AZUSA, Calif.-- In its first season as a member of the Pacific West Conference the Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team has been predicted to finish fourth in the annual coaches’ preseason poll. The Cougars, who return two starters from their NAIA quarterfinal run in 2011-12, garnered 150 points, 21 behind third place Dixie State (Utah), which earned 171 points.
Reigning PacWest champion Grand Canyon (Ariz.) was tabbed as the preseason favorite to repeat with 192 points and 11 of the 14 first place votes. California Baptist, which took second in its first season of conference play, received 173 points and three first place votes.
Of all 14 PacWest schools the Cougars had the most wins last season, posting a 26-8 record. Grand Canyon and CBU were the only two other schools to reach 20 wins last year, with the Antelopes recording a 24-4 record, and the Lancers finishing 22-7.
Azusa Pacific will play in a pair of exhibitions next week, squaring off with Westmont on Nov. 8 before welcoming the Australian Junior National Team on Nov. 10. The team then opens its season at Cal State L.A. on Nov. 13 before traveling to Bellingham, Wash. for the West Region Crossover Classic, hosted by Western Washington. The Cougars will face 14th ranked Western Washington and Seattle Pacific (Wash.) on Nov. 16 and 17 respectively.
For the complete preseason release with preseason all-conference selections Click Here (PDF).