AZUSA, Calif.-- Heading into its second season as a member of the Pacific West Conference the Azusa Pacific women's basketball team has been predicted to finish second in the annual coaches' preseason poll. The Cougars received three first place votes, trailing only Academy of Art, the reigning PacWest Tournament champions, who received six, as the preseason favorite.
Defending PacWest champion California Baptist received two first place votes, rounding out the top three.
The Cougars return last season's PacWest Freshman of the Year, sophomore forward Kelly Hardeman, also chosen as this season’s PacWest Preseason Player of the Year. As a freshman Hardeman averaged 13.3 points and 6.9 rebounds.
The Cougars have played in one exhibition, a 90-70 win over Biola, and will face Westmont in an exhibition on Wednesday Nov. 13 before opening the regular season against Cal Poly Pomona in the Felix Event Center on Nov. 16. The Cougars will host the West Region Crossover Classic Nov. 22-23, and will play in UC San Diego’s Holiday Tournament on Nov. 29-30 before opening conference play on Dec. 5 at Dominican.
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