Alana Arias has been named the Mountain West Player of the Week (Jan. 18), making her the third member of the Colorado State women’s basketball team to take home the honor this season. What makes Arias unique is that she garnered the award while coming off of the bench, making her the first non-starter to do so in the conference this season. That last time a reserve earned the award was when Moriah Faulk (Fresno State) did so Dec. 16, 2013.
The senior forward from Porto Alegre, Brazil was perhaps the Rams’ most important player during two crucial road wins over MW opponents San Diego State and Utah State. Against San Diego State, Arias notched her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Then on Wednesday, she scored 18 points and pulled down eight boards at Utah State. Arias shot 14-for-23 from the field over the course of the two games.
Her performance helped CSU improve to 15-1 overall and keep its perfect MW record intact (5-0). Despite Arias’ performance as a reserve, CSU coach Ryun Williams noted that starting forward Emilie Hesseldal’s impact is just as valuable to the team even if it’s not as apparent statistically. Considering the success CSU has had with the same starting-five for each game this year, don’t expect a lineup change anytime soon.
Arias joins teammates Elin Gustavsson and Jamie Patrick as Rams who have been recipients of the player of the week honors. Gustavsson was honored on Dec. 2, 2015 following a win over in-state rival Colorado. Patrick brought home the award on Jan. 2 after reigning in the new year with a win over Boise State to begin conference play.
CSU hosts Air Force Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Moby Arena.
Collegian Sports Editor Emmett McCarthy can be reached by email at email@example.com and on Twitter @emccarthy22.