MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Southern New Hampshire University women's basketball team was chosen to finish fourth in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference, according to the NE10 Preseason Coaches Poll that was released by the league office Thursday.
The Penmen totaled 50 points, while Saint Anselm College finished first with eight first-place votes and 83 points. Bentley University (five first-place votes) and Stonehill College (one first-place vote) tied for second with 77 points. Assumption College (41), Saint Michael's College (29) and Franklin Pierce University (28) rounded out the remainder of the Northeast
In the Southwest poll, Le Moyne College was a near-unanimous pick to finish first, garnering 12 of a possible 13 first-place votes and 90 total points. Adelphi University earned a first-place vote and 69 points to place second, while the University of New Haven was third with 62 points. Southern Connecticut State University was picked fourth with 57 points, including the remaining first-place vote. American International College (47), Pace University (34) and the College of Saint Rose (26) capped the poll.
The Penmen, who are led by 15th-year head coach Karen Pinkos, will look to continue their upward trajectory following back-to-back 17-12 campaigns in which they qualified for the Northeast-10 Championship. Southern New Hampshire returns two-thirds of its roster from a year ago, including six of its top eight scorers. Junior Gyanna Russell (E. Hampton, Conn.) is the returning leading scorer after averaging 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game, while shooting 44 percent from the field. Fellow co-captain, senior Karlee Ziliak (Evansville, Ind.) chipped in 7.4 points on 40 percent shooting, to go with 2.8 assists per contest. Senior Molly Terry (Shrewsbury, Mass.) will also be counted on for a bulk of the scoring after contributing 7.2 points per game and knocking down a team-best 49 3-pointers.
The Penmen tip off their season Saturday, Nov. 9 (12 p.m.) when they take on Georgian Court University. SNHU opens its home slate Sunday, Nov. 17 against the College of Staten Island at the Stan Spirou Field House.
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2019-20 Northeast-10 Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Saint Anselm – 83 pts. (8)
T2. Bentley – 77 (5)
T2. Stonehill – 77 (1)
4. So. New Hampshire – 50
5. Assumption – 41
6. Saint Michael's – 29
7. Franklin Pierce – 28
1. Le Moyne – 90 pts. (12)
2. Adelphi – 69 (1)
3. New Haven – 62
4. So. Connecticut – 57 (1)
5. American Int'l – 47
6. Pace – 34
7. Saint Rose – 26
(#) - indicates first-place votes