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Basketball Lady ‘Cats picked 12th in MEC preseason poll

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Glenville State is the pick to win the Mountain East Conference title in women’s basketball after a vote conducted by the league’s 12 coaches. 

The Pioneers collected 117 points and eight first-place votes. In the abbreviated 2021 season, Glenville State went 12-4 overall and 10-2 in conference play. The Pioneers were runner-up in the South Division and in the MEC Tournament and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Glenville State returns its top six scorers from last season, including Zakiyah Winfield who was a first-team All-MEC honoree and an All-American.

Defending champion Charleston was picked second. The Golden Eagles collected 111 points and had four first-place votes. The Golden Eagles are coming off a historic season that saw the team advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight — a spot no team from the MEC had advanced to prior. UC graduated its two first-team All-MEC selections from last spring in Brooklyn Pannell and Erykah Russell, but return starters Trinity Palacio, Dakota Reeves and Anastasi Zakharova 

Notre Dame, under the direction of first-year head coach Imani Gordon, was picked third with 95 points. The Falcons return All-MEC honorees Jada Marone and Marina Adachi. Concord was next with 86 points. Riley Fitzwater, an All-American last year, is back in the post this year and has a career average of over 15 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Mountain Lions.

West Liberty, led by second-team All-MEC pick from last spring Audrey Tingle, was slotted fifth with 82 points. West Virginia State was sixth with 72 points, just ahead of Fairmont State’s total of 70. The Yellow Jackets return All-MEC honorees Destiny Fields and Charity Shears, while the Falcons bring back the MEC’s all-time leading scorer in Sierra Kotchman.

Alderson Broaddus was picked eighth (48 points), followed by Wheeling (42), Davis & Elkins (26), Frostburg State (23) and West Virginia Wesleyan (20).

In total, fourteen of the 20 players who earned All-MEC honors last spring are slated to return to the court this season.

After last season’s abbreviated, conference-only schedule, the league’s teams will play a complete schedule that includes 22 conference games. The top 10 teams will advance to the MEC Tournament held at Wesbanco Arena in Wheeling, W.Va., in March.

RkSchoolPts (1st Place)
1.Glenville State117 (8)
2.Charleston111 (4)
3.Notre Dame95
5.West Liberty82
6.W.Va. State72
7.Fairmont State70
8.Alderson Broaddus48
10.Davis & Elkins26
11.Frostburg State23
12.W.Va. Wesleyan20

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