Southland women’s basketball preseason All-Conference teams, league favorite SFA announced

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Stephen F. Austin Voted Favorite to Top 2020-21 Regular Season

FRISCO, Texas – Stephen F. Austin was voted as the preseason favorite to earn the Southland Conference women’s basketball title in 2020-21. The complete preseason rankings were announced Wednesday, along with the 2020-21 preseason all-conference teams. The Southland Preseason Poll and the Preseason All-Conference teams are presented by Canon.

The Ladyjacks placed three on the league’s preseason teams, including juniors Stephanie Visscher and Aiyana Johnson. The pair were named to the 2019-20 All-Conference first and second team, respectively.

Last season, Visscher averaged 13.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game on 50.7-percent shooting from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc. A solid two-way player for the ‘Jacks, Visscher helped guide SFA to a 23-6 record in the regular season.

Johnson also averaged 13.3 ppg in league play, and she ranked second in the league in rebounds with 8.3 per game. She racked up a total of eight double-doubles in league play. Sophomore Zya Nugent joined them with a spot on the preseason second team after playing all 29 games during her freshman campaign.

Sam Houston State ranked second in the polls with five first-place votes and two members of the preseason first team. Junior forward Amber Leggett was an automatic pick to the preseason squad after earning a spot on the 2019-20 All-Conference first team. Last season, Leggett was the league’s2020 second-leading scorer with 15.6 ppg and ranked second in steals with 2.8 per game.

Southland Newcomer of the Year Faith Cook also received a preseason nod in her first season with the Bearkats after transferring from UTEP. Cook averaged 11.5 ppg in conference play and ranked among the top five 3-point shooters.

Abilene Christian earned the third spot in the preseason poll, despite losing two all-conference first team selections in Dominique Golightly and Southland Player of the Year Breanna Wright. The Wildcats are still expected to be strong with the senior duo of Anna McLeod and Makayla Mabry, who combined to average nearly 19 points and nine rebounds in last season’s 24-5 campaign.

Defending champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was the fourth pick, receiving three votes to repeat its title. Southeastern Louisiana, who had earned its first trip to the Southland Conference Tournament last season since 2011-12, was the number five selection in the preseason poll. Lady Lion senior Morgan Carrier was selected to the preseason all-conference second team as she played in all 29 games a year ago.

Central Arkansas and New Orleans were ranked sixth and seventh, respectively. Lamar followed close behind and were represented by a pair of Cardinals on the preseason team in senior Jadyn Pimentel and junior Angel Hastings.

Nicholls, UIW, Houston Baptist, McNeese and Northwestern State rounded out the 2020-21 preseason poll. The preseason poll is voted upon by the head coach and sports information director from each Southland school. Each individual ranks the other 12 teams in their predicted order of regular season finish. Ranking one’s own school is not permitted.

The preseason teams were chosen by a poll of the conference’s head coaches. Voters were not allowed to select their institution’s players.

The Southland women’s basketball season gets underway Wednesday, Nov. 25, and will culminate at the 2021 Southland Conference Tournament, March 11-14 in Katy, Texas.

2020-21 Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Teams
First Team School Pos. Class Hometown
Anna McLeod Abilene Christian G Sr. Houston, Texas
Faith Cook Sam Houston State G Sr. Baytown, Texas
Amber Leggett* Sam Houston State F Jr. Navarre, Florida
Aiyana Johnson* Stephen F. Austin F/C Jr. Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Stephanie Visscher* Stephen F. Austin G Jr. Lulea, Sweden

Second Team School Pos. Class Hometown
Makayla Mabry Abilene Christian F Sr. San Antonio, Texas
Angel Hastings Lamar G Jr. San Antonio, Texas
Jadyn Pimentel Lamar G Sr. St. Louis, Mo.
Morgan Carrier Southeastern Louisiana G Sr. New Iberia, La.
Zya Nugent Stephen F. Austin G So. Denison, Texas

* Automatic Selection, 2019-20 All-Conference Team Member

2020-21 Southland Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
School (First-place votes) Total
1. Stephen F. Austin (14) 275
2. Sam Houston State (5) 257
3. Abilene Christian (4) 250
4. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3) 216
5. Southeastern Louisiana 160
6. Central Arkansas 157
7. New Orleans 153
8. Lamar 144
9. Nicholls 127
10. UIW 126
11. Houston Baptist 72
12. McNeese 48
13. Northwestern State 43

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