Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Official Home of Mars Hill Lion Athletics

Lions selected 11th in preseason poll

Lions selected 11th in preseason poll

ROCK HILL, S.C. ( – Carson-Newman has been picked to win the 2018-19 South Atlantic Conference Women's Basketball Championship as voted by the League's head coaches. The Eagles picked up 10 first-place votes and received 110 points from the panel.

Carson-Newman finished last season with a historic run in the NCAA post season, advancing to the Division II Elite Eight and completing the season with a record of 32-3 overall, going 18-2 in SAC play.  The 2017-18 SAC regular season and tournament champions, the Eagles are ranked No. 3 nationally in the Women's DII Bulletin Preseason Poll and are No. 4 according to the D2SIDA Preseason Poll.

Wingate is No. 2 in the poll with 99 points, while Anderson is No. 3 with 88 points.

The Bulldogs finished second in the league in 2017-18, with a record of 26-6 overall and 17-3 in conference play. They advanced to the NCAA Southeast Regional and are preseason No. 25 nationally according to the DII Bulletin, while D2SIDA has the Bulldogs ranked No. 21.

Anderson turned in an overall record of 20-11 a season ago to go along with a 13-7 record in SAC play.  The Trojans earned an at-large bid to the 2018 NCAA Southeast Regional.

At No. 4 in the poll was Tusculum, who picked up 79 points from the head coaches.  The Pioneers went 16-11 overall and 11-9 in the South Atlantic Conference last season.  Lincoln Memorial followed in the No. 5 position with 61 points. The Railsplitters closed out their 2017-18 season at 18-11 overall and 12-8 in the SAC.

Newberry earned the No. 6 position with 61 points.  The Wolves were 16-12 overall and 11-9 in the SAC a season ago. Lenoir-Rhyne came in at No. 7 with 56 points.  The Bears posted a 15-14 overall record, while finishing 9-11 in conference.  Catawba landed at No. 8 in the preseason poll as it collected 54 points from the coaches.  Last season, the Indians went 14-14 overall and 12-8 in the SAC.

Coker came in at No. 9 with 37 points, followed by Queens at No. 10 with 34 points. Mars Hill rounded out the poll at No. 11 with 20 points.

The South Atlantic Conference also announced its Preseason All-Conference Teams with Haris Price and Mika Wester of Carson-Newman, Wingate's Caroline Averette and Danasia Witherspoon, and Newberry's Meg Essex and Shelby Britten were named to the first team.

Price and Wester were both WBCA All-Americans last season and first team All-SAC selections. Price, the reigning SAC Player of the Year, averaged 17.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, while Wester led the league in scoring with 17.7 points per game and averaged 4.7 rebounds per game.

Averette and Witherspoon were both second team All-SAC picks last season. Averette poured in 13.6 points per game, while Witherspoon averaged 10.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Essex was a first team All-SAC selection last year, while Britten was a second team pick. Essex averaged 17 points and 8.6 rebounds, with Britten chipping in 15.1 points and 4.4 assists per game.

Earning second-team honors were Carson-Newman's Kayla Marosites and Briana Smith, Madi Suddreth of Lenoir-Rhyne, Anderson's Madison Baggett and Alexy Mollenhauer and Lade Adepoju of Queens.

The 2018-19 women's basketball season gets underway on Friday, Nov. 9.

2018 -19 SAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll


School (First-Place Votes)



Carson-Newman (10)



Wingate (1)









Lincoln Memorial


















Mars Hill



2018-19 SAC Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference

First Team

Haris Price, Carson-Newman
Mika Wester, Carson-Newman
Meg Essex, Newberry
Caroline Averette, Wingate
Danasia Witherspoon, Wingate
Shelby Britten, Newberry 

Second Team

Kayla Marosites, Carson-Newman
Madi Suddreth, Lenoir-Rhyne
Madison Baggett, Anderson 
Alexy Mollenhauer, Anderson
Lade Adepoju, Queens
Briana Smith, Carson-Newman

Lions down Owls in home opener
November 20, 2018 Lions down Owls in home opener