USU women's basketball team picked 7th in WAC polls

USU women's basketball team picked 7th in WAC polls

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Press ReleaseLOGAN -- Utah State women's basketball was selected seventh in both the Western Athletic Conference coaches poll and the media poll it was announced Tuesday by the league. Last season, the Aggies were picked sixth in the coaches poll and seventh in the media poll.

The Aggies received 24 points in the WAC coaches poll. Fresno State received 60 points and five first-place votes to beat out Louisiana Tech for first place. The Lady Techsters captured second place with 58 points and three first-place votes. Boise State took third place with 53 points, including one first-place vote. Idaho and New Mexico State tied for fourth place with 39 points. HawaiOi and San Jose State rounded out the poll tying for eighth place with 12 points.

In the media poll, Utah State was also chosen seventh with 72 points. Louisiana Tech, which shared the WAC regular-season title with Fresno State last season, was picked first with 180 points, earning 14 first-place votes. Fresno State was picked second with 167 points, gathering six first-place votes, followed by Boise State with 136 points and the final first-place vote. Idaho was selected fourth with 136 points, followed by Nevada in fifth with 104. New Mexico State was picked sixth with 100 points, followed by Utah State, HawaiOi (46) and San Jose State (26) finishing in eighth and ninth respectively.

Utah State senior center Lydia Whitehead was named to the WAC preseason all-conference second-team, voted on by the league¹s coaches. Whitehead's preseason honor is the third conference preseason individual honor for Utah State since joining the WAC prior to the 2005-06 season. Taylor Richards was named to the preseason second team in 2007, while Danyelle Snelgro earned second-team honors last season.

"We lost a great player in Danyelle Snelgro," USU head coach Raegan Pebley said. "She and the other seniors did a great job of mentoring our team. They mentored our guards phenomenally. We feel like we aren't taking a step backwards at all. We are taking a step forward with who we have in the guard role. Our leadership every single year that I have been here has continued to get better. "

Last season, Whitehead was first on the Aggies in rebounds per game, averaging 6.2. She was 10th in the WAC in free throw percentage, shooting .696. The senior also ended last season with 31 blocks which was second on the team behind fellow senior Nicole Johnson.

"Lydia (Whitehead) is playing really confidently right now," Pebley said. "Our team really understands Lydia and how to get her the ball, where to deliver it to and also where her strengths are."

The coaches preseason all-WAC first-team included Shanavia Dowdell and Adrienne Johnson of Louisiana Tech, Tasha Harris of Boise State, Jalessa Ross of Fresno State and Madison Spence of New Mexico State. Louisiana Tech's Dowdell, the reigning WAC Player of the Year, earned preseason Player of the Year honors.

The coaches preseason all-conference second-team consisted of Whitehead, Hayley Munro of Fresno State, Yinka Olorunnife and Derisa Taleni of Idaho and Jessica Van Hoogen of Boise State.

The media also selected a preseason all-conference team first which included Johnson, Olorunnife, Ross and Spence, while Dowdell was selected by the media as the league¹s preseason Player of the Year. The all-conference media second team consisted of Harris, Munro, Taleni, Van Hoogen and Crystal Boyd of New Mexico State.

Utah State returns three starters from last year's team that went 16-15 overall and 9-7 in WAC action, which was the Aggies' best record since joining the WAC. Senior forward Nicole Johnson and junior guard Alice Coddington join Whitehead in the USU as returning starters from last season.

USU began practice, Friday, Oct. 16. The Aggies' first exhibition is Monday, Nov. 9 against Montana Tech at 7 p.m.

(Courtesy USU Athletic Department)

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