Central Islip, N.Y. - The St. Thomas Aquinas women’s basketball team has been selected as the preseason favorite for the 2011-12 season, as voted on by the conference’s head coaches. The Lady Spartans also earned another honor with senior forward, Briana Sloper, named the Preseason Player of the Year.
St. Thomas Aquinas received 75 total points and five first place votes to take home the top spot in the poll after coming off one of the best seasons in program history in which they finished with a 21-8 record. The Lady Spartans return 11 players from a squad that also took home the regular season ECC Championship with a 17-4 mark during conference play.
The defending ECC Champions, C.W. Post, received two first-place votes while tallying 67 points to earn the No.2 spot on the poll. C.W. Post finished the 2010-11 season with a 17-13 record after defeating Bridgeport, 69-66, in the ECC Championship Final to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in ten years. Dowling College is next at No. 3 with 61 points. Bridgeport and Molloy each earned one first place vote apiece to come in fourth and fifth respectively.
Sloper was picked to earn her second straight ECC Player of the Year honor after sharing the honor with Janea Aiken of C.W. Post a season ago. Sloper, a three-time All-Conference selection, heads into her senior season with almost 1,400 points and more than 650 rebounds in her career. In 2010-11, Sloper finished third in the conference in scoring (17.7 ppg) and sixth in rebounding (7.6 rpg).
2011-2012 Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
|Team||Points||Last Year's Record|
|1. St. Thomas Aquinas (5)||75||21-8 (17-4 ECC)|
|2. C.W. Post (2)||67||17-13 (12-9 ECC)|
|3. Dowling||61||17-12 (15-6 ECC)|
|4. Bridgeport (1)||54||17-14 (13-8 ECC)|
|5. Molloy (1)||47||8-21 (8-13 ECC)|
|6. District of Columbia||35||19-9 (n/a)|
|7. NYIT||31||8-18 (6-15 ECC)|
|8. Queens||20||10-19 (9-12 ECC)|
|9. Mercy||15||6-20 (4-17 ECC)|
( ) - first place votes
Preseason Player of the Year - Briana Sloper, St. Thomas Aquinas, (Sr., F, 5-11)