Westminster basketball: women's team picked to win league; Yazzie named co-Player of the Year

By Joshua Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10 2012 2:42 p.m. MDT

WHITEFISH, Mont. – The Westminster College women’s basketball team was picked to win the Frontier Conference this season according to a poll of the league’s coaches; the conference office announced Wednesday.

Westminster received 64 points and eight first-place votes in the poll to take the top spot. The Griffins are the four-time defending regular season champions.

Senior Nicole Yazzie was selected as the Frontier Conference Co-Preseason Player of the Year. The 5-foot-7 guard from West Valley City led the Griffins in scoring last season at 13.3 points per game. She was a NAIA third team All-American and finished second in the country in free throw percentage at 92 percent.

Cydney Tibbits was also named to the Preseason All-Conference team. The 6-foot-1 senior from Pasco, Wash., averaged 10.8 points and 7.4 rebounds in 21 games last season. Tibbitts also led the team with 18 blocked shots and added 25 steals.

Defending conference tournament champion Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) was picked to finish second in the league with 52 points. Carroll (Mont.) received one first-place vote and finished third in the poll with Montana Western placing fourth. Montana Tech and Montana State-Northern were selected fifth and sixth, respectively, with Rocky Mountain (Mont.), Great Falls (Mont.) and Dickinson State (N.D.) rounding out the poll.

Hayley Pettit of Montana Western was the other Co-Player of the Year. The All-Conferene team was completed with Sammi Bignell of Montana Western, Kelsey DeWit from Montana Tech, Brittney Niebergall of Lewis-Clark State and Megan Patterson from Carroll.

In the poll, votes were given eight points for first, seven points for second, six points for third, five points for fourth, four points for fifth, three points for sixth, two points for seventh and one point for eighth. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. The preseason all-conference teams were selected by the league's coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own players.

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