DENVER - Two New Mexico State women's basketball players earned 2010-11 All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) honors following a vote of the league's head coaches last weekend.
Aggie senior guard Madison Spence received All-WAC Second Team recognition while guard Jasmine Rutledge earned All-WAC Freshman Team honors.
The awards mark the fifth season in a row that the Aggies have placed a player on an All-WAC squad at the end of the season. Rutledge's selection signifies the fourth straight season an NM State rookie has been named to the conference freshman squad.
Spence has spent four years in a Crimson and White uniform, playing in 119 career games while starting each one. Her 119 starts rank second all-time at NM State. With a start in the WAC tournament Wednesday against Hawai'i, Spence will tie the all-time starts record of 120 held by Andrea Kabwasa (1988-92).
With 16 points Thursday against Idaho, Spence moved into sole possession of seventh place on the all-time NM State scoring list, She added 18 in her final home game on Saturday against Boise State and now boasts 1,465 career points. Last year, she became the 17th member of the 1,000-point club and just the seventh player in program history to accomplish the feat prior to her senior year.
Earlier this season, the senior captain notched her first career double-double against Hawai'i with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Spence has been an All-WAC preseason or postseason selection in each of her four seasons as an Aggie.
Her 1,245 field goal attempts rank No. 6 on NM State's career lists. Spence ranks fourth all-time at NM State with 156 made 3-point shots. She stands third all-time with 485 attempts from beyond the arc.
With 337 made free throws, Spence ranks fourth all-time at NM State and she stands fifth all-time in program history with 448 foul shot attempts. Spence's current 75.2 free throw percentage is seventh all-time in the Aggie record books.
The Las Cruces native's 348 career assists rank seventh all-time at NM State.
This season Spence leads the team in minutes per game (31.7) and points per game (14.3).
"I think all of the voting this season is how it should be," said head coach Darin Spence. "I think Madison had a good year and was consistent from start to finish and she is well-deserving. I think Jasmine Rutledge is very deserving of being on the all-freshman team, it gives us something else to be excited for next year."
In her first season in Crimson and White, Jasmine Rutledge averaged 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 points per game in 17.9 minutes of playing time. She ranks second on the team this year with 138 rebounds. Rutledge also totaled a dozen blocks, 23 assists and 25 steals in her first year.
As a starter over the last 18 games, Rutledge's numbers have blossomed with 2.3 points and 6.2 boards and 23.8 minutes of time on the floor per contest. She pulled down 102 boards in 16 total conference games this season.
Freshman guard Jasmine Rutledge started all 16 WAC games this season for the Aggies and 18 straight contests overall. She earned her first start on the road at New Mexico Dec. 30; a game after teammate Camila Rosen was lost to the season due to a knee injury. Against the Lobos, the rookie scored three points and grabbed four rebounds while playing solid defense in 29 minutes on the floor.
On Feb. 7 at LA Tech, Rutledge posted a career-high 10 points against the Lady Techsters. The effort more than doubled her previous high of four points. The freshman also went 6-of-8 from the line, doubling her made free throws up to that point of the season.
The Manhattan Beach, Calif., native solidified her starting role Jan. 15 at Fresno State with a breakout game. She notched a career high of 15 rebounds against the Bulldogs to go with four assists and 31 minutes of floor time.
After grabbing nine boards versus Utah State on Jan. 22, Rutledge posted her second career double-digit rebound performance with 11 caroms at Idaho on Jan. 29. The freshman later posted double-digit boards with 13 against LA Tech on Feb. 13.
Spence and Rutledge helped NM State finish the regular season in a tie for fifth place in the WAC at 7-9. The Aggies are seeded sixth in the conference tourney this week and will face No. 7 seed Hawai'i who split the season series with NM State this season as each won on the opponent's home court.
The Aggies and Rainbow Wahine will tip in game two of the women's tournament at 9:30 p.m. MT Wednesday, March 9 inside Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Should the Aggies win, they would face No. 3 seed Utah State at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10.
A live broadcast of the game can be heard across the state on the Aggie Sports Radio Network with Kyle Doperalski on KSNM 570 AM.
Click NMStateSports.com for all of the latest women's basketball news.