Lady Flames Picked for ASUN Top-3 Finish, Berkman Voted Preseason All-Conference
The Liberty women’s basketball team is projected for a lofty finish in the ASUN Conference during the upcoming 2021-22 season by both the media (second place) and head coaches (third place). Meanwhile, center Mya Berkman earned a berth on the ASUN Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team.
The Lady Flames are coming off a 19-8 season in 2020-21 which saw them reach the ASUN Women’s Basketball Championship title game for the third year in a row. Head Coach Carey Green enters his 23rd season at Liberty just five wins shy of 500 for his career.
Berkman is one of two returning starters for the Lady Flames. She is the team’s top returning scorer (9.8 ppg) and rebounder (6.1 rpg). The native of Marble Falls, Texas set a program single-season record by making 69.1 percent of her field goals in 2020-21.
Led by Preseason Player of the Year Kierstan Bell, FGCU is a nearly unanimous pick to successfully defend its ASUN title in both the media and coaches polls.
North Florida made it an East Division sweep of the poll’s top three spots, placing second in the coaches poll and third in the media listing. The Ospreys, who picked up a pair of first-place votes in the media poll, put a team-high three players on the preseason all-conference squad including Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Jazz Bond.
With the addition of Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State, the ASUN will be split up into a pair of six-team divisions. Liberty will be joined in the East Division by FGCU, North Florida, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State and Stetson. The West Division will consist of the three newcomers, Bellarmine, Lipscomb and North Alabama.
Liberty will tip off its 2021-22 campaign and its 16-game home schedule at Liberty Arena on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. against Belmont Abbey.
The Lady Flames will travel to Stetson on Jan. 5 to begin ASUN play. Their ASUN home opener will take place on Jan. 8 versus Kennesaw State.
The 2022 ASUN Women’s Basketball Championship will be hosted by each matchup’s higher-seeded team, with contests slated for March 2 (first round), 6 (quarterfinals), 9 (semifinals) and 13 (championship game).
2021-22 ASUN Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Kierstan Bell, FGCU
Lucy Ibeh, Central Arkansas
Tishara Morehouse, FGCU
Marissa Mackins, North Florida
Amani Johnson, Kennesaw State
Alexis Poole, Kennesaw State
Mya Berkman, Liberty
Jaida Bond, North Florida
Jazz Bond, North Florida
Yazz Wazeerud-Din, Stetson
Preseason Player of the Year: Kierstan Bell, FGCU
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Jazz Bond, North Florida
Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll
1) FGCU (12 first-place votes) – 144 points
2) North Florida – 128
3) Liberty – 119
4) Lipscomb – 99
5) Stetson – 93
6) Jacksonville State – 70
7) Kennesaw State – 65
8) Central Arkansas – 50
9) North Alabama – 47
10) Eastern Kentucky – 45
11T) Bellarmine – 38
11T) Jacksonville – 38
Preseason Women’s Basketball Media Poll
1) FGCU (20 first-place votes) – 262 points
2) Liberty – 232
3) North Florida (2) – 210
4) Jacksonville State – 158
5) Lipscomb – 156
6) Stetson – 140
7) Central Arkansas – 136
8) North Alabama – 112
9) Eastern Kentucky – 96
10) Kennesaw State – 82
11) Bellarmine – 78
12) Jacksonville – 54