Augie Picked to Win NSIC in Women's Hoops - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Augie Picked to Win NSIC in Women's Hoops

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Burnsville, Minn. - Augustana was selected as the 2012-13 NSIC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' favorite in the overall poll and in the NSIC South Division poll. They received 225 points and all 15 first place votes.   Minnesota Duluth came in second with 190 points and was also selected as the NSIC North Division preseason choice.  Defending NSIC Champions from Wayne State were third with 183 points; Minnesota State was fourth with 177 and University of Mary was fifth with 171 points and a first place vote.  
 
Overall Points North Division Pts
1. Augustana (15) 225 1. Minnesota Duluth (5) 46
2. Minnesota Duluth 190 2. University of Mary (1) 41
3. Wayne State 183 3. St. Cloud State  34
4. Minnesota State 177 4. MSU Moorhead (1) 31
5. University of Mary (1) 171     Northern State (1) 31
6. Winona State  160 6. Minnesota, Crookston 17
7. Concordia-St. Paul 145 7. Bemidji State  15
8. St. Cloud State  118 8. Minot State  9
9. Sioux Falls 110 South Division Pts
10. Northern State  107 1. Augustana (7) 49
11. MSU Moorhead 104 2. Minnesota State (1) 38
12. Minnesota, Crookston 70 3. Wayne State   35
13. Bemidji State   56 4. Concordia- St. Paul 31
14. Southwest Minnesota State  47 5. Winona State  30
15. Minot State  37 6. Sioux Falls 21
16. Upper Iowa  20 7. SMSU 13
                         first place votes in ( )   8. Upper Iowa  7
 

NSIC coaches rank each team from 1 to 15 with a first place vote receiving 15 points, second place 14, third place 13, etc. Coaches do not rank their own team or vote for their own players. 

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.NSIC South Division Preseason Player of the Year
#44 Alex Feeney
F, 6-0, Sr.
Bismarck, N.D.
Bismarck HS
Augustana


Feeney returns for her senior year with a bevy of accolades from her junior campaign.  Feeney was named an honorable mention All-America by the Division II Bulletin and WBCA as well as garnering All-NSIC first-team honors and Daktronics All-Central Region first team.  Feeney is the leading returning scorer in the conference after averaging 16.4 points per game and also grabbed 7.4 rebounds per contest including 10 games with 20 or more points and eight double-doubles.  The two-time NSIC player of the week played 35 minutes per game in 2011-12 while shooting at a .445 clip including a 40 percent mark from three-point range.  Feeney also hit 85 percent of her free throws while dishing out 1.9 assists per game and blocking 51 shots on the season.  Feeney was tabbed as an Academic All-NSIC team in her sophomore season.

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.NSIC North Division Preseason Player of the Year
#32 Katrina Newman
G/F, 5-11, Jr.,
Barnum, Minn.
Barnum HS
Minnesota Duluth


Newman returns as UMD's most potent scoring option. The former league Freshman of the Year led the Bulldogs in scoring (14.4 points per game) and rebounding (8.1 boards per game) as a sophomore en route to bagging first team All-NSIC honors. A member of last winter's NSIC All-Academic team, Newman has appeared in all 55 possible games over her two-year career. The Barnum, Minn., native has made 47 starts (including 36 straight heading into 2012-13) and carries career averages of 12.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

The NSIC Standings
The regular season champion will be based on the  22-game NSIC schedule.  Each team will play teams in their division twice (14) and teams in the other division once (8).  An NSIC North and South Division Champion will also be awarded.  Divisional standings will also be based on all 22 NSIC contests played.  In the case of a tie, co-champions will be awarded. The 16-team NSIC/Sanford Health Men's Basketball Tournament will be play on Feb. 27 and March 2 at the higher seed.  The semifinals and championship will be March 8-9 at Taylor Arena in Rochester, Minn.  

The 2012-13 women's basketball season gets underway on Friday, November 9 and NSIC action on December 1.

2012-13 NSIC Women's Basketball Players to Watch

AUGUSTANA COLLEGE - #44 Alex Feeney (F, 6-0, Sr., Bismarck, N.D./ Bismarck H.S.) returns for her senior year with a bevy of accolades from her junior campaign.  Feeney was named an honorable mention All-America by the Division II Bulletin and WBCA as well as garnering All-NSIC first-team honors and Daktronics All-Central Region first team.  Feeney is the leading returning scorer in the conference after averaging 16.4 points per game and also grabbed 7.4 rebounds per contest including 10 games with 20 or more points and eight double-doubles.  The two-time NSIC player of the week played 35 minutes per game in 2011-12 while shooting at a .445 clip including a 40 percent mark from three-point range.  Feeney also hit 85 percent of her free throws while dishing out 1.9 assists per game and blocking 51 shots on the season.  Feeney was tabbed as an Academic All-NSIC team in her sophomore season.

BEMIDJI STATE - #10 Morgan Lee (G, 5-7, Jr., Hayward, Wis. / Hayward HS) emerged as one of the top 3-point shooting players in the league in 2011-12 and was named Second Team All-NSIC for her abilities on the court. She played in all 27 games (25 starts) and guided the Beavers in conference play with 13.4 points per game that ranked 12th in the NSIC. A sharp-shooter from downtown, Lee's 55 3-pointers made (2.50 made per game) finished second in the league and her 40.4 percentage from beyond the arc ranked 12th. She totaled three or more 3-pointers in a game 10 times, including a 5-for-10 performance against Minnesota State University, Mankato Jan. 20, en route to 21 points. Lee followed that performance going 4-for-6 from 3-point land Jan. 21 and recorded her first-career back-to-back 20-point performances with 20 points. In all, she recorded a team-best three 20 point games in conference play and scored in double-figures 17 times, including the final eight games of the season. She played in 28.09 minutes per game to sit 28th in the NSIC, added 2.6 rebounds per game and shot 82.5 percent from the charity stripe. In all games, Lee finished with 13.1 points per game and totaled 353 points to rank fourth among BSU's scoring leaders in the last 12 seasons.

CONCORDIA-ST. PAUL - #11 Rachel Hansen (G, 6-0, Jr., Eagan, Minn. / Minnehaha Academy HS) played and started in all 28 games as a sophomore as she was first on the team with 31.3 minutes per game. She also led the team with 3.1 assists per game, 86 total assists on the year and was third on the team with 10.4 points per game. She also had a team high 49 steals on the year and scored season/career high 23 points against Augustana on Jan. 3. She scored in double figures 16 times on the year and had 10 made free throws in three games including going 12-16 from the line against Augustana.

UNIVERSITY OF MARY - #22 Ali Collins (G, 5-9, Sr., Mandan, N.D. / Mandan HS / Illinois Central CC) is one of the top all-around guards in the Northern Sun, earning second team all-conference honors in 2012. The U-Mary senior led the Marauders in assists and steals and last year and was second on the squad in scoring as the team made its first NCAA tournament appearance. The Mandan, ND, native averaged 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Six times she led the teams in scoring while pacing the team in assists 20 times. Collins finished second in the NSIC in assists, fourth in steals and 19th in scoring.

MINNESOTA, CROOKSTON  -#4 Brittani Wiese (Sr., G, Albertville, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville H.S.) is coming back from a knee injury which sidelined her at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season. The senior guard led the Golden Eagles in scoring a season ago averaging 15.2 points. Wiese started all 19 games she appeared in before her injury. In addition to leading the team in scoring, she also led the squad with 69 assists. Wiese was solid from long range as a junior as she  was 26-of-66 from beyond the arc for a 39.4 percent clip. In addition, she shot 61-of-81 from the charity stripe. Her season high came with 24 points against Augustana Dec. 17. She tallied over 20 points on four occasions. Wiese notched a season-high eight assists versus Northern State Jan. 7.

MINNESOTA DULUTH  - #32 Katrina Newman (G/F, 5-11, Jr., Barnum, Minn. / Barnum HS) returns as UMD's most potent scoring option. The former league Freshman of the Year led the Bulldogs in scoring (14.4 points per game) and rebounding (8.1 boards per game) as a sophomore en route to bagging first team All-NSIC honors. A member of last winter's NSIC All-Academic team, Newman has appeared in all 55 possible games over her two-year career. The Barnum, Minn., native has made 47 starts (including 36 straight heading into 2012-13) and carries career averages of 12.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

MINNESOTA STATE - #42 Ali Wilkinson (6-0, Jr. F., Blue Mounds, Wis./ Wisconsin Heights HS) returns to the court for her junior year after receiving a medical redshirt last season. Wilkinson made an immediate impact for the Mavericks as a freshman, playing in 28 games while averaging 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest while tallying two double-doubles. During Wilkinson's sophomore campaign she led Minnesota State with 312 points (12.0 per game), 239 rebounds (9.2 per game) and 54 steals (2.1 per game), she also tallied 12 double-doubles. Wilkinson returned to the hardwood for the 2011-12 campaign and picked up right where she left off at the end of her sophomore season recording 72 points (12.0 per game) and 51 rebounds (8.5 per game) in the first six contests of the season before sustaining a season-ending injury.

MSU MOORHEAD - #25 Marisa Yernatich (G, 5-9, Sr., Duluth, Minn. / East HS) has been a consistent three-point shooting threat for MSUM during her career and is third all-time in school history in that category with 134.  She averaged 8.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game as a junior for MSUM. She was third on the team at 25.3 minutes per game and also added 16 assists. She had an outstanding year from three-point range, hitting 42.3 percent of her attempts (44-of-104).  She is just 17 away from tying the school three-point record held by Kris Wilson.

MINOT STATE -  #40 Carly Boag (F, 6-2, Jr., Tamworth, Australia / Abbotsleigh HS) led Minot State in nearly every category in 2011-12, recording her career high in points (29 vs. Montana Tech, 11/28) and rebounds (16 vs. Sioux Falls, 2/18). The 6-foot-2 junior from Tamworth, Australia, finished with a 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game average to pace the Beavers. She also led MISU in field goal percentage (.550) and steals per game (2.2). Boag finished with 10 double-doubles on the season.

NORTHERN STATE - #32 Alison Kusler (G, 5-8, Jr., Aberdeen, S.D./Central HS) returns as one of NSU's top threats heading into the 2012-13 season.  Kusler averaged 10.7 points and 4.6 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game for the Wolves last season.  She was the team's top three-point threat, sinking 41 of 109 attempts (37.6 percent) beyond the arc.  She ranked 12th in the NSIC in free throw percentage (78.6 pct), 15th in three-point percentage and 11th in minutes played.  Kusler headlines an NSU team that advanced to the NCAA Central Region tournament two seasons ago, but faces the loss of four key seniors from the 2011-12 campaign.

SIOUX FALLS - #32 Laura Johnson (F, 6-0, Jr., Cedar Falls, Iowa / Cedar Falls HS) returns for her junior season after starting in all 26 contests last season as sophomore. She her matched freshman campaign point average with 10.3 points per game to finish second on the team in scoring (267), and bettered her rebounding numbers to rank second (146) on the glass with 5.6 boards per game in 2011. Johnson was USF's top rebounder in eight games and posted double-digit scoring totals in 12 of 26 games. A constant threat from behind the arc, she recorded 50 3-pointers on the year.  She saved her best game for the D2 Vegas Showdown Championship, when she lit up McKendree University with a career-high 29 points on 11-14 (79%) from the floor and 7-9 from 3-point, which tied the second-highest single-game 3-point total in school history en route to be named Vegas Showdown MVP. Even more impressive was her team rankings outside of scoring. Johnson finished second on the squad in blocked shots (19) and steals (24), while ranking third with 55 assists

SMSU - #14 BreeHolleman (G, 5-7, Sr.,  Hancock, Minn. / Hancock HS) played in all 26 games last season, finishing second on the team averaging 10 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.  She led the team with 47 3-point field goals, the 10th highest in school single-season history, while recording a team-high 54 assists.  Holleman shot 40.7 percent from the field and a team-high 38.5 percent from 3-point range, scoring in double figures in 15 games.


ST. CLOUD STATE - #32 Jessica Benson (F, 6-0, So. Grand Meadow, Minn. /Grand Meadow HS) led the Huskies in scoring last season averaging 10.2 points per game. She rounded up conference-play shooting 43% from the field and 41% from behind the arch. Benson led the team in rebounds as she garnered 153 on the season, averaging 5.9 per game. Her career high of 23 points came against Augustana College on Jan. 28, 2012. Benson ranked 7th in the NSIC in three-point field goal percentage (.413) and 13th in defensive rebounds (4.41).

UPPER IOWA - #13 Whitney Kieffer  (G, 5-9, So., Scales Mound, Ill. / Scales Mound HS) was named to the NSIC All-Freshman Team after staring every game last season for the Peacocks; she led the team in 12 categories including scoring average, rebounds, steals, and minutes played. Kieffer is ready to hit the hardwood and help lead the Peacocks in her sophomore campaign.  She amassed 411 points for a 15.8 per game average, which ranked 85th nationally, and scored a career-high 31 points at Bemidji State University on Feb. 24. The Peacock guard averaged 6.7 rebounds per game pulling down 174 on the season. Her career high in rebounds (11) came at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Kieffer added 56 steals, 41 assists, and 8 blocks over the course of the 26-game season.  The Scales Mound, Ill. native topped the 20-point mark 8 times and reached double figures in all but five games.  She ranked fourth in scoring average, tenth in rebounds, third in steals and seventh in minutes played among NSIC individuals, while recording two double-doubles.

WAYNE STATE - #22 Ellen Hansen (F, 6-1, Jr., Ames, Iowa / Ames HS) is Wayne State's lone returning starter from last year's 32-3 team that won the NSIC regular season and Sanford Health Tournament championships along with the school's first-ever Central Region title resulting in a trip to the Elite Eight.  Hansen averaged 6.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season for the Wildcats, shooting team-highs of 50.3 percent from the field and 81.7 percent at the free throw line.  She ranked 12th in the NSIC last season in rebounds per game and was eighth in defensive rebounds per game at 4.80.

WINONA STATE -  #13 Katie Wolff (G, 5-7, Sr., Marshfield, Wis. / Marshfield HS) has been a sharpshooter for the Warriors for three years, making 42.5 percent of her three-point attempts during her career. Wolf averaged 8.6 points per game last season as she was slowed by injuries, but still was named to the All-NSIC second team. Wolff also passed out 3.6 assists per game, handing out at least 100 assists for the second consecutive season. Wolff is closing in on the 1,000-point plateau during her career and has been named to the NSIC All-Academic team during the last two years.

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