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Zias picked seventh in LSC

link TONY BULLOCKS: Staff photo

Jordyn, left, and Jaylyn Cooper of Texico are two of the leading scorers returning for the Eastern New Mexico University women’s basketball team this season. The Zias finished 6-20 last season in coach Josh Prock’s first season. The Zias were picked to finish seventh in the LSC this season

Staff report

The Eastern New Mexico women’s basketball team was picked to finish seventh in ninth-team Lone Star Conference, according to the 2014-15 preseason poll announced Wednesday.

The Zias return four of their leading scorers — including Floyd’s Tori Tucker and Jordyn and Jaylyn Cooper of Texico — off last year’s 6-20 team that finished last in conference with a 4-12 under first-year coach Josh Prock.

According to the LSC news release: West Texas A&M is the clear favorite to defend its conference title.

Last season, WT reached the national championship game last year, falling to Bentley 73-65. The Lady Buffs received first-place votes on 21 of the 26 ballots for a total of 227 points.

The league's preseason polls reflect the opinions of LSC head coaches and sports information directors, plus various media representatives from throughout the region.

Midwestern State finished second with three first-place nod and 198 points while Tarleton State was third with 180 points. Texas Woman's was picked fourth (153 points and the remaining two first-place votes), Angelo State fifth (141), and Cameron sixth (88).

MSU's Andrea Carter was tabbed preseason player of the year. Carter was the top selection on 13 of the 26 ballots cast. WT's Chontiquah White claimed 10 votes, while three others each received one of the remaining three votes. Carter, a 5-9 senior forward from Angleton, Texas, helped the Mustangs to a second-straight NCAA Division II South Central Region appearance in 2013-14 averaging 16.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game to garner Daktronics All-South Central Region second-team mention.

The two-time All-LSC first-team selection, heads into the 2014-15 season fifth on MSU's all-time rebounding chart with 759 and is 13th in career scoring with 1,084 points.

The LSC champion will be the regular season winner determined by league games, while the postseason tournament earns the conference's automatic qualification.

The top eight teams in the final conference standings qualify for the postseason tournament March 4-7 in Allen, Texas.