HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team was selected to finish sixth in the America East Conference for the 2011-12 season according to a preseason poll voted on by the league coaches. The announcement was made Thursday afternoon during the league's annual Tip-Off Luncheon held at the Connecticut State Capital building in Hartford, Conn.
Under the direction of first-year head coach Maureen Magarity, the Wildcats finished 9-20 overall and 6-10 in the conference last season for a sixth-place finish after the coaches predicted the team to end up last. With Magarity back at the helm this winter, the Wildcats will look to best the preseason poll once again and make a strong run to the America East Tournament.
The Wildcats return four starters from last year's squad, including senior forward Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.), who will look to cap off her impressive career with another strong campaign after leading the team in both scoring (12.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rpg) last season. Additionally, sophomore Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) and junior Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) both return to the starting lineup after the duo enjoyed breakout years last season. Hogan, a member of the all-rookie team, led the conference with 4.1 assists per game, while Reed proved to be a threat from long range and finished the season with 10.4 ppg.
UMBC, last year's regular season champion, was selected to finish first in the conference with five first-place votes and 60 total points. Boston U. and Hartford split the remaining four first-place votes but the Terriers claimed the second spot with 56 points to the Hawks' 52. Binghamton garnered 43 points for the fourth slot, followed by Albany (37) and New Hampshire (25), while Vermont (22), Stony Brook (15) and Maine round out the conference field as the 7-9 selections, respectively.
The Wildcats kick off their season on Friday, Nov. 11 when they visit Brown at 7:30 p.m.
|Rank||Team (1st-place votes)||Total|
|2.||Boston U. (2)||56|