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Lady Flames Picked to Defend Big South WBB Crown

October 24, 2013  Myrtle Beach, S.C.  RSS
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Redshirt junior point guard Emily Frazier was named to the 2013-14 Big South preseason all-conference team.
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For the sixth straight season and the 16th time in the last 17 years, the Liberty women's basketball team has been voted as the preseason favorite to win the Big South Conference title, as voted upon by the conference's head coaches and media members. Meanwhile, redshirt junior point guard Emily Frazier was named to the preseason All-Big South team. The honors were announced at Thursday's 2013-14 Big South Basketball Tip-Off Media Luncheon, held at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel.

Liberty, which swept the 2012-13 Big South regular-season and tournament titles, received 13 of 25 possible first-place votes and topped the standings with 261 points. Led by Big South Preseason Player of the Year Dequesha McClanahan, Winthrop finished just five points behind the Lady Flames in second place. The Eagles totaled 11 first-place votes and 256 points.

Campbell earned 206 points for third place, followed by High Point (fourth place, 178 points), Gardner-Webb (fifth place, 144 points) and 2013 Big South Championship runner-up Longwood (sixth place, 133 points). Gardner-Webb received a single first-place vote.

Presbyterian College (seventh place, 129 points), Radford (eighth place, 118 points), 2014 Big South Championship host Coastal Carolina (ninth place, 91 points), Charleston Southern (10th place, 79 points) and UNC Asheville (11th place, 55 points) rounded out the poll.

Frazier was enjoying a stellar sophomore season before suffering a season-ending knee injury on Feb. 16. She led the Big South in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.81) and finished second in the conference with 4.7 apg. The native of Magnolia, Texas recorded a trio of double-digit assist performances on the season.

Frazier and senior post player Jasmine Gardner are the two returning starters from last season's 27-7 team. Head coach Carey Green's squad equaled the conference record with 16 Big South victories in 2012-13 and made its 15th appearance in the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.

Liberty is just over two weeks away from its 2013-14 season opener, slated for Nov. 8 at Charlotte. The Lady Flames will return home on Nov. 12 to tip off their home schedule with a Commonwealth matchup against James Madison. Liberty will then welcome Radford to the Vines Center on Dec. 7 for its first of 20 Big South Conference tilts.

Both the 2014 Big South Men's and Women's Basketball Championships will be played at Coastal Carolina's The HTC Center in Conway, S.C., for the second consecutive year. The women's tournament will span March 4-9, with the winner earning the Big South's automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.

2013-14 Big South Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
Team (First-place votes) – Points
1) Liberty (13) – 261
2) Winthrop (11) – 256
3) Campbell – 206
4) High Point – 178
5) Gardner-Webb (1) – 144
6) Longwood – 133
7) Presbyterian College – 129
8) Radford – 118
9) Coastal Carolina – 91
10) Charleston Southern – 79
11) UNC Asheville – 55

2013-14 Big South Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Dequesha McClanahan, Winthrop (Preseason Player of the Year)
Kiera Gaines, Campbell
Stacia Robertson, High Point
Daeisha Brown, Longwood
Emily Frazier, Liberty
Karlee Taylor, Presbyterian College
Schaquilla Nunn, Winthrop