Preparing for its first season of competition in the ASUN Conference, the Liberty women's basketball team has been picked to finish among the conference's top three teams by both the ASUN head coaches (second place) and media members (third place). Additionally, the ASUN head coaches voted Lady Flames senior post player KK Barbour to the preseason all-conference team.
Two-time defending ASUN champion FGCU tops both polls, garnering eight of nine first-place votes from the coaches and 42 of 44 first-place nods from the media. The Eagles went 31-5 last season and defeated Missouri in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Liberty also played in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, falling to Tennessee to close out a 24-10 campaign. The Lady Flames picked up a first-place vote and 71 total points in the coaches' poll, sandwiching them between first-place FGCU (80 points) and third-place Stetson (63 points).
In the media poll, FGCU racked up 394 points, while Stetson (280 points) edged the Lady Flames (278 points) for second place. The Hatters, a 2018 WBI participant, feature ASUN Preseason Player of the Year and Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Sarah Sagerer.
Barbour, one of four seniors on Liberty's 2018-19 roster, earned honorable mention All-Big South honors a season ago while averaging 9.8 ppg and 5.8 rpg. The native of Charlottesville, Va., played her best basketball down the stretch. She scored in double figures in eight straight games to end the 2017-18 season, earning Big South Championship MVP honors for the tournament champion Lady Flames.
Liberty will tip off its 2018-19 season schedule on Nov. 9 at defending MEAC regular-season champion Bethune-Cookman. The Lady Flames' home opener at the Vines Center will be a Nov. 13 matchup with Virginia Tech.
Liberty will face two of the ASUN's strongest teams right off the bat, as the Lady Flames' 16-game conference schedule begins with visits to FGCU (Jan. 5) and Stetson (Jan. 8).
The 2019 ASUN Women's Basketball Championship will consist of quarterfinal contests on March 8, semifinal tilts on March 13 and the championship game on March 17. All tournament games will be played on the home court of the higher seed.
2018-19 ASUN Conference Preseason Women's Basketball Coaches Poll 1) FGCU (8 first-place votes) – 80 points 2) Liberty (1) – 71 3) Stetson – 63 4) Jacksonville – 53 5) Kennesaw State – 36 6) North Florida – 34 7) Lipscomb – 33 8) North Alabama – 20 9) NJIT – 15
2018-19 ASUN Conference Preseason Women's Basketball Media Poll 1) FGCU (42 first-place votes) – 394 points 2) Stetson – 280 3) Liberty – 278 4) Jacksonville (2) – 248 5) North Florida – 196 6) Kennesaw State – 182 7) Lipscomb – 156 8) North Alabama – 128 9) NJIT – 68
2018-19 ASUN Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team Jasmyn Brown, Jacksonville * Kamiyah Street, Kennesaw State * McKenna Beach, Stetson * Sarah Sagerer, Stetson * Tytionia Adderly, FGCU Nasrin Ulel, FGCU Alexis Poole, Kennesaw State KK Barbour, Liberty Tatianna Torres, NJIT Ivy Wallen, North Alabama * - Denotes unanimous selection to preseason team
Preseason Player of the Year: Sarah Sagerer, Stetson Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Sarah Sagerer, Stetson * * Unanimous selection
Fan-Voted Preseason Player of the Year: Ivy Wallen, North Alabama Fan-Voted Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Brittany Panetti, North Alabama
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