SAC preseason women’s basketball poll has Stars, Evangels near the top

SAC Communications
Rich Tortorelli

PLAINVIEW, Texas – Wayland Baptist holds the top spot in the preseason Sooner Athletic Conference women’s basketball poll as voted on by the league coaches.

Wayland Baptist just edged out Oklahoma City University by three points for the top spot in the polls. Wayland Baptist advanced to the NAIA Fab Four before being knocked out by Westmont (Calif.). OCU won the SAC Tournament title for the second consecutive season in 2018 with an 89-63 victory over USAO.

“It’s an honor, but until we do something to prove that we’re the favorite, it really doesn’t matter,” Wayland Baptist coach Alesha Ellis said. “It means we have a target on our backs. Now we have to go out there and really prove ourselves.”

Wayland Baptist took home six first-place votes for 115 total points, while OCU earned five first-place votes and 112 points. USAO earned the remaining first-place vote. OCU and USAO both finished 17-3 in conference play to split the SAC regular-season championship a year ago.

Mid-America Christian was picked to finish third in the SAC with 93 points, while USAO followed in fourth with 88 points. John Brown was fifth with 84 points, while Southwestern Assemblies of God was sixth at 66 points.

Texas Wesleyan held the seventh spot with 53 points, and new conference member Langston picked up 52 points to be in eighth. Oklahoma Panhandle State was selected for the ninth slot at 50 points with Southwestern Christian taking the 10th spot with 27 points.

Rounding out the poll were Central Christian in 11th and Bacone in 12th.

The SAC Tournament begins with quarterfinals on Feb. 26 on campus sites followed by the semifinals and championship on March 1-2 inside Abe Lemons Arena at Oklahoma City. The conference tournament champion advances into the NAIA Division I Tournament on March 20-26 in Billings, Mont.

2018-19 Sooner Athletic Conference
Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll

No. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pts.
1. Wayland Baptist 6 4 1                 115
2. Oklahoma City 5 4 1 1               112
3. Mid-America Christian   1 4 5 1             93
4. USAO 1 1 2 2 3 2           88
5. John Brown   2 2 3 2 1       1   84
6. SW Assemblies of God     1 1 3 2 1 2 1     66
7. Texas Wesleyan           4 3 2 2     53
8. Langston     1   1 2 2   4 1   52
9. Panhandle State         2   3 3 3     50
10. SW Christian           1 3 3 2 1 1 27
11. Central Christian               2   7 2 24
12. Bacone                   2 9 13