Lady Griz, Lady Griz fans both overachieving
Coach Robin Selvig oversees the Lady Griz operation

Coach Robin Selvig oversees the Lady Griz operation

July 19, 2012

The Montana women's basketball team and its fans both have reason to be proud today. The Lady Griz made the WBCA Academic Top 25 Honor Roll for the second consecutive season this week, and the team's fans ranked in the top 40 in the nation in home attendance for the 26th time in the last 27 seasons.

Montana ranked 17th nationally on the prestigious Women's Basketball Coaches Association annual academic list, which recognizes team grade point average for the most recent fall and spring semesters.

The Lady Griz had an average team GPA of 3.22 for the fall semester and a superb 3.57 in the spring, the second-highest semester GPA in the department (behind women's cross country's 3.62). Using the WBCA's formula, Montana finished with a team GPA of 3.399 for the academic year.

Montana placed seven players on last winter's Academic All-Big Sky Conference team, which honors student-athletes with a GPA of 3.2 or higher who played in at least half of their team's games.

Leading the smarty-pants septet was Jordan Sullivan, who had a 3.89 cumulative GPA as a business administration major following the spring semester.

The others were Kenzie De Boer (3.52, communication studies), Tianna Ware (3.38, communication studies), Maggie Rickman (3.38, general studies), Katie Baker (3.33, health and human performance), Kellie Cole (3.32, education) and Alyssa Smith (3.24, health and human performance).

Of note for the Big Sky Conference is that five of the league's current membership studied their way to spots in the top 25. North Dakota (3.505) ranked eighth, Montana State (3.435) 11th, Northern Colorado (3.421) 12th and Eastern Washington (3.337) 25th.

 

 

The top three teams on this year's honor roll all made last spring's NCAA tournament as well: Wisconsin-Green Bay (3.616), South Dakota State (3.610) and DePaul (3.604). See the complete top 25 below.

Cheering for that group of academic standouts was a group of fans that ranked 39th in the nation in attendance at 2,896 per game, one spot ahead of Minnesota (2,835) of the Big 10. See the top 50 below.

Montana has ranked in the top 40 in home attendance every season but one since the NCAA began tracking the numbers in 1984-85. The only aberration came in 1998-99 when the team played its home games at Sentinel High School. That year's average attendance: 2,170. That year's national rank: 43rd.

Montana State (1,408) and Idaho State (1,367) ranked second and third in attendance in the league behind Montana. Those three helped the Big Sky Conference to an average of 1,027 to rank 18th out of 32 Division I conferences.

The Lady Griz attracted better than 3,000 fans eight times last winter, with a season-high 3,924 for their 77-59 victory over Montana State on Feb. 25.

2012 WBCA Academic Top 25 Honor Roll
1. Green Bay (coach Matt Bollant) ... 3.616
2. South Dakota State (Aaron Johnston) ... 3.610
3. DePaul (Douglas Bruno) ... 3.604
4. South Dakota (Ryun Williams) ... 3.595
5. American (Matt Corkery) ... 3.563
6. Youngstown State (Robert Boldon) ... 3.550
7. Utah Valley (Cathy Nixon) ... 3.524
8. North Dakota (Gene Roebuck) ... 3.505
9. Florida Gulf Coast (Karl Smesko) ... 3.474
10. St. Francis (John Thurston) ... 3.456
11. Montana State (Tricia Binford) ... 3.435
12. Northern Colorado (Jaime White) ... 3.421
13. Western Carolina (Karen Middleton) ... 3.406
14. New Mexico (Yvonne Sanchez) ... 3.403
14. Northern Iowa (Tanya Warren) ... 3.403
16. North Dakota State (Carolyn DeHoff) ... 3.402
17. Montana (Robin Selvig) ... 3.399
18. Indiana-Purdue, Fort Wayne (Chris Paul) ... 3.398
19. Bradley (Paula Buscher) ... 3.396
20. Denver (Erik Johnson) ... 3.387
21. Bucknell (Kathy Fedorjaka) ... 3.382
22. Yale (Chris Gobrecht) ... 3.352
23. Sacred Heart (Edward Swanson) ... 3.349
24. Bowling Green (Curt Miller) ... 3.347
25. Eastern Washington (Wendy Schuller) ... 3.337

2011-12 NCAA Division I home attendance leaders
1. Tennessee ... 14,414
2. Louisville ... 10,670
3. Iowa State ... 9,805
4. Connecticut ... 9,168
5. Notre Dame ... 8,571
6. Baylor ... 8,563
7. Purdue ... 7,958
8. Michigan State ... 7,505
9. Oklahoma ... 6,851
10. New Mexico ... 6,763
11. Texas Tech ... 6,693
12. Texas A&M ... 6,555
13. Kentucky ... 6,282
14. Gonzaga ... 5,443
15. Duke ... 5,361
16. Maryland ... 5,356
17. Penn State ... 4,956
18. Wisconsin ... 4,846
19. Iowa ... 4,846
20. Nebraska ... 4,597
21. LSU ... 4,315
22. Stanford ... 4,250
23. Vanderbilt ... 4,113
24. Kansas State ... 4,069
25. Texas ... 3,988
26. Delaware ... 3,907
27. Georgia ... 3,848
28. Toledo ... 3,748
29. Ohio State ... 3,666
30. Middle Tennessee State ... 3,585
31. Louisiana Tech ... 3,468
32. Wyoming ... 3,235
33. Fresno State ... 3,188
34. Virginia ... 3,152
35. South Carolina ... 3,139
36. Missouri State ... 3,052
37. DePaul ... 2,944
38. Indiana State ... 2,930
39. Montana ... 2,896
40. Minnesota ... 2,835
41. Old Dominion ... 2,789
42. TCU ... 2,780
43. Wisconsin-Green Bay ... 2,712
44. Colorado ... 2,679
45. Oklahoma State ... 2,675
46. UTEP ... 2,639
47. North Carolina ... 2,630
48. East Tennessee State ... 2,621
49. Arkansas-Little Rock ... 2,617
50. Virginia Tech ... 2,584

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