San Jose, Calif. - In two polls, the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) head coaches and the media members who cover WAC women's basketball, San Jose State sophomore guard Ta'Rea Cunnigan was named a preseason All-WAC selection and the Spartans were chosen to finish in seventh place. The announcement came from the conference office in Denver, Colo., on Wednesday.
Cunnigan led all WAC freshmen in scoring at 11.8 points per game, was sixth in the WAC in steals, snatching 2.07 per game, and was named to the 2011-12 All-Freshman team, was selected a second-team honoree in both polls.
A 5-9 guard, Cunnigan was the Spartans third-leading scorer and ranked second in steals. She scored a season-high 21 points at Nevada and reached double-figure in 12 of 14 WAC contests.
Utah State senior Devyn Christensen was selected as the WAC Preseason Player of the Year.
A first-team All-WAC pick a year ago, she leads the list of Preseason All-WAC honorees.
Joining her on the first team are Idaho's Alyssa Charlston, Diamond Ford of Texas State, Louisiana Tech's Whitney Frazier and Kacie Sowell of Seattle U.
Cunnigan counterparts on the second team are Krissy Carr (Idaho), Quincey Noonan (Denver), Emiko Smith (Denver) and Ashley Ward (Seattle U).
San Jose State, which finished 11-19 overall, 6-8 in WAC play and in a fourth place tie last season, was chosen to come in seventh place among the 10-team conference in both polls.
In 2011-12, the team had nine more wins than its previous season and the most wins since 2005-06. The nine-game improvement was amongst the best in the nation. San Jose State improved its scoring by 487 points from the previous season and increased its per-game scoring average from 47.7 points to 64.5. The team's 1,870 total points rank fourth best in San Jose State history.
Utah State (78 points, seven first-place votes) led the coach's poll followed closely by Louisiana Tech (75 points, three first-place votes). Denver, Seattle U and Idaho round out the top half of the poll with 55, 48 and 47 points, respectively. Texas State (41), San Jose State (36), New Mexico State (27), UTSA (26) and UT Arlington (17) make up the second five in the poll.
2012-13 Preseason Women's Basketball Coaches Poll
Teams (1st-Place Votes) 1. Utah State (7) 78 2. Louisiana Tech (3) 75 3. Denver 55 4. Seattle U 48 5. Idaho 47 6. Texas State 41 7. San Jose State 36 8. New Mexico State 27 9. UTSA 26 10. UT Arlington 17
2012-13 Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches All-WAC Teams
Alyssa Charlston, Idaho
Devyn Christensen, Utah State
Whitney Frazier, Louisiana Tech
Diamond Ford, Texas State
Kacie Sowell, Seattle U
Krissy Carr, Idaho
Ta’Rea Cunnigan, San Jose State
Quincey Noonan, Denver
Emiko Smith, Denver
Ashley Ward, Seattle U
Preseason Player of the Year: Devyn Christensen, Utah State