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This Week in WAC Women's Basketball - Dec. 3

This Week in WAC Women's Basketball - Dec. 3

Complete Release (PDF)

UTRGV'S AGUSTUS NAMED WAC WOMEN"S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
UT Rio Grande Valley's Jordan Agustus has been named Western Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Nov. 25 through Dec. 1.
 
Agustus, a graduate forward from Bronx, N.Y., posted her first career double-double on Tuesday and added another double-double on Saturday to help UTRGV pick up a pair of wins on the week. In the first matchup against Texas A&M-Kingsville, the transfer from VCU scored 23 points, adding 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks in a 66-45 win. She followed that up with 27 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and four blocks in a 75-64 win over UTSA on Saturday. On the year, she is averaging 14.1 points per game on .609 shooting and also has 7.3 rebounds per game and a WAC-high 2.6 blocks per game.
 
Other nominees included: CSU Bakersfield's Vanessa Austin averaging 15.0 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game in home wins over North Texas and San José State … Utah Valley's Josie Williams averaged 17.0 points per game and totaled 12 rebounds in a loss to Boise State and a win over Antelope Valley.
 
ON TAP
With 16 games on the schedule, the WAC will be busy this week. Utah Valley will try to make it two in a row at home when they host Idaho State on Tuesday before hosting Montana on Saturday. Kansas City holds the top RPI in the WAC this year and will look to continue a strong start to the season this week with a road game at Omaha and a home game against SEC foe Missouri. Grand Canyon heads to the Rose City for games at Portland State and Portland while a few hours north, Seattle U will host Sacramento State and Long Beach State. California Baptist makes the short drive to UC Riverside on Thursday and NM State will host Western New Mexico on Wednesday before welcoming Weber State on Saturday. Chicago State is home against UIC on Wednesday and Western Illinois on Saturday. UT Rio Grande Valley and CSU Bakersfield each have light weekends, hosting Texas A&M International and Pacific respectively.
 
BY THE NUMBERS
Now in December, California Baptist leads the league in scoring offense (79.5), field goal defense (.385), three-point field goal defense (.282), rebounding offense (43.6), assists (20.0), assist/turnover ratio (1.2), defensive rebounds (33.0) and three-point field goals made (11.1). UT Rio Grande Valley has the top position in scoring defense (61.1), scoring margin (+7.0), rebounding margin (+0.4) and turnover margin (+3.14). Kansas City is the leader in free throw percentage (.798) and blocked shots (4.8) while Grand Canyon is the leader in field goal percentage (.489), three-point field goal percentage (.473) and rebounding defense (37.4). CSU Bakersfield and NM State are tied for the lead in steals (9.6) and CSUB also has the top spot in offensive rebounds (15.5).
 
Individually, SU's Kamira Sanders is the top scorer (19.3) and leads the league in steals (2.7). GCU's Da'jah Daniel is the top rebounder (9.2) while teammate Jada Holland holds the top mark in assists (7.0) and three-point percentage (.636). UVU's Josie Williams leads the WAC in field goal percentage (.657) and NMSU's Gia Pack is the leader in free throw percentage (.900). GCU's Venla Varis is averaging a league-high 3.3 three-pointers per game and UTRGV's Jordan Agustus is the blocked shots leader at 2.6 per game. CBU's Sydney Palma is the leader in assist/turnover ratio at 2.1.
 
STAT LEADERS BACK
Kansas City's Ericka Mattingly returns for her senior season after leading the WAC in scoring (19.8), assists (6.0), free throw percentage (.817), steals (3.2) and minutes played (35.5). California Baptist's Britney Thomas is also back after leading the league in field goal percentage (.577). Kansas City sharpshooter Emily Ivory will look for a strong sophomore campaign after averaging a WAC-best 2.7 three-pointers per game and Chicago State senior Ines Mata Boix will look to lead the league in blocked shots again after averaging 1.9 per game last season.
 
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
NM State is the favorite to win the 2018-19 Western Athletic Conference women's basketball title and the Aggies' Gia Pack 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 fifth-straight WAC regular season title last season, received 62 points and six first-place votes in the preseason poll. California Baptist picked up two first-place votes for a total of 57 points and Kansas City earned the remaining first-place vote and 44 points. UT Rio Grande Valley was picked fourth with 40 points while CSU Bakersfield earned fifth with 35 points. Utah Valley was selected sixth with 29 points, followed by Grand Canyon, Seattle U and Chicago State.
 
Pack leads the list of Preseason All-WAC honorees. Joining her on the first team are Utah Valley's Jordan Holland, Kansas City's Ericka Mattingly and California Baptist duo Ane Olaeta and Britney Thomas.
 
Second team selections include CSU Bakersfield's Vanessa Austin, Grand Canyon's Da'jah Daniel, UT Rio Grande Valley pair Amara Graham and Megan Johnson and Seattle U's Kamira Sanders.
 
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 2019-20 and Kansas City's Ericka Mattingly as the WAC Preseason Player of the Year.
 
The Aggies earned eight first place votes from the media to collect 110 points to top the poll. California Baptist is second with three first place votes and 96 points overall. Kansas City was right behind the 'Runners with the Roos earning two first place votes and 92 points. UT Rio Grande Valley came in fourth with 66 points, followed by Utah Valley in fifth with 64 points. CSU Bakersfield is sixth with 57 points, followed by Seattle U in seventh, Grand Canyon in eighth and Chicago State in ninth.
 
Mattingly leads the list of Preseason All-WAC honorees. Joining her on the first team are Utah Valley's Jordan Holland, NM State's Gia Pack, Seattle U's Kamira Sanders and California Baptist's Britney Thomas.
 
Second team selections include Seattle U's Joana Alves, CSU Bakersfield's Jayden Eggleston, UT Rio Grande Valley's Megan Johnson, Chicago State's Ines Mata Boix and California Baptist's Ane Olaeta.
 
RETURNING ALL-CONFERENCE PLAYERS
Three of the five First Team All-WAC players from last season return for the 2017-18 season as WAC Preseason Players of the Year Ericka Mattingly of Kansas City and Gia Pack of NM State return, along with California Baptist's Britney Thomas. Four of the five second team honorees also returns as Seattle U's Joana Alves, Grand Canyon's Da'jah Daniel, Utah Valley's Jordan Holland and California Baptist's Ane Olaeta hit the hardwood.
 
NEW LEADER IN OREM
After three new coaches in each of the last two seasons, Utah Valley's Dan Nielson is the lone rookie head coach in the WAC this season. A former UVU assistant, he most recently was on the bench at nearby Brigham Young, helping lead the Cougars to the WCC Tournament title last season.
 
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. Five of nine schools return a majority of starters, including Utah Valley returning all five starters from last season. California Baptist and Seattle U each bring back four starters and Grand Canyon boasts three starters returning.
 
 
KEY NON-CONFERENCE MATCHUPS
This season, WAC teams will face some tough competition in the non-conference portion of the schedule, with 15 games against NCAA Tournament participants and 14 against Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) participants. The complete list is below.
 
Games vs. NCAA Teams
Nov. 10 - CSU Bakersfield at Gonzaga
Nov. 19 - CSU Bakersfield at Wright State
Nov. 20 - UT Rio Grande Valley at Texas
Nov. 26 - Utah Valley at Boise State
Nov. 28 - California Baptist vs. Stanford (Victoria Invitational)
Dec. 1 - Kansas City at Missouri State
Dec. 6 - Grand Canyon at Portland State
Dec. 8 - Missouri at Kansas City
Dec. 14 - Utah Valley at Brigham Young
Dec. 14 - Kansas State at Kansas City
Dec. 18 - Arizona State at NM State
Dec. 28 - NM State at Abilene Christian
Dec. 28 - UT Rio Grande Valley at Kansas State
Dec. 29 - Grand Canyon at California
Dec. 29 - CSU Bakersfield at Oregon State
 
Games vs. WNIT Teams
Nov. 5 - Denver at Kansas City
Nov. 8 - Kansas City at Pacific
Nov. 9 - Chicago State at UTA
Nov. 9 - NM State at Denver
Nov. 11 - Seattle U at Idaho State
Nov. 12 - Arizona at Chicago State
Nov. 17 - New Mexico at NM State
Nov. 20 - Pepperdine at NM State
Nov. 20 - Idaho at Seattle U
Nov. 23 - Chicago State at Green Bay
Dec. 3 - Idaho State at Utah Valley
Dec. 7 - Pacific at CSU Bakersfield
Dec. 16 - California Baptist at Idaho State
Dec. 16 - NM State at New Mexico
 
ORLEANS ARENA IN LAS VEGAS TO HOST 2020 WAC TOURNAMENT
The 2020 WAC Basketball Tournament returns to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for the 10th year in a row. This year's tournament includes all eight eligible teams and will be held Wednesday-Saturday, March 11-14.