Koupal named finalist for 2003-04 Division II athlete of the year honors

Koupal named finalist for 2003-04 Division II athlete of the year honors South Dakota senior women's basketball player Mandy Koupal has been nominated as a finalist for The Collegiate Women Sports Awards Division II Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

Koupal, a native of Wagner, was selected to represent all Division II student-athletes in basketball. The final ballot listing will include 12 individuals, representing the 12 sports in Division II women's athletics. In its 28th year, the 2003-04 Division II Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year honor will be determined following a vote of all senior women administrators or athletic directors at the NCAA Division II schools in late May.

The Woman Athlete of the Year recipient will be honored between June 21-24 in the rotunda of the Low Library at Columbia University in New York City.

As a result of Koupal's nomination, American Honda Motor, Co., Inc., will donate $1,000 to the USD women's athletic fund. Honda will donate $5,000 to the school of the Division II Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year recipient.

"I feel very humbled and honored to receive this recognition," said Koupal. "I want to thank my coaches, Chad Lavin and Becky Jensen, my teammates and the many people that have supported women's basketball and athletics at USD. I have had a great experience."

at the university and will always be proud to be a Coyote."

Koupal, who was earlier named the CoSIDA College Division Academic All-America of the Year, is a three-time All-NCC MVP, which is the only time that has happened in school or conference history. Koupal, the 2002-03 Daktronics NCAA Division II Player of the Year and the Division II Bulletin Preseason Player of the Year in 2003-04, was named All-NCC for the fourth time, becoming just the fifth player in NCC history to accomplish that feat.

Koupal owns a 3.823 grade point average in elementary education. She averaged 24.4 points and 11.4 rebounds in 2003-04 when No. 16 South Dakota went 25-8 and was selected to the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the second straight season. During her time at USD, Koupal helped USD to a 71-22 record.

A three-time Academic All-North Central Conference selection, Koupal was a third-team CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2002-03 and first team this season. Koupal scored 2,496 points in her collegiate career, which places her sixth in career scoring on the NCAA Division II list. The nation's second leading scorer, Koupal is ninth nationally in rebounds, making her just one of two players in the Division II's top 10 in both categories. She is the only Division II player to rank in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding both last year and this season. She finished her career at South Dakota with 1,027 rebounds, which ranks second all-time.

Koupal had a school record 806 points this season, while also pulling down a school record 381 rebounds. She posted 22 double doubles in 2003-04 and owns a school-record 57 in her stellar career. She scored in double digits in 32 of 33 games this year with 11 games of 30 points or more. She had 19, 30-point games in her career. Koupal had 21 double digit rebounding games. A year ago, she was named First-Team All-American by Division II Bulletin, WBCA/USA Today and Eastman Kodak. Owner of 18 school records, Koupal averaged 26.1 points and 12.6 rebounds in NCC conference play in 2003-04.

She led the league in scoring and rebounding. Koupal is the NCC's career scoring leader (1,352 points) and career rebounding leader (696). She compiled career averages of 23.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.

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