CHICKASHA – The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma women’s basketball team was picked to come in eighth in the Sooner Athletic Conference, according to the preseason coaches’ poll released this week.
“We are looking forward to the upcoming season,” Head Coach Jennifer Hayden said. “The SAC is one of the toughest conferences in the country so every game is a battle no matter where you are in the rankings.”
Starting off the 2012-13 season strong under Hayden in her first season, the Drovers found themselves shell-shocked when they got into the tough conference play.
“We are looking to improve on our conference finish from last season,” she said. “We are excited to get started.”
The Drovers return just four players, two of which were regular starters last season. Hayden filled in her team with some young talent, including seven freshmen and two sophomores.
Returning for her senior season is Paige Pulliam, who has scored 690 points in her three seasons at a Drover. Senior guard Ndeye Ngom, who led last year’s squad in rebounds, will remain an important part of the Drovers’ team.
Also returning are Rashelle Carr, who saw significant time on the court, and Amber Chaney.
The Drovers came in with 39 points in the preseason poll. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own school.
Starting this season, the SAC begins play with four new teams — Texas Wesleyan, Northwood, Southwestern Assemblies of God and Southwestern Christian — bringing to conference’s total to 11.
The season begins in November with the SAC Tournament set at Oklahoma Baptist in March. All 11 teams will be invited to the tournament.
The Drovers kick off the season at the school’s annual preseason pep rally, Drover Madness, set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 in the USAO Fieldhouse.
They start the season that weekend at the Southwestern Christian Classic. Their first home game is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 12 against Texas College.