PUEBLO, Colo. (November 9, 2017) – The No. 5 ranked Colorado State University-Pueblo Women's Basketball team will begin its quest for another record breaking season Friday at 12 p.m. when they Pack plays No. 23 Lubbock Christian University in the South Central Region Challenge in the Field House at Commerce, Texas. The Pack will then play the host institution Texas A&M University Commerce Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
The "Starting Five" - CSU-Pueblo's Top Storylines
1) CSU-Pueblo returns all five starters from their team that went 28-4, including 24 consecutive wins to start the season. The Pack won its first outright regular season Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship since 1987-88.
2) Curtis Loyd takes over as the new Head Coach the ThunderWolves. A 20-year assistant at the D-I level, Loyd is the 10th Head Coach in program history. He guided Louisiana State University-Shreveport to a 22-10 record and their first Red River Athletic Conference Tournament Championship in program history last season.
3) Molly Rohrer (Jr., Greenwood Village, Colo.) earned RMAC Player of the Year honors as a sophomore last season. Rohrer was voted RMAC Preseason Player of the Year this season. The Pack's center set a school record with 77 blocks and 2.4 blocks per set. She also averaged 15.8 points per game.
4) Katie Cunningham (Jr., Aurora, Colo.) was recognized as the RMAC's Defensive Player of the Year last season. RMAC Coaches predicted that Cunningham would repeat this award, naming her Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Cunningham led the RMAC with 9.2 rebounds per game. She also ranked in the top five in the RMAC with 1.7 steals per game (second) and 3.9 assists (fourth).
5) The ThunderWolves enter the season ranked No.5 in both the WBCA and D-II SIDA polls. They reached as high as No. 3 in these polls a season ago. CSU-Pueblo was also selected as the Preseason favorite to win the RMAC, receiving 10 of the 15 first place votes.
- Tuileisu Anderson (Jr., Vancouver, Wash.) enters the season 11th all-time at CSU-Pueblo in scoring with 1,115 career points. Anderson enters the season just 27 points shy of Lisa (Knafelc) Osleson for 10th place all-time at CSU-Pueblo.
- Osleson was inducted inducted into the CSU-Pueblo Hall of Fame in October as part of the Pack's 2017 Hall of Fame class. Osleson's daughter Jennah Kanfelc (Jr., Highlands Ranch, Colo.) will begin her own CSU-Pueblo journey this season after transferring from UCCS.
- Anderson set a CSU-Pueblo record with 82 3-pointers last season. She ranked 24th in D-II last season in 3-pointers made. Anderson enters the season 59 treys away from the school record. She is tied for third all-time with Dee Arrieta. She has earned First Team All-RMAC honors in each of the last two seasons.
- The ThunderWolves ranked sixth in D-II last season with 5.3 blocks per game. CSU-Pueblo's 170 total blocks tied them for fourth most in the nation with Friday's opponent Lubbock Christian.
- Rohrer comes into the season in second place all-time in blocks at CSU-Pueblo. She sits just 53 rejections shy of Katie Nehf's school record of 197. Rohrer has 144 blocks in just two seasons. She ranked 20th in the nation last season with 2.4 blocks per game. Her 77 blocks placed Rohrer 12th in D-II last season.
- Scouting Lubbock Christian:
- The Chaps went 19-11 in 2016-17 to win the Heartland Conference's Regular Season Championship. They are predicted to claim their third consecutive conference crown this season.
- CSU-Pueblo and Lubbock Christian are tied in the all-time series 1-1. The Pack beat the Chaps last season 65-61.
- Tess Bruffey was named Heartland Conference Player of the Year in 2016-17. Bruffey was tabbed Preseason Heartland Player of the Year this season. She ranked second in the nation last year with 108 blocks.
- Lubbock Christian ranked 17th in D-II last season in scoring defense. The Chaps held opponents to 57.1 points per game.
Scouting Texas A&M Commerce:
- The Lions went 20-9 in 2016-17. They placed fifth in the Lone Star Conference with a 14-6 conference record. They are predicted to repeat this finish in 2017-18.
- Commerce led the Lone Star Conference in rebounding last season. They averaged 44.7 rebounds per game, 11th most in D-II.
-Artejah Gay led the Lions last season with 14.1 points per game. She ranked seventh in the Lone Star Conference in points per game.
- The Pack has won all three meetings with the Lions. CSU-Pueblo knocked off Commerce 81-58 last year. Rohrer had 18 points and eight rebounds in that game.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.