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Liberty Picked to Win Big South WBB Title

October 9, 2012  Charlotte, N.C.  RSS
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The 2012-13 Liberty women's basketball team is the preseason favorite to win its 15th Big South Conference title.

The 2012-13 Liberty women's basketball team is the preseason favorite to win its 15th Big South Conference title.

For the 15th time in the last 16 years, the Liberty women's basketball team has been tabbed 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 senior guard/forward Devon Brown was named to the preseason All-Big South team. The honors were announced at Tuesday's 2012-13 Big South Basketball Tip-Off Media Luncheon, held at the Renaissance Suites Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.

Liberty, which won its 14th Big South Championship title in 2011-12, garnered 16 of 22 possible first-place votes and topped the standings with 233 points. Reigning Big South Championship runner-up High Point was picked second, thanks to four first-place votes and 215 tallies. Third-place Winthrop took the final two first-place votes and 199 points.

Campbell edged Radford for the fourth position, earning 159 points to the Highlanders' 154. South Carolina rivals Charleston Southern (sixth place, 136 points) and Coastal Carolina (seventh place, 92) took the next two places.

Presbyterian College (eighth place, 91), Gardner-Webb (ninth place, 62), UNC Asheville (10th place, 60) and conference newcomer Longwood (11th place, 51) rounded out the preseason poll.

For the third consecutive season, Brown is a member of the preseason All-Big South squad, which is topped this year by Big South Preseason Player of the Year Dequesha McClanahan from Winthrop. Last year, Brown ranked second in the Big South in free throw percentage (.790), fourth in scoring (16.9 ppg), sixth in rebounding (7.0 rpg) and ninth in steals (2.0 spg).

Brown is one of only three Lady Flames ever to make the first team All-Big South roster as a freshman, sophomore and junior. With one season remaining, she already ranks No. 6 in program history in career points (1,441) and No. 9 in career rebounds (596).

Head coach Carey Green's team will feature three returning starters, including Brown, redshirt senior forward/center Tolu Omotola and sophomore point guard Reagan Miller. Last season, the Lady Flames finished 24-9 and made their 14th appearance in the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. Liberty won a conference-record 16 Big South games, capturing its 13th Big South regular-season championship.

Liberty has been practicing for a week, after officially tipping off practice for the 2012-13 season Oct. 1 at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames are exactly one month away from their season opener, a Preseason WNIT first-round matchup at Duquesne on Nov. 9.

Liberty will play its first of 14 home games Nov. 27, when the Lady Flames play host to UNCG. Four days later (Dec. 1), Liberty will travel to Radford for its Big South Conference opener.

Both the 2013 Big South Men's and Women's Basketball Championships will be played at Coastal Carolina's brand-new The HTC Center in Conway, S.C. The women's tournament will span March 6-10, with the winner earning the Big South Conference's automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.

2012-13 Big South Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Dequesha McClanahan, Winthrop (Preseason Player of the Year)
Devon Brown, Liberty
Cheyenne Parker, High Point
Da'Naria Erwin Spencer, Radford
Erin Reynolds, High Point

2012-13 Big South Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
Team (First-place votes) – Points
1) Liberty (16) – 233
2) High Point (4) – 215
3) Winthrop (2) – 199
4) Campbell – 159
5) Radford – 154
6) Charleston Southern – 136
7) Coastal Carolina – 92
8) Presbyterian College – 91
9) Gardner-Webb – 62
10) UNC Asheville – 60
11) Longwood – 51