Ladies Basketball Picked 10th in Preseason Poll
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

ELMHURST, Ill. – Making the Mid-Con Tournament last season and improving on the season win total from the previous year was not enough to impress the Summit League coaches, sports information directors and local media members. The three voting parties put the Centenary (58) women’s basketball team 10th in the leagues preseason poll, released on Wednesday.


The top vote-getter was NCAA Tournament participant Oral Roberts, who received 10 first place votes and 399 points, while regular season champion Oakland was second with four first place votes and 382 points.


Two of the three newcomers to the conference, South Dakota State (359) and North Dakota State (266) were third and fourth. South Dakota State received the most first place votes of all the Summit League teams with 14, while North Dakota State got two votes.


Rounding out the preseason poll is IUPUI (250), Western Illinois (219), UMKC (211), the other conference newcomer IPFW (152), and Southern Utah (151), who were voted five through nine.


“We are better than what people predict. However, it was not unexpected because of where the team has been in the past, but I feel that will we will surprise people this season,” said Head coach Steve Curtis. “I was a little upset with the gap between us and Southern Utah, but I understand that. We have a lot of work to do, but I think we will accomplish what we want to do.”


The Ladies return to two starters from last season’s squad, junior guard/forward Cierra Bush and sophomore guard Monique Jefferson. Also returning is last seasons spot starter, sophomore guard Jasmine Bothwell. The three combined to score 593 points last season, and will be led by Bush, who was named to the conferences preseason second team.


Bush helped lead Centenary with 11.1 points per game and 6.1 rebounds a game, while averaging 2.1 assists per contest. The Campti, La., native is the only returning student-athlete, who averaged over double digits last season, not to be named first team all-conference.  


Centenary opens the 2007-08 season with an exhibition game against LSU-Shreveport on Nov. 6 in the Gold Dome. The Ladies start the regular season on the road against Mississippi State on Nov. 11.