ROCK HILL, S.C. – Carson-Newman has been picked as the favorite team to win the 2020-21 South Atlantic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship as voted by the League’s head coaches. The Eagles picked up seven first-place votes and received 149 points from the panel.
The Eagles closed out the 2019-20 season with a record of 22-8 overall, going 17-5 in SAC play and advancing to their third consecutive NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.
Anderson is No. 2 in the poll with four first-place votes and 141 points, while Catawba is No. 3 with two first-place votes and 134 points.
The Trojans won their second straight SAC Regular Season Title after going 19-3 in conference play and 26-5 overall last season. Anderson also advanced to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.
The Catawba Indians went 23-6 overall last year, with a record of 17-5 in SAC action.
At No. 4 in the poll was Wingate, who picked up 116 points from the head coaches. The Bulldogs went 17-13 a season ago with an 11-11 record in conference play. Lenoir-Rhyne followed in the No. 5 position with 100 points after closing out the 2019-20 season with an 11-18 record overall, going 9-13 in the SAC.
Lincoln Memorial earned the No. 6 position with 94 points, while Tusculum came in at No. 7 with 93 points. The Railsplitters went 10-17 overall a year ago, finishing with a record of 9-13 in the SAC. The Pioneers won the 2020 SAC Pilot Flying J Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional after a 24-7 overall record and a 16-6 SAC mark.
The newest member of the SAC, Limestone landed at No. 8 in the preseason poll as it collected 87 points from the coaches. The Saints won the Conference Carolinas Tournament title a year ago and advanced to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional for the eighth time in the last nine years.
UVA Wise came in at No. 9 with 77 points, followed by Lenoir-Rhyne at No. 10 with 67 points. Coker, Queens, and Mars Hill rounded out the poll at No. 11, No. 12, and, No. 13, respectively with 45, 41, and 26 points.
The South Atlantic Conference also announced its Preseason All-Conference Teams with Teliyah Jeter of Wingate, Madeline Hardy of Lenoir-Rhyne, Keli Romas of Newberry, Braelyn Wykle of Carson-Newman, Caitlyn Ross of UVA Wise, and Taisha DeShazo of Catawba being named to the first team.
Earning second-team honors were Anderson’s Taylor Hair, Mars Hill’s De’Ja Marshall, Queens’ Kristian Eanes, Carson-Newman’s Addison Byrd, Catawba’s Lyrik Thorne, and UVA Wise’s Nia Vanzant.
The 2020-21 women’s basketball season gets underway on Nov. 21 with a full slate of league action. Each team will have regular COVID-19 testing weekly to ensure the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches, and administrators.
Additionally, each institution will have limited spectator seating in order to comply with state and local health guidelines. Fans should check with the host institution before making plans to attend any SAC basketball games in person.
All of the SAC women’s basketball games will be streamed live online for free through the SAC Live Digital Network. Links to live video and live stats of all the games, as well as a full schedule of games can be found by visiting the women’s basketball page on TheSAC.com.
2020-21 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
|Rank||School (First-Place Votes)||Points|
2020-21 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference
Teliyah Jeter, Wingate
Madeline Hardy, Lenoir-Rhyne
Keli Romas, Newberry
Braelyn Wykle, Carson-Newman
Caitlyn Ross, UVA Wise
Taisha DeShazo, Catawba
Taylor Hair, Anderson
De’Ja Marshall, Mars Hill
Kristian Eanes, Queens
Addison Byrd, Carson-Newman
Lyrik Thorne, Catawba
Nia Vanzant, UVA Wise