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Louisiana College, Mary Hardin-Baylor Favorites in ASC Women’s Basketball

October 19, 2010
By cnp
Posted in Athletics

RICHARDSON, Texas ?? Louisiana College and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor have been predicted to repeat their American Southwest Conference East and West Division titles, respectively, after a vote of each division's head coaches, sports information directors and media members, the conference office announced on Tuesday (Oct. 19).

Louisiana College, which went 24-3 overall and 17-2 in league play last season on its way to becoming the first ASC East Division team to win the conference title, totaled 144 points and picked up 19 of the possible 21 first-place votes in the annual poll. Head coach Janice Joseph-Richard’s Lady Wildcats advanced to the first round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship for the first time in program history last season. They led the league in scoring defense (54.6 ppg), scoring margin (+12.4) and turnover margin (+4.67).

Mississippi College (19-7, 14-6 ASC) was predicted to finish in second place with 116 points and one top-spot vote. The Lady Choctaws have won five ASC East crowns. The University of Texas at Dallas (19-7, 16-4 ASC) was the third-place pick with 109 points and the final first-place vote. The University of Texas at Tyler (10-15, 8-12 ASC) garnered 78 points and rounded out what would be the division’s four teams to qualify for the ASC tournament. East Texas Baptist University (66 pts.) was picked to finish fifth, followed by the University of the Ozarks (46 pts.) and LeTourneau University (29 pts.).

Mary Hardin-Baylor, which went 21-6 overall and 17-4 in league play in 2009-10 to win its first ever West Division title, totaled 180 points and 15 of the possible 24 first-place votes to be the favorites. Head coach Kim Kirkpatrick-Thornton’s Lady Cru led the league last season in 3-point percentage (.372), assists (460) and assists/turnover ratio (1.0). UMHB put together a 16-game winning streak during the middle of the season.

Four-time ASC champion Howard Payne (21-6, 16-5 ASC) was picked to finish second in the West, totaling 152 points and three top-spot votes. The Lady Jackets have won four of the last six conference titles and claimed the national championship in 2008. Seven-time ASC champion Hardin-Simmons (15-11, 12-9 ASC) landed in the third-place spot with 142 points and four first-place votes. McMurry University (18-10, 13-8 ASC), which reached the conference title game last season, totaled 138 points and picked up the final two first-place votes to round out what would be the division’s four ASC tournament qualifiers. Texas Lutheran University (89 pts.) was predicted to finish fifth, followed by Concordia University Texas (83 pts.), Schreiner University (43 pts.) and Sul Ross State University (37 pts.).

Louisiana College’s Tillisha Givens and Hardin-Simmons University’s Lindsey Newcombe earned 2010-11 preseason player of the year honors. Givens (Monroe, LA / Ouachita Parish HS), a 5-9 senior guard/forward, was named ASC East Division Preseason Player of the Year for the third straight time. Givens averaged 15.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and two steals per game last season. She led the league by logging 36.8 minutes per game and was tops in the East with a 54.5 field goal percentage. Givens was also named the Most Valuable Player of the ASC tournament. Newcombe (Keller, TX / KHS), a 6-2 senior center, was named ASC West Division Preseason Player of the Year for the second straight season. Newcombe averaged 15.2 points per game in 2009-10 and led the league in rebounding per game (11.2), field goal percentage (57.5) and blocked shots per game (2.3). Newcombe is just 107 rebounds away from the all-time conference record. Givens and Newcombe both earned division player of the year honors in 2009-10 and landed on their respective division’s first team. Givens was a member of the five-player All-Conference Team.

The 2010-11 season – the 15th in league history – begins as early as November 15. The three-day, eight-team, single-elimination conference tournament is slated for February 25-27 at the site of the West Division’s top seed and an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship will be on the line.

[Voted on by ASC Head Coaches, Sports Information Directors and Media Members]

Team (first-place votes) Points 2009-10 Record
1. Louisiana College (19) 144 24-3, 17-2 ASC
2. Mississippi College (1) 116 19-7, 14-6 ASC
3. Texas-Dallas (1) 109 19-7, 16-4 ASC
4. Texas-Tyler 78 10-15, 8-12 ASC
5. East Texas Baptist 66 12-14, 10-10 ASC
6. Ozarks 46 7-17, 5-14 ASC
7. LeTourneau 29 4-21, 4-16 ASC

Team (first-place votes) Points 2009-10 Record
1. Mary Hardin-Baylor (15) 180 21-6, 17-4 ASC
2. Howard Payne (3) 152 21-6, 16-5 ASC
3. Hardin-Simmons (4) 142 15-11, 12-9 ASC
4. McMurry (2) 138 18-10, 13-8 ASC
5. Texas Lutheran 89 12-12, 11-10 ASC
6. Concordia Texas 83 9-16, 7-14 ASC
7. Schreiner 43 1-23, 2-19 ASC
8. Sul Ross State 37 2-23, 2-19 ASC

[Voted on by ASC Head Coaches, Sports Information Directors and Media Members]

Tillisha Givens, G/F, Sr., Louisiana College

Lindsey Newcombe, C, Sr., Hardin-Simmons