Columbus State Womens Basketball Selected Sixth in PBC Preseason Poll
AUGUSTA – The Lander Bearcats, defending PBC Champions, are the unanimous choice to repeat that achievement as a poll of the league's head coaches was released on Tuesday. The Bearcats received all 12 first-place votes they were eligible for to lead the coaches' poll with 144 points. Clayton State was second in the poll as they finished with 133 points. Francis Marion is third in the poll with Georgia College, USC Aiken and Columbus State behind them. UNC Pembroke, North Georgia, Georgia Southwestern, Montevallo, Armstrong Atlantic State and a tie with Flagler and Augusta State round out the voting. Coaches were not permitted to rank their own teams.
Lander set a program record for wins in 2009-10, going 27-4 overall and 17-1 in conference play. The Bearcats hosted the NCAA Southeast Regional tournament for the first time in school history and were ranked #11 in the nation in the final poll of the year. Head coach Kevin Pederson returns his entire starting lineup from that team, including All-Conference standouts Shannon McKever, Brittni Johnson and Ciara Lyons.
Clayton State won the 2010 PBC Tournament title, their third conference tournament championship in six years. Ranked #22 in the final WBCA poll, the Lakers advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight year. Head coach Dennis Cox returns three starters from last year's team including All-Conference forwards Teshymia Tillman and Tanisha Woodard. Seven total letterwinners from last year's team are back this season.
Columbus State returns just one player off of last year's 17-11 squad. Senior Nakita Holt averaged 5.8 points per game and dished out 76 assists in 27 games played. Second year head coach Jonathan Norton has put together a talented group of junior college transfers and incoming freshman that is looking to mesh and put together a fine season. He has a career mark of 147-98 (.600 winning percentage) and has guided his teams to the national tournament three times. Post player Lauren Matheney arrives in Columbus from Palomar College in San Marcos, CA. She helped lead them to their third consecutive Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Championship.
The 2010-11 women's basketball season begins on Nov. 12 with six league teams playing in regional challenge events. Conference play tips off on Nov. 23 and continues through to the 2011 PBC Tournament March 1, 4-6 with the semifinals and finals being hosted once again by USC Aiken.