NMSU Women's Basketball Predicted to Finish 6th in WAC

NMSU Women's Basketball Predicted to Finish 6th in WAC
Sports
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 2:21pm

The New Mexico State women’s basketball team was chosen to place sixth in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) by both the media and coaches in the preseason polls released by the conference office Oct. 19.

Senior guard Madison Spence was selected as a member of the preseason All-WAC Second Team in both polls while classmate Jasmine Lowe earned All-WAC Second Team honors in the coaches’ poll.

Last season the Aggies advanced to their fourth postseason appearance in school history and finished in a tie for fourth place in the WAC after being picked fifth by the coaches and sixth by the media in the preseason polls. NM State advanced to the postseason for the first time since 1994 as a WNIT squad and finished the year at 18-14, doubling its win total from the season prior.

"I’m not really surprised about where we were picked," head coach Darin Spence said. "To be honest, I really don’t put a lot of stock into the preseason polls. This may give our team something to play for this season, to prove we are a better team and hit another level.

“I really see the league race this year being pretty tough. I know that a lot of teams have players back in key positions. I think we can play with anybody.”

After scoring 14 points against Nevada on Jan. 30, Madison Spence became the 17th Aggie to eclipse the 1,000-point career mark. She is the seventh player in the program's 37-year history to achieve the feat prior to her senior year. Spence boasts 1,108 points scored after playing in 94 games over three seasons for NM State. Spence ranks fourth all-time in games started at NM State.

She is also a two-time All-WAC selection and two-time Academic All-WAC honoree. Spence is one of just 16 players in school history to score 30 points or more in a game. She led the team in minutes played and averaged 11.0 points per game while starting all 32 games in 2009-10.

"Madison has been selected as an All-WAC player either in the preseason or postseason in each of her four years here," Spence said. "I think she is working really hard to lead this team. I think the fans in Las Cruces will help celebrate her senior year this season in appreciation for all she has done for the program and the local community over the past eight years."

Lowe returns as the Aggies' leading scorer from a year ago after averaging 14.1 points per game while starting 23 contests. She led the team in assists (100), three-point percentage (.389) and free throws made (115) a year ago. Her 29 points against UNM last season was the highest total posted by an Aggie last season.

The San Francisco native was named the WAC Women's Basketball Player of the Week last January, after facilitating NM State's wins over Boise State and Hawai'i. Lowe averaged 21.5 points on 57 percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.5 steals as the Aggies opened WAC play 2-0. She scored a game-high 26 points in NM State's first ever win at Boise State, including 12 of the team's final 27 points.

"Jasmine is very deserving of her selection," Spence said. "She stepped in last season during her first year in the program and had a solid season. I don’t expect anything less from her this year."

Fresno State was picked to win the WAC title in both rankings while Bulldog Jaleesa Ross was tabbed the conference Preseason Player of the Year in both polls.

In the coaches’ poll, the Bulldogs received 63 points and seven first-place votes to beat out Louisiana Tech for the top spot. The Lady Techsters captured second place with 57 points and two first-place votes. Nevada took third place with 50 points, Idaho finished fourth with 41 points, followed by Boise State in fifth place with 30 points. New Mexico State came in at sixth place with 24 points, followed by Hawai‘i in seventh with 23 points. Utah State and San Jose State rounded out the poll with 19 points and 10 points, respectively.

While in the media poll, Fresno State received 14 first-place votes, earning 158 points. Louisiana Tech was picked to finish second with 146 points and four first-place votes, followed by Nevada with 117 points. Boise State was picked to finish fourth with 92 points, just ahead of Idaho with 91 points and New Mexico State with 87 points. Utah State was picked to finish in seventh place with 54 points, followed by Hawai’i in eighth with 46 points and San Jose State in ninth with 19 points.

The Aggies open the season on Friday, Nov. 12 on the road at North Dakota State.

2010-11 Preseason Women's Basketball Coaches Poll
Rank Teams (1st-Place Votes) Points
1. Fresno State (7) 63
2. Louisiana Tech (2) 57
3. Nevada 50
4. Idaho 41
5. Boise State 30
6. New Mexico State 24
7. Hawai'i 23
8. Utah State 19
9. San Jose State 10
Preseason Women's Basketball Coaches All-WAC Teams
First Team
Adrienne Johnson, Louisiana Tech
Shavon Moore, Nevada
Hayley Munro, Fresno State
Tahnee Robinson, Nevada
Jaleesa Ross, Fresno State

Second Team
Whitney Jones, Louisiana Tech
Rachele Kloke, Idaho
Jasmine Lowe, New Mexico State
Yinka Olorunnife, Idaho
Madison Spence, New Mexico State

Preseason Player of the Year: Jaleesa Ross, Fresno State

2010-11 Preseason Women's Basketball Media Poll
Rank Teams (1st-Place Votes) Points
1. Fresno State (14) 158
2. Louisiana Tech (4) 146
3. Nevada 117
4. Boise State 92
5. Idaho 91
6. New Mexico State 87
7. Utah State 54
8. Hawai'i 46
9. San Jose State 19

Preseason Women's Basketball Media All-WAC Teams
First Team
Adrienne Johnson, Louisiana Tech
Rachele Kloke, Idaho
Hayley Munro, Fresno State
Tahnee Robinson, Nevada
Jaleesa Ross, Fresno State

Second Team
Janie Bos, Boise State
Shavon Moore, Nevada
Yinka Olorunnife, Idaho
Madison Spence, New Mexico State
Amber White, Utah State

Preseason Player of the Year: Jaleesa Ross, Fresno State
 

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