PIKEVILLE, Ky. – First-year University of Pikeville women’s basketball head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee and her Bears were picked to finish eighth in the Mid-South Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released by conference officials on Tuesday.
The poll was voted on by the MSC head coaches who were not allowed to vote for their own team.
UPIKE returns its three leading scorers in Callisha Johnson (13.7 ppg), Brogan Conley (10.1) and Peyton Wright (9.7) and adds two NCAA Div. I transfers, Khalilah Quigley from Boston and Lakeria Crowder from Jacksonville State, but finds itself eighth in the poll after finishing 11-19 overall last season and 6-14 in MSC play.
The Bears picked up 23 points in the poll, finishing ahead of St. Catharine at No. 9 and Rio Grande (Ohio) rounding out the list at No. 10.
Georgetown (Ky.) is the preseason favorite to win the league, capturing five of the 10 first-place votes and 74 voting points after a 23-10 record last season and trip to the second round of the NAIA National Tournament. Cumberland (Tenn.), Campbellsville (Ky.) and Shawnee State (Ohio) are all tied for second place with 64 points.
Cumberland received three first-place nods, while Campbellsville collected the remaining two.
Checking in at the middle of the poll is Cumberlands (Ky.) in fifth place, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at No. 6 and Bluefield (Va.) at No. 7.
UPIKE makes its 2013-14 debut at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 29 against Asbury (Ky.) in an exhibition at the East Ky. Exposition Center.