FRISCO, Texas – The ACU Women land a pair of on the first-team of the Southland Conference preseason team.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi leads the way with four selections on the 2019-20 Southland Conference Preseason All-Conference squads, the league announced Wednesday. Abilene Christian and Sam Houston State round out the 10-woman preseason squads ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Islanders seniors Alexes Bryant and Dalesia Booth were named automatic first-team preseason selections after earning all-conference honors in 2018-19. Dae Dae Evans and Emma Young join the pair as second-team honorees after helping the Islanders through an impressive run to the championship game at the 2019 Southland Conference Tournament. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi entered the tournament as a No. 8 seed and subsequently won three-straight games before falling to Abilene Christian in a 69-68 thriller in the tournament final. Led by head coach Royce Chadwick, the Islanders return 12 players from last year’s roster, including four starters. Second-chance points will play a huge role for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as the team concluded last season ranked 19th nationally for offensive rebounds per game (15). Bryant will once again provide efficiency under the basket for the Islanders after finishing her junior campaign averaging 6.6 boards per game and compiling 202 rebounds for the season.
Defending champion Abilene Christian added three selections to the preseason squads with seniors Dominique Golightly and Breanna Wright taking automatic first-team distinctions. Lexie Ducat was voted a second-team honoree after playing a key role in the Wildcats 2019 postseason run. ACU is coming off of a 23-10 overall record last season and a 13-5 conference mark that placed the Wildcats as the No. 4 seed in the Southland Tournament. After rattling off three-straight wins, Abilene Christian was crowned champion and received its first automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament. ACU will be rich with experience as four of their five starters from last season return for the upcoming season, three of which are playing their senior seasons. The Wildcats’ offense has the capability to fluster defenses by spreading the floor and efficient shooting from all over. Last season, ACU ranked 23rd in the nation with 16.7 assists per game and 18th nationally with a 45.8 field goal percentage.
Sam Houston State rounds out the preseason all-conference squads with three selections of its own. Senior Jaylonn Walker grabbed an automatic spot on the first team, while Amber Leggett and Jenniffer Oramas earned second-team distinctions. The Bearkats are coming off an incredible turnaround season where they finished with a 16-13 overall record and an 11-7 record in conference action. After failing to qualify for the Southland Tournament in the 2017-18 season, the Bearkats secured the No. 5 spot in the 2018-19 tournament under the guidance of reigning Coach of the Year Ravon Justice. Justice enters her second season with Sam Houston State and will look to build upon her first-year successes with four starters returning. Defense will be a key component for SHSU’s success as they completed the 2018-19 season ranked fourth nationally for turnovers forced (22.72).
The preseason teams were chosen by a poll of the conference’s head coaches. Voters were not allowed to select their institution’s players.