Lady Eagles Picked to Finish Second in the South Atlantic Conference in 2010-11
ROCK HILL, S.C. – The Carson-Newman women's basketball team has been selected to finish second in the South Atlantic Conference in 2010-11, conference officials announced Friday.
The Lady Eagles, who went 24-7 last season and earned a berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the fourth time in six years, received 89 points in the preseason coaches' poll.
C-N senior guard Mandy Mendenhall (Kingston Springs, Tenn.) was named to the preseason first team All-SAC team, which was also announced. Mendenhall averaged 13.6 points per game last season, ranked third in the league in steals at 2.10 per game and was among the conference leaders in assists (2.47), 3-pointers made (44) and 3-point percentage (37 percent). Mendenhall was a second team All-SAC performer a year ago.
Tusculum, which returns four starters from last year's 23-10 team that advanced to the Elite Eight, is the unanimous preseason favorite to win the 2010-11 SAC regular season crown.
The Pioneers received 10 first-place votes and 100 total points from the league's 10 head coaches.
Tusculum returns All-American guard and 2010 SAC Player of the Year Jasmine Gunn, who was one of two Pioneers named to the preseason All-Conference team. Gunn, a preseason first-team selection, was second in the league in scoring last season, averaging 21.6 points per game, led the SAC in steals at 2.82 per game, and was third in assists at 4.79 per game. Tusculum senior center Catherine Hintz, who averaged 8.5 rebounds and was third in the league in blocked shots at 1.66 per game, was named to the second team. Hintz was a member of the 2010 Food Lion SAC All-Tournament team.
Newberry College is picked to finish third with 71 points. The Wolves bring back three starters from last year's 21-9 squad, including a pair of preseason All-Conference selections. Helen McKinney, a senior guard, was named to the first team, while senior forward Leanne Watson was named to the second team. McKinney ranked seventh in the league in scoring last season, averaging 15.3 points per game, was third with 72 made 3-pointers. Watson averaged 10.5 points per game and ranked fifth in the league in rebounding, averaging 8.5 per game.
Lincoln Memorial University is the pick to finish fourth with 60 points. Junior guard Dayshalee Salaman was named to the preseason All-Conference second team. Last season, Salaman was fifth in the SAC in scoring at 17.8 points per game and was among the league leaders in assists per game (3.46, sixth in the SAC), and steals per game (1.89, fifth in the SAC).
Catawba College received 53 points for fifth place in the poll. The Indians placed two on the preseason All-Conference team in junior center Dana Hicks and senior guard Milica Ivanovic. Hicks, a first-team selection, averaged 15.1 points per game last season and was second in the league in rebounding at 11.2 per contest. Ivanovic was named to the preseason All-Conference second team after averaging 13.1 points and connecting on 57 3-pointers last season.
Wingate University is sixth in the preseason poll with 51 points. The Bulldogs return junior guard Kurie Washington, who was named to the preseason All-Conference first team. Washington averaged 18.1 points per game, fourth-best in the SAC, last season, and was among the league leaders in free-throw percentage, 3-point percentage and 3-pointers made.
Lenoir-Rhyne University, the defending conference champion, is seventh in the preseason poll with 42 points. The Bears do return guard Cameron Sealey, who was named to the preseason All-Conference second team. Sealey averaged 11.6 points per game last season and ranked fourth in the league in free-throw percentage.
Mars Hill College received 37 points for eighth place. The Lions bring back Brittini Young, the SAC's leading scorer from a year ago. Young, a preseason All-Conference first team selection, average 22.0 points per game last season to go along with 3.33 assists per game and 1.78 steals per game and ranked third in the league in free-throw percentage.
First-year conference member Anderson University is tabbed for ninth place with 30 points. The Trojans return four starters from last year's 20-11 team which won the Conference Carolinas tournament last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh straight season. Anderson will be led by preseason All-Conference second team selection Alexa Neal, who averaged 11.5 points per game last season.
Brevard College rounds out the poll. The Tornados received 17 points.
C-N opens the 2010-11 season on Nov. 13 against USC-Aiken in the Southeast Regional Challenge in Greenwood, S.C. The Lady Eagles' home opener will be against King College on Nov. 16 at Holt Fieldhouse. C-N opens SAC play on Dec. 4 at Catawba.
The 2011 Food Lion SAC tournament will begin on Wednesday, March 2 with quarterfinal games on campus sites. Winners advance to the tournament semifinals on Saturday, March 5 at the Catawba Valley Community College Multipurpose Facility in Hickory, N.C. The championship game will be Sunday, March 6 at 2 p.m.
2010-11 Women's Coaches Preseason Poll
Poll (1st) Points
1. Tusculum (10) 100
2. Carson-Newman 89
3. Newberry 71
4. Lincoln Memorial 60
5. Catawba 53
6. Wingate 51
7. Lenoir-Rhyne 42
8. Mars Hill 37
9. Anderson 30
10. Brevard 17
Women's Preseason All-Conference Team
Mandy Mendenhall, Carson-Newman
Dana Hicks, Catawba
Brittini Young, Mars Hill
Helen McKinney, Newberry
Jasmine Gunn, Tusculum
Kurie Washington, Wingate
Alexa Neal, Anderson
Milica Ivanovic, Catawba
Cameron Sealey, Lenoir-Rhyne
Dayshalee Salaman, Lincoln Memorial
LeAnne Watson, Newberry
Catherine Hintz, Tusculum