PUEBLO, Colo. (November 10, 2016) – After winning their fifth Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament Championship, Colorado State University-Pueblo women's basketball begins its quest for a RMAC regular season title when they compete in the Denver Holiday Inn Cherry Creek Classic Friday in their regular season opener against Texas A&M University-Commerce at 5 p.m.
The ThunderWolves will also face defending national champion, Lubbock Christian University Saturday at 5 p.m. as part of the tournament held on the campus of Metro State University-Denver.
CSU-Pueblo competed against both the Lions and the Chapparals in the opening weekend of the 2015-16 season. The Pack fell to Lubbock Christian in their season opener a year ago, but bounced back the following night to defeat the Lions 68-62 as part of the 2015 Al-Kaly Shrine Classic.
The "Starting Five" - CSU-Pueblo's Top Storylines
1) RMAC coaches pegged the ThunderWolves as the preseason favorites to win the conference. The Pack won a conference-record fifth RMAC Tournament Championship in 2016.
2) The Pack won a school-record 26 games in 2015-16 during Jim Turgeon's first season at the helm. The ThunderWolves would earn the No. 2 seed in their NCAA Regional, which is their highest seed ever in a NCAA Tournament.
3) CSU-Pueblo returns three starters from their 2015-16 squad. Seven reserves also return for the Pack. Transfers Taylor Long (Jr., Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Katie Cunningham (Jr., Aurora, Colo.) are expected to start immediately for CSU-Pueblo. Two transfers and two freshmen round out the Pack's roster.
4) Two of the Pack's three returning starters earned All-RMAC nods in 2015-16. Molly Rohrer (So., Greenwood Village, Colo.) earned First Team All-RMAC honors in addition to being named RMAC Freshman of the Year. Tuileisu Anderson (So., Vancouver, Wash.) also received First Team All-RMAC honors. Both Anderson and Rohrer were named Preseason All-RMAC.
5) CSU-Pueblo received votes in the WBCA Preseason poll, released November 2nd. The Pack received 44 total votes which placed them No.28 overall. CSU-Pueblo was the only RMAC team to receive a vote.
• Lauren Heyn (So., Loomis, Calif.) set the school's single-season field goal percentage as freshman in 2015-16. Heyn made 55.6 percent of her attempts from the field. She sank 104 of her 187 shots. As a freshman, Heyn also drained 41.7 of 24 attempts from downtown.
• Rohrer had 67 blocks in her freshman season. This ranks as the second-highest single-season total in school history. Rohrer's 2.1 blocks per set ranks third all-time. In just one season, Rohrer already ranks eighth in school history in career blocks.
• Dee Arrieta joins the CSU-Pueblo coaching staff after one of the most decorated careers in school history. As a senior, Arrieta earned RMAC Tournament MVP honors and was named Second Team All-RMAC. Arrieta ranks third all-time at CSU-Pueblo with 156 career 3-pointers. She will be a part-time assistant this season.
• While competing for Western State, Long finished 10th in the RMAC with 13.5 points per game. Long ranked third in the conference with an 85.5 free throw percentage. She was selected Honorable Mention All-RMAC.
• Cunningham won a Region XI Championship while competing for Jim Turgeon at Iowa Western Community College. Including her high school career, Cunningham has won league championships in five of her last six seasons.
The ThunderWolves will host their home opener when they face the University of Alaska Fairbanks Friday Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. in the 2016 Al Kaly Shrine Classic held at Massari Arena.
Pack Basketball season tickets are still on sale and cost $78.00 each. The benefits of becoming a basketball season ticket holder include a Pack Pass that grants you entry into any other CSU-Pueblo home sporting event (except football) for every season ticket purchased. Fans can also attend every men's and women's basketball game throughout the season.
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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