SWOSU is picked to finish third and received on first place vote in the Great American Conference women’s basketball coaches poll for the 2014-2015 season.
The Lady Dawgs have won two GAC tournament championships in the past three seasons. Kimmi Sawatzky returns for Musick after an injury reduced her time on the court last season to just seven games, along with fellow senior Chelsea Bates.
East Central and Southeastern tied in the voting at the No. 4 spot.
ECU is under new management this year. Longtime Northeastern State assistant Matt Cole takes the reigns in Ada and seniors Dilan Webster and Erin Walling should provide solid leadership.
Depth is a hallmark of SOSU’s teams with Darin Grover at the helm and this year should be no different. Seven of his returnees, including seniors Cheree Kiser, Emily Williams and Haley Schaefer, have seen significant court time and should be ready for tough league play.
Southern Nazarene was picked sixth and is in its first season playing as full NCAA Division II members with the opportunity to complete in postseason play. SNU standout Aminata Fall leads the way into her senior year for coach Derek Dorris.
Northwestern came in at No. 10 in the poll, but is not yet eligible for the postseason. Coach Eric Bozeman’s young team has one more year to grow.
Harding was the overwhelming favorite to repeat as conference champions. The Lady Bisons, who had only one regular season loss last year (61-60 in OT to ECU), went 29-3 in 2013-2014 and 19-1 in the GAC.