Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
DENVER, CO - New Mexico State women's basketball head coach Mark Trakh was named the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year once again, as announced by the conference on Monday. Joining Trakh on all-conference awards list are Sasha Weber, Moriah Mack and Brooke Salas.
The fifth year head coach was picked by his peers after guiding NM State to a 24-4 overall record in the regular-season and a 13-1 mark in conference play. Trakh also led the Aggies to 15-straight wins this season, tying the program record set back in the latter half of the 1987-88 season.
This is the second-straight coach of the year honor for Trakh after leading the Aggies to their second-straight WAC regular-season title. In addition, he became just the fifth head coach in WAC history to earn that honor in back-to-back seasons. The last to do it was Louisiana Tech's Kurt Budke (2002-03, 03-04). Trakh is also the only head coach in New Mexico State women's basketball history to win it twice.
This is the second First-Team All-WAC honor for Weber, who wrapped up her senior year averaging 12.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in the regular season. The 6-0 guard concluded the regular-season with 62 assists, 36 steals and 15 blocks as well. Her 62 assists are good for second on the team while her 36 steals and 15 blocks are good for fourth on the team. The Lacey, Wash., native picked up a new career-high in points with 25 in the early month of the season against Northern Arizona and also set a new career-high in 3-pointers made against the Lumberjacks with seven.
Mack flexed her muscle on the offensive end this season after headlining the all-defensive team last season, and earned First-Team All-WAC accolades this season on top of earning her second-straight all-defensive team honors. Despite missing the first eight games of the season, Mack averaged 11.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 20 games for NM State. The junior picked it up in conference play, and paced the Aggies with 13.1 points per game – third-best in WAC – to go with 5.6 boards per game.
The San Antonio, Texas, product shot a blistering .456 from the floor and shot 34-percent from beyond the arc. Of her 44 assists on the year, 35 came in conference play.
As recognized by the opposing coaches, Mack garnered her second all-defensive team award. The 5-8 guard has locked down the opposing team's best player and wreaked havoc on the full-court press, as evident by NM State's 19.57 turnovers forced per game.
Last but not least is Salas, who a spot on the WAC All-Newcomer Team. Salas averaged 9.1 points and 4.8 rebounds on the season while shooting 42-percent from the floor. The 5-10 guard started her career scoring 10 points on eight rebounds and seven steals against North Dakota State. She continued to blossom as the season went on, including a season-high 22 points and eight rebounds performance against Chicago State at home. The freshman from Placentia, Calif., reached double-figures 12 times in 28 games, and led the team on four separate occasions.
UT Rio Grande Valley's Shawnte' Goff was named the WAC Player of the Year while CSU Bakersfield' Addi Walters earned WAC Freshman of the Year honors. NM State had the most players on the first-team list and tied with Utah Valley and Grand Canyon with two players each on the all-conference team.
New Mexico State will open WAC Tournament play on Friday, March 11, at noon against the winner between the No. 4-seed Utah Valley and the No. 5-seed UMKC at Orleans Arena.