Boise State Favored to Win MWC Women's Basketball Title

COLORADO SPRINGS – Boise State received 19 of the 23 first-place votes in being selected as the favorite to win the MW Women’s Basketball title. UNLV, the runnerup, received the four other first-place votes.

Boise junior Riley Lupfer earned MW Preseason Player of the Year honors, while teammate Jade Loville was tabbed MW Preseason Freshman of the Year. Colorado State guard Mollie Mounsey is the MW Preseason Newcomer of the Year.

The MW’s preseason predicted order of finish, all-conference team and individual honors were voted on by a panel of the Conference’s 11 head coaches and select women’s basketball media from around the league.

The Broncos, who finished the 2017-18 season with a 23-10 record and a 14-4 MW mark en route to a regular and postseason Conference championship, finished 21 points ahead of UNLV. The Lady Rebels earned 208 points and the remaining four first-place votes. Fresno State placed third in the poll with 175 points, while Wyoming (158) and New Mexico (150) round out the top 5.

Lupfer collected preseason Conference player of the year honors after a sophomore campaign in which she earned All-MW honors and set the Conference single-season 3-point record (122). The native of Spokane, Washington, averaged 18.9 points per game in MW play last season and shot 50 percent from beyond the arc. Lupfer led the Broncos to the second NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.

Loville played her high school basketball at Skyline in Sammamish, Washington. The 5-foot-10 guard averaged 37.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, while earned All-USA Today Washington Girls Team honors as a senior. Loville was a four-time All-KingCo 4A selection, earning second-team honors as a freshman and sophomore and first-team selections as a junior and senior.

Mounsey is a two-time NJCAA First-Team All-American who transferred to Colorado State from Seward County Community College. The native of Follett, Texas, is one of the top 3-point shooters nationally, connecting on 143 3-point field goals last season, which were the most of any women's basketball player in the nation among any Division I, II, III, NAIA or NJCAA school. As a sophomore, helped lead Seward County to a top 5 national finish.

Lupfer was joined on the MW Preseason All-Conference team by teammate Marta Hermida, Fresno State’s Candice White, New Mexico’s Jaisa Nunn and UNLV’s Katie Powell.

As a junior, Hermida earned All-MW honors after averaging 10.6 points and 4.6 assists per game in league play. The native of Madrid, Spain, recorded the second triple-double in program history against Corban, going for 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Finished the Conference season ranked third in assists, averaging 4.6 helpers per contest.

Rank/School (1st-Place Votes) Points
1. Boise State (19) 229
2. UNLV (4) 208
3. Fresno State 175
4. Wyoming 158
5. New Mexico 150
6. Colorado State 128
7. Nevada 115
8. Utah State 86
9. San Diego State 64
10. Air Force 57
11. San Jose State 27
Riley Lupfer, Jr., G, Boise State
Marta Hermida, Sr., G, Boise State
Candice White, Sr., G, Fresno State
Jaisa Nunn, Sr., C, New Mexico
Katie Powell, Sr., F/C, UNLV
Riley Lupfer, Jr., G, Boise State
Jade Loville, G, Boise State
Mollie Mounsey, Jr., G, Colorado State

White averaged a league-best 19.3 points per Conference game and scored at least 20 points in 14 contests during the 2017-18 season. The native of Modesto, California, set the program single-game scoring record with 40 points against Nevada and posted a .919 (125-of-136) free-throw percentage, which is the second-best single-season percentage in MW history.  

Nunn, who fell just shy of averaging a double-double during league play (18.3 points, 9.7 rebounds), returns to a New Mexico program that won 25 games a year ago. Nunn was named to the Lisa Leslie Award watch list heading into the 2018-19 season as one of the best centers in the country.

UNLV’s Powell finished fourth in the league in points per MW game with 17.2 and pulled down 8.5 rebounds per contest. The senior from Atlanta posted 14 double-doubles during the 2017-18 season and was named MW Player of the Week on three occasions. Powell joins Nunn on the Lisa Leslie Award watch list.