HPU’s Baum and Takatsuka headline Pacific West Conference honors dominated by the Sharks

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Amy Baum

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Hawaii Pacific University Sophomore Amy Baum and head coach Reid Takatsuka led the HPU domination of the 2020 All-PacWest Conference Women’s Basketball Team the conference office announced the team on Tuesday.

Baum was chosen by the conference coaches as the PacWest Conference Player of the Year, Takatsuka the PacWest Coach of the Year and sophomore Ally Bates the PacWest Newcomer of the Year as they led the Sharks to a 27-1 overall record and a 22-0 PacWest record, the best regular season in school history.

Baum and senior Starr Rivera were chosen to the All-PacWest First Team, sophomore Abbey Noblett to the All-PacWest Second Team, and junior Alysha Marcucci the All-PacWest Third Team. Bates earned All-PacWest Honorable Mention.

Baum, a 5-7 sophomore guard from Melbourne, Australia/Rowville Secondary, recorded the first triple-double in women’s school history with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 15 assists against Dominican, tying the HPU record for single game assists. She recorded five other “near” triples, and seven double-doubles on the season. Baum averages 12.3 points a game, leads PacWest and is fourth nationally with 6.1 assists per game, and ranks sixth in PacWest and 102nd nationally with 8.3 rebounds per game.

Rivera, a 5-5 senior guard from Honolulu/Roosevelt, leads the Sharks and is the fourth leading scorer in PacWest, 47th nationally, with 18.2 points per game. She leads PacWest and is eighth nationally with a 46.0  3-point field goal percentage, and is third in PacWest, 36th nationally, with 2.68 3-point field goals per game. Rivera averages 3.3 assists per game (10th PacWest, 179 nationally), and tied the HPU school record with eight 3-pointers at Point Loma. She is third all-time in 3-point field goals for a season with 75, just three away from establishing a new mark.

Noblett, a 5-10 sophomore guard from Morwell, Australia/Lavalla Catholic, ranks second on team, 10th in the PacWest and 145th nationally averaging 15.4 points a game. She leads team, is ranked fifth in PacWest and 121st nationally with a .464 field goal percentage to go with her .862 free throw percentage leads the PacWest, and ranks 32nd nationally. Noblett set HPU school records for season free throws and free throw attempts, and the single-game free throws made record with 15 at Biola and at Chaminade.

Marcucci, a 5-11 junior from Melbourne, Australia/Marist-Sion, is averaging 12.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, and leads team with 1.57 steals per game. She ranks seventh in PacWest and 117th in nation with 2.18 3-pointers per contest. Marcucci is third on the HPU career scoring list with 1,129 points and hold the HPU career 3-point field goal record with 199 on a record 590 attempts. She is also fourth in school history with 129 career steals and 54 career blocked shots, while ranking fifth with 443 career rebounds.

Bates, a 5-9 sophomore from Melbourne, Australia/Yarra Valley, is a transfer from WAC member Utah Valley. She is the top 6th Player in the league, coming off the bench to average 10.2 points and 5.4 rebounds a contest. Her 3.4 assists a game ranks ninth in the PacWest and 164th nationally, while her assist/turnover ratio of 1.71 is sixth in the PacWest and 68th in Division II. She also is averaging 1.36 steals a contest.

For Takatsuka, it’s the fourth time in nine seasons he has been voted by his peers as the PacWest Coach of the Year. He’s led the Sharks to their best season in school history at 27-1 and a No. 3 national ranking heading into the postseason. It’s HPU’s fourth conference championship (2010, 2015, 2018 and 2020), the third regular season title under Takatsuka. The Sharks bench boss was also named the WHoopDirt.com Division II National Coach of the Week on Jan. 14. The winningest active collegiate coach in the state of Hawai‘i, Takatsuka currently holds a record of 194-64 (.752).

Joining the Sharks trio with PacWest Special Awards are Azusa Pacific’s Laura Pranger as Defender of the Year and Biola’s Stephanie Lee as Freshman of the Year.

Joining Baum and Rivera on the All-PacWest First Team are Pranger and APU teammate Savanna Hanson, Dominican’s Jerusha Paine and Concordia Irvine’s Michaela VanderKlugt.

The Sharks are the top seed in the 2020 PacWest Conference Tournament and are looking to grab their three consecutive tournament title and fourth overall. HPU has a bye to the tourney semifinals where they play the winner of Thursday’s first round game between fourth-seeded Point Loma and fifth-seeded Biola. The semifinal is set for 12:30 p.m. HST (2:30 p.m. PST) on Friday at Azusa Pacific’s Felix Event Center in Azusa, Calif. The winner plays for the PacWest Conference Tournament Championship on Saturday at Noon HST (2:00 p.m. PST).

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