WWU picked fourth in GNAC Coaches' Poll
Oct. 11, 2011
SPOKANE, Wash. - Alaska Anchorage's Tim Moser goes into the 2011-12 season as the winningest active coach in NCAA Division II.
His .833 winning percentage (135-27) in five seasons in Anchorage also ranks seventh among all NCAA divisions.
And he might just improve on those numbers this season.
The Seawolves, who won the GNAC tournament title last season after finishing second in the regular-season, are an overwhelming favorite to secure their third conference championship in four seasons.
UAA received nine of 10 first-place votes and 108 of a possible 110 ballot points in the GNAC Coaches' pre-season poll.
UAA shared the GNAC crown with eight-time champion Seattle Pacific in 2009 before winning the first-ever conference tournament last winter.
The tournament returns for a second season this winter, though with a new format.
Instead of eight teams playing at host sites, the top six regular-season finishers will head to Saint Martin's University in Lacey for a six-team tournament beginning on Mar. 1.
The No. 1 and No. 2 seeded teams will receive first-round byes in the opening round.
UAA returns just two starters off its 2010-11 squad, but both were all-stars including WBCA and Division II Women's Bulletin honorable mention All-American senior forward Hanna Johansson, who ranked fifth in the conference in scoring (13.2) and seventh in rebounding (6.8).
Johansson is one of two returning first-team all-conference selections from a year ago. The other is Simon Fraser forward Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, who led the GNAC in scoring (18.8), rebounding (11.8) and field goal percentage (59.6) in her sophomore season
UAA's only other returning starter is junior forward Alysa Horn, who averaged 11.4 points and 6.1 rebounds. She is the lone returning second team all-star selection.
Three other players earned honorable mention honors a year ago - Northwest Nazarene guard Heather Adams who led the GNAC in three-point percentage in her freshman season, Western Oregon senior forward Rylee Peterson who was the GNAC block shot leader and was also selected the conference's Newcomer-of-the-Year and Alaska Fairbanks senior center Nicole Bozek who finished third in the conference in scoring (14.2) and 11th in rebounding (6.3).
Alaska Anchorage, which has a total of seven returning letter winners and bolstered itself with a strong recruiting class led by two-time JC All-American guard Haley Holmstead, could receive its stiffest challenge from Seattle Pacific.
The Falcons, who had their lowest conference finish in the 10-year history of the GNAC last season, received one first place vote and earned a No. 2 ranking in the coaches poll.
SPU has a league-best 11 returning letter winners though just two - guards Nyesha Sims and Jordan Harazin were starters.
Sims was the conference's No. 2 rebounder out of her guard slot averaging 7.2 per contest. Harazin averaged 7.1 points a year ago making 21 starts before being replaced by McKayla Gorman in the starting lineup for SPU's final eight games.
After taking a sabbatical last season, Kelli Lindley returns at Northwest Nazarene for her 11th season.
She has four starters back including Adams among nine letter winners and earned a No. 3 pre-season ranking in the coaches' poll.
The Crusaders outpolled defending regular-season champion Western Washington by just two points. The Vikings are one of three teams who return just one starter - guard Corinn Waltrip.
Coach Carmen Dolfo, however, did recruit two NWAACC MVPs - guards Brandi Benner from Skagit Valley and Trishi Williams from Columbia Basin - and a Division I transfer - forward Sarah Hill from Maryland-Baltimore County.
Benner was the North Region MVP, while Williams won MVP honors in the East Region.
Hill, who played 12 games at Maryland-Baltimore County in the 2008-09 season, is the sister of former Viking All-American Celeste Hill.
Simon Fraser returns a league-best five starters including Raincock-Ekunwe from a rocky first season in the GNAC when it finished eighth.
But, the Clan, which also returns 2010-11 conference assist champion Kristina Collins, is tabbed to finish fifth by the coaches.
Western Oregon finished sixth in the poll, followed by Central Washington, Montana State Billings, Simon Fraser and Alaska Fairbanks.
AROUND THE GNAC: Northwest Nazarene and Simon Fraser each received a poll ranking three positions higher than its 2010-11 regular-season finish. Central Washington, which will be led by the conference's only first-year coach (Shawn Nelson), earned a ranking (7th) two positions higher than its 2010-11 finish. . .Two teams fell four slots in the poll from last year's finish. Montana State Billings, which placed fourth a year ago, is picked to end up eighth, while Saint Martin's, fifth a year ago, is picked ninth. . . Nelson, who posted a 201-70 record in eight seasons at NAIA Carroll (Mont.), will begin his first season this winter at Central Washington. . .Conference teams are relatively young this season with just 54 percent of starters (27 of 50) returning. Seventy-two letter winners (7.2 per teams) are back for another season. . .Only four of last year's Top 10 scorers - Raincock-Ekunwe, Bozek, Johansson and Peterson (9th) - return. Six of last year's Top 10 rebounders - Raincock-Ekunwe, Sims, Stacy Albrecht of Central Washington (6th), Johansson, Autumn Greene of Alaska Fairbanks (9th) and Peterson (10th) - are back. . .Bozek is the top returning free throw shooter after placing third a year ago with a 81.9 percentage. . .Raincock-Ekunwe, who finished fourth with a 2.1 average, is the top returning steal producer from a year ago. SFU's Kia Van Laare, who ranked third with 47 three-pointers in 24 games, is the top returnee in that category.
2011-12 GNAC Coaches Poll 2010-11 Records Pts
ALASKA ANCHORAGE SEAWOLVES
Hanna Johansson (6-2, Sr., Gothenburg, Sweden - Sanda) was an honorable WBCA and Division II Bulletin All-American a year ago as she helped lead the Seawolves to the GNAC title and into the second round of the NCAA playoffs.
After beating Western Washington in the conference playoffs 68-67, the Seawolves eliminated the Vikings in the opening round of the regionals 55-48 before losing to eventual West Region champion Cal Poly Pomona 67-46.
Johansson led UAA on the season in scoring (13.2), rebounding (6.8), field goal percentage (50.6) and blocks (31) and ranked second in assists (66) and steals (56).
Forward Alysa Horn (6-0, Jr., Kodiak, AK) ranked second on the team in scoring (11.4) and rebounding (6.1) and was the team's top three-pointer shooter, making 47 of 137 (34.3).
Also back from a year ago are forward Kaylie Robison (6-0, Sr., Sandy, UT - Jordan) and guards Tijera Matthews (5-10, Sr., Palmdale, CA), Kylie Burns (5-8, So., Kansas City, KS - Bishop Ward) and Jordan Martin (5-6, So., Anchorage, AK - East).
Robison averaged 5.4 points and had the third most rebounds (5.5), including 97 (out of 186) off the offensive glass. Johansson (with 102) was the only player in the GNAC to grab more offensive boards.
Matthews started 11 of 32 games and averaged 5.4 rebounds. She made 30 of 99 three-point shots. Burns had 67 points in 33 contests, while Martin saw limited duty, scoring eight points in 14 games.
Guard Torle Nenbee (5-9, Sr., Salt Lake City, UT - Cypress) is back after averaging 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds two years ago.
Guard Sasha King (5-6, Jr., Norman, OK) is also available after missing most of last season with an injury. She averaged seven points and 2.7 assists in the Disney Classic last November before being hurt.
Haley Holmstead (American Fork, UT) likely will be one of the leading contenders for the Newcomer-of-the-Year in the GNAC.
The 5-8 junior guard played last season for national JC powerhouse Salt Lake CC and became just the 16th woman in NJCAA history to earn back-to-back first team All-American honors.
She was also the first woman to earn back-to-back Scenic West Athletic Conference Player-of-the-Year honors. She led the nation in scoring as freshman (21.7) and ranked third last year with a 23.6 average.
She also set school records for points in a game (44), season (658) and career (1,328) and set numerous free throw records, shooting 87 percent (400-462) in her career.
Moser also added two other transfers - guard Bruna Deichmann (5-9, Jr., Balneario-Camboriu, Brazil) from Eastern Utah and center Miriam Seale (6-3, Jr., London, England) from South Georgia Technical College.
Deichmann was a Scenic West second team all-conference selection, averaging 16.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 22 steals and 1.7 assists.
Seale averaged 9.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for South Georgia leading them to a 29-4 record.
SEATTLE PACIFIC Falcons
Julie Heisey, who has averaged 20 wins a season in 15 campaigns including six at Seattle Pacific, will take to the court with mostly a veteran team this fall.
The Falcons did lose three starters including two of their top three scorers and rebounders, but everyone else returns from another season.
Guard Nyesha Sims (5-8, Sr., Portland, OR - Jefferson) led SPU in scoring (10.4) and rebounding (7.3) a year ago. She also had 51 assists and 36 steals. The latter ranked second on her team.
Guard Jordan Harazin (5-7, Sr., Colfax, WA) contributed 7.1 points and had 64 assists, starting 21 games before relinquishing that role to McKayla Gorman late in the season.
Gorman (5-7, Sr., Parker, CO - Chapparal) ranked second on the team in assists with 65 and tossed in 3.8 points per game.
Of the other eight returning players, three played at least 13 minutes per game including GNAC Freshman-of-the-Year Katie Benson, who netted 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game from her forward slot. Benson (6-1, So., Snohomish, WA) also led the Falcons in shooting percentage at 47.4
Other key contributors were guards Rachel Murray (5-9, Jr., Eglington, New South Wales, Australia), who averaged 4.2 points in stints that averaged 15.7 minutes per game, and Aubree Callen (5-9, So., Jerome, ID), who had averages of 3.3 points and 2.3 rebounds while playing 13.7 minutes per contest.
Other returnees include guards Betsy Kingma (5-11, So., Bellevue, WA - Newport), Michelle Teng (5-7, Jr., Bellevue, WA - Bellevue Christian) and Katie Thralls (5-6, Jr., Livermore, CA - Granada) and centers Joani Reimer (6-2, Sr., Ferndale, WA - Lynden Christian) and Riley Butler (6-2, So., Kent, WA - Kentlake).
Only Reimer (17 games) and Thralls (21 games) played in at least half of SPU's contests. Reimer scored 27 points and grabbed 34 rebounds, while Thralls had 13 points and 18 assists.
Kingma scored 16 points and had 13 rebounds in 10 contests. Teng made nine appearances, scoring 13 points. Butler played in seven contests and scored four points.
NORTHWEST NAZARENE Crusaders
Two newcomers will bolster Northwest Nazarene's squad of nine returning letter winners and four starters, numbers which rank second in the conference in both categories.
The only missing piece from among NNU's top eight scorers from a year ago is Beth Johnson, who ranked second on the team in scoring (10.4) and was the team leader in rebounding (6.2) and tied guard Megan Hingston for the team leader in steals with 39.
Hingston (5-9, So., Keizer, OR - McNary) started 22 games and averaged 7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds. She also led NNU in blocked shots with 12 in addition to sharing the steal lead with 39.
Other starters back include Heather Adams (5-7, Jr., Boise, ID - Centennial), Monica Garcia (5-8, Sr., Guadalajara, Mexico - Chabot CC) and Falissa Smith (5-6, Sr., Tigard, OR - Southridge).
Forward Briaunna King (6-0, Sr., Redmond, OR), who led the Crusaders in scoring averaging 10.7 points and ranked third in rebounding (5.3), was a part-time starter coming off the bench 12 times in 26 appearances.
Adams made 44.2 percent of her three-point attempts (50-113) to lead the GNAC in that category and also shot 88.9 percent from the free throw line though coincidentally she shot just 33.3 percent (30 of 90) inside the three-point arc.
Garcia averaged 8.9 points and 2.9 rebounds and had 61 assists and 37 steals, while Smith netted 4.2 points per contest and ranked second on the team in assists with 64. She also had 36 steals.
Other returnees from last year include guards Chelsie Luke (5-9, So., Meridian, ID) and Alla Dzhidzhiyeshvili (5-6, Sr., Ontario, OR) and forwards Leslie Warwick (5-11, So., Boise, ID - Centennial) and Susan Ruettgers (6-1, So., Sisters, OR).
All but Ruettgers played in at least 24 games. Ruettgers made 18 appearances, scoring 19 points. Luke netted 8.4 points per game and had 3.1 rebounds in 23 contests.
Dzhidzhiyeshvili contributed 4.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 27 contests, while Warwick had 38 points and 32 rebounds in 27 games.
Two Europeans are among the newcomers for NNU. Veronika Skokankova (6-0, Prague, Czech Republic) joins the Crusaders after playing her freshman season at New Mexico Junior College.
Prior to starting her collegiate career she played for USK Praha, which was recognized as the 10th best women's basketball club worldwide.
"Veronika is very skilled and is capable of making an immediate impact," Lindley said. "She has strong moves around the basket and can also hit the outside shot."
Schindler (5-11, Fr., Leimen, Germany) averaged 18.5 points for her German squad prior to enrolling at NNU.
WESTERN WASHINGTON Vikings
The Vikings have just five players back from last year's squad that lost just one conference game finishing with a 26-4 overall record.
Gone are Western Washington's top three scorers, including All-American guard Amanda Dunbar, who averaged 13.1 points and had 119 assists.
Two players who averaged at least eight points, however, are available. Forward Kristin Schramm (5-9, Sr., Chelan, WA) came off the bench in 29 games to score 8.4 points per game and grab 100 rebounds (3.4).
Guard Corinn Waltrip started all 30 games and averaged 8.3 points, scoring 63 percent of her points from the three-point line where she made 52 of 134. Waltrip also ranked third on the team with 80 assists.
The only other returnees are forward Erika Ramstead (6-0, Jr., Everson, WA - Nooksack Valley), center Britt Harris (6-2, Jr., Marysville, WA - Marysville-Pilchuck) and guard Marcel Pounds (5-8, So., Bonney Lake, WA).
Ramstead played in all 30 games, contributing 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds. Harris also made 30 appearances netting 4.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. Pounds scored 26 points in 17 contests.
Coach Carmen Dolfo, who ranks 12th among active Division II coaches in winning percentage (.725) and 18th in wins (424-161), did successfully reload.
In addition to the seven freshmen (including two redshirts) listed on the Viking roster are NWAACC Region MVPs Brandi Benner (5-5, Jr., Lynden, WA) and Trishi Williams (5-9, Jr., Mabton, WA) and Maryland-Baltimore County transfer Sarah Hill (6-3, So., Richmond, VA - Lloyd C. Bird)
Benner scored a team-leading 12.9 points per game in leading Skagit Valley to a 22-6 record and the North championship. She also averaged three assists, three rebounds and 1.6 steals.
Williams averaged 12 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists to lead Columbia Basin to a 26-3 record and the East Region title.
Hill last played during the 2008-09 season when she participated in 12 games and scored eight points for Maryland - Baltimore County.
Her sister, Celeste, earned All-American honors for the Vikings in the 1999-2000 season and is the third leading scorer in WWU history with 1,658 points.
SIMON FRASER Clan
Simon Fraser returns its team intact from the 2010-11 season and also added guard Kelsey Binns (5-11, So., Port Moody, BC), a transfer from McGill University, and four freshmen.
That means coach Bruce Langford (263-53, 10 years) will have the luxury of a little more depth than he had last year when he had only eight available players.
Forward Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe (6-2, Jr., Vernon, BC - Kalamalka) had a spectacular first season in the GNAC setting records for rebounding average (11.8) and double-doubles (17) in addition to winning the GNAC scoring crown (18.8).
She also led SFU in field goal percentage (59.6), blocks (35) and steals (50).
Guard Kristina Collins (5-10, Jr., Port Coquitlam, BC - Riverside) averaged 10.7 points and three rebounds in addition to leading the conference in assists with 107 (4.5). She made 41 of 164 three-pointers, earning almost half of her field goals from the arc.
Also back from the Clan starting lineup are guards Carla Wyman (5-7, Jr., North Vancouver, BC - Argyle) and Marie-Line Petit (5-6, So., Bergeronnes, QC - Ste. Foy) and forward Anna Carolsfeld (6-2, Sr., Victoria, BC - Esquimalt).
Wyman averaged 8.6 points and 3.1 assists. Petit chipped in with 5.1 points and nearly three assists per game, while Carolsfeld had averages of 4.6 points and 4.2 rebounds, while blocking 18 shots.
Returning subs from a year ago include Kia Van Laare, Chelsea Reist and Rebecca Langmead.
Van Laare (5-7, So., New Westminster, BC) was the team's fourth leading scorer, contributing 8.4 points and 2 ½ rebounds, while Reist (6-2, So., Mission, BC - Ecole Mission) and Langmead (6-5, So., Torbay, NL - Gonzaga) netted 3.6 and 2.2 points, respectively.
Binns hasn't played since the 2007-08 season when she averaged 3.6 points for McGill.
She is joined on the newcomer list by forwards Erin Chambers (6-1, Mission, BC) from Heritage Park and Ashley Sullivan (5-11, Surrey, BC) from Tamanwais and guards Katie Lowen (5-6, Lethbridge, AB) from Catholic Central and Rachel Halipchuk (5-8, Fr., Princeton, BC) from Princeton High School.
WESTERN OREGON Wolves
GNAC 2010-11 Newcomer-of-the-Year Rylee Peterson leads a group of seven returning players off a team that equaled Western Oregon's best conference record in 10 years.
The Wolves finished 9-9 in league play tying the mark it set during the GNAC's inaugural season in 2001-02.
In addition to leading the conference in blocks with 62, Peterson (5-11, Sr., Newport, OR) ranked second on the Wolves in scoring (11.8) and was the team leader in rebounds (6.3). She ranked second in steals with 50 in earning honorable mention all-league accolades.
Also back from last year's starting lineup are guard Lorrie Clifford (5-8, Jr., Eagle River, AK - Chugiak) and forward Melissa Fowler (5-10, So., Canby, OR).
Clifford and Fowler averaged 6.1 and 5.4 points per game, respectively. Fowler was also the team's No. 3 rebounder pulling down 4.7 per contest and its top percentage shooter converted on 46.8 percentage of her attempts.
Clifford, who averaged 3.4 rebounds per contest, led the team in assists with 70 and also had 36 steals.
Two other returnees played significant minutes a year ago. Hannah Whitsett (5-8, Jr., Hermiston, OR) averaged 6.5 points per game and was WOU's No. 2 three-pointer shooter, making 36 of 131 from the arc.
Jade Haas (5-9, Sr., Elma, WA) started nine of 27 contests and contributed 3.2 points and three rebounds per contest.
Also back are Diana Topalovic (5-7, Sr., Vancouver, WA - Hudson's Bay), who scored 49 points in 18 games, all but 10 from the arc where she made 13 of 43, and MacKenzie Beckley (6-0, So., Laguna Niguel, CA), who had 13 points in 11 contests.
Of eight newcomers listed on the roster only Jacqee Jasinski (5-6, So., Rapid City, SD) has experience beyond high school.
Jasinski played last season at Northern State, which qualified for the NCAA Division II tournament. She was in 30 games and averaged 3.3 points, making 18 of 46 three-point shots.
"Jacqee brings quality playing experience at the DII level from a very competitive program," WOU head coach Greg Bruce said.
CENTRAL WASHINGTON Wildcats
Head Coach: Shawn Nelson, Carroll '96 (First year; Overall, 201-70, 8 years) Assistants: Carly VanDyke, Liz Lewis, Janie Rayback (volunteer) 2010-11 Record: 7-18 Conference: 2-16, 9th Returning Letter Winners: 9 Returning Starters: Stacy Albrecht (F/C, 6-2, Jr., 9.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.4 spg, 1.3 bpg); Daisy Burke (PG, 5-7, So., 4.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 2.2 spg, 1.0 bpg); Alisha Love (G, 5-7, Sr., 8.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.1 spg, 1.0 bpg); Sophie Russell (G/F, 5-10, Sr., 10.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 46-160 3-pointers)
Central Washington didn't have a losing year in the first seven seasons of the GNAC, but has won just seven games in each of the past three campaigns.
Former Carroll College coach Shawn Nelson, who won 201 games in eight years at his alma mater, hopes to rectify that.
Nelson brought with him two of his former players from Carroll - guards Alex Dunn (5-7, Sr., Salt Lake City, UT) and Jessica VanDyke (5-9, So., Chester, MT).
VanDyke started 22 games last season at Carroll and averaged 9.4 points and 6.8 rebounds. She also made 63 of 178 three-point shots.
Two years ago Dunn averaged 9.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and two steals for the Saints.
Five freshmen and Whatcom CC transfer Sara Paponjak (6-2, So., South Seattle, WA) are also part of Nelson's first recruiting class.
Paponjak earned NWAACC Northern Region second team honors at Whatcom averaging 14.6 points and nine rebounds per contest. She also had 31 blocks.
The newcomers will join nine holdovers from last year's club, including the top two scorers and four players who started 12 or more games.
Guard Sophie Russell (5-10, Sr., Olympia, WA - River Ridge) led the team in scoring, averaging 10.4 points and 4.4 rebounds and cashing in on a team-best 46 of 160 three-point shots.
Forward Stacy Albrecht (6-2, Jr., Federal Way, WA - Thomas Jefferson) ranked second in scoring (9.7) and was the rebounding (6.8), blocked shot (33) and steal leader (35).
Guards Alisha Love (5-7, Sr., Chelan, WA) and Daisy Burke (5-7, So., Spokane, WA - Lewis and Clark) each started 12 games for the Wildcats.
Love averaged 8.3 points and 3.5 rebounds and had 46 assists. Burke scored 4.2 points and ranked second in steals with 25.
Of the five other returnees, three averaged 10 or more minutes per contest in their freshmen seasons.
Forward Amber Moser (6-0, So., Willamina, OR - Sheridan) scored 5.4 points per game and 4.6 rebounds while playing nearly 20 minutes a game. Guard Kelsi Jacobson (5-10, So., Spokane, WA - University) chipped in with 3.7 points per contest playing 10.1 minutes per game. Both started four contests.
Forward Deaira Gordon (5-11, So., Ellensburg, WA), who made one start, averaged 3.4 points while playing nearly 15 minutes per contest
Also back are two other sophomores - center Marissa Pratt (6-4, So., Redmond, WA), who had 15 points in seven contests, and center Annie Martinez (6-3, So., Moxee, WA - East Valley), who scored nine points in nine games.
MSU BILLINGS Yellowjackets
Head Coach: Kevin Woodin, Carroll '87 (115-81, 7 years) Assistants: Nate Harris, Ashley Genske 2010-11 Record: 16-12 Conference: 11-7, 4th Returning Letter Winners: 4 Returning Starters: Bobbi Knudsen (G, 5-8, So., 8.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.4 spg, 35-101 3-pointers)
Coach Kevin Woodin will have the youngest roster in the GNAC as seven freshman and two sophomores are among his 12 players.
The Yellowjackets have just four returnees from last year's fourth-place team. That matches Alaska Fairbanks for the fewest number in the league.
Just one of the four was a starter last season - guard Bobbi Knudsen (5-8, So., Malta, MT). She averaged 8.9 points and 2.8 rebounds, ranked second on the team in both steals (39) and assists (60) and was the team leader in three-pointers made with 35 (in 101 attempts).
Guard Kalli Stanhope (5-6, Sr., Glendive, MT - Dawson County) was the only other returnee to start a game. Stanhope took the court for introductions in six contests.
In 26 contests, she scored 2.9 points per game netting 57 of her 76 points from the three-point line (19 of 47).
Also back are forwards Ashley Reed (6-0, Jr., Oregon City, OR), who scored 44 points and had 41 rebounds in 26 contests and Corie Smith (5-11, So., Belgrade, MT) who contributed 15 points in 16 appearances.
Among MSUB's eight new players, two have already proven themselves outstanding athletes on the volleyball court.
Brooke Tolman (5-7, Jr., Honeyville, UT), who redshirted last season in basketball, is in her second season with the MSUB volleyball team and is the starting setter. She currently ranks fifth in the GNAC in assists averaging 9.8 per set.
Two years ago, Tolman averaged 13.4 points and five rebounds for Central Wyoming.
Freshman forward Monica Grumsrud (6-1, Montana City, MT - Helena) is MSUB's leading kill producer, ranking seventh in the GNAC averaging 3.57 per set.
SAINT MARTIN'S Saints
Head Coach: Tim Healy, Washington State '78 (194-215, 15 years) Assistant: Lisa Hendrickson 2010-11 Record: 15-12 Conference: 10-8, 5th Returning Letter Winners: 8 Returning Starters: Marelle Moehrle (G, 5-9, Sr., 8.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.5 spg, 46-133 3-pointers)
Saint Martin's coach Tim Healy graduated five of his top six scorers from a year ago including Dara Zack who averaged 15.3 points and ended her career as the sixth leading scorer in GNAC history with 1,503 points.
So Healy, who has 194 career wins in 15 seasons at SMU, does face somewhat of a rebuilding job with just one returning starter.
He does, however, return eight letter winners though only three logged double-digit minutes per contest.
The lone returning starter from last year's fifth-place squad is guard Marelle Moehrle (5-9, Sr., Lynnwood, WA - Meadowdale), who was the team's second leading scorer averaging 8.6 points per game.
Moehrle made 46 of 133 three-point shots and 41 of 45 free throw attempts.
Also back are forwards Megan Teade (6-0, Sr., Colfax, WA) and Kelsey Baker (5-11, Sr., Spokane, WA - Lewis and Clark) who both played in all 27 games, starting two each.
Teade averaged 3.1 points per game, scoring 16 of her 26 field goals from beyond the arc, and also had 48 rebounds. Baker chipped in with three points a game and averaged 2.2 rebounds.
Center Andrea Schutt (6-2, Sr., Sunnyside, WA - Sunnyside Christian) also played in all 27 games last season averaging 2.6 points and 2.2 rebounds while logging 9.6 minutes per contest.
Other returnees include forwards Emily Lashua (6-1, Sr., Vancouver, WA - Prairie) who had 49 points and 38 rebounds in 25 contests and Chelsea Haskey (6-1, So., Olympia, WA - Black Hills), who had 16 points in 16 games.
Guards Britanie Lining (5-4, So., Lacey, WA - North Thurston) and Shelby Ferguson (5-8, Jr., Winters, CA - Davis) also return. Lining played in just 39 minutes in 11 contests. Ferguson made four appearances.
Transfer guard Erika Wilson (5-7, Jr., Kirkland, WA - Lake Washington) and six freshmen compose the Saint recruiting class.
Wilson previously played 46 games making 10 starts and averaging 3.8 points in two seasons at Western Oregon before sitting out last season.
ALASKA FAIRBANKS Nanooks
Head Coach: Cody Burgess, Alaska Fairbanks '05 (1-24, 1 year) Assistant: Jason Nichols 2010-11 Record: 1-24 Conference: 1-17, 10th Returning Letter Winners: 5 Returning Starters: Nicole Bozek (C, 6-2, Sr., 14.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.6 spg, 1.0 bpg, HM GNAC); Autumn Greene (G, 5-10, Sr., 10.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.3 spg); Jeni Gabriel (G, 5-9, Sr., 5.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.2 spg); Emily Johnson (G, 5-9, So., 1.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg)
Three junior college transfers including one with Division I experience and four freshmen will join four returning players on Alaska Fairbanks' 2011-12 basketball squad.
All four returnees were starters last season including honorable mention GNAC selection Nicole Bozek (6-2, R-Sr,, Mukilteo, WA - Kamiak).
The UAF center ranked in the Top 10 in the GNAC in four statistical categories and just missed in a fifth last season.
She ended up third in scoring (14.2) and free throw percentage (81.9), eighth in blocked shots (1.0), 10th in steals (1.6) and 11th in rebounding (6.3).
She was the team leader in four of the five, trailing only guard Autumn Greene (5-10, Sr., Lewiston, ID), who also returns, in rebounding. Greene, who averaged 10.2 points, averaged 6.4 rebounds to rank ninth in the conference.
Also back from last year's squad are guards Jeni Gabriel (5-9, Sr., Stayton, OR), Emily Johnson (5-9, So., Juneau, AK - Juneau-Douglas) and Adrienne Beans (5-5, Jr., Mountain Village, AK - GILA).
Gabriel started in 15 of her 20 appearances and averaged 5.8 points and three rebounds. Johnson made 13 starts in 22 game and average 1 ½ points and an equal number of rebounds. Beans played in five games with starts and averaged 3.0 points and 1.4 rebounds.
The JC recruits for second-year coach Cody Burgess are guard Taylor Altenburg (6-0, Jr., Elko, NV) from College of Southern Idaho, forward Jacqueline Lovato (5-11, Jr., Gunnison, CO) from McCook CC in Nebraska, and center Staci Carter (6-1, Jr., Muskogee, OK) from Fort Scott CC in Kansas.
Altenburg played in 14 games and had 26 points and 15 rebounds at New Mexico State during the 2008-09 season before redshirting in 2009-10 and then transferring to CSI where she averaged 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in 32 contests.
In high school, she set school records for points (1,814) and rebounds (1.030).
Lovato was a first team all-league selection for McCook where she played for former UAF assistant Benjamin Smith (2006-07), leading her team to a 21-9 record.
"Jacqueline is a versatile basketball player with a great outside shot," Burgess said.
Carter averaged six points and four rebounds in two seasons at Fort Scott.
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