AREA COLLEGES: O'Connell, Mata'afa top Cougs' All-Pac-12 picks

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SAN FRANCISCO - Nine Washington State football players received All-Pac-12 Conference recognition, led by a pair of first-team selections in offensive lineman Cody O'Connell and defensive lineman Hercules Mata'afa.

The Cougars put multiple players on the first team for the third straight year, three in 2015 and two last season.

In addition to O'Connell and Mata'afa, offensive lineman Cole Madison, safety Jalen Thompson and kicker Erik Powell were named to the second team while offensive lineman Andre Dillard, quarterback Luke Falk, linebacker Frankie Luvu and running back Jamal Morrow all received honorable mention.

O'Connell earned his second career all-conference accolade after receiving honorable mention honors last season while Mata'afa earned his third career All-Pac-12 honor after receiving honorable mention as a freshman and second-team honors as a sophomore and is the first Cougar defensive lineman named to the first team since Mkristo Bruce in 2006.

Mata'afa led the Pac-12 with 21.5 tackles-for-loss and 9.5 sacks and totaled 43 tackles with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. O'Connell, who stands 6-foot-8, 354 pounds, was a unanimous All-American in 2016, and was also an Outland Trophy finalist last season.

BASKETBALL

L-C women sixth, men 11th

Lewis-Clark State's basketball teams continue to be recognized among the nation's best with the release of the first NAIA Division I poll of the season.

The Warrior men, off to a 10-1 start, vaulted from 24th to 11th after last weekend's sweep of Frontier Conference rivals Montana Western and Montana Tech. The Warrior women, off to a 9-2 start, also swept their conference openers and are sixth.

The Warrior women, ranked second in the preseason, are the top-ranked Frontier Conference team. Vanguard of California is undefeated at No. 1 with eight first-place votes, while Freed-Hardeman of Tennessee is the recipient of the other first-place vote and is ranked second.

The Warrior men return to action Saturday at Walla Walla University with a 6 p.m. tipoff. The women are off until Dec. 17 when they join the men in playing host to Salish Kootenai College in back-to-back doubleheaders.

WOMEN'S SOCCER

WSU earns No. 19 ranking

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After playing its way into the third round of the NCAA Tournament, the Washington State women's soccer team earned a national ranking of No. 19 in the United Soccer Coaches final poll, the organization announced Tuesday.

Throughout the year the Cougs flirted with a top-25 ranking, routinely receiving votes in the national poll. The Cougs first picked up votes in the week one poll of the season after a 0-0 draw with No. 19 Minnesota.

The Cougs' No. 19 ranking is their first ranking inside the top-25 since picking up a No. 23 ranking in the Nov. 10 poll in 2015.

Washington State returns the bulk of their 2017 team in 2018 with just four graduating seniors and nine returning starters.

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