AMC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll and Season Preview

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Freed-Hardeman Lady Lions enters the 2017-18 season as the preseason favorites to win the American Midwest Conference (AMC) regular-season.

The Lady Lions received 10 first-place votes, en route to 131 total points. The final two first-place votes went to Columbia who is third with 111 points.

The NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Preseason Top 25 Coaches’ Poll will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 24th.

No. 1 – Freed-Hardeman University Lions – 131 points (10 first-place votes)

The Lady Lions finished the season with a record on 35-1 overall and 24-0 in the AMC.Won the AMC regular-season and AMC conference tournament championship.Earned the No. 1-overall seed in the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship.Fell, 73-70, to No. 3-seed Campbellsville (Ky.) in the quarterfinals.Key returners:Kim Mallory: Averaged 16.7 points per game and 9.0 rebounds per game – second on the team in both categories. Named to the First-Team All-AMC and First-Team All-American teams. Won the AMC Defensive Player of the Year.Tiffany Pate: Averaged 5.6 points per game and a team-high 10.6 rebounds per game. Third-Team All-Conference selection.Key players lost:Taleeah Cross: two-time AMC Player of the Year. First-Team All-AMC and First-Team All-American last season. Averaged a team-high 16.9 points per game.The Lady Lions season starts on Oct. 31 when they host Blue Mountain (Miss.).The first AMC game for Freed-Hardeman starts on Nov. 16 when they travel to St. Louis, Mo. to take on Harris-Stowe State (Mo.).

No. 2 – Lyon College Scots – 119 total points

Finished last season with a 28-6 overall record and a 21-3 record in the AMC.Earned the No. 3-seed in the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship.Lost, 65-53, to No. 2-seed Westmont (Calif.) in the second round.Key returners:Liz Henderson: Averaged 9.0 points per game, 3.0 rebounds per game and 2.7 assists per game, while shooting 39.3-percent from the 3-point arc. She was named to the Honorable Mention All-AMC team.Madison Riley: Averaged 8.8 rebounds per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game. Named to the Second-Team All-AMC team.Ali Tucker: Averaged 7.6 points per game and shot 46.8-percent from the field a year ago. She was named to the Honorable Mention All-AMC team.Key players lost:Kiara Moore: NAIA All-American Third-Team selection. Named AMC Newcomer of the Year. First-Team All-AMC team. Averaged 13.3 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game, 2.8 assists per game and 40.7-percent shooting from the field. Led the team in scoring.The Scots season starts on Nov. 13 when they take on College of the Ozarks (Mo.) in Point Lookout, Mo.The first AMC game for Lyon is on Nov. 16 when the host Hannibal-LaGrange.

No. 3 – Columbia College Cougars – 111 points (two first-place votes)

Finished the season with a record of 26-7 overall and 19-5 conference record.Earned a three-seed in the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship.Lost to 6-seeded Montana Western, 63-53, in the first round.Key returners:Ashlee Marlatt: Averaged 12.2 points per game and made 74 3-point field goals. Named to the First-Team All-AMC team, NAIA Honorable Mention team and was a WBCA Honorable Mention selection.Morgan Brandt: Named to the Second-Team All-AMC team, NAIA Honorable Mention All-American, after averaging 12.5 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game.Raegan Wieser: Third-Team All-AMC as a freshman. Averaged 11.2 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game.Key players lost:Martha Imoniana: Started 13 games for the Cougars, averaging 4.1 points per game.The Cougars season tips off on Nov. 3 when they host Mount Mercy (Iowa) in the first game of the Cougars vs. Cancer Tip-Off Classic Presented by Cost Cutters.The first conference game for Columbia is on Nov. 16 when they travel to take on St. Louis Pharmacy.

No. 4 – Lindenwood University-Belleville Lynx – 103 points

Finished 22-10 overall and 18-6 in AMC play.Earned a No. 7-seed in the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship.Lost to second-seeded Vanguard (Calif.) 66-59, in the first round.Key returners:Brianna Mueller: Led the team in scoring, with 15.5 points per game. She was named to the First-Team All-Conference Team, NAIA Honorable Mention team and was named AMC Freshman of the Year.Alison Webb: Named to the Second-Team All-Conference team, NAIA Honorable Mention All-American team. She averaged 13.8 points per game, which was second on the team. She also averaged a team-high 9.6 rebounds per game.Torre Kohrmann: Led the team in assists (112) and averaged 9.9 points per game.Key players lost:Candace Niemerg: Averaged 9.2 points per game a year ago.The Lynx season starts on Nov. 1 when they play Drury University in Springfield, Mo.Lindenwood-Belleville hosts Williams Baptist on Nov. 16 for the team’s first AMC game.

No. 5 – William Woods University Owls – 94 points

Finished with a record on 22-12 overall and 16-8 in the AMC.Earned an 8-seed in the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship.Won two games in the tournament, losing to No. 2-seed Vanguard (Calif.), 71-34 in the quarterfinals.Key returners:Jasmine Brown: led the team averaging 14.8 points per game. Named to the NAIA Honorable Mention All-American team and First-Team All-AMC team.Peyton Greenlee: Averaged 10.5 points per game and was named to the Honorable Mention All-AMC team.Key players lost:April Gebke: Third-Team All-AMC. Averaged 9.2 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game.Kelsey Scherder: Averaged 8.9 points per game.The Owls season starts on Oct. 31 when they take on Missouri Valley in Marshall, Mo.William Woods first AMC game is on No. 16 when they take on Stephens (Mo.) in Fulton, Mo.

No. 6 – Harris-Stowe State University Hornets – 79 points

Finished the season with a 19-12 overall record and 15-9 in the AMC.Earned the No. 6-seed in the AMC Conference Tournament.Fell, 67-52, in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.Key returners:Dynesha Powell: Averaged 6.5 points per game.Alantis Sutton: Averaged 9.6 points per gameKey players lost:Angela Randell: Averaged 13.4 points per game, 3.6 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game. Named to the Third-Team All-AMC team.Brionna Taylor: Averaged 13.8 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game and named to the NAIA All-American Honorable Mention and Second-Team All-AMC team.The Hornets first game is on Oct. 28 when they host Georgetown (Ky.).The first AMC game for Harris-Stowe State is on Nov. 16 when they play host to Freed-Hardeman.

No. 7 – Missouri Baptist University Spartans – 69 points

Finished the season with a record of 11-18 overall and 10-14 in the AMC.Earned the 7-seed in the conference tournament.Fell, 91-45, to Lyon in the first-round of the tournament.Key returners:Shaylen Robinson: Led the Spartans in scoring, averaging 12.6 points per game. Named to the Third-Team All-AMC team.Amanda Scott: Second on the team, averaging 9.2 points per game. Led the team in rebounding, at 5.7 rebounds per game.Briya Wilborn: Third on the team in scoring, averaging 7.5 points per game last season. Shot a team-high 84.2-percent from the foul line.Key players lost:Kennedy Smith: Averaged 4.9 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per game.Riley Reddin: Averaged 4.5 points per game and was a 75.0-percent foul shooter.The Spartans first game is on Nov. 3, when they face Grand View (Iowa) in the Grand View Classic in Des Moines, Iowa.The first AMC contest for Missouri Baptist is on Nov. 16 when they travel to Parkville, Mo. to face Park.

No. 8 – Williams Baptist College Eagles – 60 points

Finished last year with an overall record of 11-20 overall and 8-16 in the AMC.Earned the 8-seed in the AMC conference tournament.Lost to 1-seeded Freed-Hardeman, 73-52, in the first round of the conference tournament.Key returners:Tashanescii Walker: Third on the team, averaging 8.1 points per game.Key players lost:Alytruis Perry: Led the team in scoring, averaging 13.0 points per game and was named to the Second-Team All-Conference team.Andrea Moffitt: Second on the team in scoring averaging 11.9 points a game. She led the team in rebounds, averaging 8.4 rebounds per game.The season gets underway on Nov. 2 when they take on Blue Mountain (Miss.) in New Albany, Miss.The first AMC contest for the Eagles is on Nov. 13 when they travel to Conway, Ark. to take on Central Baptist.

No. 9 – Park University Pirates – 57 points

Finished the 2016-17 season with a record of 6-21 overall and 6-18 in the AMC.Failed to qualify for the AMC conference tournament.Key returners:Jenae Rowe: Second on the team in scoring, averaging 7.9 points per game and was fourth on the team averaging 4.6 rebounds a game.Selena Dunn: Averaged 5.7 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game, which was second on the team.Key players lost:Lexus Bradley: Led the team in scoring, averaging 12.8 points per game. Honorable Mention All-AMC last season.Brook Vaughan: Third on the team in scoring (7.4 points per game).The Pirates first game of the season is on Nov. 7 when they take on Ottawa (Kan.) on the road.The first AMC game is on Nov. 16 when they host Missouri Baptist.

No. 10 – Central Baptist College Mustangs – 41 points

Finished the season with a record of 7-22 overall and 6-18 in the conference.Failed to qualify for the AMC conference tournamentKey returners:Karlie Senko: Led the team in scoring, averaging 10.3 points per game.Emily Ridgell: Fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 6.7 points per game. Led the team in free throw percentage (75.5-percent).Key players lost:Aaliyah Block: Led the team in rebounds (6.6 rebounds per game) and was named to the Honorable Mention All-AMC team.The Mustangs season starts on Nov. 2 when they host Randall University.Central Baptist’s conference slate tips off on Nov. 13 vs. Williams Baptist in Conway, Ark.

No. 11 – Stephens College Stars – 33 points

Finished last season with a 9-21 overall record and 7-16 conference record.Failed to qualify for the AMC conference tournament.Key returners:Sierra Pryor: Fourth on the team in scoring (6.2 points per game). Finished second on the team with 34 3-point field goals.Briana Clark: Second on the team in scoring (9.5 points per game), shot 53.7-percent from the field and was second in total field goals with 110.Key players lost:Kendahl Adams: Led the team in scoring (12.8 points per game) and was an AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention player.The Stars season starts on Nov. 1 as they host Evangel (Mo.).The conference season starts for Stephens on Nov. 16, when they travel to Fulton, Mo. to face William Woods.

No. 12 – Hannibal-LaGrange University Trojans – 28 points

Finished the season with a record of 4-25 overall and 4-20 in the AMC.Failed to qualify for the AMC conference tournament.Key returners: Kenna Greenway: Second on the team, averaging 12.4 points per game. She made 87 3-point field goals and shot 73.5-percent from the charity stripe. The 87 made 3-pointers led the team.Key players lost:Sarah Cline: Led the team in scoring, averaging 13.6 points per game. She was named to the Honorable Mention All-AMC team.The Trojans season opener is on Nov. 2 when they host Missouri Valley.The first conference game for Hannibal-LaGrange is on Nov. 16 when they travel to Batesville, Ark. to face Lyon.

No. 13 – St. Louis College of Pharmacy Eutectics – 11 points

Finished last season with a 3-24 record and 1-22 in conference play.Failed to qualify for the AMC conference tournamentKey returners:Morgan Rose: Led the team in scoring, averaging 11.3 points per game. She also shot a team-high 73.5-percent from the foul line and was second on the team, averaging 5.3 rebounds per game.Morgan Dermody: Third on the team in scoring, averaging 7.9 points per game and led the team in rebounds, averaging 6.5 rebounds per game.Key players lost:Paige Forshee: Averaged 5.8 points per game and was third on the team in made 3-point field goals made.St. Louis Pharmacy’s season gets underway on Nov. 2 when they face Central Christian College at home.The Eutectics AMC schedule starts on Nov. 16, when they take on Columbia on the road.

2017-18 AMC Women’s Basketball Conference Tournament:

Top-eight teams qualify for the postseason tournament.Tournament dates:March 1 – quarterfinalsMarch 3 – semifinalsMarch 6 – finalsThe highest seeded team in each game will host throughout the conference tournament.The AMC receives two automatic berths to the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship – regular-season champion and the highest conference tournament finisher that is not the first automatic qualifier.

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