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Coming off of its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002, the three-time defending regular-season Mountain West champion Colorado State Rams have been voted by league coaches and media to win the conference again, as announced by the Mountain West on Wednesday.

The Rams received 283 points and 17 of 29 possible first-place votes en route to being tabbed the top team. Boise State was voted the No. 2 team in the Mountain West with 271 points and 11 first-place votes, while Fresno State was picked third with 221 points. New Mexico, which was ranked sixth in the league in the preseason poll, received the remaining first-place vote.

Leading nine returning letterwinners from last year’s team is senior guard Ellen Nystrom, who was tabbed Preseason MW Player of the Year as part of the voting. Nystrom, who was also selected to the preseason all-conference team, set CSU’s single-season assists record (186) last season en route to being selected 2015-16 MW Player of the Year.

The Lulea, Sweden native has been selected to the All-Mountain West and Mountain West All-Defensive teams in each of her three previous seasons, and is 68 points away from joining the Rams’ 1,000-point club.

Fellow senior and Sweden native Elin Gustavsson also headlines the Rams’ top returning players. Like Nystrom, Gustavsson is nearing the 1,000-point milestone, needing just 30 to reach that mark. Gustavsson averaged 10.6 points in 2015-16, and averaged 16.8 points per game on 58.8-percent shooting in the MW Tournament to earn Most Outstanding Player honors.

The two seniors have anchored the Rams’ run of three-straight regular-season MW titles, the only stretch of three consecutive regular-season conference championships in league history. Among other team accomplishments during the 2015-16 season, the Rams recorded a program-best 28-game winning streak, the best winning percentage in program history (.939) and the only undefeated record in conference play by any Mountain West school since the team transitioned to an 18-game schedule.

CSU has been predicted to win the Mountain West in each of the past two seasons and now four times overall (including the 2016-17 poll). In each of the three previous instances, the Rams went on to win the Mountain West.

Aside from Nystrom’s Preseason MW Player of the Year nod, preseason individual honorees included New Mexico’s Mykiel Burleson, who was voted Preseason MW Freshman of the Year, as well as San Jose State’s Hallie Gennett, who was tabbed Preseason Newcomer of the Year.

The Colorado State women’s basketball team makes its Moby Arena debut on Friday, Nov. 4 for a 7 p.m. MT exhibition game with CSU-Pueblo. The Rams open the regular season at home on Friday, Nov. 11 against the Omaha Mavericks. The Rams’ contest with the Mavericks marks the beginning of Preseason WNIT play, and is set to tip off at 7 p.m. MT.

Feature Image Courtesy of CSU Women’s Basketball