Thursday, January 30, 2014

Summit League Softball Preseason Poll

ELMHURST, Ill. – Two-time defending regular season champion, North Dakota State was tabbed as the favorite to win the 2014 Summit League Softball Championship in a poll of the league's seven head coaches.

The Bison tallied 33 total points and four first-place votes after winning their second-consecutive regular season title and third in the last six years.

NDSU returns 13 players from last season's team that went 33-16 and 17-1 in league play, including first team all-league honoree Jenina Ortega and second team selections Brandi Enriquez, Amanda Grable and Cheyenne Garcia.

Omaha was picked second and received one first-place vote. The Mavericks welcome back a quartet of all-league members, including the 2013 Summit League Freshman of the Year Campbell Ditto. Joining Ditto are Dana Elsasser, Amber Lutmer and Allie Matthewson.

Fort Wayne, the 2013 Summit League Tournament champion, was tabbed third and collected two first-place votes. The Mastodons return four all-league performers in Alex Bousquet, Ashleigh Bousquet, Larissa Franklin and Miranda Kramer.

South Dakota and Western Illinois tied for fourth while IUPUI and South Dakota State rounded out the poll at sixth and seventh.

The Bison open the 2014 season Feb. 7-8 at the Auburn Plainsman Invitational in Auburn, Ala.

2014 Summit League Softball Preseason Poll
Points (1st)
2013 Record
North Dakota State
33 (4)
33-16 (17-1 SL)
31 (1)
36-7 (14-3 SL)
Fort Wayne
29 (2)
34-16 (12-4 SL)
South Dakota
29-20 (12-7 SL)

Western Illinois
14-23 (8-14 SL)
18-31 (7-16 SL)
South Dakota State
16-30 (6-17 SL)

Monday, January 27, 2014

NDSU's Braun Earns Summit League Player of the Week Award

ELMHURST, Ill. – North Dakota State’s Taylor Braun and Fort Wayne’s Pierre Bland were named as The Summit League’s Men’s Basketball Players of the Week following their performances Jan. 21-26.

Braun garnered his sixth career award and fourth this season after a 30-point performance in a road victory at South Dakota State on Jan. 25. Along with his 30 points, Braun added six rebounds and six assists in the game. He converted 60 percent (9-of-15) of his field goal attempts and 83.3 percent (10-of-12) from the free throw line. Braun made his final six field goal attempts over a nine-minute second half stretch to help the Bison pull away for the 85-77 road victory.

Braun is the only player in The Summit League this season to earn the league’s weekly award in back-to-back weeks. His six career Summit League Player of the Week awards are the most in NDSU history.

Bland received his first career honor after narrowly missing a triple-double in a Summit League win over IUPUI. He scored 16 points, pulled down nine rebounds and dished out eight assists while adding three steals and committing just one turnover in the contest.

Shabazz Napier (UConn), Stephen Madison (Idaho) and Braun are the only players in NCAA Division I this season to lead their respective teams in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

NDSU Adds Assistant Football Coaches

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman announced the addition of wide receivers coach Atif (ah-TEEF) Austin, defensive backs coach Joe Klanderman and tight ends/fullbacks coach Tyler Roehl to the Bison staff on Thursday, Jan. 23.

Austin was the running backs coach at Stetson in 2013 with previous stops at Northern Iowa (2005-09) and Southwest Minnesota State (2003-04), Klanderman spent the past 12 seasons at Minnesota State Mankato including the last seven as defensive coordinator, and Roehl returns to NDSU after working as a graduate assistant in 2011 and spending the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator and running backs coach at Moorhead High School.

The three hires fill out the full-time coaching staff.  NDSU will fill a graduate assistant position and a video coordinator position later this spring.

Austin was a four-year starter at Iowa State from 1999-02 before going to Southwest Minnesota State as assistant secondary coach in 2003 and inside linebackers coach in 2004.  He spent five seasons as running backs coach at Northern Iowa before returning to his high school alma mater, Tarpon Springs High School in Tampa, Fla., as the head coach and offensive coordinator in 2010 and 2011.  Austin earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Iowa State in 2003 and a master’s in leadership and education from Southwest Minnesota State in 2005.

Klanderman was a three-year starter on the defensive line for Minnesota State Mankato from 1997-01 and has been on the Mavericks staff since 2002.  He was a defensive line coach until moving to the secondary in 2005 and was elevated to the defensive coordinator role in 2007 as well as coaching the linebackers.  Klanderman earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies in 2001 and a master’s degree in sports administration in 2004 from MSU.

Roehl played at North Dakota State as a fullback and tailback from 2004-08 and finished as the school’s eighth leading rusher with 2,512 yards (currently 11th).  He ran for 1,431 yards his junior season including a school-record 263 yards in a 2007 victory at Minnesota.  Roehl signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2009 as an undrafted free agent before a career-ending injury.  He was the running backs coach and junior varsity offensive coordinator at Concordia College in Moorhead in 2010 before spending the 2011 season at NDSU and two seasons at Moorhead High.  Roehl earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from NDSU in 2009.

North Dakota State went 15-0 and won its third straight NCAA Division I football championship last season.  The Bison return 13 starters (five offense, six defense, kicker and punter) and take a school- and Football Championship Subdivision-record 24-game winning streak into the 2014 season opener Aug. 30 at Iowa State.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WNBA All-Star 2014 Will Be Held In Phoenix

NEW YORK and PHOENIX, Jan. 22, 2014 - Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 will take place at US Airways Center in Phoenix, on Saturday, July 19, and will be nationally televised on ESPN, with tip-off at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT), WNBA President Laurel J. Richie announced today.
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The 2000 WNBA All-Star Game in Phoenix saw the Western Conference defeat the Eastern Conference, 73-61, in front of a capacity crowd of 17,717 fans. The West, led by a quartet of frontcourt stars – center Lisa Leslie and forwards Tina Thompson, DeLisha Milton, and Yolanda Griffith – helped the West dominate in the paint both in terms of scoring (46-28) and rebounding (60-40). Thompson earned Most Valuable Player honors after posting a game-high 11 rebounds and adding 13 points. Leslie led all scorers with 16 points while Milton added 10 and Griffith contributed a double-double off the bench (10 points and 10 rebounds). Taj McWilliams-Franklin and Tari Phillips led the East with 10 points apiece.
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