Lady Tops picked fifth in Sun Belt East; Govan, Gooch make third team

The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team is projected to finish fifth in the Sun Belt Conference East Division by league coaches in the preseason poll released today.

The Lady Toppers totaled 26 points, ahead of only Troy in the East Division.

Middle Tennessee was first in the East with 10 first-place votes, followed by Florida International, South Alabama and Florida Atlantic.

Arkansas Little-Rock got 10 first-place votes in the West Division, followed by Arkansas State. North Texas, Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana-Lafayette rounded out the division.

WKU sophomore forward Chastity Gooch and sophomore guard Alexis Govan were named to the preseason all-conference third team.

Govan averaged 6.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 2011-12, while Gooch averaged 6.1 points and 5.6 rebounds.

FIU junior guard Jerica Coley, who tied for fifth in the country last year with 23.4 points per game, was tabbed as the league’s preseason player of the year.

She was joined on the first team by Arkansas State’s Taylor Gault and Middle Tennessee’s Icelyn Elie, Kortni Jones and Ebony Rowe.

The Sun Belt held its women’s basketball media day teleconference this morning. WKU will host its own media day Wednesday at E.A. Diddle Arena.

2012-13 Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference First Team
Taylor Gault (UALR, Sophomore, Guard)
Jerica Coley (FIU, Junior, Guard)
Icelyn Elie (Middle Tennessee, Senior, Forward)
Kortni Jones (Middle Tennessee, Senior, Guard)
Ebony Rowe (Middle Tennessee, Junior, Forward)2012-13 Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Second Team
Taylor Ford (UALR, Junior, Guard)
Jane Morrill (Arkansas State, Junior, Forward)
Chenise Miller (Florida Atlantic, RS-Junior, Forward)
Finda Mansare (FIU, Senior, Forward)
Mansa El (South Alabama, Senior, Guard)

2012-13 Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Third Team
Janette Merriex (UALR, Senior, Guard/Forward)
Jasmine Shaw (Louisiana-Monroe, Junior, Guard)
Mary Nixon (South Alabama, Senior, Guard)
Chastity Gooch (WKU, Sophomore, Forward)
Alexis Govan (WKU, Sophomore, Guard)

2012-13 Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year
Jerica Coley (FIU, Junior, Guard)

2012-13 Women’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish
EAST DIVISION – Coaches’ Votes in Parentheses
1. MT – 65 pts (10)
2. FIU – 54 pts (1)
3. USA – 45 pts
4. FAU – 29 pts
5. WKU – 26 pts
6. Troy – 12 pts

WEST DIVISION
1. UALR – 54 pts (10)
2. ASU – 39 pts (1)
3. UNT – 33 pts
4. ULM – 24 pts
5. ULL – 15 pts

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