Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball picked to repeat

HICKORY, NC — Catawba, the defending South Atlantic Conference regular-season and tournament champions, were picked to repeat as the 2001-02 league champions following a vote of the league coaches, which was announced on Thursday. The announcement came at the annual SAC Basketball Press Conference held at the Holiday Inn Select in Hickory, NC. The Lady Indians edged out Presbyterian in the poll, garnering three first place votes and a total of 55 points. Presbyterian had 50 points, but no first place votes. Wingate had two first place votes and 49 points, while Mars Hill grabbed a top vote and totaled 42 points. Lenoir- Rhyne was fifth with 41 points and two first place votes. Catawba returns just four players from last year's championship squad. Three of those spent time in the starting lineup. Senior Ella Pasola and junior Dorthell Little were mainstays in the starting lineup, while sophomore Danyel Locklear moved into the starting rotation in the last month of the season and went on to earn a spot on the SAC All-Freshman team. Junior Desiree Pugh is the other returner. Pasola started 28 games for Catawba after transferring from Xavier University. She averaged 8.4 points and 2.7 assists a game. Little made 19 starts and chipped in with 8.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest. She lead the team with 52 blocked shots. Locklear averaged 7.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Pugh played in 23 games, averaging 1.4 points and 1.1 rebounds a game. Several newcomers will have to step and make an immediate impact for the Lady Indians. Two are transfers, Lynn Morancie, from NCAA I Southern Illinois, and Emilee Rangle, from Division I Winthrop. Others include Christina Carmon, Ashley Cox, Isiaette Darden, Shannon Dente, Melanie Goergmaier, Heather Hennings, Julie Kaufman, Sharanda Keith, Ashley McMillan, Katie Moore, Kendall Prescott, Danielle Scearce, Felisha Tate and Stephanie Valentine. Catawba, who was unranked nationally last season, despite being rated second in the South Atlantic Region and compiling a 25-5 record, was tabbed in the pre-season Women's Division II Bulletin at #10 in the nation. The WBCA/ESPN/USA Today poll will be released in November. The Lady Indians will open their season on November 16 in Farmville, VA, against Longwood for the Lady Lancers Tournament. Catawba could face pre-season #15 Pittsburgh-Johnstown in its second game. Catawba's non-conference schedule includes home dates with Pfeiffer and Queens, with road games at St. Paul's and Livingstone. The Lady Indians will also compete in their own All Sport Classic and travel to tournaments at Wingate and Clayton State. SAC Pre-season Coaches Poll 1. CATAWBA (3) 55 2. Presbyterian 50 3. Wingate (2) 49 4. Mars Hill (1) 42 5. Lenoir-Rhyne (2) 41 6. Carson-Newman 21 7. Tusculumm 20 8. Newberry 10 Pre-season All-SAC Teams First Team Maya Grady, Lenoir-Rhyne Tracy Naidas, Lenoir-Rhyne Maria Hickman, Mars Hill Denise Shelton, Mars Hill Toni Leopard, Presbyterian Whitley Campbell, Tusculum Second Team Staci Dunn, Carson-Newman Danyel Locklear, Catawba Dorthell Little, Catawba Ebony Orr, Lenoir-Rhyne Kristen New, Tusculum Shawanna Cook, Newberry Division II Bulletin Pre-season Top 25 1. Cal Poly-Pamona 2. Bentley 3. North Dakota 4. Bloomsburg 5. Northern Kentucky 6. Delta State 7. North Dakota State 8. Emporia State 9. Southern Indiana 10. CATAWBA 11. Nebraska-Kearney 12. Columbus State 13. Rollins 14. Pace 15. Pittsburgh-Johnstown 16. Northern Michigan 17. Western Washington 18. Minnesota-Duluth 19. USC-Aiken 20. College of Saint Rose 21. Fort Valley State 22. Missouri Western 23. West Liberty 24. Philadelphia 25. N.C. Central #######

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