Koupal named to academic team

Koupal named to academic team USD's Mandy Koupal has demonstrated once again that she excels both on the basketball court and in the classroom. For the second straight season, she has been named to the 2004 Academic All-District VII Team (College Division) as selected by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors). Koupal will be on the ballot for Academic All-American honors to be voted on later this spring. For the second straight season, senior All-American Mandy Koupal of No. 17 South Dakota women's basketball team (21-5, 6-4 NCC) has been named to the 2004 Academic All-District VII Team (College Division) as selected by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors).

By being named to the all-district first team, Koupal will be on the ballot for Academic All-American honors to be voted on later this spring. A year ago, she was named to the Third Team Academic All-American squad.

Koupal was a second team All-District VII selection as a sophomore and has been named Academic All-North Central Conference for two straight years.

Joining Koupal on the 2004 first team was senior Kelly Foley of Wartburg College (3.99 GPA, psychology); senior Rhea May of Nebraska Wesleyan (3.99 GPA, mathematics); senior Jena Shackelford of Central Missouri State (4.0 GPA, biology), and senior Maureen Walterbach of Maryville University (3.98 GPA, business administration and psychology).

Koupal, a native of Wagner, is just one of two women basketball players in Division II to rank in the top 10 in scoring and rebounding, a feat she also accomplished in 2002-03.

The Daktronics National Division II Player of the Year in 2002-03 and a two-time All-American, Koupal currently ranks second nationally with 23.8 points and she is ninth nationally with 11.4 rebounds a contest. Koupal also has the most points (620) in Division II as well as the top rebounding mark of 296 boards.

Koupal, who has 2,310 points in her collegiate career, is now 10th in career scoring on the NCAA Division II list.

NCC Player of the Week

Koupal averaged 31.0 points and 12.5 rebounds in a pair of wins over nationally ranked teams and was named the North Central Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week, according to an announcement Feb. 23 by the league office.

Koupal's performance was key as No. 16 South Dakota (23-5, 8-4 NCC) defeated No. 8 North Dakota State (71-68) and No. 7 North Dakota (74-61) at the DakotaDome on Feb. 20 and Feb. 21. The wins pushed USD's win streak to six and brought USD into a third place tie with North Dakota in the NCC.

During this past weekend, Koupal set a new conference record for career rebounds with 675, passing former UND standout Jenny Crouse (663, 1996-99). Koupal also scored her 2,000th point as a member of the South Dakota program and has 2,018 for her career at USD. Overall, she has 2,372 which is eighth place in career scoring in NCAA Division II.

This past weekend, Koupal hit 20-of-31 field goals for 64.5 percent, including 2-of-3 from three point range and she was 20-of-26 for 76.9 percent from the foul line. She also established a season record for made free throws at USD.

In the 71-68 win over NCC co-leader NDSU, Koupal had 33 points and 18 rebounds, including conversion of 11-of-16 field goals for 68.8 percent as USD completed a regular season sweep of the Bison. She had two assists, a blocked shot and two steals in the win.

Against No. 7 North Dakota, Koupal hit 9-of-15 field goals, including her only three-point field goal. She made 10-of-13 free throws for the second straight night, adding seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocked shots.

Her efforts allowed USD to defeat NDSU and UND at the DakotaDome for the fourth straight season.

Koupal earned All-NCC honors for the third time this season and 10th time in her career at South Dakota.

Next for South Dakota is Rivalry Week with games vs. Augustana on Friday and against 10th-ranked SDSU on Saturday. Tip-off for both games is at 6 p.m.

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