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Liberty Picked 4th in Big South WBB Preseason Poll

October 25, 2016  Concord, N.C.  RSS
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The Liberty women's basketball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Big South this season, as voted upon by the conference's head coaches. The preseason poll and all-conference teams were announced at Tuesday's 2016-17 Big South Basketball Media Day, held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Charlotte Concord Golf Resort & Spa.

Liberty, which earned one first-place vote and 72 total points, finished outside the top two in the Big South women's basketball preseason poll for the first time since 1996-97.

Defending Big South regular-season and tournament champion UNC Asheville is the preseason favorite to defend its titles, garnering eight first-place nods and 97 points. Radford (78 points) edged High Point (76 points, one first-place vote) for second place in the poll.

Following the Lady Flames, Presbyterian (fifth place, 61 points), Gardner-Webb (sixth, 50), Charleston Southern (seventh, 38), Campbell (eighth, 36), Longwood (ninth, 24) and Winthrop (10th, 18) rounded out the preseason listing.

Asheville senior guard Chatori Major was tabbed Big South Preseason Player of the Year. She was joined on the first team preseason all-conference squad by teammate Tianna Knuckles, along with Winthrop's Erica Williams, High Point's Kaylah Keys and Radford's Janayla White.

Liberty went 20-13, finished as the Big South runner-up and played in the Postseason WNIT in 2015-16. However, head coach Carey Green's squad lost nine players and 90.6 percent of their scoring from last year's team.

The Lady Flames' lone senior, 6-0 guard/forward Audrey Rettstatt is the team's top returning scorer at 3.9 ppg. KK Barbour, a 6-1 sophomore forward, posted 2.6 ppg and 2.4 rpg during her first season at Liberty.

This year's new-look roster includes seven freshmen and junior college transfer Nene Johnson.

Liberty will open the season with three straight home games, including contests against Duke (Nov. 11), James Madison (Nov. 15) and Appalachian State (Nov. 17).

The Lady Flames' 18-game Big South Conference slate will begin with a Jan. 3 visit to Charleston Southern.

Liberty will play host to the 2017 Big South Women's Basketball Championship at the Vines Center, March 9-12.

2016-17 Big South Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
Team (First-place votes) – Points
1) UNC Asheville (8) – 97
2) Radford – 78
3) High Point (1) – 76
4) Liberty (1) – 72
5) Presbyterian – 61
6) Gardner-Webb – 50
7) Charleston Southern – 38
8) Campbell – 36
9) Longwood – 24
10) Winthrop – 18

2016-17 Big South Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team

First Team
Chatori Major, UNC Asheville (Preseason Player of the Year)
Erica Williams, Winthrop
Kaylah Keys, High Point
Janayla White, Radford
Tianna Knuckles, UNC Asheville

Second Team
Alyssa Mann, Charleston Southern
Taylor Petty, Presbyterian
Cortney Storey, Presbyterian
Aianna Kelly, Presbyterian
Emma Bockrath, High Point