Women's Basketball Picked to Finish Sixth in SAC Pre-Season Poll

Siloam Springs, Ark. (October 25, 2006) — The Lady Golden Eagles were picked to finish sixth in the SAC pre-season coaches poll that was released Tuesday afternoon. JBU received 40 votes finishing behind Oklahoma Christian (54) and Southern Nazarene (50). JBU ended the 2005-2006 season 20-12 after being defeated in the first round of the NAIA national tournament.

Oklahoma City University and Lubbock Christian University finished in a dead heat, each with 77 poll points and each with five first place votes in the annual ranking by SAC head coaches.

It is the first time two teams have been equal at the top of the women’s poll. The Oklahoma Christian and Oklahoma Baptist men tied for first in the 1999-2000 preseason coaches ranking.

OCU, which has won or shared every SAC regular season crown since 2000, is a regular near the top of the poll, while Lubbock Christian receives its first first-place nod ever.

LCU, after finishing third in the SAC regular season, made it all the way to the NAIA championship game. The Lady Chaps have three starters * Ashley Hunter, Sierra Wilcox and Jordan Hampton * coming back from that squad.

The Stars return three starters from last year’s team and have added 6-4 Romana Vynuchalova from Penn State and Fresno State transfer Nikki Miller, a 6-2 forward.

The rest of the rankings have Oklahoma Baptist in third, followed by Oklahoma Christian, Southern Nazarene, John Brown, USAO, Northwestern, Wayland Baptist and St. Gregory’s.

Oklahoma Baptist returns four starters from last season and added former State Tournament MVP Betsy Simmons to the lineup. Oklahoma Christian also brings back two starters, including Rachel Martin, who averaged 14 points a game last season.

SNU has two starters back and none more impressive than Khady Ngom, who missed last season with an injury. John Brown and USAO both bring back one double-digit scorer from last season’s team and Northwestern has one of the league’s best scorers and rebounders coming back in Brittany McBride.

Wayland Baptist has two returning starters back, while St. Gregory’s will have a new look as it replaces four starters.

2006-07 SAC Women’s Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll Place School (1st Place Votes) Points T1 Lubbock Christian (5) 77 T1 Oklahoma City (5) 77 3 Oklahoma Baptist 60 4 Oklahoma Christian 54 5 Southern Nazarene 50 6 John Brown 40 7 USAO 35 8 Northwestern 24 9 Wayland Baptist 22 10 St. Gregory’s 11

---Courtesy Ray Fink, SAC Sports Information---