Lady Splitters projected to finish 2nd

Published 5:13 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The Lincoln Memorial University women’s basketball team has been picked to finish second in the South Atlantic Conference in the league’s preseason coaches’ poll. Senior guard Shea Coker was also named to the preseason All-SAC First Team.

The Lady Railsplitters, who enter the season ranked 24th in the WBCA Coaches’ Poll and 12th in the D2SIDA National Media Poll, posted the best season in school history last year as they rolled out to a 20-0 start before compiling a 28-5 overall record and a 19-3 record in SAC play.

The team won their first-ever SAC title and made their second-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, making it to the regional semifinals before falling to Columbus State. Head Coach Krystal Evans was named not only the SAC Coach of the Year but was the WBCA’s regional coach of the year as well. LMU also had the program’s first SAC Player of the Year in Megan Pittman.

Wingate was picked to finish first with 97 points. LMU received 85 votes, including one first place vote. In third place is Anderson with 84 votes, followed by Carson Newman and Newberry. Catawba, Lenoir-Rhyne, Tusculum, Queens, Coker and Mars Hill round out the balloting.

Shea Coker becomes only the third LMU player ever to make the Preseason All-SAC First Team, joining Pittman and Dayshalee Salaman. The Powell, Tennessee native averaged 13.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists last season.

Coker led the SAC in 3-point percentage, hitting 47.7 percent, and was also fifth in made field goals and seventh in scoring. Coker enters the season as the program’s career leader in 3-point percentage (43 percent) and is tenth in made treys with 92.

The Lady Railsplitters will begin the defense of their SAC crown this weekend, as they play in the SAC vs. Peach Belt Challenge in Aiken, South Carolina. They open the season against 15th-ranked Lander Friday evening and will face host USC-Aiken Saturday afternoon.

After a visit to UVa-Wise on Nov. 15, they make their first appearance in the Tex Turner Arena against Clayton State on Nov. 18. LMU and Clayton State faced off last season in the NCAA Southeast Regional quarterfinals, with LMU winning 87-58. They will open up SAC play on Nov. 29 at Tusculum.

Women’s Preseason Poll – Points (First Place Votes)

1. Wingate – 7 (11)

2. Lincoln Memorial – 85 (1)

3. Anderson – 84

4. Carson-Newman – 74

5. Newberry – 71

6. Catawba – 65

7. Lenoir-Rhyne – 40

8. Tusculum – 36

9. Queens – 30

10. Coker – 21

11. Mars Hill – 11

First Team

Danasia Witherspoon, Wingate

Terri Rogers, Catawba

Mika Wester, Carson-Newman

Shea Coker, Lincoln Memorial

Marta Miscenko, Wingate

Meg Essex, Newberry

Second Team

Nicola Handreck, Newberry

Alexy Mollenhauer, Anderson

Kasey Johnson, Tusculum

Madison Baggett, Anderson

Madi Suddreth, Lenoir-Rhyne

Serena Brown, Catawba