) and steals (2.9 per game).
 
Other nominees included: California Baptist's Delacy Brown averaged 14.5 ppg with 4.0 apg in a Lancer split … CSU Bakersfield's Alexxus Gilbert averaged 19.7 ppg and 5.7 apg in a win over Westcliff and losses on the road at UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton … Chicago State's Ines Mata Boix tailed a pair of double-doubles for the Cougars, averaging 13.0 ppg and 14.0 rpg on the week … NM State's Gia Pack recorded her third double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Northern New Mexico and scored a season-high 26 points at New Mexico … UT Rio Grande Valley's Idil Turk was named UTRGV Fall Classic Tournament MVP after averaging 13.0 ppg in a pair of wins over Prairie View and Louisiana.
 
UP NEXT
The schedule begins to slow down this week as teams prepare for finals in the classroom. Utah Valley heads both directions on I-15 this week, playing at Southern Utah on Tuesday and Idaho State on Thursday. UT Rio Grande Valley also takes on a rival on Tuesday, traveling to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. California Baptist hosts City of Trees rival UC Riverside on Thursday, while Kansas City heads to flagship Missouri and Seattle U travels down to Pacific. On Friday, Grand Canyon takes on Montana at home while on Saturday, CBU hosts Fresno Pacific, Chicago State hosts SIUE and UTRGV host Texas Southern. The week's schedule wraps up on Sunday with Seattle U playing at UC Davis, CSU Bakersfield traveling to Omaha and Kansas City hosting Missouri-St. Louis.
 
BY THE NUMBERS
WAC-newcomer California Baptist leads the league in scoring offense at 73.6 points per game and is the top rebounding team at 42.6 per game. CBU also leads the WAC in assists (17.6), assist/turnover ratio (1.2), defensive rebounds (28.6) and three-pointers per game (8.6). UT Rio Grande Valley is the leader in scoring defense (54.8), scoring margin (+10.5) and rebounding margin (+6.4). Utah Valley holds the top free throw percentage (.791) while Grand Canyon leads the league in both field goal percentage (.467) and three-point field goal percentage (.396). NM State holds the top field goal defense (.363) and rebounding defense (32.3) and Seattle U is the leader in three-point field goal defense (.228). Chicago State is the blocked shots leader (6.1) while CSU Bakersfield holds the lead in steals (11.4) and turnover margin (+5.75). Kansas City is the leader in offensive rebounds (16.6).
 
Individually, NM State's Gia Pack is the top scorer at 17.7 ppg. Chicago State's Ines Mata Boix is the leading rebounder (13.0), as well as the leader in field goal percentage (.553) and blocked shots (3.3). UMKC's Ericka Mattingly is the leader in both assists (5.9) and steals (2.9). Utah Valley's Maria Carvalho holds the top free throw percentage (.929) while NM State's Kalei Atkinson has the top three-point field goal percentage (.583). CSU Bakersfield's Alexxus Gilbert and Grand Canyon's Venla Varis are tied for the lead in three-pointers per game (2.5). CBU's Georgia Dale has tehe top assist/turnover ratio at 2.5 while GCU's Kavita Akula is playing a league-high 37.2 minutes per game.
 
TRIPLE THE FUN
Kansas City guard Ericka Mattingly recorded the seventh triple-double in WAC history on Nov. 29, scoring 15 points to go with 10 rebounds and 12 assists in a win over Peru State. It also marks the third triple-double in 2018 in the WAC as Seattle U's Alexis Montgomery accomplished the feat twice during conference play last season. 
 
CLOSING IN ON 1K
Kansas City senior Kristen Moore is poised to become the next WAC player to score 1,000 career points. The forward sits at 997 heading into this week's games at Missouri and at home against Missouri-St. Louis. NM State senior Brooke Salas is the lone active 1,000-point scorer in the WAC.
 
STORMING BACK
Down 59-52 with 5:03 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Kansas City Roos put together a 17-0 run on the road to earn a 69-59 win at North Dakota State on Dec. 2.
 
STAT LEADERS BACK
The statistical leaderboard may see some new names rising up this season but it won't be without some familiar faces.
 
On the scoring list, NM State's Brooke Salas was the leading scorer at 19.1 points per game.  Salas is also the top returner in free throw shooting (.835), steals (2.2), three-point field goal percentage (.383) and three-pointers made (1.7). Teammate Gia Pack was third at 16.0 ppg. Chicago State's Ines Mata Boix is the top returning rebounder, having ranked second last season at 8.2 per game, as well as shot blocker, having led the league last season with 2.0 per game. Kansas City's Kristen Moore ranked third last season in field goal percentage at .506. There will be a new assist leader this year as Seattle U's Kamira Sanders is the top returner, having ranked seventh last season with 3.3 per game. 
 
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
NM State is the favorite to win the 2018-19 Western Athletic Conference women's basketball title and the Aggies' Brooke Salas was selected WAC Preseason Player of the Year in a vote of the league's nine head coaches, who could not vote for their own team or players.
 
The Aggies, who won their fourth-straight WAC regular season title last season, received 62 points and seven first-place votes in the preseason poll. CSU Bakersfield picked up the remaining first two votes for a total of 56 points. Defending tournament champion Seattle U was picked third with 49 points and Grand Canyon took fourth with 45 points. Kansas City and UT Rio Grande Valley tied for fifth with 33 points each. California Baptist was selected seventh in its inaugural WAC season, followed by Utah Valley and Chicago State.
 
Salas leads the list of Preseason All-WAC honorees. Joining her on the first team are teammate Gia Pack, CSU Bakersfield's Alexxus Gilbert, Kansas City's Kristen Moore and Seattle U's Kamira Sanders.
 
Second team selections include CSU Bakersfield's Vanessa Austin and Jazmine Johnson, Grand Canyon's AJ Cephas and Laura Piera and UT Rio Grande Valley's Quynne Huggins.
 
PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
The Western Athletic Conference women's basketball media have selected NM State as the preseason favorite to repeat as conference champions in 2018-19 and the Aggies' Brooke Salas as the WAC Preseason Player of the Year.
 
The Aggies earned nine first-place votes in the media poll to collect 81 points to top the poll. CSU Bakersfield is second with 69 points, followed by Seattle U in third with 63 points. Grand Canyon is fourth with 46 points. Kansas City and Utah Valley are tied for fifth with 36 points, followed by UT Rio Grande Valley in seventh, California Baptist in eighth and Chicago State in ninth.
 
Salas leads the list of Preseason All-WAC honorees. Joining her on the first team are teammate Gia Pack, CSU Bakersfield's Jazmine Johnson, Kansas City's Kristen Moore and Seattle U's Kamira Sanders.
 
Second team selections include CSU Bakersfield's Vanessa Austin and Alexxus Gilbert, UT Rio Grande Valley's Quynne Huggins, Chicago State's Ines Mata Boix and California Baptist's Lexy Ram.
 
RETURNING ALL-CONFERENCE PLAYERS
Just two of five First Team All-WAC players from last season return for the 2017-18 season as WAC Preseason Player of the Year Brooke Salas and her NM State teammate Gia Pack return for this season. No second team honoreers return but Salas and CSU Bakersfield's Jazmine Johnson return from the All-Defensive Team.
 
NEW LEADERS
Three head coaches will experience the WAC for the first time this season. California Baptist's Jarrod Olson leads the Lancers into Division I after posting a 93-13 record in five years at the Division II level. UT Rio Grande Valley's Lane Lord also makes the transition from Division II to Division I, coming to the valley from Pittsburg State, where he held a 231-102 record in 11 seasons. Chicago State hired Misty Opat after a successful run at Rock Valley College, where she won four NJCAA national championships.
 
WAC ATTITUDE ON ALTITUDE
The WAC Digital Network is producing a 30-minute WAC Basketball Preview Show in advance of the upcoming season. Altitude Sports Network will air the show 14 times during the month of November.
 
WDN on-air talent Rachel Vigil is the host. Vigil will have on-set interviews with NM State men's basketball coach Chris Jans and NM State women's basketball coach Brooke Atkinson as the Aggies are picked to win the WAC in both coaches' polls. There will also be features on players in the pros and Midnight Madness celebrations as the WAC starts its 57th season of basketball competition next month.
 
LETTERWINNER/STARTER CAPSULE
There will be a bit of new blood in the WAC this season but the game won't be without some familiar faces.  Four of nine schools return a majority of their starters with both CSU Bakersfield and UT Rio Grande Valley bringing back four starters from last season. California Baptist and preseason favorite NM State each return three starters. On the other end, Kansas City returns just one letterwinner while Grand Canyon will have a whole new starting five this season.
 
KEY NON-CONFERENCE MATCHUPS
This season, WAC teams will face some tough competition in the non-conference portion of the schedule, with six games against NCAA Tournament participants and 10 against Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) participants. The complete list is below.
 
Games vs. NCAA Teams
Nov. 28 - California Baptist at CSUN
Dec. 6 - Kansas City at Missouri
Dec. 20 - Texas at UT Rio Grande Valley
Dec. 29 - UT Rio Grande Valley at Texas A&M
Dec. 29 - CSU Bakersfield at Oregon State
Dec. 31 - UT Rio Grande Valley at Baylor
 
Games vs. WNIT Teams
Nov. 6 - Wright State at CSU Bakersfield
Nov. 18 - Kansas City at Kansas State
Nov. 20 - UAB at Chicago State
Nov. 23 - George Mason at Kansas City
Nov. 26 - Seattle U at Utah
Dec. 1 - NM State at New Mexico
Dec. 1 - Utah Valley at Utah
Dec. 9 - Seattle U at UC Davis
Dec. 15 - New Mexico at NM State
Dec. 21 - Louisiana Tech at Kansas City
 
WELCOME TO THE WAC
California Baptist joins the Western Athletic Conference as a full-time member in 2018-19. The Lancers won the NCAA Division II Learfield Cup in 2017-18. They will begin their four year transition process to Division 1. This will make them ineligible to compete in post season tournaments (WAC and NCAA) until 2022-2023 season. 
 
ORLEANS ARENA IN LAS VEGAS TO HOST 2019 WAC TOURNAMENT
The 2019 WAC Basketball Tournament returns to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for the eighth year in a row. This year's tournament includes all eight teams and will be held Wednesday-Saturday, March 13-16.
 
COMING TO YOU LIVE
The WAC Digital Network will broadcast 97 regular season women's basketball games. In addition, the WDN will bring you the 2019 WAC Basketball Tournament at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.